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The Business Planning Step You Don’t Want to Skip

In the early stages of business, most of us sit down to make a plan.

I say most of us because there are a few rebels out there who totally wing it from the beginning!

Either way, it’s very possible that you missed a very important step when you started setting up your business.

You may have figured out your profit plan, how you wanted to make money, who your ideal client is, your branding, your business structure, a marketing plan, and all that good stuff.

That’s all super important and necessary for creating a successful business, but there’s something a lot of new business owners overlook:

I’m talking about mission, vision, and values.

Think of companies and entrepreneurs you admire, who are making a difference in the world and making a killing at the same time. They probably have a well-defined purpose, don’t they? It’s probably woven into their marketing, branding, products, and everything they do.

Mission: Your concise, specific declaration of purpose.

Vision: The broad view of how you will make an impact with your audience and the world at large.

Values: Your and your company’s fundamental beliefs. This contributes greatly to your company culture.

That might seem overwhelming or not that important. AU CONTRAIRE! Defining your mission is the foundation of your business. Doing this crucial work gives you an overall goal to aim for that goes beyond revenue and email list subscribers.

Defining your mission is the foundation of your business. Click To Tweet

It gives you a reason to keep going when everything sucks and you feel like quitting.

It helps you make the big decision in your business because you have standards to stick to. If you’re ever on the fence, you can hold your options up to your values, mission, and vision and ask “Do these align?”

Even if you’ve been in business for decades, it’s never too late to map this out.

What is your life mission? What is the mission of your business? What is your overall vision for your company? What do you value most as a person?

Grab a pen and a journal and let’s take a look.

 

Here are some questions to help you clarify your values, mission, and vision:

Values:

  • What do you LOVE to do most?
  • What do you wish every person knew?
  • What do you value most as a person? What do you stand for? (And what WON’T you stand for?)

Vision:

  • What do you wish you could change about the world?
  • What would you love to help people do?
  • What would make the world a better place?

Mission:

  • What would be the absolute best-case scenario for your business?
  • How does your business fit into your world vision? Even if it’s a small piece, how could your business bring that vision to life?
  • Why does your company exist?

 

Write down your answers, then circle or highlight anything that jumps out at you. Notice if you repeated any words.

Your values might be things like freedom, kindness, adventure, friendship, or creativity.

Your mission might be to empower female business owners or educate children in poverty or make the world a more beautiful place.

Your vision might be a world where people can spend their days doing what they love and what makes them thrive while you thrive at the same time, and your business provides a way for that to happen.

See how this works?

Try to distill your values, mission, and vision into a few sentences. The more succinct, the more crystal clear it will be in your mind.

Know that your mission and vision will evolve as you and your business evolve, and that’s good! Check in with your mission regularly. Print it out and stick it on your office wall. Make it your computer wallpaper or phone background.

With the power of your deepest values and highest vision, meshed with your mission you’ll be unstoppable!

 

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Teresa Cleveland

Online Business Manager at The Entrepreneur's Toolbox
Teresa Cleveland is a Certified Online Business Manager and CEO at The Entrepreneur's Toolbox.

Click here to check out her post, "What are the Leaks in Your Business?" and download the workbook to help you become more productive and profitable.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
Teresa Cleveland
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