Small business owners often take the ready- fire- aim approach to business planning. I somewhat agree with this formula, just get started. However; you do need to have some sort of guidelines. Developing your mission and core values is an important part of establishing your business. It’ll guide your decisions from products you choose to hiring employees. What is your story?
I met with the Peter Kaufman, President and Chief Dog Wagger, at Buddys Kitchen in Aurora, Ontario. Peter believes that many business owners have attention deficit disorder. They’re all over the map in what they’re trying to project with their business. They say they’re one thing but that’s not what’s reflected in their product lines or the way that they hire. If you say your all natural then be that, don’t bring in products that aren’t in line with the values you have, just to please clients. Educate them so that they buy the products you recommend and carry; in the long run they’ll respect you more. It can be hard to stay true to your values when your new; in the end it’s why you went out on your own in the first place.
Tony Hsieh and Zappos are an excellent example of living your mission and core values. Zappos employees are hired and fired by the values that they’ve created for the company. Tony talks about how a lot of companies have mission statements and core values that no one knows. They put in them in their corporate manuals, they read them when they’re hired and never refer to them again. Making Sure everyone knows and stays true to your mission and values will keep you heading in the right direction. It’ll also give you peace of mind. In start ups, it can be very frightening, when your short on cash flow and long on dreams. Remember your business grew out of a vision, staying true to that will keep you motivated, happy and overcome the fear of doing something new and challenging. Ultimately reinforcing that you’ve created something you believe in.
Your mission will come from your story. What is your story? Your ultimate why. Start by telling your story and your mission and values will flow from there.
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