How to Use Core Values To Grow Your Business

Welcome to my first blog! If you haven't read my story, you can do so by clicking HERE.  This week I'll explain why core values are essential for business growth. I'll also share my own values which I use to deliver client happiness. Here we go!

I've always been fascinated by innovative companies, their success, and the messages they convey to their customer. I've researched enterprises like Virgin, Zappos, and Buffer to understand their internal process and growth strategies. What I discovered is that their success isn't due to complex methodologies, it's actually rooted in something that your business (whether big or small) can apply. Essentially, these companies implemented a moral compass that resulted in a strong company culture. By understanding their own identity, these businesses were then able to effectively and profitably communicate their brand to their customers. 

Why Core Values Matter

Having explicit company core values sets a standard for internal operations, employee workflows, and creates a blueprint that streamlines challenging situations such as hiring and firing. Additionally, when customers know what a business stands for, they begin to form healthy expectations. Repeatedly delivering and exceeding your customer's expectations is what drives long term business growth. Need an example? Here are Saint Gabe's core values.

Saint Gabe's Values

Saint Gabe's core values allow me to execute with clarity. They guide my business strategies, daily workflows, and even help me to decide which partnerships and projects to accept. More importantly, my values have become a manifesto that let's my clients and partners know the type of work they can expect from my company. Here are the 7 core values that Saint Gabe uses everyday:

  1. Be Transparent
  2. Think Long-Term
  3. Listen First, Share Second
  4. Have Purpose Be Profitable
  5. Get Your Hands Dirty
  6. Be Fearless
  7. Gratitude Always

What They Say About My Business

Here's the breakdown:

  • Full transparency even in difficult conversations .
  • Strategies that focus on long term growth.  
  • Saint Gabe will provide a uniquely tailored strategy to address every pain point.
  • Mission-driven doesn't mean forget about profit. Saint Gabe's focus is always about double bottom lines.
  • Collaboration, adaptability, and execution. 
  • A testing mentality and willingness to explore new ideas. If we fail, we fail fast.
  • A positive and relentless attitude. Git r' done!

How to Determine Your Values

Inspiration for your business core values is everywhere! For Saint Gabe, innovative thinkers such as Rand Fishkin, who graciously took this selfie with me at The Leanstartup conference,

 
rand-fishkin-moz-lean-startup
 

Tim Ferriss, and amazing companies like  Growth Hackers were all sources of inspiration.  To develop your business values, closely analyze your favorite thought leaders and discover what made them successful.  What did they do differently? What did they learn from past failures? Make a list of their most valuable lessons.

Another strategy for sourcing inspiration can come from dissecting your personal habits and practices. For example, some of my values resulted from daily self-care practices. I'm not alone, many top companies and thought leaders have also aligned spiritual/self-care practices with their business goals.

Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness. -Eckhart Tolle

If you meditate, chances are you will want to develop values that introduce mindfulness into your business workflows. If you're a big traveler,  values based on an adventurous, "growth hacker" mentality will provide the right structure for your business. 

Here's what I found when I wove my self-care practices into my business values.

Rather than overworking and constantly obsessing, I've cultivated ways to listen, reflect, and learn.  As a result, I'm able to think critically  and objectively about problems and look beyond them in order to develop long-term strategies.

A final strategy for developing business core values is to take stock. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What makes my product/service unique?
  2. What's different about working for my company?
  3. What do my employees love most about our company culture?
  4. Are my values aspirational or practical and applicable now?
  5. What's the long term vision?

Answering these questions will help you identify what matters most to you and the people you employ. It will create a roadmap for where you want to go, and how you can begin to implement work ethics and make decisions today that will get you there.

Final Tips

If you're thinking about writing core values for your business, be sure to consider practices your company can adhere to on a daily basis. If there's no real alignment between what you say and what you believe, then your employees and your customers won't buy it either. If you have any questions please send an email or connect with me online!