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Business plans and marketing plans for small (all) businesses have to start with a value assessment.

My first step in helping a client prepare a business or marketing plan is to have a discussion of values. Most business owners are anxious to get to the “meat and potatoes” of the planning session, but I make them go through a value exercise first. The following paragraph is from a book written by Erica Olsen:

“Values are enduring, passionate and distinctive core beliefs. They’re guiding principles that never change. Values are why you do what you do and what you stand for. Values are deeply held convictions, priorities, and underlying assumptions that influence your attitudes and behaviors. They have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization. Your core values are part of your strategic foundation.”

Let’s look at several benefits that strong values can bring to a business.

  • Strategic traits, such as:
    • Leadership
    • Product innovation
    • Quality customer service
    • A great company to work for
    • A guide for the type of business moves that are made. A small business is faced with many decisions and extremely difficult choices when it means the difference between making a sale or not making a sale. That’s where core values help the decision making process.
    • As a business grows these core values become the company life, and they represent to the public the kind of image a business wants to project.
    • Values become a way of life for a company and it’s passed on to its employees as the business grows.

Values need to be shared with:

  • Your customers
  • Your staff
  • They should serve as a guide when you hire employees
  • They should be part of your overall “visual marketing” program

My values are to provide my clients and One Biz Central subscribers with the best possible support to help them grow a sustainable business. I am dedicated to my clients and strive to be responsive to their needs.  My value words include: dedicated, consistent, commitment, integrity, genuine, enthusiasm, trust, knowledgeable and building long-tern relationships,

Take some time and make your value list, and then see how you can best share it with your clients.

Actions dictate your character and level of trust…………………………………….  Nick J. Petra CFP

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