Business is about a human connection. I shop at certain stores, I employ professionals and other skilled workers, because I know the people, who they are, and because they have taken the time to know me and to learn about me, and in the same vein, I have come to know them. The stores I frequent, the staff that I seek out, all represent values that I myself value.
I seek out businesses and people whom I feel fairly represent the best of all of us. Why did I do this? I do so because I feel that the people with whom I deal are personal friends, friends whom I respect and trust, and who, in turn, respect and trust me.
So, let me transfer that to an entrepreneurial model. Assume you own a business, you name what it is…and are trying to build a following. To do so, you need to know who you are, what you are about, what you value, and from where you come (I do not mean geographically). Entrepreneurs need to understand their own reasons for launching this business and specifically what they are selling, and to whom, and represent those values to customers and clients. Businesses, and those who are employed in those ventures, have to learn those values, respect them and practice them. Those values and that knowledge, that feeling, then need to be transferred throughout the staff to clients and customers.
Allow me to shift the focus a minute to my business and how we operate. We are very open about who we are and what we do — both with one another and with our clientele. We have a list of our values which appears on the front page of our website (https://fidogroupe.com) under the heading of “FIDO Culture”. Every client who comes to us has the ability to know who we are and what we are about before we meet. My two partners and I agreed on this list. We practice and respect those values. Our values, as listed, are:
To build a team which treats each other as friends, with respect and dignity — To think deeply, analyze honestly, and treat all with compassion — To challenge assumptions, break barriers, and build new connections.
Next to that box is another entitled “FIDO Culture”. Our culture is defined as:
To hear and listen to all voices — To provide the best product, at a fair and justified price — To seek quality in everything we do — To contribute to our local communities and general human experience — To learn and always grow
We wrote these values and culture descriptions for ourselves, and believe they represent who we are. For my own part, I am very open about my values and who I am. In fact, I regularly wear three chains which tell quite a bit about who I am. Each item is very important to me, represents something about my life experience, my family history, and how I see myself. Each piece also represents my values, what I believe and treasure, and from where I came.
My point is this: your business has to be rooted in your values, in who you and your partners are, in what all see and expect from themselves and one another, and in how you treat your customers and clients.