I have posted about the Vision statement which defines a point in the future for the business to be. I have posted about the Mission statement which is all about defining the uniqueness of the business. Today I will post about Values. These three subjects: Vision, Mission, and Values are at the core of the start of a Business Plan.
What are Values? They are adjectives that you want people to use to describe the way that you do business. This can overlap some with the Mission statement but is intended to be distinct. For example, if I use the BMW tagline - "The Ultimate Driving Machine", this tells you a lot about the vehicle but not much about what it is like to do business with BMW. There are other makers of performance cars (Porsche and Ferrari come to mind) and they compete on both a vehicle level as well as a business level.
That may not be as clear to many readers, so I will return to myself and talk about 3 adjectives that apply to my business. I want these adjectives to be the way people think about my business. These three adjectives are Trusted, Knowledgeable, and Visionary. I will explain how this is intended to align with my Mission statement and my value proposition.
Trusted: The best way for my customers to use me is as a Trusted Advisor. I want them to succeed and they need to know that this is true. As a balance, I cannot just be a cheerleader for them. I must provide constructive feedback to them. This is not just about what they are doing wrong, but how they can learn from the past. Unless I can challenge them, they cannot Trust my advice.
Knowledgeable: As a Trusted Advisor, I want my customers to be able to accept my work as valuable from an experience and learning standpoint. This is a challenge because many prospects conflate industry knowledge for business knowledge. I must demonstrate my ability to transfer business acumen from other industries and situations to be applicable to their situation.
Visionary: Most people originally engage me to solve a current problem in their business that they are unable to solve themselves. This is a reasonable way to hire me, but I can provide much higher value. This value is in my ability to look outward and forward in their business to build it to avoid trouble areas in the future. We can at the same time identify opportunities to grow and build the organization to capitalize on them as they happen.
So, when people work with me, I need to act in accordance with those 3 adjectives on an ongoing basis. I cannot violate Trust. I need to employ experts in places where I am not as skilled. I need to have a 360-degree view of the business and business environment. If I do this every time, then customers will understand my Values.
Have a great day!
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