Do you agree that every business, no matter how small, has a business culture? A friend of mine sent a link to a great article How To Find Your Social Media Marketing Voice. One of the questions in that article is about culture. As I thought about it, I realized that without asking most business owners I already could describe their business culture.
I would also bet that how I describe the culture of a few businesses would be different from what the owner intended. What is culture, anyway? The dictionary's definition is “a way of thinking, behaving, or working in an organization.” Those thoughts and behaviors show up (or not) in how we lead our business. Consequently, our team members and our customers form opinions and beliefs about our business culture. We want to exhibit behaviors that are in line with our culture or we will find that we have a credibility problem before long.
When I founded my first business, a massage therapy clinic, I wanted to create a business culture of extreme customer service, highly trained massage therapists, friendliness, comfort, healing, and warmth. This meant that everything all team members did (from the front reception desk to the bookkeeper) had to reflect and act in those ways. As the business owner, it was my job to lead my example and to correct quickly anything that was outside our defined culture.
Because many small business owners are solo professionals they don't think about defining what they want their business culture to be. It's a great exercise, because it gives you a standard by which to evaluate your own and team member behaviors. It also helps you make day to day decisions that are in line with your business culture.
I'd love to hear your description of your own business culture. Give me a sentence below, along with a link to your website. Let's spread our business and what we stand for around a bit, shall we?