Your Shops' Mission Statement
Your mission statement will drive your shop. Like the vision, the mission also tells everyone the organization’s purpose—what does the organization exist to do? What are the objectives? It goes beyond the vision, however, by making a clearer picture of company goals and how the vision will be accomplished. It also shapes your company’s culture.
In other words, the mission statement is a way to express the vision in practical terms. It should be concrete and include goal-oriented language. It should include measurable objectives. Every person within the organization can evaluate whether his or her own activities will serve to help the company achieve its mission.
A mission statement is a declaration of what makes the shop important.
- It guides the actions of the employees
- Draws in customers by creating direction by explaining what the shop intends to accomplish.
What should a mission statement accomplish?
A mission statement should tell others why the shop exists and what makes it different.
If you don’t have one, you need to get one.
Start here to write your mission statement:
A mission statement is a short, meaningful phrase that summarizes the purpose that drives your shop.
Similar to your vision statement (the “what”) and strategy plan (the “how”),
your mission statement answers the question of why you do what you do.
We’ll take you through a simple six-step process to develop your business mission statement. We’ll also provide you with a template and examples to inspire you.
Once you create your company mission statement consider posting it on your shops’ website.
Here are the six steps to help you create your company mission statement.
Step 1: Ask Questions
You may want to do this alone, with a business partner or with a group of trusted advisors like your top managers, business coach, accountant, or even your spouse. The point is to start asking questions about what your business does and why.
Ask yourself and your team basic questions like these about your business:
- What is it we do?
- What do we create?
- Why does it matter?
- Who does it matter to?
- How does it make a difference?
Take your time. In fact, it may be best to schedule a meeting or two to accomplish this. For example, in one meeting you may want to review other business’ mission statements. Look on the internet for companies that you admire, or those that do work similarly to yours.
Then ask yourself and your advisors:
- How is our business different than our competitors?
- How could we improve upon other’s mission statements?
- Which mission statements resonate with us?
- What kind of description feels right for our business?
Here’s an example:
- What is it we do? Install tires
- What do we create? Safer vehicles
- Why does it matter? Fewer accidents
- Who does it matter to? Vehicle owners and their families like parents of teen drivers
- How does it make a difference? We make traveling within our community safer
Nothing in those questions or answers refers to how much money you make or how many tires you sell. They’re about your customers’ needs, as a mission statement should be.
Next, ask some competitor questions:
- How is our shop different than our competitors? We’re locally owned
- How could we improve upon other’s mission statements? Example: TIRECRAFT Auto Centers are proud to be tire experts, providing products and services that exceed our customers’ expectations with a commitment to the well-being of our employees and community.
- An example of a good mission statement is from Superior Tire in California, “We are a customer service company offering tire sales and automotive repairs. We provide excellent product quality, value pricing, and ‘feel good’ customer service while striving consistently to exceed customer and employee expectations.”
- What kind of description feels right for your shop? One that focuses on keeping your family safe providing hometown service?
Step 2: Brainstorm Based on Your Answers
This may seem like the easiest part, but it can prove difficult because people tend to edit themselves. Instead, just write. Ask yourself or your team to start saying words or short phrases out loud. Some words and ideas will be great while others will be silly. Don’t judge.
In fact, don’t edit at all as you’re brainstorming. Just write down the words that pop into yours or their heads. Write exactly what they say. Don’t reword their ideas or 1) they’ll stop contributing and, 2) you may miss the nugget of their contribution.
This is a data-gathering phase only. What you’ll end up with are some common feeling words or short phrases that begin to make sense and start to resonate with you and others.
Step 3: Now start to edit
If you alone are coming up with the words (not a recommended approach), it’s easy to edit by crossing out the terms that you don’t like or don’t fit. However, a fun approach is to do this in a meeting or group setting and give attendees the chance to “vote” on words or phrases they like.
Consider posting the words on a chart or document and then let your team vote with stars or checkmarks next to the terms or descriptors they like best. This feedback provides the benefit of getting the “buy-in” of your staff.
This process will cull that list of words to the ones that are most representative of your company and most important in representing what your company does and why.
Step 4: Create the First Draft
This is the part of the process you or your marketing, public relations, human resources, or another creative-writing resource may want to take charge of. It’s not done as a group — it’s best done alone. Here’s an example of five first-draft ideas for the tire company mission statement.
You can summarize your thoughts into one first draft mission statement. Alternatively, you can come up with a few first-draft mission statements from which to work. The point is to get your mission statement/s on paper. You can edit later.
Step 5: Solicit Feedback
Oddly, this is an important step some business owners skip. It’s important because you want to be sure that what you mean to say is understood by others. If you publish your mission statement without asking others what they think, you may end up with something that inspired you but no one else. Another mistake is to let a PR or HR person alone craft your mission statement without your or other’s input. It’s your mission statement and should be reflective of your voice, so take the time to get it right.
Again, meetings works. You can also type up your mission statement and shop it around your office. Get feedback from customers, employees, and other business owners. Listen to their input on how the mission statement makes them feel.
Note that some people will not want to hurt your feelings, so they’ll simply nod and say, “it’s fine.” A few good questions to get them to open up with honest input are:
- How does this make you feel about our company?
- What would you change in the wording?
- What about this phrase that isn’t working for you?
- What is it missing?
Steps four and five may need to be repeated until you end up with something everyone can agree gives purpose the business and that they can buy into.
Author Brandon Peele ‘Planet on Purpose’ explains why:
“People who are connected with their purpose are four times as likely to be engaged and are five times more productive than those who are not connected with their higher purpose. This research and much more (on the effects of purpose in the workplace and in health and society) is available here: http://scienceofpurpose.org.”
Just keep editing and getting feedback until you and those who you trust all agree that you’ve nailed it.
Step 6: Finalize & Share It
Once you’ve firmed up your mission statement, it’s time to finalize it. You’ll probably feel relief once you decide, “this is it — this is our mission statement.” Be sure to write it down somewhere so that you don’t forget the exact words you used because the next step is to begin using your mission statement in company communications.
Our Tires & Service Keep You & Your Family Safe on All Wheels
Communicate Your Company Mission Statement
There are many ways to share your mission statement, so we’ll focus on some of the more common. Keep in mind that you have more than one audience. Your mission statement should be shared with your employees. It should also be shared with your customers and perhaps even your vendor-partners.
Start Your Engine
How is our business different than our competitors? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How could we improve upon other’s mission statements? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Which mission statements resonate with us? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What kind of description feels right for our business? One that focuses on keeping your family safe providing hometown service. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What is it we do? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What do we create? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why does it matter? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Who does it matter to? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How does it make a difference? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
First Draft ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________