Talking all about values
Wednesday, 11 August 2021 14:29
We’ve been talking all about values in the group and why they matter for your business. In the often hectic day-to-day running of a business its easy to get caught up in the doing without giving a lot of thought to why you started a business in the first place. Let’s face it, its often much simpler to work for someone else and collect a pay check but we all started our own ventures for our own unique set of reasons.
For me, when we started our business over 22 years ago it was about creating work and income. I was fairly new to Australia and didn’t have a lot of contacts. My husband lost his job (as operational manager for a large cleaning company) so we were both unemployed at the same time. Being on the dole (unemployment benefits) was awful but we came across a course that would help us build a business while still receiving income support (New Enterprise Initiative Scheme or NEIS). A commercial cleaning company was something that we could both be involved in. I could type and do basic accounts and he could do cleaning quotes and run on-site. At the outset we made decisions about what was important to us as business owners. Honesty is something that matters to both of us so it was plain that it would have to be part of our business ethos. In the early days when we did all of the cleaning ourselves we didn’t have a lot of time to be strategising or discussing business ethics but by being on the same page it meant that we knew how to deal with most situations that were in line with our values. As an example, we once knocked a picture off a bookcase and broke the frame. First thing the next morning we rang and apologised and offered to replace the frame. The customer hadn’t even noticed but was very nice about the breakage and insisted that it was unnecessary to give a replacement. A few years later a large payment was late coming in and I didn’t have enough cash flow to pay one of the suppliers. I rang them up and explained that I was having a temporary cash flow issue and could settle the bill within 7 days. They were fine about it (we were already reliable payers) and seemed pleasantly surprised that we had kept them up to date. They are still one of our major suppliers. My point is that by having honesty as one of our core values its easy to know how to tackle problems. We try very hard not to make mistakes but if we do, we put our hand up and admit it, and fix it quickly! It’s one of the ways which contributes to us having not just long term customers but also long term suppliers and long term staff.
So originally two of our original core values were money (to earn a wage) and honesty. They have now changed and health has replaced money as one of my core values when making decisions about business (honesty remains).
Deciding what your core values are not only helps you to solidify your reasons for having your own business but can also fundamentally help you with your decision making when you use them as a guide or lens through which to view your business. Easier decision making is something we can all take advantage of.
P.s. Over in the group we’re talking about values all month so if you would like some more resources come and join us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/houseboundbusiness/