A mission statement is a very important part of your business environment and serves many key functions. As well as informing customers what your business is all about, the mission statement is also a managerial tool which helps determine your target audience and clarify expectations with your suppliers. Additionally, a sound mission statement helps keep your employees in alignment with your company’s goals and objectives.

The mission statement is the essence of why you are in business, what value you offer and how you offer it, as well as to who you offer it to. It also ideally identifies your position in the marketplace, your service policy, and community engagement. In a few sentences, sometime just one well crafted one, your mission statement will engage every facet of your business.

No matter how much thought (and there should be a lot) goes into construction of your mission statement, it is useless if not known by all who you do business with, including your employees. The mission statement is a means of clarification, and the better it is understood by your fellow colleagues, the more responsive they can be to meet the needs of your business.

A clear and concise mission statement will inform suppliers of the types of products you are looking to offer, what niche in the market they will fill and at what price points, and what advantages you are looking to capitalize on. A keen supplier will work with you to contribute to your success and bring their best to the table to help your company grow. Communication of a clear mission statement is a winning scenario for you and your supplier, as suppliers want to know the particulars of your business. Your suppliers are your partners, you are on the same team. Choose suppliers who are aligned with your mission statement and can further it. Resilient suppliers look for long term relationships with their customers so that their creativity can soar, thus offering growth possibilities for both of you. Without businesses suppliers have nothing to sell, and without suppliers, businesses have nothing to sell. Support each other and keep communication of the mission statement fluid.

The company mission statement also identifies your target audience. It may sound simple, but knowing why you are in business will help you know who will benefit by you being in business. Be sure to communicate your mission statement on your literature, website, and other company collateral and in digital media. Just because you know that you are the excellent at what you do does not mean that your potential customers do. Let your potential customers know why you think you are better than the competition, how you will improve their life, and what that will mean over time. Now is the time to boast. Get the word out and stand behind it.

It is very difficult to stand behind your mission statement if your employees are not privy to it. Develop a leadership style that communicates the mission statement to the team, encourages tactics to keep focused on it, and rewards employee contribution. Revisit the mission statement often. Be sure that employees understand it and how you wish it to be conveyed. Do each and every one of your employees understand that their success relies upon understanding and translating the mission statement effectively? I often think it an interesting task to ask employees from time to time to write down the company mission statement. If you get a varied response, you know you need to pull focus within your organization.

Take a moment and review your company’s mission statement with your employees, suppliers and even your customer base. Even if you think it is clearly communicated and understood take a few moments todo the exercise. You may be surprised at what you learn!

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