Writing a Mission Statement: Elements of the Mission Statement
If you’re leery of generating yet another long-winded document that no one—least of all yourself—wants to read, rest easy: A mission statement is by nature a short document; most experts advise it be between one and three sentences, and not exceed 100 words.
Of course, the key is to make the mission statement heartfelt and impactful, not to get it done in as little time as possible. In essence, your mission statement needs to provide clarity around your company: The What, the Who, and the Why of the organization.
Drilling deeper, a mission statement should do the following things.
The mission statement tells everyone inside and outside the company who they are in the commercial realm. Because the mission statement outlines why the business exists, it provides a basis for decision-making and action steps. A mission statement differentiates that organization from others working in the same sphere. In this sense, it is an essential component of your brand.
Attracts the Right Hires
In one sense, working in the cannabis industry is no different from any other. Because your budtenders and other staff are often the first point of contact between you and the public, finding candidates who align with your higher purpose is hugely important. We mentioned the importance of the initial hiring process earlier; sharing your mission statement early and often is crucially important in finding the best possible staff to carry your dream forward.
Those great hires won’t do much for your business if they find the workplace culture doesn’t actually align with their personal values. Creating—and then living by—a mission statement helps establish a supportive, energized ethos that unites your staff in a common purpose. Many forward-looking dispensaries are implementing social equity programs in their company culture; having a strong mission statement makes taking this crucial leap easier and, ultimately, more impactful.
Improves Performance, Builds Community & Powers Profits
Leapfrogging from our earlier points, having an overarching mission statement for the company trickles down to individual employees, too. It tells them that they work for an organization dedicated to bettering itself and serving the public with purpose; this tends to energize them to live up to their own higher purpose as well. And when that higher purpose includes interacting with the public in a wholehearted, committed and respectful manner, the employee, the company as a whole—and not least the bottom line—all share in the profits.
Sound too good to be true? A recent survey of Gen Z consumers found that nearly three quarters of them factor in a company’s sense of purpose when they shop. What’s more, an even higher percentage actually do the research to see if the company lives up to its values; even more of them—85%!—share their positive opinions about companies that do good. If that sounds like word-of-mouth you don’t want, you can stop reading here.
Writing a Mission Statement: Cannabis-Specific Missions
Let’s pivot to some specific ways a mission statement might work in the cannabis realm. If you’ve taken the time to study some of the most recognizable cannabis brands, you’ll most likely have noticed a couple of themes. The most obvious—and one of the most potent—centers on the power of cannabis to help us manage and treat chronic symptoms and conditions.
Take leading edibles, topicals and tinctures manufacturer Papa & Barkley. Leaning heavily on the founder’s ailing father’s health struggles, it’s admirably clear and concise:
Papa & Barkley is on a mission to improve people’s lives through the healing power of the cannabis plant. We’re here to educate folks about the amazing benefits of the Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) plant, so they can find relief every day.
Then check out Kurvana, a sleek and expertly branded company that presents a highly polished face to the world:
The company is single-minded in its commitment to enhance the everyday life of consumers with the most natural, pure, and safe cannabis products in the world.
Even though the company’s mission statement has nothing to do with treating symptoms, it’s nothing if not customer-focused. It dovetails perfectly with the company’s overall vibe, which more resembles a high-end beauty product line than a traditional cannabis company.
What if your focus is on adult-use cannabis? It doesn’t change a thing: Even if your mission statement has nothing to do with the lofty goal of improving peoples’ symptoms and allowing them medical freedom, it’s just as important that you establish your core identity through a mission statement.
For an example, take a look at Seattle confectioner Goodship‘s mission statement:
Everything pertaining to the Goodship Co. brand must inspire connection, joy, wonder, discovery, and possibility. The Goodship Co. thrives on creating products that inspire people.
There’s nothing about healing, philanthropy or social equity in this statement. But a glance at Goodship’s fanciful website (not to mention a taste of their damned good chocolates and candies) confirms the strength of the company’s ethos. Everything about the brand reflects this mission, and in turn this resonates out to the customer experience. It’s no wonder they’re one of the nation’s top producers of edibles: They named what they wanted to do, they achieved it, and the strength of their mission statement always keeps them pointed towards their ultimate goal of bringing inspiration and delight to their customers.
Writing a Mission Statement: In Conclusion
Wherever you might be in the conception process, we invite you to take a long moment or three to focus on your mission statement. Remember, it’s not a giant manual spelling out exactly how everything in your dispensary must run. Rather, it’s a simple guiding principle that tells you, your staff, and your customers exactly what you stand for and why.
Without one, you’re going to find it hard to find your center when the inevitable challenges of running a dispensary crop up. With one, you can’t fail.