One of the biggest guiding factors in everything we do is our value system, so bringing these values in business makes total sense.
Our values system is programmed into us from when we are young, and then either cemented or reprogrammed as we experience things as we grow up through different family and social experiences as well as through mentoring and personal development.
Have you ever sat down and written down your personal values and your business values? If we know what our values are, it makes it much easier to identify who we associate with and why we make the decisions we make.
Have you noticed that you are automatically drawn to some people, but you also find that you are wary of other people, but not sure why?
I had a situation a few years ago, where I had to fire one of my suppliersâ€¦ it had come to a point in time through all our struggles with communication, wrong products being sent to me, wrong colours and a very unrepentant supplier that I realised why we were having these issues. We didnâ€™t share common business values.
As a brand new small business owner and the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I had no idea what I was doing! I had a great idea and in my excitement of the new idea and setting up my new business, it didnâ€™t even cross my mind that I would need to make sure that our business values aligned.
I simply chose him as my supplier because he was the first shop I came across â€“ and the business idea hadnâ€™t even popped into my head until I chatted with another shop owner later that day. I thought I was doing the right thing by going with the first guy as I had already told him I was coming back to purchase from him, without fully considering all the options when it came to him being my supplierâ€¦ because as I said â€“ I had no idea what I was doing!
So, the time came where I realised that our values systems didnâ€™t add up. This doesnâ€™t mean that there was anything wrong with either of our businesses â€“ it just means that together, there were big problems. Excellence is one of my core values in everything I do, yet it wasnâ€™t one of his values as he didnâ€™t check his products where what was ordered before sending themâ€¦ he relied on his staff to do the job he was supposed to do.
So, after many discussions and so many chances Iâ€™m not willing to try to count, it all came to a head and I flew myself over to find myself a new supplier. This time I was armed with knowledge and experience. I knew what I needed for my business to succeed, and Iâ€™m sure my supplier thought that I was calling his bluff, because I had been so forgiving in the past.
I visited shop after shop and spoke with the owners and decided on which one would be my new supplier based on whether they were willing to work with me to make sure I succeeded â€“ because if I succeeded, he succeeded.
We discussed expectations and what his role was in my business â€“ and he is still my supplier today. This isnâ€™t to say we havenâ€™t had a few issues, but we have been able to resolve them quickly because we both know where each other stands in our agreement. He even gave me a better deal than I was getting with my first supplier which was the icing on the cake… because I had already decided to change to him.
So, here are my points about Values in Business
- Align yourself and your business with people who have similar values.
- When setting up partnerships, first check that your values align. (Notice here I say values – not vision, not lifestyle, not faith… see where I’m taking this)
- When values donâ€™t align, donâ€™t dally with ending the partnership.
- If you are ending a partnership, donâ€™t tarnish the other party. Help them to see how they can improve by giving them constructive feedback â€“ certainly donâ€™t trash them!
- When you are in alignment with other people or businesses in your values, you are setting each other up to succeed and prosper.
- Small Businesses working together to ensure each other is succeeding means allowing padding in our deals and profit for both businesses – both can do what they are called to do.