When I was in grade school two different teachers at different schools had imparted timeless wisdom to my classes:
This instruction underscores nearly all the business advice I give anyone. I apply it to writing, to videos, to marketing plans, to promotional offers.
When you’re starting your business “Keep It Simple, Stupid” will save you time and sanity. Especially when it comes to outlining your business plan and mission statement.
Your business mission statement is the core idea/message of WHAT YOU DO and FOR WHO. It should be 15 words or less, and clear enough that a 4th grader could understand.
This one sentence is everything. You can build off of it, and build around. And you actually will. But first you need to be able to say what your business is – IN ONE SHORT SENTENCE.
That sentence was 14 words. And now you know what I do. Here’s the same exact idea in 10 words:
I help creative and small businesses get online and earn.
This is the core of my business. I help. I help businesses. I help them get online. And earn.
Whatever your business – coaching, consulting, training, wedding planning, event photography, or web designer – you need a business plan. And the starting point of your business plan is the mission statement.
You can get philosophical and romantic and throw in why you do what you do, and include your values. But when you strip everything away, the bare bones of your mission statement is: WHAT you do and WHO for.
Do NOT over complicate this. When you write your business plan just get to the point.
Here are some examples of imaginary companies and their mission statements:
I’ve underlined the main words in each statement that get to the point: WHAT for WHO. When you have your business mission statement down to 15 words or less you can memorize it. If you can memorize it, you can say it all the time. If you can say it all the time, you can tell more people. And if it’s simple they can memorize it, and they can tell more people.
The other benefit of having your mission statement down is that when it’s short it’s easier is change around. When you have short variations of the same mission statement you can use the message across social channels, in captions and bios and stories, over and over without becoming too repetitive.
Also when you know WHAT you do and WHO you do it for, it’s easier for you to stay focused. So many business owners get carried away with random ideas that create extra work, and don’t actually serve their potential customers at all. When you let yourself get pulled in too many direction you risk getting in over your head. And when small business owners get overwhelmed, they check out and stall. And eventually they give up.
Keep your mission statement simple and at the forefront of all your business activities and stay on course!
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