When seeking out top tips for attracting buzz and business, you often hear how imperative is to know who your ideal clients and customers are. While this is true, it’s only part of the equation that will help you set the foundation for sustainable success. While a great venture and business strategy can and should be centered around strategically serving certain customers, it should start with self-awareness about who you are as an entrepreneur.
It’s nearly impossible to build a business of any size without integrity. I like to think of integrity as the compass by which you consistently measure the results of your actions. And if you’re hoping to build a business that makes a lasting impact, it’s essential to build this integrity into your business strategy.
How to create a business plan that will help you make an impact
To keep our creative juices flowing, and to avoid serving from the proverbial “empty cup,” we must stay in alignment with our vision, mission, and values. Knowing who you are and what you stand for, more times than not, will determine your ability to withstand the test of time when it comes to pursuing your passions purposefully and profitably.
As the boss, you have many jobs. But your most critical role is taking the time to chart a course for how you will deliver on the to-dos and dreams for your business. After all, how can you reach your destination and accomplish business goals without defining a plan to get there? The method for doing this, however, is yours, and yours alone. While there are best practices, there is no blueprint.
There are many things in business that you shouldn’t take personally, but your visions, missions, and values are things you should take and make VERY personal. Collectively, they will become the magnet that will attract ideal clients, create opportunities, and the leave lasting impact you hope to make.
To help you define your mission, vision, and values, let’s take a closer look at how you set them and the role they play in your business.
Using mission, vision, and values when strategic planning for small businesses
Mission: What does your business do now?
Your mission is the pulse and purpose of your business. A strong mission will easily identify the work you do, who you do the work for, and how you stand out when it comes to your product or service. In short, your mission simply states how you are making it happen and for whom. Your mission is an excellent way to gauge whether you are doing the work that matters in a meaningful way.
Vision: What does your business aspire to do in the future?
A vision—a dream you intend to deliver on in the future—is critical, as it gives you a goal about the impact you’d like to make and the legacy you’d like to leave behind. Think of your vision as the audacious, achievable goals that you plan to pursue in your business. Your vision can consist of the team(s) you build, the tribe you attract, or even the traction you intend to make in a specific time frame.
Values: What beliefs do you use to hold yourself accountable in your business?
Your values consist of the “how” behind your mission and vision. Your values are the anchors that keep you in alignment and ensure that you remain rooted in your purpose and on the path to making your vision a reality. How do you want your business to make people feel? How do you want others to describe your business? Most importantly, your values will serve as stepping stones to get you to your vision. Your businesses values will determine how you make decisions, how you deliver, how you interact, and even who you work for, with, and alongside.
From personal and professional experience in strategic planning for small businesses, the best advice I can give to you is to take the time to think about your “why.” Your why will determine your way. And your way will make you stand out in a crowded marketplace and create opportunities that your clients or customers crave.
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