One message has been made clear after hearing entrepreneurs share their business stories: a mission-driven company is more likely to be a successful. The mission statement is one of the most vital aspects of a business as it allows the company to build itself around a common vision. When debunking the difficult question of, “how do I start a business?”, a mission statement should be created first to guide the business after conception. The mission statement shouldn’t be lengthy, but it must clearly define the business’ purpose and explain to both the customers and employees why the business exists.
Patagonia’s mission statement is a perfect example of a well-crafted mission statement and clearly demonstrates what it means to be a mission-driven company. Its mission statement is simply to, “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use the business to protect nature”. Sure it is brief , but it is packed with an inspirational punch: selling a great product while nurturing the environment. By having a clear and inspirational mission statement, companies like Patagonia gain three distinct benefits and set themselves up for future success.
Mission-driven businesses will have employees who work hard, loyal customers, and trust from investors. First, mission-driven companies find it easier to recruit well-rounded employees; people would rather work for a company that is making a difference in the world rather than a company with no vision. Furthermore, having a mission will make it easier to attract the right type of employees. Take the Patagonia example – their employees share a common interest with the leaders of the business: protecting the environment. This creates positive chemistry in the business between workers. Not only do they get along better as like-minded individuals, but the employees work harder for a company with a mission that they believe in. For Patagonia, the employees aren’t just selling clothing anymore. They are saving the planet. People work harder for a larger goal – like saving the environment – compared to employees in a company without a mission whose only goal is to make money.
The company with a mission statement finds it much easier to find a loyal customer base than the company without one. First, the marketing of the product is much easier because it’s not just saying, “buy this product”; it’s sharing the company’s mission. For example, Jamie Siminoff, the founder of the video-doorbell company Ring, notes that he found the initial marketing of his product to come naturally. He broadcasted the message that his product reduced crime in neighborhoods, which was the company’s mission statement, and customers soon followed. He said that a common thread between successful businesses is a mission statement because “that’s what they can always answer to”. When posed with a difficult decision within the company, the mission statement will give guidance if it truly expresses what the company seeks to accomplish.
Businesses with a mission statement also have an easier time finding investors who trust and believe in the business and its product. Across the board, entrepreneurs note that they primarily look for investors who believe in their mission. Investors who want the company to succeed in its mission are not only financially tied to the business, but are personally connected and willing to go that extra mile for the entrepreneur. Not only will it be easier for the entrepreneur to pick investors, but more people will want to invest in a business that is set up for success. As previously mentioned, a mission-driven business acquires loyal employees and customers. This checks multiple boxes for investors since the business is more likely to be successful in a shorter period of time. Thus, mission-driven companies have less difficulty finding the right investors and take the next step towards succeeding in the market.
Once a strong mission statement is created, the founders must not put the mission on the back burner. As soon as entrepreneurs violate their mission, the entrepreneur loses their way in the business world. For example, it’s easy to accept an investment at the beginning of the company, but if that investor doesn’t believe in the mission, the relationship fails. Everyone in the business must align with the mission to be successful – the founders, managers, employees, vendors, customers, and investors. Once the mission is neglected, the company loses its competitive advantage and becomes just another company looking for money.
Ultimately, if there’s one aspect of a business to get right, it’s the mission.
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