A mission is a purpose. A mission statement is a written declaration of a purpose. In your business plan, it briefly explains the function of your business. It can be a single sentence or a paragraph. It should use concrete rather than abstract words. Your business’ mission statement should be unique and not describe any other business. It should be focused on the opportunity and tell readers specifically what your business is about.
A concise mission statement is the most important and most read component of your business plan. It summarizes what your business does, how it does it, and what results it expects. As your business grows, new opportunities will arise. Your business’ mission statement will help you focus on the reasons you got into the business and help keep you on track. If a business is unsuccessful, or less than successful, an imprecise mission statement is often the cause.
How do you come up with an effective mission statement? Think of it as an advertising slogan; it succinctly defines the mission or purpose of your business. Following are some popular ad slogans that provide a summary of the company's mission.
Connecting people. —Nokia
Live in your world, play in ours. —Sony Playstation
No battery is stronger longer. —Duracell
Empowering financial institutions globally. —IFLEX Solutions
Buy it. Sell it. Love it. —eBay
Bank of opportunity. —Bank of America
Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. —State Farm Insurance
Do more, feel better, live longer. —GlaxoSmithKline
Ad slogans are the kernels from which mission statements grow. Conversely, many businesses develop their ad slogans from their mission statements, reducing it to the fewest words that project the core mission. As you develop your business plan, your executive summary, and your mission statement, think of what ad slogan you would develop to succinctly tell others what your business is about. This exercise can help you in defining your business concept, background, opportunities, and mission.
Here's an example of a mission statement (from Appendix B):
The mission of ATMC is to help the business professional balance his/her career and family by professionally organizing time, office, and home environments.