Chapter 3. Setting Off in the Right Direction

In This Chapter

  • Understanding why a set of values is so important

  • Figuring out who your stakeholders are

  • Identifying your company's current beliefs and principles

  • Putting together your company values statement

  • Creating a vision statement for your company

You may ask yourself why on earth you're reading a chapter on values and vision in a book on business planning. We can hear what you're thinking: Hey, it's the twenty-first century. Today's business ethics revolve around survival in the marketplace: Cater to your customers, beat the competition (hey, demolish them!), make 'loadsamoney' and run.

Yet even in a business world dominated by market economies, global competition and the laws of the jungle, values still matter. In fact, we're convinced that successful business plans must start with a statement of company values.

Now, don't get us wrong here – we have no quarrel with profits. We absolutely love them, and we expect to earn lots for ourselves over time. But short-term profits don't go far over the long haul. Values and a vision keep everybody in your company – even if there are only two of you – on course and heading in the same direction. What if you're a company of one? Taking time to establish your values and vision will still keep you on track as your business grows.

In this chapter, we point out why values are so important in the first place. We help you identify your company's values by noting who has a stake in your business and ...

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