How to write a mission statement for your business: A step-by-step guide

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Just because your business is small doesn’t mean it doesn’t have big dreams. Starting your own business requires taking risks, working long hours, and most likely making some personal and financial sacrifices.


Most entrepreneurs wouldn’t take the risks without having some kind of passion, core values, or beliefs about improving the world or their community. Oftentimes, it’s the passion, values, and beliefs that drive them to build their startup—whether it’s creating an app to help long-distance families stay connected or making the world’s most sustainable vegan pizza.


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A business plan defines how you’re going to run your business (yes, also important), but a good mission statement helps you define that passion and the company’s primary purpose.

What is a mission statement?

A company’s mission statement is a short statement that captures the purpose and articulates the “why” and “how” of the business.


There’s a lot riding on the mission statement. An effective mission statement is a powerful tool for guiding efficient decision-making, creating company culture, attracting and retaining employees and customers, informing your marketing campaigns and advertising messages, and helping you build a strong brand.


This should serve as your North Star, keeping everyone in your company together and working toward the same goal. With a clear view of your mission, you can develop scalable, replicable operating processes that enable your business to grow in an orderly fashion. Without it, you’re likely to experience communication breakdowns, inconsistent delivery of your products and services, and chaos as you try to grow.


Why are mission statements important?

Developing a strong mission statement can help keep your business on track while serving several important functions.

  • Reference point: Having a solid explanation of what your company does is a great reference point to have, especially when you’re making big decisions for your business.
  • Reminder: You can always refer back to this statement whenever you need to and use it as a reminder when directing your business planning or providing guidance to employees.
  • Purpose: Having a concise statement that describes the primary purpose of your business can also help give your employees a sense of belonging and identity within your organization.

Mission statement example

A great example of a well-written statement is from Asana.


“To help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.”


Asana’s mission statement does exactly what it’s supposed to: It explains the “why” and “how” of the business and touches on their goal of impacting the rest of the world. It’s a clear and concise message that perfectly encapsulates their mission without being too wordy.


We’ll provide a more in-depth list of mission statement examples later on to help you get a better idea.

How to write a mission statement

Now that you understand the importance of having a mission statement for your business, you can begin the process of formulating one. To ensure that your mission statement is one for the books, follow these steps below:

1. Introduce what your company does

The first step of creating a strong mission statement is introducing what your company does. Don’t overthink it—just briefly mention whatever product or service your business offers. Keep it simple and avoid using filler words. The fancy language can come in the next few steps when you discuss the “how” and “why.”

2. Explain how your company does it

This is where many people begin to struggle when creating their own mission statement. This part requires you to provide a solid description of your business’s physical operations without giving too much detail.


If you focus too much on explaining every function of your business, your mission statement will become an essay. We recommend incorporating a core value into your description to make it stand out more.

3. Discuss why your company does it

This is the part of your mission statement that describes your spark—the passion behind your business. Why do you do what you do? What are your company’s goals and initiatives? For some people, it helps to think back on why they started their business in the first place and incorporate that into their mission statement.

Mission statement tips

Once you’ve gained clarity on the basic steps of writing a mission statement, it’s time to make it sing. There are three keys to doing this:

1. Keep it short

Less is more. The ideal length of a strong mission statement is two to four sentences, and no more than 100 words. Remember, this is a central tenet to your business. It’s something you want employees to think about every day.


It should be easy for them to keep top of mind, without having to open their employee handbook and read a paragraph or two to refresh their memory. It should be easy for customers to grasp and remember as well.

2. Keep it simple

Don’t make people have to think, piece things together, or have to Google a word. You want your mission statement to be easy to understand and digestible for all readers. Get straight to the point and leave out any complicated wording that will make people think twice.

3. Think long-term

Keep in mind that a mission statement is a reflection of your company’s long-term goals, so you’ll want to make sure it accurately reflects your plans in the future. If you mention something in your mission statement that won’t be applicable in 5-10 years, it’s best if you leave that part out.

