Business Culture – Part 1
This post is the first in a series of four about how your business’ culture is fundamental to your success.
What is culture?
One definition of Culture is a set of worthwhile share beliefs, values and attitudes. These are the highest priorities, deeply help beliefs and are core to your business and brand. You could call them your business’ guiding principles.
If you think about it, every business has a culture. If you think of an iceberg what you can see is the behaviour and results. However, what drives these is the culture which is below the surface.
A businesses culture will develop whether you plan it or not. It is either explicit and decided upon by the founder/s and management team or left to chance. But, if it is going to happen why not create a culture for your business that you love and inspires people?
The trouble with not defining and managing a business’ culture is that no one knows what the business stands for. Perhaps more important than this is no one know what the business doesn’t stand for. Remember, the essence of strategy is saying no you need a culture to refer to when making important decisions.
It is important to understand that all these things can and do change. What you believe today you may not believe tomorrow. What you used to value may not be as important today. And, depending on your age and experience your attitudes towards certain things may be different.
How important is culture?
Well, everything is important but some things are best considered before others. As Accountants in London who advise small businesses Culture is one of the first things I think you should consider early on.
The thing is, if you don’t have an effective culture you may find yourself experiencing some of the common problems faced by business owners including:
- Fighting for work on price
- Feeling uninspired
- Struggling to motivate employees
- Lack of focus
On the other hand, if you invest time and energy into creating an amazing culture for your business the effects can quickly and dramatically change your business, and your life.
By working on your culture you will :
- Create a remarkable brand
- Feel inspired and inspire others
- Avoid competing on price
- Attract and retain the best employees
- Improve all your marketing
- Identify right customers to work with
- Help avoid the wrong customers
- Make difficult decisions easier
You see, when you look at everything through the lens of your culture, like developing a new service or product, writing copy for your Website or taking on employees everything will be different, much easier and effective.
It is important to keep in mind that your business’ culture, like the rest of your business plan is not something you write and file away. The idea is that you keep coming back to it because it’s your lighthouse in a storm.