Your own values create the personality of your business

Understanding yourself is the first step to developing an effective business plan. As a result, all successful business strategies start with true personal evaluations.

Many of the most popular personal evaluations are readily available online. For example, the quiz “What Are Your Strengths?” helps you to identify what you are good at, and which skills and experiences might be useful in the future growth of your successful business.

In fact, this approach to identifying personal strengths is at the core of one of the most popular business books ever written, “StrengthsFinder” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, which went on to sell millions of copies.

Once you’ve completed a personal evaluation, it’s time to put it to work as part of a business strategy. You might realize that you need a partner to help make your strategy work, or that you need to re-think your business model so that you can properly leverage the skills and experiences of your employees. The Gallup Organization has identified 34 different “talent themes.”

For example, say that you really enjoy interacting with customers and hearing their stories about how they are using your products. (The “empathy” talent) That’s what makes you really excited to get up in the morning every day. That might inspire you to launch a business with a focus on providing world-class customer service.

That type of thinking is what led Zappos to come up with its innovative customer service model that’s now a Harvard Business School case study. That company – now part of Amazon.com – was famous for “breaking all the rules” about customer service. That meant allowing customers to return items for any reasons, no questions asked. That also meant that Tony Hsieh, the company’s CEO, actually spent time with the customer service team, fielding phone calls from customers so that he could stay close to the action.

Ultimately, all successful business strategies start with true personal evaluations. What you decide to build from there is entirely up to you.

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