Core values - Write to Right

My last blog post was all about getting to know your ideal client. When you understand the ‘who’ it gives you something to aim for, but with what are you aiming?

Do you know why you are spending your time in it? What drives you and your business? What are your goals or ambitions? What is your purpose? (Deep, I know!)

These questions set the foundations of how others see your business. Here are some simple prompts to help you:

Who– who are you, are you a multi-national, family company, or sole trader? Who are your customers? Are they families, singles, seniors, small business, multi-nationals?
What– What is it that you do? What do you sell?
Why- Why do customers use your business? What is the benefit to them?
Where– Where can they find you? Are you a bricks & mortar, online, franchise?

I would like businesses to dig a little deeper. Big business does it, government departments do it; why don’t small businesses? Small business has the advantage of size and that they often are their culture and that their culture is a large part of who the business is. But what is culture? What underpins it culture is values. It is the values which we hold, individually and collectively, that help define who we are and how we portray ourselves to others. With the integration of social media into business, the injection of our personality through our values is key to developing lasting and valuable relationships with our clients. Tweet this

What are your core values?

Professionally, personally, collectively as a business – what are your core values? What are the fundamental underlying traits, behaviours, and values that you hold? I have included ‘personally’ as so many business owners instil parts of their own personality into their business.

Why should your business define its core values:

  • Point of difference with your competitors
  • Alignment of staff
  • Communicate what is important
  • Influence behaviour
  • Inspire action
  • Contribute to success
  • Shape your culture

I have written on how the culture & values impact on staff behaviours in my Masters of Management, should you wish to read further on the topic please email me directly.

Customers ask how to define their core values. There are a number of ways. Personally, I looked at the one thing I would love to do even if I never got paid to do it; then I looked at what it was about that thing which drove me. For me, it comes down to quality (read my latest post on this) and giving business owners the skills to get the most out of their business and to get themselves to the next level.

At its essence you are looking for what you and your business stand for, what ultimately drives what you do and what it is you actually do.Tweet this

Here is a video, which I have found, that will help you on the journey to finding your core values.

I’ve also found the following video on how large corporations use their core values. I particularly like the point made by Tony Hsieh that their company used the values to ‘hire and fire’. From my research, I know that (certainly in the public service) the alignment of core business and employee values is a key driver in customer satisfaction.Tweet this I believe that the private sector is no different. This is, in part, reiterated by the second statement by Jim Collins in the following video. (I also find the clip from Steve Jobs quite inspiring.)

Now over to you, comment below with your core values (business or personal). Don’t be shy and don’t worry if you only have one. Now think about how you will use this value and transmit this value to your customers.


  • Love this! Values are so important and if we are not aligned to them it is hard to get that connection with your audience. It would be interesting to see a follow up ‘how to’ article…

  • Gosh it’s been a while since I’ve thought in detail about core values. I remember spending hours in a previous job working on the core values of the business! Values for my business right now are pretty much mine so I haven’t outlined them as such…needs some thought.

    • Glad to hear I have reminded you, Nicole. As a sole trader, my personal core values and business core values are the same; I like it that way as it is easier to insert ‘myself’ into my business. Let me know how you go.

  • How funny that I should read this today! I have been working with a (fantastic) coach (over at Brightside Coaching), and we were just discussing core values, and focussing on this for my blog. Really pleased that I’ve popped over here, as both these videos are going to exactly right for what I want to reflect on this weekend. Great post 🙂

  • Very thought-provoking post, Kara. Reminds me of an old song … “If you don’t know where you’re coming from and if you don’t know where you are going..”

    Core values define a business and helps build its overall goals.

    Nice to meet you!

    • Hi Vidya, thank you for stopping past. I love the truth writers put into their songs. Psychologists have known for many years how key values are to determining behaviour.

  • I hadn’t written mine down Kara. This is a great post. I thought it would take me the longest of all the posts I’ve read of yours and worked on today, but this just popped onto my page the fastest.

    Have really enjoyed thinking through everything and making it clear. I needed to find my feet as a blogger before I could do this.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Sarah

      I’m glad that this post was quick to digest. I am thankful to be able to help you to clarify your direction and look forward to watching your business grow.


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}