You have values, am I right?
A set of what you might call ‘core’ values that you’ve defined within yourself over the years.
But what about your business? Does your business have a set of clearly defined core values? Have you ever even thought about them?
Core values are slightly different from standards. You almost certainly have very high standards and it’s a good thing too: businesses rarely survive without them! But your core values are different, they are tangible; they are the rules by which you govern your business and they set you apart from other people. In short, your core values are part of your brand.
Why does it matter?
At the end of the day, your core values are woven into every part of your business. Every decision you make is impacted by them. If your core values are vague then your business’ direction will be vague. If you need to make a major decision within your business, the first thing you think should be ‘is this in line with my core values?’
Your core values are what help you operate with integrity and, if you can do that, then you WILL get more business.
So, what do core values look like?
Ok this probably sounds a bit abstract so far, so let me demonstrate what I mean. If you go to the ABOUT page on the Pink Lemon website you’ll find the following text:
“At Pink Lemon we are passionate, ambitious and results driven.
We believe that creativity and collaboration are the keys to good branding, and that good branding is the key to business success.”
This isn’t just part of the ‘blurb’, this is a carefully thought out summation of everything I want my company to stand for. It’s everything I want from my colleagues, my staff, my clients and, most importantly, myself.
Again you might say ‘well fair enough but aren’t we all passionate? Aren’t we all ambitious? Aren’t we all results driven? What makes this different for you?’
So let’s take these first three terms one at a time and I’ll explain:
What are your core values?
So how do you define your core values?
People have different priorities when running a business and you need to be honest with yourself about yours.
Whether you have ambitions beyond your local area or are content to stay small you need to be honest with yourself – your core values will see you right.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of defining your core values, so here are my 3 top tips to get you started:
Set aside some time to think about the things that are most important to you. This is important so give it the time it deserves
Ask your friends and colleagues to describe you and your business. The chances are you’ll hear a lot of the same words. The vibrations you put out into the world speak to the truth of your motivations
Study other businesses.
If there’s a business similar to yours, or a business person you admire, look at their core values and how they manifest those values in the day to day running of their business. Let the people you admire be your inspiration.
Remember that your core values are at the centre of everything you do in your business. If you have them clearly defined then your business will run more smoothly and decisions will come easier.
Neglect them and you could find your strategy becoming chaotic. However, as important as this exercise is, it’s equally important not to panic! After all you’re not ‘creating’ core values, you already have them whether you recognise them or not. All you’re doing is allowing them to become solid – defining them so that you can define your business and, in doing so, take it to new heights.