TalentValue Business Planning Process – Creating your value statement

We wanted to put together a business plan for each of us. I believe these should be clear and simple. It is not necessary to have a great number of words. It is necessary to be sure you know exactly what you are looking to achieve in your business and what the objectives are to accomplish the vision you have articulated. The business planning process is included.

It has 8 parts. The easiest parts of building a plan are the first 5… putting together the plan. The really important parts are the last 3…executing the objectives and accomplishing the goals.

  1. Establish the critical values of the organization … what kind of company do you want to become.
  2. Understand where you stand today in terms of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). This can be done in a number of ways, but must be an honest assessment of what drives your business forward and what is holding you back
  3. Your priorities – you need to decide what the most important things you have to do in the next 6 to 12 months that would have the greatest impact on your business.
  4. Balanced Scorecard – how will you measure your success? How will you know you are on the right track if you don’t have a way to evaluate your progress?
  5. Establish the measurable objectives. What specifically is going to be done to achieve your priorities… those you have already admitted were the most important things to do this year.
  6. Action Plan – Who will do the work? What is the benefit? What is the cost? Who has to be trained? Who needs to be informed about the changes that will occur? The ‘what”, “where”, “when”, “how” of achieving the objective. Being very clear about what will be accomplished
  7. Review and evaluation – you need to establish a regular schedule when you will check your progress against the objectives you set. This needs to be at least once every 3 months at a minimum. It is here where you will make your corrections to the plan based on the changes that have happened to your business
  8. Celebration – I believe that at least once a year you should celebrate the work and successes you have. Day-to-day activity is hard work because you are bound in by the details. Step back and enjoy the progress and success. Let everyone who has participated in your journey celebrate with you. They need it. And so do you.

The first exercise:

  1. Write down those values you want to stand for in the marketplace.


  1. Speed?
  2. Quality?
  3. Price?
  4. Honesty?
  5. Consistency?
  6. Excellence?
  7. Commitment?
  8. Knowledge?
  9. Experience?



  1. These are the fundamental ways that you will differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
  2. Why would a customer want to do business with you? What is in it for them? Why should they care? What makes you different than your competitor? What would you want others to say about you and your business in a testimonial at EANJ?
  • Why would an employee want to work with you in your business? What is in it for them?
  1. It should probably be no more that 3 – maybe 4 – thoughts. Much more than that, people can’t remember. And besides it begins at that point to turn to real mush. It sounds too phony. Much more than that you can’t remember.
  1. What is your true product?
    1. Most describe their business in terms of the “stuff” they sell – insurance, painting, stone manufacturing, art services, engineering, public relations
    2. What do your customers really buy? Even if they don’t recognize it?
      1. For Disney – they sell rides, and movies, and merchandise. Their true product is “creating happiness for people of all ages.”
      2. For Ralph at PAC – he sells home theaters and DVDs. His true product is “enhancing life styles and living spaces.” This is an important distinction because it sets the tone for how he and his people need to work with clients. When they buy from him, it isn’t the things he sells that remains in a customer’s mind. They soak up the experience of the sound and sights and ambience that he has created for them. This is joy for them. They take pride in their creation. Their pleasure in the quality of experience is what remains. Their entire life style changes. Their living space is transformed. This is what remains long after Ralph and his people leave the location… if they did their job properly. This is the true product of his efforts.
  • For Natalie – she sells art advisory services. Her true product is “building a bridge between people and art”. It is the knowledge of the customers as individuals … their tastes, their likes, their dislikes, the way they like to live, what they like to see and experience – – – combined with her extensive knowledge of what is quality in art that she links together in her business. She “builds a bridge” between the desires of the people to reflect their personal values in their surroundings and the thousands upon thousands of choices of art that is available to them. The vast array of choices is overwhelming to most people. She brings a sense of style and sophistication to the process. She brings clarity. She allows her customers to bridge the gulf between the individual and their desires for quality art in their lives.
  1. For me – Doug Duncan – I sell HR and business planning services. What I believe my true product is to creating confidence in your human systems and the people you employ. People don’t care about the job descriptions or the training programs or the employee manuals. They care that the people who work for them will act and behave as they want them to act. To serve the customers the proper way without the personal intervention of the management. The human resource systems will support the employee to support and develop the employees so that job performance, customer service, and profitability is automatic.   This is just the way we do things here.


  1. What is your true product?

The true product is what your customer buy… Not what you sell. That is why building you plans from the customer back is so important. You want to sell what the customer is buying. …. Not what is convenient for you.


