7 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Clear, Written Mission Statement

A mission statement is something that is often only associated with larger organisations but it can also can be equally as useful to smaller businesses and start-ups in particular.

1. It determines the company's direction.

Smart business owners use this statement to remind their teams why their company exists because this is what makes the company successful. The mission statement serves as a "North Star" that keeps everyone clear on the direction of the organization. This leads to the second reason.

2. It focuses the company's future.

Many people refer to this as the "vision" which is different than the mission. The vision is about the future. The mission tells us what we're doing today that will take us where we want to go in the future.

3. It provides a template for decision-making.

A clear mission sets important boundaries which enable business owners to delegate both responsibility and authority. Mission is to the company what a compass is to an explorer, a map to a tourist, a rudder to a ship, a template to a machinist. It provides a framework fro thinking throughout the organization.

4. It forms the basis for alignment.

When a new employee is hired it is critical that the new hire know what the company does and where the company is going. The mission statement forms the basis for alignment not only with the owner, but the entire team and organization.

5. It welcomes helpful change.

Many people are resistant to change because it causes us to feel insecure and sometimes out of control. However, if the mission is clear, then team members are more likely to see the value of the change and how it helps the organization accomplish the mission. This will create a culture that welcomes change when warranted.

6. It shapes strategy.

Every business needs a strategy. But strategies must not be created in a vacuum. Instead of looking at what's new or what competitors are doing and trying to copy them, wise business owners create the most effective strategies possible to accomplish the mission.

7. It facilitates evaluation and improvement.

It has been said that "What you measure will be your mission." If you have a clear, written statement of mission you will know exactly what to measure and how to measure it. Clarity of mission brings clarity on every other level of the organization.

Clifford Brown