How to Develop A Mission Statement That Your Client Understands
If there is one sentence that people get extremely intimidated by when it comes to their business, it’s their “mission statement.” I get it. I was there. The struggle is very real.
But what is a “mission statement” anyway?
Your mission statement is an all-encompassing sentence that tells what your business is, what your business does, who your business exists for, and what your business helps those people accomplish.
I’ll share my struggle when I started GGC:
When I reached the point of developing my own mission statement, I was so frustrated because I could not summarize my business in one sentence. What if I didn’t find the right words and turned people away with a glance? This was the hardest sentence of my life.
I began asking others what they thought I did and how they would describe my business. I started with my husband. Then I moved to a friend who I worked with before starting my own company. I found it so helpful that I started to dig through testimonial that I received from a few clients I had prematurely worked with.
I was so surprised to hear how they viewed my business and the terms they used to describe it. Most importantly, I found a pattern in every person’s feedback that I read— the concepts of “takes an idea/vision and brings it to life,” and “creative design company,” were used repeatedly.
So, I decided that, if several people are naturally saying the same things about my business, then that is what other people will understand and relate to—why confuse them with my own opinion?
Thus, the mission statement for Good Golden Creative Co. was born:
“A creative design company that exists to help entrepreneurs and businesses bring their vision to life through thoughtfully crafted branding and design.”
And, in less formal occasions, it can be simplified to:
1. “To help entrepreneurs and businesses bring their vision to life through thoughtfully crafted design,” or
2. “Thoughtfully crafted design that brings your vision to life.”
Because that process was so helpful for me, I want to share it with you.
The most important thing when it came to developing and fine-tuning my own mission statement was to 1) Know who my ideal client(s) was, and 2) Know what language other people were using when describing my business. Your mission statement is CRUCIAL for clearly communicating to others what your business does, so it is important that you use words that your ideal client will relate to. To do that, there are two major steps you must take before developing it:
1. Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and describe yourself in detail
Be as descriptive with this as you can—does your client have a specific stage of life? Certain values? Is your client male or female? Does your client have any specific frustrations?
Because Good Golden Creative Co. has two ideal clients we target—new businesses looking for a brand and seasoned businesses looking for a rebrand—we put ourselves in the shoes of two different people. I’ll give you an example of one of them below:
“My name is Katelyn, an entrepreneur and business owner who just started my new business endeavor. I have a vision for where I want my business to go, but I’m not sure where to even start with coming up with a logo, website, and “look” for my company. All I know is that I want a clean, cohesive brand that will make my marketing efforts effective and that will allow my clients to be able to identify my company without second glance and among other businesses.”
See how specific that is? Do you see how this person has a specific frustration they’re dealing with? Can you identify the specific scenario required to make them an ideal client for GGC?
This step is important because you must KNOW who you are trying to target thoroughly if you are going to be able to develop a mission statement that speaks to them directly.
2. Phone a friend & Gather testimonial
So, you’ve identified who your ideal client is in detail. Now, how do you make sure they’re going to actually understand your mission statement?
At this point, you most likely have at least two people who are familiar with your new business endeavor (or, if you’re rebranding, your existing business’ endeavor). This could be a spouse, best friend, coworker, mentor, etc.
For this step, you are going to give those two people a little survey about your business—Ask them questions like, “How would you describe my business to others?,” “What problem(s) do you think my business solves for people?,” “Why would someone choose my business over someone else’s?,” “What words would you use to describe my business or the services I offer?,” etc.
Then, if you can, gather two testimonials from someone you’ve worked with prematurely (Most likely, you’ve dipped your toes in the services your business will be providing and have had a few “test clients” before you made the decision to branch out on your own). Maybe they’re more informal—that’s okay! Remember, this step is just about making sure you’re speaking the language of your clients.
You’ve completed the steps and you’re one step closer to developing your mission statement! First, look at what you gathered from steps 1 & 2 and circle key words from them. Find any that are repeated from person to person? Those are GOLD!
Now onto the fun stuff! You’re ready to develop and fine-tune your mission statement.
First, start with the basic framework:
“My business is a (what type of business do you have?) that helps (who is your ideal client?) with/by/to/do (what do you help them do?).”
Now, use that framework to guide you. Begin brainstorming the flow of your mission statement on a piece of paper. Can’t settle on one? Give it a breather and come back to it. Once you’ve landed on your statement, write it down and don’t lose it!
This one sentence is such a huge resource for your business—let it guide the decisions you make, let it start the conversation for potential clients, let it be the heartbeat of your business. Remember, it is CRUCIAL that you’re speaking directly to your ideal client and that you’re using their language rather than confusing them with your own.
Now, I want to hear from you!
Did you find this helpful? Are you stuck and need some help? Want to share what you’ve come up with? I want to hear it all!