4. Make it engaging

Smart copywriters make their writing compelling by using powerful verbs to trigger certain emotional responses. Think: “empower” vs. “enable”; “challenge” vs. “question”; “discover” vs. “find.”


There are many power word lists available on the internet, sorted by the type of emotion they are known to elicit. Simply search for “copywriting power words” and note a couple of your favorites to have on hand while you’re doing your writing exercise. Play around with different buzzwords and see how they change the feeling of your mission statement.

Mission statement vs. vision statement

A mission statement defines the business’s objectives and how it will achieve them, while a vision statement speaks to the future state of the business. Companies sometimes pair mission and vision statements, even though they are technically two different ideas. However, some companies combine their mission and their vision into a single statement.

Additional mission statement examples

To get a better idea of what other companies’ mission statements look like, we’ve gathered a list of examples to help you get inspired.

Here are some of the best mission statements:

Apple mission statement

“To bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.”


Why it works: Apple does a great job identifying what their company does and who their target market is. They also explain how their company does through the use of the word “innovation”.

Word length: 16

Tesla mission statement

 “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” 


Why it works: Tesla provides a mission statement that explains exactly what their end goal is. It’s clear to readers the company’s expectation is to dominate the global market for electric products.

Word length: 8

Amazon mission statement

“We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”


Why it works: Amazon’s mission statement clearly states what customers should expect from their company, which are services that exceed their expectations.

Word length: 18

Starbucks mission statement

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”


Why it works: Starbucks’ mission statement starts by emphasizing the primary role of the firm towards its customers, while at the same time stressing the importance of their customers towards the continued growth of the company.

Word length: 18

Southwest mission statement

“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”


Why it works: Southwest does a successful job showing what their company does in their mission statement. The second half of the statement covers the airline’s goals and how to fulfill them.

Word length: 26

Patagonia mission statement

“We’re in business to save our home planet.”


Why it works: Patagonia’s mission statement is short, but readers immediately can tell what the company’s long-term goals are. There’s no need for filler words when they can capture their future plans in a single sentence.

Word length: 8

Your mission statement in action

A well-crafted mission statement that resonates with your employees, customers, and partners is a valuable asset to your business. Work to incorporate it in as many places as you can—on your small business website, on social media and LinkedIn, and in your advertising. Internally, it should be prominently featured for employees to see and absorb on a regular basis.


While it should not change often, the world is always evolving, and your business may evolve with it. If you are using it as your North Star every day, you may eventually notice that it is losing its resonance and needs to be reworked. If you get to that point, congratulations! Your mission statement has probably served you well and carried you far. Now go and write another with our custom template.

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This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by

Small business grants for veterans


After serving in the military, many veterans turn to small business ownership. The appeal of creating something from scratch and doing what they love has attracted millions of vets to become entrepreneurs in the United States. But as you know, running a business typically has a hefty price tag attached to it.


Funding one can include small business loans for veterans as well as small business grants for veterans. There are pros and cons to both types of funding, and small business owners may rely on a combination of the two. We’ll cover information to help you better understand small business grants for veterans, including:

  • What small business grants for veterans are
  • Where to find small business grants for veterans
  • How to get a small business grant for veterans
  • General eligibility requirements
  • Other funding options for veteran business owners
  • Additional training and resources for veterans

Related: Pros & cons of working after retirement


Drazen Zigic / istockphoto


When it comes to finding money to help you launch or grow a business, you have a few options. One is a business loan, which needs to be paid back over time. You can also seek investors who, in exchange for giving you capital, will typically then own a piece of equity in your business. Your third option is a small business grant.


Unlike a loan, a grant doesn’t usually have to be paid back. It is essentially debt-free financing that allows you to have the capital you need to start or grow a business. Almost any business can apply for a grant, but there are some grants specifically geared toward veteran-run businesses. Given the amount of competition the average federal grant sees, you may have more of a fighting chance of getting one if the pool is limited to only veteran business owners.


