The name of the game in business is to stand out. But how do you stand out if you have the same offering as your competitors or operate in an industry where the big players have a massive marketing budget?
Add to the mix the bombardment of information, messages, tag lines, promises and content, potential clients and customers can be excused for having analysis paralysis when it comes to making a decision on who to work with.
Besides having a well-crafted brand, a great website and social media posts that pop, values are a way for you to rise above the noise. However, the challenge with that approach is it is subtle and intangible but worthwhile and valuable. Why? Because business values matter. They matter because they’re what set you apart from your competitors. Values demonstrate your character in business and if you live and breath them, they can be incredibly powerful and create equally powerful cultural connections.
Values have to be meaningful, as otherwise, they are … well, meaningless and diminish your credibility and authority. They are not just an exercise in crafting marketing messages; they are powerful statements of what makes your business tick. And then you have to walk the talk.
If you make them the cornerstone of your business, people take notice without even realising the influence of your values. When they do business with you, they are left feeling respected and cared for.
Values are those invisible deep beliefs that are outwardly demonstrated through the behaviours that go with it – it is how you treat your staff, your clients/customers and anyone who interacts with you and your business. Even though they are just below the surface, they are observable in your day-to-day behaviour,and even more so when things are not going well. Just like a sturdy, strong tree, your values must have deep roots.
When you invest in articulating the values that personify your business, take the time to really think about what is important to you and what is important to your audience. It is easy to pump out the four words you stick on the wall above your desk; there are offices all over Australia with perfectly graphically designed values on the wall that with the slightest puff of a crisis breeze, you can see straight through them.
Values have to have an emotional response for you; ours are care, transparency and growth. We’ve articulated our values clearly on our website. We talk about them all the time in our office, with our clients and referral partners, and when we are making decisions. They’re also visible to prospective clients and potential recruits, so when they are working out if they want to work with us, they can see what we stand for. They are not just words to us; they’re inherent and sacrosanct, they speak to who we are.
The benefits of having values to guide your actions
Attracting the best talent – people want to work with people who have vision and purpose. When you have the right people on your team, you know your clients/customers will be looked after and that benefits everyone.
Work with the right customers/clients – we once had a prospective landlord want to work with us, but his attitude towards maintenance and his tenants were polar opposite to our own. Even though he had multiple properties that would have looked good on our rent roll, we said no to working with him. We didn’t want to compromise, no matter the financial gain or loss.
Stand out from the crowd – when you live and breathe your values, people are drawn to you. They want to collaborate and connect with those who are purposeful and honest.
Five ways to integrate values in your business
- Make it visual for people to read and see – publish them everywhere – the office, your employee recruitment ads, marketing and advertising materials, website. Everywhere! Make your values impossible to miss.
- Talk about your values everyone, all the time – having business values is not a one-off conversation. To embed them in your business, they need to be part of everyday conversations.
- Implement into everything you do – live and breathe it, integrate it into your procedures, processes and daily practices.
- Be uncompromising – even when it is hard, such as when you have to fire staff or a client, make upholding values non-negotiable. You cannot walk past it and it is essential to your integrity, business’s growth and survival to stand up for your values without fail, every time.
- Build a network of allies – connect and work with people who share your values, so you can support and uplift one another and grow and succeed together. This includes- employees, freelancers, contractors, consultants, referral partners, vendors, professional and community associations.
Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Now read this