How to create core values for your business

Core values go a long way in helping your small business improve its odds of success. Like a mission and vision, a clearly defined set of values help guide your company’s actions.

Small business core values examples

Some examples of small business values are:

  • Quality
  • Efficiency
  • Empowerment
  • Respect
  • Good customer service
  • Continuous improvement
  • Environmental consciousness
  • Ethical partnerships
  • Community engagement

Starbucks’ core values (or “guiding principles”) are:

  • Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.
  • Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.
  • Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.
  • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.
  • Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.

How to find your small business’ core values

Core values of a business are usually the same as the values of the business’ founder, but not all of your values necessarily translate well into your business. You probably value lots of things, but we recommend you pick a few that will be the most important to your small business.

Try writing out a core value on a sticky note and put it somewhere where you can see it often and reflect on it. Do this with all your core values until you find the ones that best fit you and your business. Your values may change over time, so be prepared to do this exercise again later.

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