One of the most critical aspects of running a business is defining what it is that you are committed to accomplishing. The first step in setting that direction is having a clear mission statement. While it is not absolutely essential to have a mission statement, having one does offer a clear definition of who your company is and what it is determined to achieve. These are a few examples:
Walt Disney Corporate: The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services, and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.
Universal Health Services, Inc.: To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
President Donald Trump defines his mission in one simple phrase:
Make America great again.
Entrepreneur.com, a resource in this area, suggests, “A mission statement is a key tool that can be as important as your business plan. It captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business's goals, and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, vendors, and the community. The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the community.”
Creating a Mission Statement need not be complicated. Just follow these 5 simple steps:
Choose a theme or central image that defines your objective. One of Disney’s objectives is that they want their customers to have fun. Think of your customer and the experience you want them to have either on-line or in the store. What are the steps he/she goes through in giving you their business. Ask yourself, what makes your company special or unique?
Create a team to help develop the Mission Statement. Getting employees involved in the writing process insures that they will be committed to the implementation of the mission statement after it is completed. It is not enough simply to write a mission statement; everyone affected needs to believe in its content. Writing this statement offers a unique moment for all involved. The shared interaction will create wonderful team-building and spirit in your company.
Include what your company does for owners, customers, and/or employees. Most mission statements are geared towards the customer only. A broader view would be to include employees and owners.
Review and make changes as needed. Once almost finalized, go back and edit to make sure it is not too long or wordy and the language is clear and precise. As your business evolves, do not be afraid to re-visit your mission statement. Circumstances and approaches change over time and your mission statement should reflect those changes. Be deliberate in the process, as the final product is more important than haste.
Promote it widely. Your mission statement may be complete, but do not let it sit in a drawer. Remember, it is your declaration of what your business is all about. Print the statement and post in your office where employees and customers can read it at all times. It is important to include in your in-store and on-line publicity. Be sure to print it on business cards, pamphlets, laundry bags, and other printable items.
In addition, these suggestions by Jack Deal of Deal Consulting are helpful to think about when creating a mission statement:
1. "A mission statement should say who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and why you do what you do.
2. Avoid saying how great you are, what great quality and what great service you provide. Using these concepts makes you indistinguishable from the rest.
3. Effective mission statements need not set the world on fire. Lofty statements have little credibility. The best ones are direct and powerful.
4. Make certain your mission statement is you and not some other company.
That is why you should not copy a statement. Even if your statement is a little unpolished, it will appear to have more credibility and integrity than if it portrays you as something you are not.
5. Make certain you believe in your statement.
6. Humor, sarcasm, cynicism, and eloquence are usually not good components of an effective mission statement. Simplicity, honesty and frankness are the best.
7. Use your mission statement to supplement your sales and marketing and not as a standalone piece.”
Once the mission statement is set, your entire team and your customers will know exactly what you are committed to accomplishing. To help you to write your own, here are some examples of mission statements in our industry from members of Tuchman Advisory Group:
The mission of our company is to become the dominant, high-end dry cleaning company in the markets we serve by providing our customers with a consistently superior quality of professional dry cleaning and laundry services. We will position ourselves as the leader in terms of technological innovation, employee training and industry and community involvement so as to become the most trusted cleaning company in our market. We will also provide a positive, safe and mutually rewarding work environment for our employees that stresses mutual respect, civility, integrity, trust, personal development and longevity of employment.
David Makepeace, President ~ Medlin-Davis Cleaners, North ~ Raleigh, NC
Our purpose is to be known as “a company that is caring” for our customers, each other, and the community we serve. This commitment of “caring for others” will allow us to exceed our deserving customers’ expectations with world-class customer service, the best product quality, and the most convenient and environmentally non-toxic dry cleaning service available anywhere.
Mike Nesbit, President ~ MW Cleaners ~ Houston, TX
VISION: In The Bag strives to provide the very best dry cleaning and laundry solutions. These solutions will solve our clients’ greatest pain points. This includes the feeling of self-confidence by helping our clients feel great in their clothing. And time savings so our clients can focus on what is truly important in their life – their relationships and purpose.
MISSION: We will consistently achieve this vision by taking care of our clients by following the Platinum Rule – “do onto others and they want done onto them.”
We will show empathy, kindness and caring for both our clients and team as challenges and complexities arise. We will treat each client and circumstance on an individual basis, restraining from any prejudices.
We will strive to be the very best at what we do, constantly learning ways we can innovate our services and achieve a standard of excellence in both the quality of our services and the care of our clients. We will take responsibility for all things in our control, whether it is our fault or not. We will never blame others for problems that arise.
We will work as a team and understand that the strength of our team is only as great as our weakest team member. We will encourage our team members to be confident, caring, authentic, and genuine while showing the highest level of integrity with our clients and others on the team.
Dave Coyle, Team Leader & Owner ~ In The Bag Cleaners ~ Wichita, KS
Natalie Ghassemi with Nevada Corporate Headquarters, Inc., offers this concluding statement: “Like anything with lasting value, crafting a mission statement requires time, thought, and planning. However, the effort is well worth it. In fact, most start-up entrepreneurs discover that the process of crafting the mission statement is as beneficial as the final statement itself. Going through the process will help you solidify the reason for what you are doing and clarify the motivations behind [the goals of] your business.”
Originally published in Cleaner & Launderer, March 2017