If you understand what your true product is, you will be better able to build your plan from the “customer back rather than from your internal capabilities out”.  Customer back is a concept of creating the systems to enable your customers to do business with you as they require at the same time you make your business more efficient and effective. These operational, financial, marketing, and human systems must all be integrated together so they do not operate in conflict. Most unprofitable companies have competing systems that are ultimately dysfunctional and unprofitable. Designing your systems from the “customer back” eliminates the duplication and significant dysfunction. The first step in this direction is to identify your “true” product as the customer perceives it.

 Creating the Value  Statement

Purpose of a Value Statement:   

  • To ensure a consistent, clear purpose throughout the organization.
  • To provide a point of reference for all planning decisions.
  • To gain commitment from those within the organization by clearly communicating the nature and concept of the organization’s business.
  • To gain understanding and support from people outside the organization who are important to its success.

It’s a dynamic, living document that enables virtually everybody within the organization to focus their efforts in a supportive manner.

1)      It starts with an umbrella statement.  It states the nature of the business in which the company expects to be engaged in the future.  It is probably 15 – 30 words long.

2)      Following the umbrella statement, there should be a line that says, “In support of this mission this organization is committed to:”   . . . . followed by a limited series of statements of philosophy and operational beliefs.  These are your values. What you stand for. The underlying principles upon which you will be running your company.

Examples can be found on the following pages.  A word of caution;  don’t include anything in your mission you are not prepared to back up with action.  If anyone perceives any item in a mission statement as not really reflecting the way you do business, it will destroy the credibility of your planning efforts . . . not to mention the credibility of your words in the future.

Whether you call it a mission statement… or vision statement … or philosophy … or value statement … or guiding principles is not so important. Pick the terms that are right for you… that you feel most comfortable with. After all this is your company. These words need to reflect your inner values to the world at large – both customers and employees.

The xxxxxxx Group is in business to provide long-lasting, results oriented management and planning concepts, process, and techniques for organizational leaders.  This is accomplished through speaking, consulting, writing, training other consultants (both internal and external) and through the production, sale and distribution of learning materials.

In support of this, we are committed to:

  • Providing high-quality, high content services and products to our clients
  • Maintaining the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct
  • Being seen by our peers in the top echelon of our profession
  • Contributing to the growth of our profession through volunteer leadership and assistance in the development of developing professionals.


The yyyyyy Company is in business to supply technically innovative hardware and software I/O solutions to the OEM computer market that provide a long term benefit to our customers.

In support of this, we are committed to:

  • Being recognized by our customers for being responsive and oriented to their needs;
  • Being recognized for being a technically superior and innovative supplier of high quality products
  • Being recognized by our employees and the business community for excellence and integrity in managing the company’s business;
  • Providing an environment for achieving personal excellence and growth for all our employees.


Our mission at Publix is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.

To that end, we commit to be:

  • Passionately focused on customer value
  • Intolerant of waste
  • Dedicated to the dignity, value, and employment security of our associates
  • Devoted to the highest standards of stewardship for our Stockholders
  • Involved as Responsible Citizens in our Communities

At Wegmans, we believe that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do.

In this spirit, we set our goal to be the very best at serving the needs of our customers. Every action we take should be made with this in mind.

We also believe that we can achieve our goal only if we fulfill the needs of our own people.

To our CUSTOMERS and our PEOPLE, we make the commitment:





VIA Global links human resources and business planning for small to mid-sized companies.

To that end we commit to:

  • Creative Solutions to Real Issues
  • Delivering what we promise
  • A Passion for Excellence.


Internal / Present External / Future  Internal / Present  External Future
    Strengths  Opportunities  Weaknesses      Threats


 Driving Forces                                                Restraining Forces



A Useful Goal Contains 5 Elements: Be S.M.A.R.T.

  1. Specific: Describe what you want to accomplish with as much detail as possible.Poor:I want to read better.

Better:    I want to increase my reading comprehension score 10 % by the                               end of the year.

2. Measurable: Describes your goal in terms that can be clearly evaluated.

Poor:     I want to lose weight this year.

Better:    I want to lose 15 pounds in two months.

3. Actionable: A goal that takes energy and discipline to accomplish and                                           describes the actions you will take

Poor:      I want to attend the next meeting of the committee.

Better:    I want to prepare for the next meeting of the committee by                             reading all of the material ahead of time and preparing a                           list of suggested options to be considered.

