How to Write a Mission Statement [Walkthrough] | Legal Checklist for Startups Step #1

Welcome back! Item #1 in the Legal
Checklist for Startups is to define your mission. I’m Mark Lyda of the
Lyda Law Firm, let’s get started. Your mission statement.
This is the first thing you should do when you are thinking about starting
your business. There are many resources that go into great depth about writing a
mission statement, but it’s ultimately a very personal process. If you want to go
into depth with reading a whole book on the subject there’s a famous one called
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, but like I said ultimately it’s a very personal
process. You start by reflecting. Why do you want to start this business? What are
you trying to accomplish with this business? What will it mean for your life?
What will it mean for your co-workers? What will it mean for your customers? How will you create change with your business? The first step in creating your
mission statement is simply to reflect deeply on those questions. After you’ve
gone through the reflection phase, you want to start to articulate the things
that you have reflected on. I suggest that you actually write down your
mission statement. It’s not something that should just live in your head,
actually write it down, then read it back to yourself, revise it, take several
cracks at it. There are no formal requirements for what a mission
statement has to say. It can be short, it can be long – the important thing is that
it communicates clearly what is really driving you in starting this particular
business. Why does this business have to exist and why do you have to be the
person to do it? The whole purpose of the mission statement is simply to
communicate that clearly to yourself and to others. So why is a mission statement
video in a checklist about the law? It’s because your mission statement will
inform all of your later legal decisions. It will inform the type of entity you select, it will inform even the type of tax treatment you
select, it will inform your decisions about who you work with, and where to
work. We have videos on all those topics in this playlist, but the main thing is
that you want to start with your mission statement so that you have kind of a
North Star guiding those later decisions. So I’ll share with you our mission
statement at the Lyda Law Firm and I hope you share with us your mission
statements, or even your works in progress, in the comments below. At the
Lyda Law Firm, our mission is to increase access to high quality legal
services for small businesses and moderate-income individuals. That’s something that we’ve thought about a lot over the years, and each word in that
mission statement has some meaning. We don’t just want to provide legal
services, we want to provide high-quality legal services. We want to increase
access, meaning we want to make legal services more affordable. And we have a
focus on our clients: small businesses and moderate-income individuals who are
oftentimes underserved in our industry. The other thing I’ll say about mission
statements is even though they are a North Star guiding your later decisions,
they’re not necessarily set in stone – they can evolve over time as you reflect
on your experience as a business owner. For example, our mission statement at the Lyda Law Firm does not go into something that I’ve realized is very
important for our firm, and that’s how we treat employees. We are a law firm and we work in an industry with an incredibly high burnout rate, so it’s really
important to us to create a positive work environment for the people who work at this firm. That’s something that we have not yet incorporated into our
mission statement, and that’s one way that I expect our mission statement to
evolve. So, it’s okay for your mission statement to evolve over time
as long as you started with that deep reflection process you can continue to
reflect as you experience more and more things in building your business. So like I said, please feel free to share your mission
statements in the comments below! Whether you’re looking for feedback from other
business owners, or you’re looking to help guide other business owners who
might be looking for ideas to help them get started in drafting their own
mission statements. Also, please remember to click Like and Subscribe to help keep
legal education accessible for small business owners. Next up, we’ll talk about
Item #2 in the Legal Checklist for Startups: Define Your End Goal.
Thanks for watching you

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