5 Tips to a Tasty Mission Statement

How many times have you visited an office and seen an ultra-trite, boring, meaningless Mission Statement? Amazingly, most people hate their Mission Statements. Yet as dorky as they know their Mission to be, most proudly frame their Mission Statements and hang them in a place of honor. The thought bubble in my head usually reads, “Huh? Seriously? Huh?” and I know I’m not in the minority.

But there is value in a Mission Statement if done right. For example, funders like Kabbage need to know your story before they throw money your way. So here’s a few tips to avoid cliches, increase readability and pump up the passion:

1. Start With Your Audience

Starting a Mission Statement with, ” We help…” is a sure-fire way to get audience-centric. Business is defined by who you help which leads to what they want. And what you produce. It even informs you of how you’ll produce offerings and how you deliver them.

Starting with your audience also provides a natural grabber. It lets them know you know who they are. And that you care about them. By putting them first, you’re also implying that you place them on a higher priority than yourself. It further gets you out of the day-to-day nuts and bolts of your business and into their shoes. If you’re gonna hang it on the wall, it ought to speak to them.

Example:

“BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs…”

2. Bake-in the Benefits

Related to the notion of starting with identifying your customers first is the notion of throwing down what they get. You want them to read on, so give them something that sparks their needs and desires. In the media industry it’s often said, “if it bleeds, it leads..” which is to say that framing a pain point captures attention. I often like to frame a pair of benefits, one a negative one and the other an aspirational one. That leads to resonate for those who have both issues and a wider communication to capture more of the edge cases.

Example:

“BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs… avoid failure and achieve prosperity…”

3. Add Your “Secret Sauce”

If your audience likes what they hear from the benefits side, they might read on to find out why should they use your company. That’s the time to show the sizzle in your steak. to continue the interest level and to create preference for your offering, you need to deliver a message that shows how you’re solution is unique in the market. Fancy biz folks call that “differentiation.” This is also the place to show that you have a protected ownership right over your solution to show just how special your secret sauce is.

Example:

“BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs avoid failure and achieve prosperity… through a proprietary online entrepreneur’s success application… “

4. Garnish with Features

Once you’ve ready to plate your sizzling steak and all that secret sauce, you can then add features into your Mission Statement. Features are an necessary and important part toward at tasty sales presentation, but they should be used more as an underlying foundation or as a garnish. Being too think with features  is what causes spoiled mission statements. thus putting features at the end is a satisfying conclusion.

Example:

“BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs avoid failure and achieve prosperity through a proprietary online entrepreneur’s success application… that features b-planning, marketing and sales templates that share data to all grow at the same time.”

5. Sweeten & Shorten

The shorter you can make your Mission Statement the better. Long missions are hard to read, retain and pass on. Reading for empty words and removing them is a good start. You also might consider shortening your mission into a Mantra or a Slogan. A mantra is a call to arms. It’s what you stand for. Slogans are similar as a short and generally highly poetic short version of your mission. “Just Do It,” “We Try Harder,” “Think Different.” and “Have it Your Way” are all good examples. You also might consider starting off your Mission Statement with a Mantra or Slogan rather than, “Our Mission” which is of course just more empty and trite words.

Example:

Get Strong. Win Biz!

BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs avoid failure and achieve prosperity through a proprietary online entrepreneur’s success application that features b-planning, marketing and sales templates that share data to all grow at the same time.”

EPILOGUE

The sound-bites drafted above represent the core of your business story. As basic building-blocks, they drive other key story performances including:

  • Vision Statement: a Vision is actually nestled inside your Mission Statement as the first three sound-bites. Example, ““BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs avoid failure and achieve prosperity through a proprietary online entrepreneur’s success application.”
  • Elevator Pitch: the entire Mission Statement above with an introduction posted on the front, “Hi, I’m _____________ from __________________. BizGym.com helps entrepreneurs avoid failure and achieve prosperity through a proprietary online entrepreneur’s success application that features b-planning, marketing and sales templates that share data to all grow at the same time.”
  • B-Plan, Pitch Decks, Marketing Templates: BizGym.com has all these and more… oh, and did I say free? Yep, Free. Don’t be stupid. Try it.