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Writing a Great Value Statement Can Bring In Tons of Money for Your Business

Writing a Great Value Statement Can Bring In Tons of Money for Your Business

Stepping into the world of business can be exciting at first, but it’s only a matter of time before you realize that not everything will go according to plan. Regardless of industry, all businesses will have to contend with unexpected challenges. Customers complaining, sales dropping, employee productivity going down – it’s an endless struggle that will push entrepreneurs well beyond their limits.

Amidst all the chaos, what’s important is that your business never loses its identity. If you remain true to a single value statement,[1] everyone – including employees, customers, and competitors – will give your brand the respect and recognition it deserves.

What is a Value Statement?

A value statement, also referred to as “mission statement”, describes an organization’s core beliefs. It often gives potential customers an idea on what to expect, which in turn may impact their purchase decision. Within the organization, value statements are declared to provide motivation and guidance to the staff.

Below are the four most important parts of an effective vision statement:

The problem – What is the specific problem your company is trying to solve?

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The solution – What services or products can you offer to solve this problem?

The audience – Who will benefit mainly from your proposed solution?

The commitment – Lastly, what are the core beliefs that make you different from your competitors?

Examples of Effective Value Statements

Time after time, industry leaders come up with powerful value statements that boost the popularity and authority of their brand.[2] For example, social media giant Twitter has a simple yet inspiring statement:

“To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”

L.L. Bean’s statement, on the other hand, revolves around providing value to customers and the importance of business ethics:[3]

“Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.”

Other than businesses, entrepreneurs must have their own personal brand identities that can guide their future ideas into fruition and mold the way they function as business leaders.[4] Of course, powerful value statement messages also work wonders for PR. For example, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda highlights this statement in Gates Foundation:[5]

“…And so we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals around the world. From the education of students in Chicago, to the health of a young mother in Nigeria, we are catalysts of human promise everywhere”.

The Benefits of Having a Value Statement for Your Business

For some companies who overlook the importance of a value statement, it’s just a string of words that hang on the wall. But for others, it’s a method of empowerment for many reasons:

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It Simplifies Decision-Making

By getting your priorities straight from the get-go, future decisions can be based on which option benefits your core values the most. In other words, a value statement creates a template for future decision-making, allowing you to save time and focus more on developing strategies.

It Diminishes the Fear of Failure

The amount of money made is often used as the measure of success in an endeavor. But if every decision you make aligns with your value statement, then every outcome can be just as rewarding – knowing that it brought you closer to fulfilling your company’s purpose.

It Motivates Employees

The low employee engagement rate is a lingering issue in workplaces worldwide. According to statistics, only 29% of the U.S. workforce are fully engaged and committed to their organization.[6] This is mainly because paychecks become their sole motivators in companies that lack a concrete value statement. But if they know they’re contributing to a bigger cause, then not only will they work harder, they’ll also feel more connected with the company culture.

It Fosters Customer Loyalty

Surveys reveal that 34% of consumers will spread the word about a brand that is fair, honest, or pursues ethical actions.[7] 48% says that a company’s ethics is determined by employee treatment. By creating a value statement that resonates with both your employees and your target audience, you will surely win their trust and loyalty.[8]

How to Write a Powerful Value Statement for Your Business

If you can get employees working towards a common goal and customers believing in your cause, then success will surely follow. Here are some additional tips on creating a value statement:

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Get Everyone Involved

If you’re in the early stages of a startup, then there’s still plenty of time to gather everyone’s input and identify a vision that everyone is willing to share. Try asking every member to explain why they think the company exists. As a rule of thumb, prioritize a private meeting with board-level members before consulting everyone else.

Revisit the Identity of Your Brand

In the brainstorming process, try to focus on basic questions that help get to know your brand. For example, what is the story behind the company’s founding team? What do you want the company to look like in 5-10 years? Answering these questions will help you learn what has worked out for your brand so far.

Use the Three-Step Method

In the world of blogging, a core message is often condensed into one editorial mission statement, which can be created using three simple steps: addressing the audience, specifying the deliverables, and describing the desired outcome. For example:

“This article helps business leaders and entrepreneurs (the audience) with practical and actionable advice (the deliverables) on developing a powerful value statement to elevate their business (the outcome).”

Review, Revise, and Clarify

A value statement isn’t something you can easily change in the future. That said, try to come up with several drafts at first and let everyone vote for the best one. Make sure it’s succinct, attention-grabbing, and memorable.

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Remind Everyone

Finally, try to include your value statement in all touchpoints – including your company websites, product packaging, and various forms of branded content that are readily available to potential customers. Employees are typically made aware of your statement during the onboarding process and every day through in-office posters, ID tags, and company computer wallpapers.

Reference

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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