When creating a strong business, you need to ask yourself first “why would someone want to work for me?” Then, follow-up with a “why would someone want to work with me?”
Your scope of business, expertise and work experience all play a factor in that decision process, but so does the 3 C’s. What are those 3 C’s of your business… Culture, Character and Creativity.
What does company culture have to do with a client wanting to do business with you? When choosing to do business between your company and a competitor who may offer a comparable business model, it’s time to show them why you stand out! Creating a culture based on a strong moral code and being value-based, gives prospective clients a glimpse into who you are as a person, as well as your employees.
I’ve said it time and time again, we all do business with those who we know, like and trust. Culture should be reflective of characteristics which are attractive to potential business partners. Trustworthiness, ethical business processes, creativity and solutions-based are all key attributes I know I look for when bringing people or businesses into my professional circle. Potential business partners are looking for the same.
Your culture is defined by the standards you as a business owner set. However, you aren’t the sole contributor… it’s also those differences and unique attributes brought to the table by your team. Celebrate those differences and empower your employees to use their talents. Your employees, often are the face of your company. Employing those who represent your values, and feel appreciated for their contributions, will have them working harder for your business and your clients.
This leads me into C number 2: Character. Your business should not run by a different set of standards from which you would hold to yourself. The same can be applied for your hiring process. We all look for new employees based on skills, talents and what they can offer your business. One key factor you need to keep in mind: how do they look “off-paper?”
Yes, a resume is a great start, but during the interview process, take time to really get to know your candidate. Will they mesh well with the existing team? Are there any red flags that jump out? Don’t overlook your gut-feeling because their resume is fluffy and shiny. They may have the talent you are looking for, but their values and character may not be what’s best for your brand.
You are entrusting your clients to your employees and if you can’t 100% vouch for your employee, you can’t very well expect your client to either. Your employees should essentially be mirrors of who you are, your values and your business. By setting your employees out on your behalf, you should be inherently putting your “best foot forward.”
I know, everyone has their own personalities, and everyone has flaws… I am far from perfect, much to the disbelief of my coworkers (ha). In all seriousness this is your business, the company you built and your team needs to be a strong, stable foundation which to grow. It’s cliche’ to say, but it’s true, “we are only as strong as our weakest link” and if your company culture and reputation are built on a shaky foundation, you are setting yourself up for issues down the road.
Be sure you are employing these same “character checks” to those clients with whom you partner. Taking on a less than reputable client, just to grow your bottom-line may actually hurt you in the long run.
Creativity doesn’t necessarily need to mean you are a strong writer or you have some crazy, amazing graphic design skills. Being creative can be applied to any situation.
An issue may arise requiring an “outside-the-box” style of thinking. Taking a creative approach to different scenarios allows you to build your own skill set, while offering a new tactic or solution to a problem which lands you in “expert” territory with your client.
Creativity shouldn’t just be solution-based. Get creative when coming up with new products. Get creative with how you recognize your employees. Get creative with your personal brand.
So, to wrap this up… I got a little windy today… Taking a new, fresh approach to how you are looking at different scenarios will keep you on your toes, keep your team engaged and your clients happy. Showing off your company culture and employing a business model based on strong character and creativity will certainly keep you in front of the competition.
The 3C's of your business are all part of a larger piece of the marketing puzzle. Click the image below to download our guide to Inbound vs Outbound Marketing and see how your C's fit into your Marketing's "Big Picture."