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Be clear about your mission

By CCIWA Editor 

Sometimes it will become obvious your company needs to change its mission statement.

In 1980, Bill Gates defined Microsoft’s mission as: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”  

As mission statements go, it was perfect – clear, concise and actionable. But quickly rendered redundant.  

These days Microsoft operates under the broader: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.” 

There are a number of reasons your business may need to change its mission statement: 

  • you have changed your business focus 
  • it fails to emphasis your unique selling point 
  • your values have changed, or  
  • it may just be terrible mission statement.  

A mission statement should explain the key aim of your enterprise.  

It should state what you are, what you are doing, how and when you are doing it and who you are we doing it with. 

It should sum up your aims and values, be simple and jargon-free. Avoid sounding too fluffy and too ‘out there’. 

Ask the people in your company what the mission statement means and if they don’t understand it, then it probably needs to be rewritten in language they understand. 

A good mission statement should inspire staff each day and help them understand their role in achieving the company mission. 

During competitive economic times, tweaking the focus of your mission statement can be an effective way to reposition your brand by emphasising a point of difference.  

When McDonald’s entered the coffee market, Starbucks rewrote its mission statement to highlight ambiance over product, as both were producing high-quality brews.  

Originally the emphasis was on coffee: “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffees in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.” 

It became: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.” 

Your mission statement should grow with your business and resonate with the values of staff and customers.  

Sometimes it will become obvious your company needs to change its mission statement.

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