You'll know from your personal life that your values are very important - they inform what you do and what you don't do. It's the same for a business too - but it can be hard to work out what your business values are - or what you want them to be.
Even though it can be hard work (particularly at the start) we'd encourage you to do some work on deciding what your values are. One way we've found useful is the following:
Imagine your business as a person. What are they like? Describe their personality? Do they remind you of anyone - fictional or real - living or dead? How do they deal with people? What's their tone of voice like? What are they known for?
Try doing that exercise with a group of people, writing down words on flipchart as people come up with them. It will probably be quite amusing - and may well get the creative juices flowing.
Once you've written down a number of words, have a look to see if there are any common themes. You could also ask people to choose their top five - and then you could discuss the most important values. Why are they important?
Another useful exercise is for people to have a think about what their personal values are. Again, this may help to generate ideas for the values which will be central to your business. Given that you'll be running a social business, and given that people who are involved are likely to be driven by a desire to "do some good", you may well find similarities between individual values and business values.
Here are some values from a few organisations, to get you thinking:
The Furniture Resource Centre
Guiding principles from SEMCO (click on the management model link)
John Lewis Partnership - they call values principles It might be worth watching reading about what they call the Partnership Spirit - there's a video about it too.