Your business plan should include your vision, mission and values statements. These important elements will help you describe the personality and goals of your business to investors or lenders, potential partners and employees. These statements usually stay the same over the life of your business. They can help guide decisions and shape your business as it grows.
Your vision statement should describe what you want to achieve and what you want to offer your customers. It should be brief, easy to remember, inspirational, based on your values and focused on the future. It can also help attract and motivate future employees. As an example, Visa’s vision is: To be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.
After defining your vision, create a mission statement that defines how your company will accomplish its vision. The mission statement explains what your business offers, how it does this and who it helps. It captures the overall value of your product or service. If your business follows its mission, it will achieve its vision.
As you write your mission statement, remember to make it clear, short and specific. You want your customers to understand your purpose and how you provide them value. As an example, Visa’s mission statement is: To connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network — enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.
You also want to define your company values, key characteristics that describe your business. Your values outline how you want your company to be seen, how you want your employees to feel and be treated, and how you hope to affect your community. Your own personal values may help drive your company’s values. Some values to use as inspiration are: honesty, efficiency, reliability, commitment, sustainability, ethics, doing good, building community, open-mindedness and creativity.
If you need help creating a business plan, you could get started by visiting your country's small business agency website to look for resources.
Once you have drafted your plan, consider finding a mentor to review it with you and identify any potential business challenges. Mentors who have expertise in your industry can provide valuable feedback. Additionally, qualified financial advisors can provide help when analyzing your revenue potential.