If you are just starting out in business, or if you have a relatively small business, you might be thinking that having “business values” is not something you need to worry about. Surely all of that “mission, vision, value” stuff is for the big corporations? The people who need to have their billboards matching their soft drinks cans matching their airplanes?
Not at all. Your business values – the things that are important to you and which you want to bring to your clients – already exist, even if you haven’t committed them to paper. If you are not focusing on them, your messaging can seem confusing and potential clients won’t really know what they are going to get.
What kinds of things am I talking about? Well you will have heard people say that you should be “authentic”. I would agree with this, simply because it’s so blindingly obvious when people are being fake. If somebody says to you “you need to join in with our 7 day psychedelic rainbow Instagram take-over” but you value being laid back and that’s what your clients need from you, a sudden week of neon coloured posts on your grid would be inauthentic and against your values, no matter how good an idea it might be for somebody else.
In other words, knowing what are your values and nailing them down helps you to know when to say “no”. It also helps you to know when to say “yes”! If you come across somebody who talks about punctuality and organisation and those are two of your values, you know this is one of “your people” and is probably a good person with whom to build a business relationship. When we align ourselves with people who share our values, that is when the magic happens.
It also helps you to know which strategies are not for you, no matter how popular they are. For example, one of my business values is calm. I know that ranty social media posts that generate debate are really good for engagement. Yet those kinds of posts are far from calm, and you will not see them from me. Regardless of how great they are for engagement, they go against my values and they are not what my clients want from Clear Day.
Another advantage of having your business values clear in your head is that they help you to craft your social media messages. Especially if you have a business with more than one offering, like Clear Day which offers business support and coaching, you can keep your messaging coherent by always adhering to your values. So if one of your values is being friendly, you can showcase that in lots of your posts no matter which of your offerings you are discussing.
So how do you nail down what are your values?
This is not an exercise in making up anything new. This is an exercise in getting clear on what you already know. If you are not sure what are your values, have a think about how you want your clients to feel as a result of your services. Do you want them to feel happy? Excited? Confident? Peaceful? Empowered? Those might be some of your values. What are the things that really matter to you? Is it important to you to be honest? Encouraging? Professional? Those things that matter to you might also be some of your values.
If you pick out professionalism, honesty, organisation and calm as your values, you are not saying that you don’t also value other things. You are saying that these are the things that matter the most and which you promise to always try to bring to the table.
For Clear Day, our values are calm, clarity, confidence, focus and progress. Those are the things that we want to bring to our clients, those are the things we want our clients to get from working with us. Sometimes those values are blatant, for instance in the headings on my weekly newsletter, sometimes they are more subtly implied. I hope they are always felt though, that is certainly the intention.
So how about you? What would you say are your business values?
Coach and Director of Clear Day