I’ve written a few company mission statements in the past month, and this is a question that gets asked a lot, so I may as well answer it. Just how long should a mission statement be?
To me, there are two answers:
1) As long as it needs to be.
2) But not too long.
Yes, yes, I know – those two are somewhat in conflict with each other. But hear me out – the purpose of a mission statement is to convey your company’s values, beliefs, and goals. It also tells people what you do, why you do it, and perhaps why you do it better than others.
All that said, it’s not a sales piece. It’s not meant to make someone read it and say “wow, where do I buy?” However, it should paint a positive, reassuring picture of your business, and how competent you are.
I know, I’m driving you nuts – COME ON DAN – HOW LONG SHOULD A MISSION STATEMENT BE???
Minimum one sentence. Maximum, 200 words.
I would say both extremes are rare. Most fall around 2-4 sentences, and 50-100 words.
A mission statement is to boil down what you do, and who you do it for. It’s supposed to keep the company on track. So nothing too long.
Some businesses start with a mission statement; others create one later, sometimes after years in business. And some never feel the need for one. All are valid thoughts.
I don’t have a mission statement. Not yet, anyway.