As an entrepreneur, you make tough decisions every day. Whatever the challenges you face, your company’s founding principles are the bedrock that will help you make good choices and gain a competitive edge. A founding principle is a statement of what you stand for. Today, it’s not enough to simply outline your values in the ‘About Us’ section of your website or print them in an employee manual.
Instil your values
Your values have to be in the DNA of the company for people to believe them.
Let your founding principles guide your decisions, shape your culture, and help you connect with customers. Always look for opportunities to weave your values into your company story. That commitment will strengthen your brand.
The biggest thing that unravels values is when you don’t see people living them at the company level. Transparency and consistency are fundamental. Your efforts will pay off. Shaping your business around your founding principles will allow you to:
Differentiate yourself: Shared values give customers a reason to choose you over a competitor because the experience feels more personal. In industries where you’re a commodity, differentiation makes a big difference.
Empower employees: A company that has strong founding principles woven into its culture has a much easier time recruiting and retaining talent. People seek it out as a great place to work.
Build brand loyalty: When given a choice, consumers prefer to spend their money with companies that share their values, so a business with clear, genuine values has an easier time gaining devoted customers. Brand loyalty can be secured when you do this properly.
Pivot successfully: Core values can guide you through hard times or strategic choices, especially if your company is moving in a new direction. When you pivot you have to keep one foot on the ground, so pivot on your values. That common thread will help potential consumers, employees, and investors understand your evolution.
Gain partners: Like consumers, companies partner with others who share their values. Strong guiding principles encourage them to align with your brand.