Grants provide capital that can be used for many purposes in a business, from covering startup costs to allowing you to hire employees. You could use the funds to buy equipment or technology that helps you work more productively — it all depends on the grant itself.


Olivier Le Moal / Getty


There are many government small business grants available to veterans. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look in order to find the right one for you and your business. Whether you’re seeking small business startup grants for veterans or business grants for disabled veterans, here are some resources to get a start on your search. is a large database of all the federal grants available to anyone, including vets. You can search by agency, category or eligibility. Each grant has different eligibility requirements, and only certain types of organizations may apply. It’s important to read those requirements carefully to make sure you qualify.



Another database to spend some time on is GrantWatch. Here, you can find grants from federal, state and local government agencies, as well as foundations and corporations in each state.


Most states have web portals with resources for veterans living in that state. For example, California’s CalVet lists resources for veterans and service-disabled vets, which may include self-employment grants for service-disabled veterans. You can also find local Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) by zipcode here.



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There are small business grants for veterans in a variety of situations, from disabled vets to those starting a brand new business. Requirements will vary, but most require you to be a veteran, reserve or transitioning active duty member of any branch of the U.S. military. Some grants are also open to spouses or children of military members.



Zinkevych / istockphoto


To apply for a grant, first review the eligibility requirements to ensure you meet them. Pay attention as well to deadlines so you don’t waste time filling out paperwork for a grant that’s already closed its window for applications.


Gather the required paperwork, which might include a business plan, financial statements or mission statement. Next, allot plenty of time to write your grant proposal and/or fill out the application. You may be asked how your business started or what you plan to do with the funds. Answer honestly, but don’t be shy about singing your company’s praise. This is your opportunity to display what is unique about your business.


Finally, carefully review your application and make sure you included everything required. Proofread your proposal, maybe asking a colleague to provide a second set of eyes. You want your application to be as flawless and engaging as possible.


You may also consider hiring a grant writer. This is someone who fills out grant applications for a living. They will likely be more familiar with the process and what reviewers are looking for in an application.


Prostock-Studio/ istockphoto


Grants are often difficult to get, with so much competition for each of them. You may still have other financing options, many of which are also geared specifically for veterans.



istockphoto / yacobchuk


While you may qualify for any business loan, when applying for small business loans, look for those that offer preference to vets. StreetShares, for example, offers both small business loans and lines of credit at low rates for veterans.


The SBA provides a variety of small business loans for veterans, including the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides capital to eligible small businesses to cover expenses it couldn’t otherwise cover because an essential employee was “called up” to active duty in the military reserve. There is also the Veteran’s Advantage Guaranteed Loans program, which provides up to $150,000 fee-free loans to veteran-owned businesses.


When evaluating loan options, it’s important to look at interest rates and terms. This includes how long you will be paying back the loan and how much you will spend over the length of that loan.


Angel investments or venture capital can provide another option for financing. Hivers and Strivers is an angel investment group that funds early-stage startup companies founded and run by graduates of the U.S. Military Academies. In addition to investing capital, the organization also provides useful contacts, industry experience and mentorship.



Ridofranz // istockphoto


If you happen to be a female vet, you may have even more resources at your disposal. There are small business loans for women, as well as small business grants for women, that can help you find the capital you need to grow your business.


Some cater specifically to female vets, like StreetShares Foundation’s Female Founders Veteran Small Business Award. This award gives three women $25,000 in total and provides them with the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors.


To qualify for StreetShares Foundation’s grant, you must be a veteran, reserve or transitioning active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces, a spouse of a military member or the child or immediate family member of a military member who died on active duty.


You must be 21 and own at least 51% of the veteran-owned business. The grant is given to qualified applicants who lack financial means to start or grow an early-stage business or non-profit.


vadimguzhva / istockphoto


Beyond grants and loans, there are resources that can help you plan, launch, and grow your veteran-owned business.


The Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development provides resources and small business programs as well as training, counseling, and mentorship, as well as information on Federal procurement programs for veterans.Who is eligible for these services?

