How to write the best mission statement for your business

Many businesses love to write their mission statement.

Are they doing it right?

Most of them aren’t, that’s the truth.

It’s very common to tend to navel-gaze and come across as pedantic or cheesy.

“Our mission is to turn the world into a cotton candy where everyone is happy eating strawberry ice cream while gazing at unicorns and rainbows”.

  • Excuse me?!

Many other businesses would like to write an original, clear and compelling mission, but nothing decent comes out.

Because everything they try sounds empty and boring and they are afraid of sounding cheesy or pedantic, like those other businesses.

It’s just not easy, that’s all.

However, when you write with your heart, but using your brain, something good comes out.

Even very good!

Maybe after 10 tries, but hey, it’s worth it.

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Not every business needs a mission

I’m sure you’ve come across the typical business that sells parquets and the cousin who made their website has added a grandiloquent mission that sounds ridiculous.

“Our mission is to revolutionise the world of the traditional parquet”.

Just because you have a business doesn’t mean you set out to revolutionise the world.

Not all businesses need to include their mission in their website.

Judge for yourself.

Perhaps simply writing an interesting About page is enough.

Nor is it necessary to explicitly mention “our mission”.

But let us first clarify something important.

What exactly is the mission of a business?

I’ll bet that the idea for your business started to form in your head when you began to notice a need in certain people and that it was linked to something you like and are good at.

You thought about how you could meet that need and came up with the idea for your business.

Well, that’s exactly your mission.

It’s your main objective: satisfying your ideal customer’s need while exceeding their expectations.

In other words, you won’t only cover that particular need, but also improve many other aspects of their lives as a direct consequence.

You already have the idea, now the hard part is to express it in a relevant, original and honest way.

But that’s what you and I are here for. To help you writing your mission.

Let’s take it one step at a time.

A relevant mission

For your mission to be relevant, your ideal customer has to see themselves reflected in that journey towards your goal.

And for that you have to make your goal exclusively about him or her.

Let’s look at this with an example.

Project Fearless is an NGO that helps girls from 9 to 14 years old feel more confident through after school activities that push them out of their comfort zone and face their fears.

They teach them to skate, dance, box, draw, etc. and with those activities they help their self-esteem and the strength to overcome obstacles.

Their mission statement reads as follows:

“Our Mission: Girls, Going Places

To enable more girls to become scientists, engineers, builders, makers, creators or to get to the top of any ladder they wish to climb.

We want to equip girls with the tools to succeed in any aspect of their lives by plugging the gap currently left by society. By empowering girls to define how they see themselves from scratch, we will, in turn, rewrite how the world views girls.

Their mission is clear and relevant because if you are a woman, or if you have daughters, you will immediately feel related.

You will want to be part of that journey to transform girls’ destinies.

Therefore, your mission has to be relevant to your target audience.

“OK – you may think – writing the mission of an NGO is much easier because it’s always about something laudable and with a vision of wanting to change something in society that is not working.”


However, we can easily extrapolate this to your business, which has nothing to do with NGOs.

Let’s look at an example of a “for-profit” business.

Sunsama is a SaaS platform that helps people organise their day.

It’s aimed at those who don’t have enough life to do everything they have to do (99% of the population in the so-called First World) and who want to be more productive.

On their About page their mission statement (although they don’t explicitly call it that way) says:

“Most of our waking hours are spent working.

And we don’t need to suffer through it.

Work should bring fulfilment and meaning to our lives but we often feel overwhelmed, overworked, and overcommitted.

We deserve tools that help create a healthy relationship to work, ensure our time is well-spent, and that we can do good work, day-in and day-out, without burn out.

We built Sunsama to be that tool – to help us work with focus, calm, and harmony.”

This is a SaaS, nothing to do with an NGO, and they exist to make money.

But they state their mission in a compelling way, transforming their goal into something laudable: “to help people work with focus, calm and harmony”.

Look at the expressions they use:

“We deserve tools that help us create a healthy relationship to work”.

At all times they are trying to make people like you and me feel part of that mission.

This objective speaks directly to us because we also want to have a healthy relationship with our work.

So write a mission that is relevant to your ideal customer’s needs and make your objective go beyond your own interest as a business.

An original mission

To be original is not to be funny or irreverent.

Nor is it pretending to be someone you are not by trying to be as flamboyant as possible.

It’s being afraid of what people will say but doing it anyway.

It’s trying to express the same thing in a different way.

It’s telling a story that hasn’t been told before.

Or not in the same way.

Because you tell it from a different perspective, a different place, with other characters, other experiences, other emotions.

No need to rack your brains trying to be groundbreaking.

Express your mission in your own way and stop mimicking what others do.

I must admit that I haven’t always been brave. Not at all.

I’m scared to expose myself, that’s why I don’t use social media that much.

But for my business I like to do things my way.

When I started this and sat down to write my mission, it didn’t come to me the first time.

In fact my real mission only came to me 3 years after I started my copywriting business.

It’s OK.

There is always time, what matters is that your mission is clear.

I called my mission: “crusade against zombie copy“.

So I asked my illustrator to draw me surrounded by dying zombies. We had a blast at the photo shoot!

When I saw it published on the website I loved it but then I had moments of doubt.

Is it too informal and can it come across as unprofessional?

I was sure it wasn’t going to resonate with many people.

But in the end the clients I’m interested in working with are those who have a sense of humour and who aren’t afraid to be different.

If your mission reflects you, it will reflect your ideal customer too.

And if your mission reflects you, it will be original because no two people and no two businesses are exactly alike.

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An honest mission

Now that greenwashing is on everyone’s lips, being an honest business is more important than ever.

If you don’t know what greenwashing is, it’s the name given to the widespread marketing practice of companies trying to claim that they are doing much more for the environment than they actually are.

Most of these companies have had to rectify and change their marketing messages because they were giving misleading information about how green they were when in fact they weren’t green at all.

So you have to be very careful not to exaggerate your mission and to be as honest as possible because we are facing an increasingly informed audience.

It’s one thing to embellish a mission; it’s another to lie.

The difference is the crux of the matter.

But what’s embellishing?

It’s finding that different perspective that sounds better than it really is but at the same time is real and true.

Let me explain.

An example makes everything easier to understand.

Frida is a brand of baby products.

In their About they tell us this:

They are just an ecommerce for baby and pregnancy products but they embellish their mission by saying that they are the most needed help every struggling parent needs.

Is this exactly true?

No, they won’t be on the phone for you to call them in the middle of the night.

But with this gracefully expressed “exaggeration” they imply they are there to help you.

To summarise

Now that you have seen several examples of how to write a business mission statement, sit back and reflect.

Why did you start your business?

Apart from earning a living, of course.

There is a clear reason and you know it better than anyone.

Now you just have to express it in a compelling way so it is:

  • Relevant – make it important to your ideal customer and help them see themselves as part of that journey to their main objective.
  • Original – tell it from your perspective and it will be different from all the others.
  • Honest – Exaggerate gracefully to embellish your mission but don’t overdo it or lie.

I hope this copy lesson has helped you to get some clarity in your mind.

So now sit down and write your compelling mission!

Freelance Copywriter

Sobre Elena de Francisco

Siento un placer inmensurable aplastando textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformándolos en textos llenos de vida que provocan muchas ventas.

About Elena de Francisco

I find real pleasure in crushing zombie copy that doesn’t provoke any emotion and turning it into vivid words that convert prospects into smiley paying customers.


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