4.  Realistic: A Goal you know you are actually capable of obtaining.

Poor:     I want to double monthly sales every month for the next 12                                     months.

Better:   I want to increase sales in every department by least 3 %                   over                                 last year by the end of the year.

5. Timely with a Stated Completion Date: Goals that break longer term goals into shorter term goals and clearly specify target completion dates.

Poor:      I want to see the world before I die.

Better:    I want to see Paris by next spring.



General Rule of Thumb: A goal is more likely to contain these 5 key elements if you remember to use the following format:


I want to …                                               Or stated another way: 

  • do what …                                               To go…
  • with whom …                                       * from “x”
  • by when….                                            * to “y” 
  • as measured by                                  * by “z” date

                                                                * as measured by….  

Milton Friedman Resource Allocation Matrix

The best leaders have constructed business systems in which a high proportion of the purchases are treated like a family car. Outlays controlled by the person or team that will benefit from the expenditure…. The money they spend comes out of their own budget.

The least efficient is in a private business where they set up corporate purchasing departments, salaries, and investment structures that have Department A spending the company’s profits for the benefit of Department B.

How is your company spending its money? Efficiently?  Or Inefficiently?

HR Due Diligence Evaluation Form

The following are questions and actions that should be explored and taken when reviewing HR competencies in companies. (#)


 HR Due Diligence Evaluation and Questions Bottom 10% Top     10 % Results 
Firm Performance
1.     Employee turnover 34.09 20.87
2.     Sales per employee $158,101 $617,576
3.     Market value to book value 3.64 11.06
Overall HR Practices
1.     Number of qualified applicants per position 8.24 36.55
2.     % hired based on validated selection test 4.26 29.67
3.     % of jobs filled from within 34.9 61.46
4.     % in a formal HR plan including recruitment, development, and succession 4.79 46.72
5.     Number of hours of training for new employees (less than one year) 35.02 116.87
6.     Number of hours of training for experienced employees (more than one year) 13.4 72.00
7.     % of employees receiving a regular performance review 41.31 95.17
8.     % of workforce whose merit increase or incentive pay is tied to performance 23.36 87.27
9.      % of workforce who received performance feedback from multiple sources (360) 3.90 51.67
10.  % of difference in incentive pay between a low-performing and high-performing employee 3.62 6.21
11.  % of workforce routinely working in a self-managed cross-functional or project team 10.64 42.28
12.  % of HR budget spent of outsourced activities (recruiting, benefits, payroll) 13.46 26.24
13. % of eligible workforce covered by union contract 30.00 8.98
14.  Number of employees per HR professional 253.88 139.51


(# = from “The HR Scorecard” by Becker, Huselid, Ulrich … publicly traded firms, $5 million or more, and more than 100 employees  measured against financial performance. Total population = 2,800 companies)

Business Plan for a Startup Business

The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order that you want, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. When you are finished writing your first draft, you’ll have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you’ll want to edit them into a smooth-flowing narrative.

The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.

This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances. Before you begin, review the section titled Refining the Plan, found at the end. It suggests emphasizing certain areas depending upon your type of business (manufacturing, retail, service, etc.). It also has tips for fine-tuning your plan to make an effective presentation to investors or bankers. If this is why you’re creating your plan, pay particular attention to your writing style. You will be judged by the quality and appearance of your work as well as by your ideas.

It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. Most of that time is spent in research and re-thinking your ideas and assumptions.  But then, that’s the value of the process. So make time to do the job properly. Those who do never regret the effort. And finally, be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data.

Building a Focused Business Plan

Part A – Development of our Strategic Thinking
  • Establishing the Values of the Organization; The kind of company you want to be
  • Business Review: including Customer, Associate, and Market evaluations; an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that presently impact your business
  • Choosing the Business Priorities based on the difference between who you are and who you want to be. What are the most important things to do over the next 6 – 12 months?
  • Establishing a Balanced Scorecard using your Key Performance Indicators (KPI); deciding on the tangible and intangible measurements of success



Part B – Development of our Action Plans

  • Development of Measurable Objectives to meet the Priorities chosen
  • Creating the Action Plans, Programs, and Projects to achieve the Objectives
  • Review and Evaluation of the plan
  • Celebration and Rejuvenation – Annual renewal of the process.




TalentValue                          www.talentvalue.com                                     Tele # 973-420-4964

6 Westcross Road

Savannah, GA 31411                                                                                 e-mail: doug@talentvalue.com