Why Mission Statements and Company Values are Essential for any Startup

08/26/19 | 6 MIN READ

A mission statement is a brief description of the fundamental purpose of your company.

When you're creating a startup business, there are many things that you need to have in place when beginning your company. Planning ahead of time will allow you to have a strong and durable base for the startup. Along with conducting market research and gaining feedback from people and business professionals close to you, there are a variety of legal aspects  you need to take care of early on so that you don't encounter a problem with the idea or product behind your business.

For instance, you'll be required to choose a business structure, which could be anything from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company or corporation. You'll also need to select a business name, register your business, obtain the necessary permits and licenses, and file any required trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Some other required steps to begin your company include financing your business, developing your service or product, building your team, and finding a location for your startup. Another important component that will allow you to grow your business and strengthen your brand is the creation of a mission statement and company values for your startup.

When you create a mission statement, you'll be able to formally identify what the purpose of your company is and what you believe the future holds for your startup. Once you identify the purpose of  your company, you'll be able to more effectively develop a business strategy going forward. The same is true of the core values that you create for your company.

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If a product or service you build falls short of these values, you can eliminate it and refocus. When you're building a mission statement, keep in mind that you need to know who your target audience is in order to do so. Your mission statement sends a message to the public, which is why this message must be centered around your core audience.

A mission statement is a brief description of the fundamental purpose of your company. The company values that you create are the guiding principles that you use to manage internal affairs and the relationship that your business has with its customers.

Mission Statement vs. Company Value

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While the mission statement and company values for your business are similar, there are some key differences between these two terms that you need to understand before you delve into creating your startup. A mission statement is a relatively short description of the objectives that your company has and how you're going to meet these objectives in the future. On the other hand, the company values that you make are the principles that support the vision, philosophy, and culture of your company.

These values are standards that every facet of your organization must adhere to, which will invariably bolster your reputation with your customers and help your management team guide employees through any performance or ethical concerns. These two terms are equally important when you're focusing on building the foundation of a company. In many ways, the mission statement and core values that you develop for your startup will guide your decisions throughout the future of your company.

Visualizing and Verbalizing a Mission Statement

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While your mission statement is likely only going to be comprised of 1-2 sentences, each word that you use is important. To better understand how to craft this statement, you should first identify the target audience of your startup company. If the purpose of your company is to create life-saving medicines, this should be explained concisely to your target customer. This mission statement will be placed on your website and will likely be used for some of your marketing materials in the future, the latter of which can be highly effective at bringing in new customers who may purchase the service or product that you're offering.

The mission statement for Amazon reads as follows:

"Our vision is to be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online."

This mission statement is concise, well written, and effective and one can fully understand what the purpose and goal of the company is.

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However, it's very important that you do not set unrealistic goals in your mission statement, which is a common mistake for startups to make. If the goals that you set are unattainable, this could negatively affect the morale of your employees.

Shaping Your Company Values

Once you've properly visualized and verbalized your mission statement, you can begin to shape the values that you want your company to adhere to. A couple examples of core values for companies include "focus on impact, move fast, be bold, be open, build social, value all" for Facebook and "integrity, ownership, leadership, and a passion for winning" for Proctor and Gamble.

Some of the more common company values that startups use include accountability, commitment, balance, diversity, empowerment, innovation, and integrity. You need to fully believe in the values that you set for your company since they will drive the behavior of your business going forward.

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Like a mission statement, your company values effectively set the tone for your customer interactions, how you market your products, and the types of decisions that you make. When you're getting around to creating your company values, ask yourself which values will resonate with your target audience, what qualities you value in your employees, how your values will distinguish you from competitors, what you want your company to be known for, and what principles you want to guide your business decisions. Once you discover the answers to these questions, it should be much easier for you to develop core values that you believe in.

Keep in mind that your company values can also be used for the external and internal stakeholders of your company. For internal stakeholders, the mission statement and company values that you set will be able to define your performance standards, establish a general structure for ethical behavior, drive strategy, and provide your business with enhanced focus because of shared goals. These values can also be important for your external shareholders, which includes investors, consumers, regulators, and suppliers.

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Among your external shareholders, your company values can serve as a tool for public relations, as a means of creating bonds with your customers, and as a basis for more effectively streamlining the communication between your customers, partners, and suppliers. The company values that you set are going to be rigid and must always be adhered to, which is why you need to be confident that your company and the employees within it can stand by to these values before you create them. It's recommended that you obtain employee input before finalizing your company values.

Connecting with Your Audience

The mission statement and company values that you create for your business are the perfect way to connect with your audience while you're still growing your company in the startup phase of development. Your company should be able to effectively connect with your audience with the owner's passion or a story of how the company was built.

A 2013 brand engagement study found that a significant 87 percent of prospective customer will choose brands that adequately match their values. If you've created your company values based partially on what you believe your target audience will respond well to, using these values to connect with your audience should be easy.


When you want to appeal to your audience with these values, the main thing you need to do is identify which values your audience wants to hear about. If you're creating a medicine that will help to save lives, your audience will likely want to hear about your commitment to this endeavor as well as your integrity and innovation. If your startup is a nonprofit organization that's focused on improving environmental issues, the values that might appeal to your audience include compassion, empowerment, diversity, community, and accountability. You could also ask each employee to list anywhere from 3-5 values that they believe best represent your company. Recognize and discard the uncommon values that are hardly mentioned among all employees and using the values that are found on most lists.

If you use your company values in your marketing materials and on your website, you should be able to build your company's reputation among your target audience. The most effective mission statements and company values are ones that combine physical, emotional, and logical elements. By covering all bases, you'll be able to better communicate your beliefs among both internal and external shareholders.

Main Power of Effective Mission Statements and Company Values

Once you've developed your mission statement and company values, it's important that you focus on maintaining them. You need to make sure that your senior leadership team and employees embody all of these ideas if you want your reputation to remain strong for years to come. As such, you want to make both of these components vital to your culture, which can be done through team-building exercises. You should also use the mission statement and company values in the onboarding process with new hires. The first things that these hires interact with should be your mission statement and core values.

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The main benefit to making your mission statement and company values a core part of your business is that doing so should significantly improve your reputation. When you adhere to these values when creating a product or marketing a service, prospective customers and partners will notice that you're sticking to your values, which goes a long way towards making your business more appealing than a competitor's company. These components will create good customer retention, boost the trust that your audience has in your business, and enhance how reliable your startup is viewed to be, all of which should help you obtain higher profits in the years to come.


One of the first steps in building a startup company that you want to be successful is to create a mission statement along with company values, which will serve as the anchor for your startup as you focus on growing it. Your mission statement and the company values that you've created are essentially the basis of your brand. Once you have built a strong foundation, you'll be able to create effective marketing strategies and appeal to large audiences.

If you've got a startup or you are considering starting a business in the medtech or bioscience fields, be sure to apply for wet lab space at University Lab Partners, the first wet lab incubator in Orange County!


Revised 11/17/2020


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