MISSION STATEMENT: How and Why Your Small Business Needs One

Image depicting a business mission statement. Two people near a graph with an upward arrow.

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement states the business you are in and the market you serve.  Some business writers might suggest that you determine what you do for your customers, what you do for your employees, and what you want from your business.   Whatever your process, the mission statement tells everyone what you are in the business of doing.  It is short-term; it is focused on where the business is going within a 1-3 year time frame, whereas a vision statement is more broad and long-range.

Here’s an example of Microsoft’s mission statement:

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Why does your business need a mission statement?

A mission statement influences the allocation of resources.  It influences goals, operations, and profit.  As such it acts as a guide for determining boundaries for the business.

Perhaps more importantly is the foundation it provides upon which recruitment and strategy are formed – it helps to align owners, staff, and others.  As such it is a valuable tool in the planning process.

Sources: Cenage – Lamb, Hair, McDaniel MARKETING and AllBusiness.

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

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