Business

What everyone should know about Mission Statements.

Mission Statement
The Adventures of Bell Boy http://bell-boy.ca

Every creative person that is trying to sell his or her work is running a business.  It may not be formalized into a separate company, it may not have any employees other than the artist, or it may not even be a full time effort, but regardless, every business venture should have a mission statement crystallizing why you do what you do.

A mission statement is a simple statement that provides direction for you efforts. It defines your business and provides a beacon for you and your employees to follow.  When things get tough or you are being pulled in too many directions, the mission statement can help you focus in on potential opportunities.

Walt Disney had a great mission statement: “To Make People Happy.”

The mission statement will help your customers understand what you are all about and reinforce why they keep coming back. It can guide your marketing efforts too. But most importantly, the process to create this simple, short statement requires that you engage in a thoughtful analysis of why you started your business in the first place.  Whether you are an solo artist trying to sell your works or starting the newest art & design website, a good mission statement will always keep you focused on your goals.

So how do you write one? First, try to answer these 5 questions:

  1. What am I good at? Make a list, ask your friends, then try to find a few words that describe it all.
  2. What are the opportunities?  Find the unfulfilled niche that you can target.
  3. What are you assuming about your business and industry?  Make sure you aren’t fooling yourself.  Know what is real.
  4. What would you like to be remembered for? It doesn’t have to be grandiose, like you want to win an Oscar, but something that you would be proud of accomplishing.
  5. How are my personal goals different from my business goals?  Don’t get them confused.  Sometimes they can be the same but not always.

As far as constructing the mission statement, here are a few tips.  It should be timeless so that, as your company grows, the mission is still relevant. Also, your mission shouldn’t be grandiose and hard to achieve, or even take too long to achieve.  Rather, your mission should be both attainable and sustainable.  A mission should not be too complicated and hard to follow or understand. Customers and partners should be able to review it and quickly know what you and your company are all about. Finally, your mission should be succinct and focused (read this article on the 8-word mission statement) . Don’t make it so broad that anything fits into it.

Ok, so lets look at a few examples so you can get a sense of what I mean.  Below are three companies with very simple and attainable mission statements.

  • PIXAR’s objective is to combine proprietary technological and world-class creative talent to develop computer-animated feature films with memorable character and heartwarming stories that appeal to audiences of all ages.
  • GOOGLE’ mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible ands useful.
  • ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY, INC. is dedicated to presenting theatre artists of international stature in great classical and contemporary works.

Now, below is an example of a mission statement that is too broad, filled with jargon and says nothing unique.  It could be a mission statement from any one of a hundred companies:

  • THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY’S objective is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital profitability toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.

 I expected more from Disney and I think Walt Disney would have hoped for something different, too.  After all, he had a great personal mission statement; “To Make People Happy.” 

  • Why Your Content Marketing Mission Statement Should Be About Why, Not What or How (zemanta.com)
  • What is your Mission? (carloreato.com)
  • The Most Interesting Girl: A Mission Statement (girldanslacite.com)

 

 

 

About the author

Steve Schlackman

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art and law. Should you have any questions on Intellectual Property contact him at [email protected] His photography can be seen online at Fotofilosophy.com or on display at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Orangenius

We built Orangenius to help creators succeed. Our comprehensive platform takes the guesswork out of the business of art, so you can focus on creating. Click to see how Orangenius is revolutionizing the creative economy.

JOIN FOR FREE

The Latest From Artrepreneur

  • How to Earn Your Living as a Travel Photographer

    The prospect of traveling the world while getting paid to work may seem farfetched, but these two photographers have the ticket to landing freelance creative work across the globe. Here, Andy Donohoe and Michaela Trimble share their advice for […]

  • A Recruiter’s Advice for your Video or Motion Design Reel

    Creative Circle recruiter Brooks Rowlett sifts through hundreds of motion design reels and video editor portfolios each week. Here, he shares his best advice for motion designers and video editors looking to land their next big gig. The post A […]

  • From Tattoo Artist to Brand Empire: The Rise of the Ink Mogul

    The savvy tattoo artist uses brand recognition to launch a multimedia business. These four artists have leveraged their underground celebrity status to build a brand empire, complete with product lines, book deals, and TV contracts. The post From […]

  • Exploring the Intersection of Art and Technology

    The advent of technology is re-shaping the practice of art. These educational institutions, artists, and startups are exploring art and technology's convergence in today's increasingly digital world. The post Exploring the Intersection of Art and […]

  • Work with an Artist Mentor to Get Your Career on Track

    Many of the world's most recognized artists sought inspiration and guidance from their peers. Gain insight into your practice and learn about the business of art by finding an artist mentor whose career aligns with your own vision for success. The […]

  • Why Artists Need to Make Copyright Registration a Priority

    Sharing, posting, and distributing your work online is easier than ever - but often times, visual artists find themselves dealing with online piracy issues as a result of that practice. Initiating a copyright registration routine can curb the […]

  • How Artists on Social Media Can Grow Their Following

    By sticking to the tenets of the social media pyramid, artists on social media can develop an engaged audience. The post How Artists on Social Media Can Grow Their Following appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • How [and Where] to Submit an Art Fair Application

    Submitting an art fair application doesn't have to be an arduous process. We break down which fairs are currently accepting submissions, and how you should apply. The post How [and Where] to Submit an Art Fair Application appeared first on […]

  • The Paperwork Behind Your Art Business [Part I]

    In this ongoing series, we'll review the various documents needed to get your art business up and running. First up: Crafting your artist proposal. The post The Paperwork Behind Your Art Business [Part I] appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • A Creative Career Coach Outlines a Strategy for the Working Artist

    Marc Zegans coaches artists planning the next move in their art careers. Here, he shares his proven approach for developing your practice as a working artist. The post A Creative Career Coach Outlines a Strategy for the Working Artist appeared first […]

  • How One Artist Uses Instagram to Land Consistent Illustration Gigs

    Illustrator Maria Luque's secret to landing a steady stream of illustration gigs? Just be consistent and post regularly on Instagram. The post How One Artist Uses Instagram to Land Consistent Illustration Gigs appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • Artists Who Failed – And Found Success Anyway

    Some of the world's most successful artists weren't always so revered. Meet five artists who failed to develop their art careers during their lifetime. The post Artists Who Failed – And Found Success Anyway appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • How Do Online Content Moderation Policies Treat Nudity in Art?

    As Facebook's online content moderation policies come under fire, we review creative platform Orangenius' policy on nudity in art. The post How Do Online Content Moderation Policies Treat Nudity in Art? appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • Self Employed? Five Ways To Get Into the Creative Habit

    Self-employed artists don't always leave room for inspiration. Boost productivity and get into the creative habit with these proven strategies. The post Self Employed? Five Ways To Get Into the Creative Habit appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • A Creative in a Corporate Organization: Related Group’s Art Department

    In this ongoing series, we explore the creative roles available in the most unlikely of corporations. Our first installment talks to Patricia Hanna, the Art Director of Related Group. The post A Creative in a Corporate Organization: Related […]