Have you identified your business values?
Company values are the core values or standards that guide the way you do business. They sum up what your business stands for, influences the organisational culture and drives how and why you do things. While business plans and strategies may change, the core values of your business will usually remain the same. Company values help businesses grow and evolve without losing focus on what is important to them.
With a definition like this you may think that values are something used by large corporates to share how they want to work with many staff. However values are equally as important to the sole trader and small business.
Why? Because they should underpin every decision you make. Values create alignment between what you want most and your daily actions. When doing your business planning the goals you want to achieve should be supported by your values. If they are not in line with their values then they are not right for you. You may achieve these goals but you will not feel successful or fulfilled by them.
Putting a set of values together does take some time, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. A list of 4-5 values should be enough. Here are some ideas:
- customer focus
- one team
- staff development
For each value you come up with you should have the reason for it and what it means. You don’t have to but it makes more sense to your staff and customers if they know what that value represents.
To get some ideas look up the values of your favourite brands (or your least favourite!). Or have a look at these examples to help you come up with your own list.