business core values, identify your business values

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 withyour 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?
  • What values guide our decision-making process?
  • What do our customers believe we stand for?
  • What common values unite us as a team?
  • What strengths 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.

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.

The Professional Writer - Lyndall
Lyndall Guinery-Smith The Professional Writer

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write winning business award nominations, capability statements, website content and much more.  I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

How to write a capability statement, contents of a capability statement, professional capability statement writer, professional writer

How to write a winning Capability Statement

Winning new business can be tough, but the right tools, such as a professional Capability Statement, can help get your foot in the door, followed by that all-important handshake.

In this article, I’ve answered the most frequently asked questions surrounding Capability Statements.

What is a Capability Statement?

A Capability Statement is a document which defines the capabilities, achievements and skills of your business. It is a clear and concise representation of what you offer to potential clients, what sets you apart from your competitors and your track record of accomplishments.

This document is about opening doors and building relationships with your potential clients and strategic partners, so it’s important to tailor the content with your specific target audience in mind.

How long should your Capability Statement be?

What will you use the Capability Statement for? Is your intention to incorporate it into a tender document? If so, many companies who call for tenders prefer a single page statement so they can quickly and easily compare the capabilities of different organisations who tender. A single page statement is simply a brief overview and does not allow you to elaborate on your ability to deliver outcomes in any way.

I find the majority of clients seeking a professional Capability Statement writer require a comprehensive document with more detail than what can be provided in a single page.

What specific information should your document contain?

It’s important to note that every Capability Statement is different, as the document needs to be tailored to your specific business and the audience you’re targeting.

While most documents of this type have some standard and some variable inclusions, the key ingredients must cover your capabilities, what sets you apart from your competitors (your Unique Selling Proposition or USP) and your proven track record of performance.

Consider your target audience before deciding which information to include. Think about … Who are you targeting? What outcomes can you deliver for them? How can you demonstrate your ability to achieve those specific outcomes?

Once you have a clear picture of your prospective clients or partners and what they’re looking for, you can start to go through the list of potential contents below:

  • Cover page, including ABN, ACN and full contact details
  • Business overview/introduction
  • About Us – Mission, vision, values
  • Differentiators or USP
  • Service you provide
  • Core competencies
  • Experience
  • Major client list
  • Organisational chart
  • Meet the team
  • Equipment
  • Area of operation
  • WHS
  • Environmental management policy
  • Quality assurance
  • Insurance
  • Professional associations
  • Awards and recognition
  • Community involvement
  • Client testimonials
  • Customer service philosophy
  • Call to action
  • Any other information your clients will need to make an informed decision to do business with you

Getting started

  1. Draft an outline
  2. Write down who your target audience is and what outcomes you deliver for them
  3. Make a list of contents tailored to your target audience
  4. Consider how to demonstrate your ability
  5. Make notes on each of your capabilities
  6. Draft each section
  7. Format the document to present professionally
  8. Re-read, spell check, grammar check, edit and polish
  9. Ask a third party to proof-read the document
  10. Publish, PDF and send the document to your prospective clients

I hope the above tips provided you with some guidelines for writing a document which helps win more business. I specialise in partnering with small business owners to create quality marketing materials, especially capability statements. Let me know if you’d ready to chat about how I can help your company put its best foot forward with an outstanding capability statement.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, the Professional WriterHi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.