Establishing Values for Your Small Business (Complimentary Assessment)

For the same reason that it’s advisable to live your life by a set of values, it’s also worth defining a few as guidelines for your small business.

In today’s post, I’ll briefly discuss personal values, as well as share a few of my own. Then we’ll go into company values, why it’s nice to have both, why it’s not so nice to have an infinite amount, and why it’s nice to organize them in a hierarchical fashion. Ready? Set! Lettuce (go).

Values are a core part of our being and shape what we believe to be of most importance and highest priority in our lives. Some of the values I’ve adopted and try to live by (in no particular order) are:

  • Integrity
  • Sincerity
  • Consistency
  • Expertise
  • Philanthropy (not yet able to work on this as I’d like to)

These were identified over the scope of personal, business, life, as well as work. They  were narrowed down from quite a few to a manageable 10. Of these 10, many were recurring and just goes to reinforce their importance to you.

With personal values out of the way, let’s move in to business values. These are generally incorporated into your mission statement and help guide how your company should be run.

Coca-Cola defines their company values as follows:

  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
  • Integrity: Be real
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
  • Quality: What we do, we do well

What are yours? Here are 40 for you to consider:

Accountability Inclusiveness
Advancement Innovation
Advocacy Knowledge
Autonomy Leadership
Charity Learning
Community Making a Difference
Commitment Mindfulness
Consistency Motivation
Credibility Open-Mindedness
Curiosity Originality
Decisiveness Passion
Dedication Peace
Dependability Performance
Diversity Professionalism
Ethics Quality
Excellence Stability
Fairness Success
Flexibility Teamwork
Honesty Usefulness
Humility Wisdom

You should evaluate these regularly and challenge them. Are they still applicable?

Assessment:

  • Why do I feel so strongly about these values?
  • Why do I spend so little time or energy on [insert value]? Is it not as important to me as the things on which I do spend my time or energy, or is it important but currently overshadowed by other commitments or urgencies?
  • How much time per day do you feel you waste on activities unrelated to your core values?
  • What tasks, obligations, and relationships are you allowing in your life unconsciously?
  • When my life is over, what will I be glad I did? What would I like my obituary to reflect?

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to also read “A Guide to Developing Your Sales Pipeline for the Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur” You can also contact me for a complimentary consult.

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