Why does a small business need a mission?
Clarity, Commitment and Focus
You are a business owner with many demands on your time. There are a whole range of markets you could serve and products and services you could deliver. You cannot do everything.
Your mission should describe, with passion, in a sentence or so, the purpose of your business and why a customer would want to buy from you. This provides your customers with clarity, you with focus and both of you with an understanding of your commitment.
Here are a couple of examples, one a large business, the other small.
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
“Cave sustainable architects – creating beautiful spaces for people and planet.”
Your Mission – Why your Business Exists
To develop your mission start by brainstorming some short answers to these questions.
Who is your ideal customer?
Who are you targeting? What do they want?
What product / service are you offering with a unique value / benefit? How are you different?
What problem are you solving?
What commitments are you making?
What are your strengths & weaknesses? What do you do well?
What things do you do best?
What impact do your values & beliefs have on your customers?
What are you trying to achieve?
Now summarise your answers in a few succinct sentences to describe why your business really exists.
Take a break.
Come back to your sentences and spend time redrafting your mission with real passion and belief. Take out any meaningless words, phrases and unnecessary superlatives: make it short but meaningful. Truly define what you do, your values and why you do it.
Ensure your mission is consistent with your vision. See Describing Your Vision.
Your challenge is to make your mission broad enough to stand the test of time whilst specific enough to be meaningful. Test your mission against other similar businesses to ensure yours is significantly different. Is it unmistakably your business being described? Do your customers believe it? Do you believe it?
Use your Mission
There is no point in developing your mission if it is just a theoretical statement. It must have value to your business.
Use your mission to help you set your goals and objectives. Refer to your mission when developing your strategies to manage the business. Make use of it when communicating with customers.