Every company should have a mission statement that describes its purpose and lets customers and the public know what the business is selling. “A meaningful mission statement can also distinguish a company from its competitors, suggest potential directions for future growth and provide team members with a common goal to work toward,” according to Chuck Cohn, CEO and founder of Varsity Tours, as well as contributor to Entrepreneur magazine.

Cohn has found four techniques useful when developing a mission statement:

  1. Define your purpose. Ask yourself why your company exists, says Cohn. Identify whom your product or service is for, how you want to deliver it, and why it’s valuable.
  2. Be specific. Avoid jargon so people are more likely to commit the statement to memory. “When your mission is hard to remember, it’s difficult for team members to align their daily activities with the goals outlined,” explains Cohn. “Choose your words wisely and use terms that are easily understood and relevant to your business.”
  3. Inspire. Tie your mission statement to behaviors or activities to move it from the conceptual realm to the practical, notes Cohn. This can help consumers realize your company does more than clean cars or sell wash packages.
  4. Keep it succinct. Write a concise message that captures your company’s vision. Cohn uses Chipotle’s mission statement as an example: “Food with integrity.”

Once your mission statement is finished, communicate it to team members so they can align their goals with your company’s vision, shares Cohn. The actions of your company are the ultimate way to carry out your mission.

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