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A Step By Step Guide To Creating Your Company’s Guiding Principles


Creating business principles for your team is like setting the ground rules that guide how everyone works together, makes decisions, and treats each other and your customers.


Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help a small business owner develop and implement these principles:


Identify Your Core Values


Start by thinking about what's really important to you and your business. These are your core values. Ask yourself:


  • What do I stand for?

  • What does my business stand for?

  • How do we want to make our customers feel?


These could be things like honesty, hard work, creativity, or customer satisfaction.


Look at Your Business Goals


Think about what goals you have for your business. Your principles should help you reach these goals. For example, if one goal is to have the happiest customers, one of your principles might be to always listen carefully to customer feedback.


Get Input from Your Team


Talk to your team members. They might have great ideas for principles based on their day-to-day work and interactions with customers. This also makes them feel involved and valued, which is a principle in itself!


Write Down Your Principles


Once you have a good list, write them down clearly. Keep them simple and understandable. Each principle should be a guide that anyone on your team can follow in their daily work.


Explain Why Each Principle Matters


For each principle, explain why it's important and how it helps the team or business. This helps everyone understand the purpose behind them and how they contribute to the business's success.


Share the Principles with Your Team


Have a meeting or a special session to go over the principles with your team. Make sure everyone understands them and how they apply to their work. This is a good time to answer any questions and get everyone's buy-in.


Put Them into Practice


Principles aren't just words on paper; they need to be part of your business's daily life. Lead by example. Show your team how to live by these principles in your own work.


Review and Adjust as Needed


Over time, your business will grow and change, and so might your team. It's a good idea to review your principles regularly to see if they still fit or if they need tweaking.


Recognize and Reward


When you see team members following the principles and making a positive impact, recognize and reward them. This reinforces the importance of these principles.


Make the Principles Visible


Keep the principles visible around your workspace if possible. This could be on posters, in employee handbooks, or even in regular communications like emails.


In Closing


Creating business principles is not just about having rules. It’s about building a culture that reflects what’s important to your business, supports your goals, and makes your team a great place to be a part of. It’s about doing business in a way that makes you proud.

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