I’ve worked with hundreds of small business owners over the past few years, helping them with their business planning, strategic planning and action planning. What I’ve seen over and over again is that this… There are three things that you absolutely must know before you can start to create an effective plan, before you can determine the right strategies to implement or the right actions to take..

Your core values

In his famous book ‘Start with Why’ Simon Sinek talks about the importance of knowing your Why or your Purpose..It’s an awesome book. Every small business owner needs to read it.  I agree totally with everything it it.. except for one thing… There is something that comes BEFORE why… Understanding your core values and working out how to embody them in everything you do in your business. Get clear on those and everything else will follow. Your core values need to underpin every decision you make and every action you take. Get them clear and you path forward will become clear as well.

Your target market

No – it’s not everyone! If you don’t know who you are in business to serve then how can you hope to work out the right strategies and activities to enable you to serve them most effectively? Get clear on exactly who your ideal clients are, what their issues and problems are, what they care about, where they hang out, who else they buy from. When you know those things it will become easy to work out what your products and services should be, what marketing strategies you need to implement and how you can best serve them.

Your Unique Value Proposition

It’s a crowded marketplace out there… we’re being besieged with marketing material every where we turn. You have to find a way to genuinely stand out from the crowd in a way that matters to your target market. You must be better, different or cheaper, or you won’t be around for long. Don’t try to complete where everyone is alreadyplaying… think about ways you can redefine the market. The answer is to do things differently and become the best at something no one else is attempting. And you don’t always need to find a rational point of difference as long as there is room to be emotionally unique.


Brenda Thomson: Business Connections & Relationship Specialist
Helping Small Business Owners Create Powerful Networks & Communities

SMART Connect and SMART Small Business Alliance
LIN: Brenda Thomson
F: SMART-Connect Alliance - SSBA