One of the first steps any organization needs to take when developing or improving its business strategy, is to define what the organization does and where it wants to be in the future. A mission statement helps the organization to define the present purpose of the organization and a vision statement tells the organization where it wants to be.
The process of developing a mission statement is critical to understand the organization’s focus and scope of its operation. Interesting is to notice that identical organizations might have different mission statements. For instance two furniture companies that have similar resources (infrastructure, number of people, machinery) and located in the same county can be very different. Company one mission statement is to sell the most inexpensive furniture while company two’s mission statement is to sell the furniture with the highest quality. Given an increase in housing construction and potential needs for new furniture, both companies will address the market opportunity in a very different way. Company one will target medium to low income markets and company two will develop a strategy to target high income markets.
In general, successful mission statements should be short or single sentence statements. Some fundamental questions you need to ask to develop a mission statement are (Maynard. 2012. The Kinesis Blog):
· What do we do?
· Who are our customers?
· Why do we serve our customers in the way we do?
· Why are we in this industry?
· Why did we start this business?
· What image of our business do we want to convey?