You probably know what your personal values are, but do you know what your business values are? What do you stand for in your business? What principles guide you? These are really important questions to answer and to contemplate regularly in your business. Being clear about what values your business represents helps you make good decisions in a number of ways.
- It helps with your marketing communication. You'll be much clearer if you know what's important to you and the people for whom you're a good fit will know it. One of my business values is that solopreneurs do great work that improves the world. Knowing this helps me focus on my niche - solopreneurs - and to create messages that reach people in business to help others.
- It helps you choose education and training products, services and providers. Knowing your business values lets you assess and choose which trainers you'll follow. I've tried and rejected a few based on my values. One coach I considered advocates working 7 days a week, and that's something that's not consistent with my values of a full and varied life and taking good care of my family and myself.
- It helps you stay motivated. When you know why, beyond money, your business is important it helps you stay connected with what really drives you. There are many ways I could make money, but most of them would not allow me to make as big of a positive impact on the world and on other people as what I do now. That's the big motivator. The desire to earn money will only take you so far, but knowing the underlying reasons why your work is important will get you through the tough times.
- It drives your big picture. Even though solopreneur businesses are driven by one person, we still need to plan and have a big picture. Knowing what's important to you can help guide you to the next step and all of the ones beyond that.
- It gives you another way to evaluate potential vendors. I don't like pushy sales tactics, vagueness or unclear pricing so not only do I not do those things in my business but I also don't use vendors who do. Choosing a vendor isn't just a price issue. I want my business to be congruent with my values throughout and choosing the right vendors helps me accomplish that.