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Writing a Business Plan Volume 1: CORE VALUES

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TOP PRIORITY. I know that I need to write a business plan from scratch for Jane Winchester. It’s not for investors, it’s not to show the bank…it’s a guidepost for me to make sure we have a thoughtful and reasonable plan. I am quitting the dream job, we need to do some of the homework to make sure the business can be sound (and so my kids can go to college, because we can’t make no money!).

First off my husband was very kind and sent me a link to a business plan he found on the interweb. I have read business plans and this one seemed pretty standard. What does standard mean? LOTS OF WORDS that I don’t necessarily connect with. I have written strategy and business plans in the past, and my goal was to make our plan memorable and relatable.

Does the business plan for Jane Winchester have to be something that sounds like a legal document written by boring people that live in closets watching Squawk Box?

I was feeling pressure that in order to be taken seriously YES was the answer to the above question.

So I started in on the business plan document from my hubs – basically trying to ‘copy’ it for Jane Winchester which turned into HELL. Things not making sense. Shutting down. Doubting this business is a good idea.

Why was I struggling? Answer sooo clear – I needed to do it my own way. Trying to be a ‘straight’ business person writing a black and white business plan just doesn’t fit my style. STOP. REGROUP. Take it down to basics: I always have to be me, do things in a way that stay true to my spirit and the spirit of the Jane Winchester brand. It’s not me that needs to adapt to the norm, I think a big part of Jane Winchester is creating a NEW NORM for women in business, for creatives in business.

So where do I really want to start? Actually, with something that is a norm for some (very successful business) but not a norm for all. The CORE VALUES.

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” -Elvis Presley
If you look around the world-wide-web everyone from HBS to Entrepreneur has written about the importance of core values. I learned from my role models at Lilly – they wrote the company core values day one. Why do core values help build a successful business? EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE (aka alignment and vision). The more those around you can be aligned on what success looks like, the easier it is to build a path to get there, the easier it is to make decisions to support the goal.
We, the founders of Jane Winchester Inc, are dedicated to the following principles. These values are the foundation to our profitable company.
  1. We make beautiful things that embody strength and positivity. We expect our designs to be passed from generation to generation with love.
  2. We are not afraid to be ourselves. We are happy, have fun and celebrate individuality.
  3. We are humble. We treat everyone (customers, employees and vendors) with respect. We take the time to do things right.
  4. We run a modern, visionary business. We create and adapt innovative strategies to build a strong company that delivers a special experience to our consumer. We surpass expectations.
  5. We share. When the company succeeds, we share in our good fortune.


Here are a few good blog posts on core values:

From Entrepreneur Magazine: How Establishing Core Values Drives Success

On the ‘older’ side but still relevant:  HBR article on meaningful values

MANY believe BUILT TO LAST is book that helps develop strong companies – and core values are important:  BUILT TO LAST

I’d love to know what you think of the core values for Jane Winchester. Any thoughts, additions or edits? Contact me (please!)

Tons of love & xx Janie


Building the Biz

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