Mission Statement – Definition, Meaning, Tips
What does a mission statement mean in a business plan? What purpose does it serve in business? In answering the question on what a mission statement is, this article provides a step-by-step approach as it digests this topic for your understanding.
A mission statement is a message that shows where a business is headed. It is a goal that gives clear guidance on the destination the business is headed and how to get there. The mission statement should guide the actions of employers, employees and also the client. By having knowledge of the mission statement, clients develop confidence to patronize the products and services of the company or business.
Having a Unique Mission Statement
A lot of commitment must be made in putting together a mission statement. There are a lot of challenges developing this. Sometimes, several adjustments have to be made along the way in order to obtain the very best results. This is especially true when the company needs to adapt to current or future challenges it may encounter along the way. A mission statement is most important for the employees of the company or the business as their input will lead to the attainment of the desired goal or mission.
There are many mission statements containing a lot of mumbo jumbo with little or no real application to the business. These are most times lifted from other mission statements, and as such, tend not to be specific to the business. Developing a unique mission statement eventually leads to a much more result oriented action leading to the achievement of the set mission.
Mission Statement Review
As mentioned earlier, there are times when the initial mission statement needs some sort of review, especially if the business/company has outgrown its earlier capacity. If this is the case, the earlier mission statement will need a review to capture the current realities to make room for enhanced performance towards meeting the target set by the mission statement.
Every member of the team should be involved in this. This means that the employees must all be encouraged to adopt the mission statement in the provision of services and products. A mission statement is not engraved in stone, as it needs continuous review to enable it adapt to its challenges and realities. However, the mission statement should not be changed arbitrarily to make way for weaknesses. A review should be made only when there is real need for such.
COMPONENTS OF A MISSION STATEMENT
Important Questions a Mission Statement Must Answer
There are salient questions which a good mission statement must answer, these include the following; what needs does the business or company address (solve)? ; How does the company/business meet these needs? (What type of activity is the business into); the guiding principles of the business. In order to attain any meaningful progress with the mission statement, the right answers should be given to these questions.
The Needs Solved by the Business
A mission statement clearly provides ample information on the type of services and products offered by the business. In providing these products and services, it takes advantage of the opportunities provided which in most cases involves profits. However, profits do not flow in unless the needs of its clients or customers are met. All these are intertwined as satisfying the need of the customer is in effect satisfying the need of the employee (through wages/salaries), and the needs of the business owner or employer of labor through profits.
The Type of Activity Involved in
By stating the activity sector the business is into, the mission statement allows for easy understanding of the areas of priority the business should focus on during times of challenges when there is a tendency to overlook the objectives of the business. Therefore, the type of activity involved in likely to review in response to the growth experienced within the business.
The Guiding Principles of the Business
In writing a mission statement, it should contain the guiding principles of the business which may include the provision of the best services or products as compared to that of its competition/competitors. Also, a mission statement should contain a clear growth plan that will ensure the business witnesses tangible advancement in its level of products and services. There should also be a clear strategy of taking advantage of the weaknesses of its competitors, and turning these into strength which places the business or company at an advantaged position.
Without a mission statement, the company or business will at best experience a mediocre growth which may eventually result in the shutting down of the business. To make the mission statement viable and effective, a dedicated approach to its implementation is necessary. Also, whenever there is a need for a review, this should be carefully carried out with the help of experts to ensure that there is uninterrupted growth leading to tangible results.
The question “what is a mission statement” is quite vast as it involves everything from the purpose of the mission statement to the implementation of the mission statement and also the opportunities and needs as well as the benefits derived by the customer/client, the employee as well as the employer are adequately captured. It is believed that with the information made available in this article, a better knowledge on what a mission statement is, and how it contributes to the stability and growth of the business is adequately captured.