Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Start-Up continues to be a great book for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. It’s packed with lessons and exercises, all based on first-hand accounts of growing businesses. One lesson that was most interesting was about the 140-character mission statement.
Guillebeau addressed the question, what is your purpose? By putting a character limit of 140, the same as a tweet, it forces the entrepreneur to be concise and direct.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is similar to a value proposition, it will tell visitors your purpose and what they will get from you. Being able to do so quickly is a surefire way to keep people’s attention.
The 140-Character Mission Statement
Guillebeau starts the 140-character mission statement exercise by answering the following two questions:
What is your product/service and who is it for? The answers enable you to describe exactly what it is you do.
We provide [service/product] for [customers].
For instance, if you produce shoes built specifically for running long distances, your mission statement could read: We provide running shoes for long-distance runners. As a visitor I know exactly what the product is and for whom it’s made.
Instead of a description, you can relate at an emotional level by sharing the benefit of your service/product.
We help [customers] do/achieve/succeed at/etc.[benefit].
If you were that same running shoe company from before: We help long-distance runners achieve their best in marathons. If I am a long-distance runner, I now know the benefit to purchasing these shoes.
Where to use them?
These mission statements are like your introduction to the world, so place them where they are visible to potential customers: homepages, landing pages, social media about pages, and company bios.
Try it out as an exercise, see how concisely you can get across your mission.
For further inspiration on entrepreneurship and information on bootstrapping your company, check out the rest of Chris Guillebeau’s 100$ Start-up.