Use Sample Mission Statements To Craft Yours

Sample mission statements can help you on your way to crafting your own statement. This statement, unlike the vision statement that is big and bold and future oriented, says why you are here; why you exist. Your mission is the core purpose and focus of the company. That is, business strategies and business practices may change to meet market demands and economic travails, but the core mission typically stays the same. Pepsi Bottling Group (see below), for example, is quite succinct in its mission statement: "We Sell Soda." The economy may change and means of distribution may change but Pepsi's mission stays the same--"we sell soda."

Properly developed, the mission statement can help you decide what is important from what is not; it can help you decide what markets to go after; and it helps set a direction for the organization. If you sell soda, then snack foods and bottled water will likely fit well into your overall marketing mix. Adding garden rakes or above-ground swimming pools to your line will do no good.

Sample Mission Statements

Probably the best way to get a handle on what your own mission statement ought to look like and say is to check sample mission statements from some of the larger corporations.

Here are several sample mission statements:

Wal-Mart’s Mission Statement: "Wal-Mart’s mission is to help people save money so they can live better." (That’s 13 words from the biggest retailer on the planet with probably the most complex operation!)

Pepsi Bottling Group Mission: "We have absolute clarity around what we do: We Sell Soda. We commit ourselves to these operating principles. Rules of the road: 1. Drive local market success; 2. Act now. Do it today. Get results. 3. Set targets. Keep score. Win. 4. Respect each other. Our success will ensure: customers build their business; employees build their futures; shareholders build their wealth."

Starbucks Mission Statement: "To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time." (Starbucks also has an environmental mission statement: "Starbucks is committed to a role of environmental leadership in all facets of our business."

Nike’s Mission Statement: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete."

The Walt Disney Company’s Mission Statement: "The Walt Disney Company's objective is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company's primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital profitability toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value."

Dell Computer’s Mission Statement: "To be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve."

How to Write Your Own Mission Statement

If you were to line up 100 mission statements from 100 different companies, you would see all level of complexity. Many of the bigger companies keep it simple. Others do not seem to even have mission statements at all.Bank of America, for example, does not have a mission statement we could find but the firm has a rather extensive Values Statement. One of our favorites is Wal-Mart. Imagine the complexity of that company? Yet the company can put its core mission in simple terms that we can all understand: “Wal-Mart’s mission is to help people save money so they can live better.”

There are any number of effective ways to put a mission statement together. Here are six steps to help you create a great mission statement for your company:

Step 1 Write down all of the wants, needs and demands that your company exists to fulfill. (What is the purpose of your operation?)

Step 2 Write down how you address those wants, needs and demands. (What is the business of your company?)

Step 3 What values guide the organization? (What do you believe in and at a very deep level, what is important to you?)

Step4 Refine and clarify each of the above answers and make them as concise as possible. Can you get each answer into one sentence?

Step 5 Combine the three answers into one statement and edit it into a smooth-flowing statement.

Step 6 Continue to refine, clarify and make your mission statement concise.

NOTE: Keep it simple. In the sample mission statements detailed here, many of the companies went out of their way to keep is simple and direct. Nike, Wal-Mart and Starbucks--great sample mission statements all--are notable for their simplicity and lack of verbiage. Don't obscure your company's mission statement with grandiose verbiage and corporate-speak. We define corporate-speak as words like: "high performance," "delight the customer," "by putting people first," "puts the customer first," and "by exceeding customer expectations."

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