Your Business Core Values: How to Identify Them
When I’m working with clients to write their capability statement, website content, tone of voice document or award nomination, I always ask about their business core values.
It’s surprising how many small business owners haven’t considered which core values are important to their business, but being clear on your values is something which can significantly impact the success of your business. This post explains why…
What are Business Core Values?
The core values of a business are an intangible yet fundamental asset which determine the company’s DNA, shape its culture and establish the core pillars which underpin the way you conduct business.
Business core values are the guiding principles you and your team use to shape expected behaviours and skills which set the environment within the workplace. Values define the way you form relationships within the team, with clients and with your competitors and are often an indicator by which cusses is defined and measured.
It’s a known fact that customers do business with people and businesses they know, like and trust. How do your prospects get to know, like and trust you? It all starts with the customer’s ability to relate to and respect your business or brand based on shared values.
When a company articulates their core values, potential clients form a relationship based on the values they share with your organisation.
Being clear on your core values can help you attract the type of customers who align with those values – the ones you want to work with … your ideal clients!
What are the other benefits of knowing your Values?
While your core business values underpin your culture and brand, they represent so much more. Values are the principles which define:
- How you operate your business
- How you attract the right team members, retain and motivate them
- They support your business vision
- Help you attract the right type of customers
- Determine how the culture of the business is shaped
- Provide a benchmark for performance
- Determine how team members interact
- Guide decision making
- Help prioritise resource allocation and spending
- Help set your brand apart
When your core values are successfully embraced and enacted by your team, your culture and the business as a whole will benefit.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, human resources often determine the level of success. A business culture which supports team members’ professional and personal development, enabling them to thrive, will always be more enticing, especially to top performers.
Recent research has determined that business culture is a primary factor in innovation.
Where can you use your Company Core Values?
- Mission Statement
- Company Profile
- Capability Statement
- Displayed in your business premises
- Staff induction manual
How to identify your Core Values
Naturally, you’ll want to choose and display core values with a positive connotation.
Try asking yourself:
- What is important to us?
- What does our company stand for?
- Which values support our company culture?
- Which values guide our decision-making process?
- What do our customers believe we stand for?
- Which common values unite us as a team?
- What are the strengths which underpin our success?
Choose core values which truly resonate with you as the business owner, with your team and which accurately portray the way you do business.
What do you value most?
Your core values are only effective when you and your team are committed live by them. Focus on what you value MOST. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this core value something we will continue to believe in 5-10 years down the track?
- Are we willing to hire new team members based on this core value?
- How can we put this value into practice to benefit our customers?
- Will this core value help us innovate, grow and develop new products/services?
Start out by making a long list – you may have 20 or more at first. Next, group common values together, for example: integrity, honesty and transparency all overlap, so could be grouped under one term. Then go back over your list and shorten it to a maximum of 5-6 values which truly resonate with you and your team.
It’s important to remember that you can’t be all things to all people. Stay focused on the values which matter most to your business.