Your mission statement is a reflection of your business' goals, aspirations, and activities.
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So as long as your mission statement accurately describes your company, you can't possibly go wrong, can you?
Not so fast. The simple truth of the matter is that there are dozens of mistakes that can prove fatal to your company's mission statement.
Effective mission statements avert the temptation of trying to do too much. An otherwise successful mission statement can fail if it contains too much information or presents information in an unappealing manner. With that in mind, here are the top five mistakes you need to avoid . . .
#1. Mission Statements That Are Too Long
When it comes to the length of your mission statement, size definitely matters. If your mission statement is a long, drawn out description of every aspect of your company, no one is going to read it, let alone remember it. Your goal is to craft a mission statement that will make an impact and stick in your readers' minds long after they have turned the page. If your mission statement is too long, that simply isn't going to happen.
#2. Mission Statements That Are Too Boring
A quality mission statement needs to be simple, yet catchy to make it stand out. On the other hand, don't become obsessed with coming up with a line that is overly cool and creative, either. Instead, focus on trying to craft a statement that communicates action and inspires people to want to be a part of your business. Action verbs and forward-looking language are always helpful tools in giving your mission statement a little extra sizzle.
#3. Mission Statements That Are Too Unbelievable
In an attempt to stir up enthusiasm for the business, some entrepreneurs go a little overboard by including exaggerated claims and goals in their mission statement. It's okay to be hopeful, but when hopefulness crosses the line into sheer fantasy there is a problem. For example, if your startup business is a hotdog cart, a mission statement aspiring to become the world's largest sandwich provider might be a bit of a stretch. The better approach is to focus your mission statement on the goals you have for the next three to five years, and revise it if things turn out better than expected.
#4. Mission Statements That Are Too Confusing
A mission statement is designed to be read and understood by a broad range of readers. If your mission statement is packed full of technical terminology and business lingo, it loses its effectiveness to nearly everyone outside of the industry. It may even become unintelligible to people within the company itself.
#5. Mission Statements That Are Too Disingenuous
The bottom line is that if you don't believe in your mission statement, no one else is going to believe in it either. On some level the mission statement you create needs to reflect the purpose you genuinely believe your business exists to fulfill. Instead of settling for something mediocre and bland, keep working at it until you come with a mission statement that you can be proud to claim for your business.