If you have a business, it is really an extension of who you are and what you value. Put simply, our values are the things that we define as being important to us. Our values represent the kind of person we are and what we want to express out in the world.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, it makes a lot of sense to create a business centred around our values because we generally tend to act according to our values. For example, if there is something we need to be doing for our business that is not in harmony with our values, the chances are we will avoid doing it, procrastinate or even not do it at all.
Why are values important for a business?
Just like our personal values guide us in what we do, what decisions we make and whether we assess something to be important to us or not, business values are very similar. Everything we do in our business, from the interaction we have with team members or customers, to the products and services we provide, are communicating our values. They determine how our business operates and what we regard as being important to our business.
Having defined values as being important to a business, here are five strategies for creating a business based of your values so that you can be proud of the business you build.
- Clarify your business values. This has to be an obvious first step because if you don’t know your values, chances are you won’t intentionally build a business around your values. A starting point can be to answer the question, What do we want our business to be known as or known for in our marketplace?This may require input from your team, if you have one, or you could get input from trusted advisors or mentors. The main thing is to have something to strive toward. It could only to two or three core values that will define everything about your business.
- Display your values as reminders. Having the values of your business as constant reminders will ensure that the day-to-day operations of your business are aligned with those values. Plus it will also remind everyone in the business what it stands for.
- Make decisions in harmony with your values. The best part about being clear about your business values is that it helps with decision-making. Knowing when to say yes or no becomes a whole lot easier. This can take away a lot of the stress especially when deciding which strategies to implement or which initiatives to introduce in the business.
- Walk the talk. It’s one thing to have your values displayed on an impressive poster or banner however the true test will come when there are difficult decisions to be made. Practicing business transparency is critical to having long-term customers and long-term success. It can take years to build a business and have the reputation or credibility you want in the marketplace but all that can be destroyed with one bad decision or action.
- Hire or fire according to your values. Chances are that your will require help in your business whether that is to hire new team members or work with new contractors. Having the right people will make the running of your business much easier plus it will also help shape the culture of your business. On the other hand, if someone is behaving in a way that is contrary to your business values, then the obvious decision is to let them go as they could do more harm than good. Again, this should also be an easy decision to make if the business values are clear.
Values are the foundation for everything that happens in a business. The decisions we make communicate our values to our team members, customers, vendors and potential clients. It is vitally important that these values are taken seriously for they shape everything we do in our business.
Question: What are some of the values your admire about a business you know?
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