Mission statements can and do vary in length, content, format and specificity.  Most practitioners and academicians of strategic management consider an effectively written mission statement to exhibit nine characteristics or mission statement components.  Since a mission statement is often the most visible and public part of the strategic management process, it is important that it include most, if not all, of these essential components.  Components and corresponding questions that a mission statement should answer are given here.

1.  Customers:  Who are the enterprise's customers?
2.  Products or services: What are the firm's major products or services?
3. Markets: Where does the firm compete?
4. Technology: What is the firm's basic technology?
5. Concern for survival, growth, and profitability:  What is the firm's commitment towards economic objectives?
6. Philosophy: What are the basic beliefs, core values, aspirations and philosophical priorities of the firm?
7. Self-concept: What are the firm's major strengths and competitive advantages?
8. Concern for public image: What is the firm's public image?
9. Concern for employees: What is the firm's attitude/orientation towards employees?