When I started my company the first thing that I did was to create a vision of what I wanted my business to look like at the 20 year mark and beyond. Once I had a clear picture of my vision, I set out to do something that I believe was even more important and key to setting us apart and above in the industry. I created a cultureThe …corporate culture at our company is the foundation for everything we do. I am proud of the culture we have developed and I stand behind it to this day. Having a well-developed positive culture is not just key to branding, it is also key to success and longevity in the business world.
There are some certain pitfalls you are likely to face by failing to develop your own culture. Some of these include; difficulty building relationships, lack of internal and external trust and inability to set yourself apart from the competitors.
On the flip side, when you create a strong and uplifting culture it’s easy for others to embrace it. Having a solid culture sets a standard and creates the tone for achievement. You may be thinking that you have a very small business and a culture isn’t a necessary thing to focus on. However, I must remind you that I started with only one small salon. I firmly believe that if I had adopted that attitude I would most likely still have one salon rather than a growing franchise with over 150 locations. My point is, you’re never too small to create a great culture!
When creating your culture, you must first identify your values. For me, I knew at the core of all I do, I value family first. So, that is the culture that I wanted to create. I firmly view our staff and all of the Salon Professionals that work within our locations as family members. To develop this culture I had to create a family environment of trust and support. To this day, in every executive and staff meeting, we continue to circle back when making decisions to assure they align with this mind set.
Next, your culture must be greater than yourself and your own ambitions. A great culture transcends so everyone involved understands they are part of a greater mission. My team realizes we are not just building a company, we are providing an avenue for people to achieve the dream of owning their own business. We are developing a means for individuals to have better lives. My staff recognize that this only happens when we have the right resources in place and everyone is striving towards the same ends.
Finally, in order for your culture to be embraced, you must be the example. This means establishing high standards for yourself as a leader. Don’t expect anyone to follow you if you don’t practice what you preach. Maintain high expectations for what you want to accomplish. Be willing to walk the walk and put in the hard work and effort that is required. Be an example to those around you. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent. Remember, being a leader is a privilege that is earned by acquiring respect rather than granted by a job title. Equally important is to be humble and appreciate those that have joined you in creating the culture. If you can do these things, you are well on your way.
Always remember a great culture is something that is felt. It’s easy to develop a logo that people see, but if they see a logo and feel nothing then your logo has little value. People want to belong and be connected to something they believe is important. Create a great culture and you’ve accomplished this!