Starting a company goes beyond finding ways to earn a profit. Your burning desire is only usually fueled if you pursue a business that aligns with your personal values. When these personal values are represented in your brand, people who resonate with your vision will be inclined to choose your offers over someone else’s.
Founder of Organic Bunny Amanda Jo has learned this by experience. She understood that sticking true to one’s values as an entrepreneur may sometimes mean having a price to pay, but the temporal sacrifices are worth it in the long run. In this post, Amanda Jo shares her insights on why companies should stick to their company core values even through milestones and expansions.
Finding a niche market that doesn’t waver in their demand
When you are starting out a new company, it is important to have a characteristic that separates you from the rest. In business terms, this is called Unique Selling Point (USP). Staying true to your distinct company core values is a great foundation for your USP. These can include your belief in social causes such as:
Hiring underrepresented groups of people:
Your core values to make the workplace a diverse environment, such as people with disabilities, veterans, military spouses, or people of color helps paint an accurate picture of the things you stand for in terms of social justice.
Adhering to environmentally friendly practices:
Another USP that can attract a niche market is your commitment to the environment. When you market your products as sustainably sourced, many people who believe in these values will be inclined to choose your offers among others.
Helping the local community:
One way of showing community participation is your care for the locals. You can state in your product labels how you are purchasing supplies from local farmers or small businesses as well.
By taking steps to ensure that you continue with socially-related USPs, you can successfully find a niche market that will continue to purchase in spite of competitors.
Protecting your company reputation
In a world where companies often suffer from individuals who can find just about any reason to sue, it is essential to protect your business’ reputation. Staying true to your company values means that the practices and ethical standards you uphold will continue from the higher management and down to your employees.
According to the founder of Organic Bunny, Amanda Jo, it is much easier to protect your company’s reputation instead of trying to repair the damage that has already been done. Some steps to ensure this include:
Accountability on all levels:
Hiring a third-party company to audit practices and take note of points of improvement in your company upholds the integral values you stand up for.
Regular information talks:
If you are thinking of expanding your business, one of the best ways to relay changes is through information talks. This could be done via departments, small group meetings, or conferences.
Reprimands for misconduct:
Some mistakes by management or employees can be unavoidable at times. Thus, it is important for your team to understand that there are consequences to misconduct.
Defining your branding
Another plus of staying true to your company’s core values is further refining your brand. Just like how you can make your business distinct through your target audience, this is also possible by showcasing your company values.
This is more evident in businesses that provide services. For example, healthcare companies can define their branding by sticking true to their values such as genuine care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and commitment to the community. Making professionals, staff, and management become aware of these values helps these attitudes permeate in the workplace.
Setting a laser-focused direction
Some businesses can get lost in the process of moving forward. With the intent to expand the market, they may end up losing focus, which results in declining interest by the original patrons. Adhering to your company values helps in having a laser-focus direction when setting goals for your business.
To incorporate your company values in goal setting, here are some questions to ask:
Does this decision malign any of our core values?
Any decision that is the opposite of what you represent can be questionable to your target audience and potential customers.
Am I making this decision while justifying the reasons for it?
A decision that opposes your core values but is being justified intentionally presents red flags.
If this decision is outed in public, am I willing to stand by it?
Some decisions are also made within private realms in your business. If this agenda is uncovered by the public, will it bring you shame, or are you willing to stand by it?
These questions can be a great starting point for self-reflection if any direction-altering choice should come into your business.
Positive growth: sticking to your values
The benefits mentioned above all point to the type of growth any business owner aspires for their company. Desired growth in a company is when a business shows their integrity not just at the surface level but through the core values they claim to represent.