What are Core Values?
Core Values are the beating heart of your business.
They are the values which you and your business live by. Words which guide and motivate you, and help you make decisions and take actions which are ultimately in line with achieving your business goals.
For example, Apple has a commitment to innovation- one of their core values. That has influenced their tagline, ‘Think Different’, and would be a key factor they consider before hiring new staff, or making a business decision.
Are you a person who values Integrity in everything you do?
Then this needs to be a core value of your business; conveyed to customers so they know they can trust you, and to staff so they know how you expect them to act in order represent your company well.
You might say that you already live by that value and that’s awesome – but there is power in writing things down.
Having your values in black and white cements their importance and provides you with something to check back with and to measure your actions by.
How else do they help?
- Conveying values clearly through your website content (in your business statement or about us page for example) builds trust and connection to your visitors.
- They assist you when hiring, so you can be sure to create a team of people whose attitudes and work ethics are in line with your business’s values.
- The process of defining your core values is an excellent team bonding exercise, helping employees feel a real ownership of their work and actions while part of your team.
We think they are worth defining before hiring staff, writing your website content or creating promotions and marketing campaigns – this way you can build a consistent reputation around your core values.
There are many programs and methods around finding your values, but we wanted to provide a quick way just to get you started – if you think you need a more detailed approach, Google should be able to help you out!
- What do you want your business to be seen as or known for?
Write down whatever words come to mind – don’t use a filter at this stage. Some examples are; Honest, Creative, Impacting, Reliable, Passionate, Innovative, Professional, Efficient… etc.
- Pick the top 5
Choose the ones you can’t run your business without, and the ones which resonate with you and your staff the most. Which inspire or motivate you? Which feel the most authentic and describe you the best?
These are the values you need to make sure are incorporated and considered in every aspect of your business.
- Write them down as statements
A great way to help these resonate with you and those who read them is to write them as an action statement.
For example, here is one of our personal and business values…
Principle: We commit to being open and authentic in our dealings and relationships with clients and staff, and expect others to be open and authentic with us.
This reminds us to check our processes and relationships– are we making things clear for clients during quotes and conversations? Do we have open and genuine interactions with suppliers and staff? Are we compliant and legal in tax and business matters?
We like to think that we were honest before we wrote it down, but having it in black and white keeps us accountable – even in the little things!
Now you have a list of values which will inspire, motivate and guide you – and keep you moving forward in a positive direction as a business!
Once you have these defined, they are an awesome theme to use throughout your website content to give it focus – and in all other areas of your marketing and advertising. If your customers can see you are committed to and show great business values, they will feel much happier giving their business to you!
Three cheers for doing better business!