5 Tips For Crafting A Great Startup Mission Statement – Entrepreneur

A mission statement is the easiest way to represent and summarize any company’s identity and purpose. This is important for early-stage startups because such organizations are in the process of searching for and building their identity.

Consequently, working on crafting a mission statement is a great opportunity for your team to think about the goals and values of your organization.

A good mission statement answers the “why” question – the reason for the existence of your startup, which as Simon Sinek explained in his famous Ted talk is a crucial thing for an organization to know if they want to excel.

A well-crafted mission statement can help guide decision-making, inspire and motivate employees, and differentiate a startup from its competitors. So, here are five tips for building one:

1. Involve the team

Building a mission statement is not a one-person job. Involve key stakeholders, such as founders, employees, and advisors, in the process to ensure that the mission statement truly represents the company’s values and aspirations.

The process of crafting a mission statement is a great exercise for building and defining the internal culture of your organization. It can motivate your startup team by giving your team members who contribute to the mission statement a sense of purpose and belonging.

2. Keep It Simple

A mission statement should be concise and easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or complex language that might be confusing to outsiders.

A mission statement that confuses rather than clarifies is counterproductive and might turn people away from your business.

Don’t be afraid to write a lot when you are working on your mission statement. This is fine – the process of removing and simplifying important but not crucial things is your main tool to get to the heart of your organization.

3. Be specific

A mission statement should be more than just a platitude or vague statement of purpose. It should outline the specific impact that the company hopes to have, whether that be in the form of a product or service, or through social or environmental initiatives.

What exactly are you working towards? How will it benefit your clients or the world as a whole?

4. Focus On The Future

A mission statement should be forward-looking and aspirational, rather than simply describing what the startup does today. It should outline the company’s long-term goals and purpose.

If crafted correctly, it will make your path forward easier to follow, as it will keep you focused on what you want to achieve. It will help you choose effectively between different opportunities by evaluating which one helps your mission the most.

5. Review And Revise When Needed

Finally, a mission statement shouldn’t be static. This is especially true for early-stage startups who go through iterations and pivots often until they find product-market fit.

As your organization changes, your mission statement likely needs to change with it to best describe your new values and aspirations.

By following these tips, tech startup founders can craft a mission statement that communicates the company’s purpose and direction, and helps guide decision-making and inspire the team.

Here are a couple of great mission statement examples to inspire you:

  • Zoom: “To make video communications frictionless.”, which changed to “Make communications frictionless.” This is a great example of extreme simplicity with a focus on the main aspiration of the company.
  • Apple: “Bringing the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software and services.” Clearly illustrates what Apple values most – great UE.
  • Reddit: “Our mission is to bring community and belonging to everyone in the world.” Forward-looking and focused on the central value that the company adds to the lives of its users.

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