“As You Climb the Ladder of Success, Be Sure It’s Leaning Against the Right Building”
Why is defining your values and purpose (and later, your vision and unique selling proposition in Part 2) so important?
Defining these four key elements provides you — the entrepreneur — with a road map. It establishes trust between your company and its employees, customers and partners, and helps you better know your company at its core.
To take the above ladder analogy further, you can look at your company’s values, purpose, vision and USP as the first four rungs on your ladder of success.
Answering the questions contained in this article will ultimately give you, your employees and your customers a common sense of purpose, which is the highest form of motivation.
The goal of these exercises is to provide you with a framework to help differentiate your HVAC company and rise above the noise to build an enduring brand.
Once you’ve built a brand (i.e. your HVAC company’s identity), you’ve built something infinitely more powerful, compelling and long lasting. You’ve built something that will stand above any of your competitors and withstand the inevitable economic downturns.
Now, let’s start with you.
As the business owner(s), your company’s values should be an extension of your own. Clearly defining them will help you attract the ‘right’ kind of people — people whose personal values are closely aligned with your own, whether that’s staff, business partners or clients (here at Intrigue, we call these clients your A-clients — your Awesome clients!). They will act as a magnetic attractor that will bring people who believe what you believe, and repel the people who don’t (you don’t want them anyway).
Avoid being wishy-washy when creating your company values. They can and should be a little testy — they should very well turn some people off, or at least be somewhat disagreeable to some people. Making these values explicit tells people what you fundamentally believe in and what you stand for (and alternatively, what you do not). The key is that your core values should be much more than fancy words on paper. They should be deeply ingrained in your culture, inform your hiring and training procedures and guide all company decisions.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are a few examples of core values:
- Intrigue: Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.
- Integrity Air: Do the right thing and never compromise our values.
- Barron Heating: Develop trust in all relationships – be tactful yet truthful.
- Bel Red Energy Solutions: Invest in personal and professional growth.
- Carrier: We value diversity in individuals and cultures, and seek and share ideas openly.
Ultimately, your values will act as a signpost for people to know whether they want to do business with you, work with you, refer you, rave about you, etc.
|Let’s get started. Write down 5 company values below, with a sentence or two to describe why that value is important to you (if you want to add more, go right ahead.)
Your purpose statement captures, in a short sentence or two, the essence of your company’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the purpose statement signals what your business is all about to your clients, your employees, your suppliers and your community.
Studies confirm that intrinsic motivations like a sense of purpose are far more effective than extrinsic factors such as money or status. Clarifying your purpose will act as a strong and effective motivational tool for you and your staff.
Ultimately, knowing why you are doing what you are doing will serve as a lighthouse to guide you and your team during those inevitable storms of doubt and uncertainty that every business eventually faces.
A few tips:
- Involve those closely connected with your business: employees, partners, colleagues, friends. They can give you feedback and ideas that you might otherwise overlook.
- Stay away from jargon and industry-specific wording. Use common language that everyone can intuitively understand.
- Communicate in a way that will engage and inspire action. Your purpose statement should be bold and dynamic, and should connect with people on an emotional level.
Here are a few examples of purpose (or mission) statements:
- Intrigue: “To empower leaders to strengthen communities.”
- Integrity Air: “To serve local families at the highest level so they can enjoy safe and comfortable lives.”
- Leslie Heating & Cooling: “We comfort families by providing compelling service experiences that deliver cozy indoor environments.”
- Hydes: “We are dedicated to providing the best “wow” service experience to our residential and commercial clients in the Coachella Valley.”
- Industrial Cooling Corp: “We are committed to “Creating the Perfect Environment” for our customers by providing the highest quality, value-driven service through innovation and responsiveness.”
|Write the long version of your purpose. Use the questions below as a guideline (don’t worry about being precise or concise just yet).
|The beauty of a purpose statement lies in its simplicity. Reread your above answers and distill their essence in 1-2 powerful sentences.
Click here for Part 2 to learn more about creating your Vision and Unique Selling Proposition.