Today, we’re going to be talking about using core values to guide our financial decisions.
Our core values play a crucial role in guiding not just our spending habits but also how we support our team and build a long-term sustainable business.
First, let’s understand what core values are. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs overlook the significance of having core values for their businesses. Core values are the fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that shape your company’s culture, behavior, and decision-making process. They represent the ethical and moral standards of your organization.
These core values should serve as a compass for every financial decision, hiring and firing choice, and partnership you make. While they may not be the sole factor in decision-making, they provide a framework to align your choices with your business’s identity and values.
Having a set of core values in your business is essential for several reasons. Why core values matter:
- Establishing a clear identity: Core values help create a distinct identity for your business. They define what your business stands for, its beliefs, and its goals. By establishing this clear identity, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and attract customers and employees who share your values.
- Shaping company culture: Core values shape the entire company culture. They influence the behavior, attitudes, and interactions of every employee. A positive, values-driven culture helps attract and retain top talent, fostering a strong reputation and enhancing employee engagement.
- Enhancing customer loyalty: When your business values align with your customers’ values, it fosters an emotional connection with your brand. Customers become loyal because they trust that your core values will guide your interactions with them and others. This connection strengthens their confidence in recommending your business to others.
- Improving financial decision-making: Core values can also play a vital role in financial decision-making. By aligning your financial choices with your core values, you ensure that your spending habits, vendor relationships, and financial strategies reflect your business’s beliefs and goals.
Now that we understand the importance of core values, how do we develop them?
Creating core values is not an overnight process; it requires reflection and refinement.
Here’s our 6-step method:
- Step out of your normal work environment: Find a peaceful space like a favorite coffee shop or restaurant where you can think clearly and focus on this exercise.
- Practice box breathing: Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind. Box breathing, where you inhale, hold, exhale, and hold again, can be a helpful technique.
- Avoid common keywords: Stay away from generic words like integrity or respect when defining your core values. Instead, focus on how your work impacts clients and ask yourself how and why multiple times to dig deep into the real reasons behind your values.
- Narrow down to five to seven words: Through journaling and reflection, identify the five to seven words that best represent your business’s identity, culture, and mission.
- Live your core values for 30 days: Print out your core values and make a conscious effort to align your actions, decisions, and communication with them. Observe how well they guide your day-to-day operations and make any necessary adjustments.
- Refine and reassess: Over the next few months, continue refining your core values until you have a set that truly
We challenge you to revisit your core values and see if they are still aligning with the business you desire to run.