When I owned my brick and mortar businesses, I got asked to write, speak, teach, blog, and otherwise go on and on about building company culture than any other single thing. Weird thing to be asked about all the time, but there it was. I think it was because our company culture was so evident in everything we did, so that is what people gravitated to, but before I get to that- let’s chat a little about what culture is and why it is so important to your business.
Your company culture is the sum total of your attitudes, opinions, written and unwritten rules that your company lives by. It is who you hire, why you hire them, why they choose to work with you and how your business feels to those employees, your customers, prospects and the community at large. It is infused in everything you do.
You might be thinking “No way Campion- I have been in plenty of businesses that were boring and culture free- they were just as vanilla as can be.” Well kind reader, I have to tell you that what you have just described is a CULTURE. Granted it’s not a good culture and probably not a culture that serves the business well, but nevertheless- that is their culture…
Now that we are on the same page as to what culture is, lets continue the conversation with a little on about why your culture is so important to your business. It is is the background, texture and personality that runs throughout your business. Have employees that love your customer and consistently go above and beyond- thank your culture. Are you all overworked, grumpy and never seem to have any money? You my friend are suffering from a mess of a culture.
The good (or bad) thing about culture is once it’s put in place, it takes on a life of it’s own and builds upon itself. You will attract people that match your culture and repel those who don’t. When they do come on board, the people that mesh well with your culture will thrive and stay, those who don’t fit tend to fade away on their own. This is an amazing opportunity/ danger depends on how well your culture represents you and your beliefs, which brings us to…
Core Values. Your Core Values are a big part of who you are which means your personal Core Values are going to be a big part of your companies personality. Your Core Values represent you and what you believe at a deep level. They are the rules that you play by to accomplish your company’s mission and answer a lot of the how do we do things and why do we do things questions for everyone. For me and my companies, I didn’t really decide on my Core Values so much as recognize them and make them foundational to the company. I am such a big fan of Core Values, I will probably do a blog or two on them in coming days or weeks, but for this conversation, just know that your Core Values are the foundation of your culture.
That is a good foundation around company culture and why it is so key to growing your small business. So this is such a big topic and I don’t wear you out with too much genius all at once, I am going to break it into parts. In part 2 we will talk about how to instill the right company culture in your business and how that will look and feel. Until than share some examples in the comment section about your company culture and why you are awesome!!