  • Veterans
  • Service-disabled veterans
  • Reserve component members
  • Their dependents or survivors

Here are some other funding options to consider.




The federal government has the aim to award at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran businesses each year. The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses program assists service-disabled veterans in securing those government contracts. Their eligibility criteria is as followings:

  • Small business
  • At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans
  • Have one or more service-disabled veterans manage day-to-day operations and make long-term decisions
  • Service-connected disability


EvgeniyShkolenko / istockphoto


The Warrior Rising program includes the Warrior Academy, designed to help “vetrepreneurs” at every stage of business growth succeed. It also provides vets with mentoring, assistance in finding funding options, and a community of veteran business owners who offer one another support. Warrior Rising’s process includes:

  • Intake and tracking: Phone interview to understand your background and determine where you most need help
  • Instruction: Warrior Academy: Self-paced video modules with homework and feedback
  • Mentoring: One-on-one coaching in specific areas like marketing or accounting
  • Funding opportunities: Assistance helping you find the best grants or loans
  • Warrior Community: Connects you with other “vetrepreneurs” in your area


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Patriot Boot Camp provides educational small business programs, mentors, and a community of experts and peers to active duty service members, veterans and their spouses looking to start a business. Programs offered include:

  • 3-day bootcamps
  • Lunch and learn sessions
  • Webinars




Veterans Business Resource Center provides counseling and mentoring services for new veteran business owners, as well as training and webinars to continue their education. Services offered include:

  • Marketing plan assistance
  • Training and events
  • Financial analysis
  • Business strategy
  • Consulting
  • Government contracting assistance


Another entrepreneurship program, V-WISE IGNITE, targets women veterans looking to start a business. The one-day training event provides resources and support to help them on their path.Who is eligible for these services?

  • National Guard and Reserve components
  • Active duty women service members of any military branch, including National Guard and Reserve components
  • Women spouses/same-sex life partners of above (including widowed spouses/partners)


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a program, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Self-Employment Track, that provides assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities or employment barriers. The program assists in creating a business plan, analyzing your business concept, and providing you with the resources you need to succeed. Who is eligible for these services?

  • Service member or veteran with an employment barrier or handicap
  • Service-connected disability makes it hard for you to prepare for, obtain and maintain suitable employment


qingwa / istockphoto


Boots to Business (B2B) is a program created by the SBA and Office of Veterans Business Development, and it provides courses to help vets become successful business owners.Who is eligible for these services?

  • Transitioning service members (including National Guard and Reserve)
  • Their spouses on military installations worldwide




The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program is offered free of charge to post-9/11 veterans and their families. It targets businesses in early-growth mode, providing entrepreneurship and business management training. Programs available include:

  • EBV Accelerate: A bootcamp-style program that provides insight and education on financial, management, marketing, and strategic planning challenges established businesses encounter.
  • EBV Program: cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and business management for companies in early growth mode.
  • EBV-Families Program: Provides the same training to family of qualified veterans.




If you are interested in bidding on government contracts, explore the Vets First Verification Program. Run through the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), this program gives vets priority when bidding on federal and state government contracts, as well as better access to capital and tax relief.Who is eligible for these services?

  • Veteran owns 51% or more of the company
  • Veteran has full control over the day-to-day management, decision-making, and strategic policy of the business
  • Veteran has managerial experience
  • Veteran is the highest-paid person in the company
  • Veteran works in the business full time
  • Veteran holds the highest officer position in the company


Small business grants for veterans provide a unique opportunity: access to capital free of charge that can help you realize your entrepreneurial dreams. Realize that the grant process may be slow, so it’s important to start your homework early to find the grants that you qualify for. In general, you can apply for and accept multiple grants.


You can also combine multiple financing options to launch or expand your business. This can mean a combination of grants and loans, and possibly investors as well. It’s a good idea to evaluate all funding sources to find what works best for you.


Learn more:

This article originally appeared on LanternCredit.comand was syndicated by


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