Core values are something that many companies, large and small, are beginning to incorporate into their structure. But what exactly are core values, and why does your business need them?
As business owners, whether we are leading a team of 2 or a team of 200, it’s important to have determined your core values for several reasons. It helps shape many decisions, over the entire life of your business.
At CoHo, we thought long and hard about what our core values really are, and how we wanted to build them into our business. The things that matter to us most, as entrepreneurs, as community members, and as women, all seemed to overlap. We believe deeply in personal and professional growth, in creating lasting impact in our communities, and in putting our families first. Simply, we believe in doing work that matters, and dreaming big dreams. We can further distill this into we believe in wellness for our families, our businesses and our communities. But what does that actually look like, in practice?
For us, it means choosing to schedule speakers and workshops that help you build your business, and also focus on your health. It means encouraging our members to share referrals, and to be open about what they bring to the table. It means hosting events that include your families once a month, and including the kids area for your loved ones. It means ordering lunch from local establishments, and inviting our members to join us at the table. It means including amazing coffee (from a local shop!) to caffeinate all of your dreams, and organizing group runs or bike rides for our members.
When you’ve established your core values, you’re able to determine what actions make sense for your business. Here are several ways this helps.
1) Establish your place in the market. When you’re able to distinguish your core values as a business, it helps to set you apart from other competitors.
2) Avoid decision fatigue. When you have a core set of values to guide your decisions, it takes a lot of effort out of the process. It’s easy to create offerings that support wellness and balance for our members, for example, and choose not to offer programs that might be profitable, but that don’t feel aligned.
3) Educate your clients and potential clients. When you set core values, you’re able to educate your audience on what’s important to you, and what they can expect from you. This helps to build trust and rapport.
4) Influence culture and overall behavior. Your core values will determine the culture of your workplace. Your staff, members, and customers will begin to live out the values you set forth. Work hard/play hard? Lots of fun and games? Professionalism above all else?
5) Attract the right members, employees, and customers. You are never going to be the right _______ (fill in your product or service) for everyone, and by determining and sharing your core values, you’ll be quicker to attract those who are in alignment with you.
Maybe most importantly, knowing the core values of your business helps you keep going over the long term. During the good times, building a business that you love makes it infinitely more fun and gratifying. During the down times, it helps you keep going, and to remember why you started.
Coworking House was started because we want to change the way work gets done. We want to be a resource for our community to build businesses, balance their families, and do so while prioritizing their own personal growth. We believe that if we can support more people in small business, and help them balance their families and prioritize their personal growth, then our communities will be stronger for it.