There isn’t a company out there that couldn’t benefit from a clear statement of their core values – even a small, one person virtual assistant practice. Core values act as a guideline for how you make decisions and run your business.
If you don’t have them written down, don’t worry. You already have values behind your brand with each task you perform and with each team member that you partner with. So sit down and ask yourself some important questions and answer honestly, this will help you define the core values behind your brand.
The questions you should be asking yourself are some you already know the answers to:
- Why did you start this company?
- What difference do you want to make and how do you want people to think of you and your company?
- And of course, who are your customers?
It isn’t enough to know your core values, you need to put them in to action every day with every decision you make. You will need to make some sacrifices. Your customers want to be supportive of brands that care about what really matters to them and of companies that hold true to their values.
If you need a “real life” example, then consider that we at Out of the Office post our green/eco policies on our website. Being eco friendly is very important to us .. so important, that it is part of our core values. When it comes to walking the walk, it’s very hard to find promotional items to give away at a trade show or event that conform to our green policies and/or are affordable. In fact, it’s such an issue here, that we even wrote a whole blog post about it.
When it comes to writing your core values, you should choose the values that are most important to your team as well as the ones that stand out the most to you. There should be about 3-5 values that stand out.
You should also test yourself about your values and how important they are to you. For example, are they important enough that you would end a contract with someone over them? Would you turn down someone for not being a good fit over the values you possess should they not share them? Think about it.
Your values should be incorporated in to every part of your company. This includes branding. Every industry has different values that pertain to it. Make sure you work your priorities around your values in every way you run your company. Write your values down in memorable ways, but don’t be too generic. You want something that will make your company stand out and will be easy for others to recall when they are thinking of companies in your industry.
Setting your company values can help to bring your teams together – both with your internal team, as well as clients. If your team shares the same set of values as you, they believe in your work and ultimately in the work that they are doing for you and with you. Values are important to people, your team members and customers all care about the values your company holds.
The values you set will act as goals that each team member will work towards within your company.
You don’t need to come up with a defined list of core values right away, some companies don’t do this for some time. Take time to come up with them and work your business plan around them. It will be worth the time and effort put in to making sure you did it right for you and your business.
Remember, it isn’t enough to just have a defined list of values, you need to live them and base your decisions off of them each and every time in order to be successful.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
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