Define.com describes the term "values" as "beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something)". What values do you want to be evident in your business?
Let me share with you some of the values that are important for a strong business:
Honesty - Truth is extremely important to me and it therefore guides all of my actions. I chuckle when I think about trying to return the "extra" twenty dollar bill that a client gave me in error some time ago. First of all the client was shocked that I wanted to return it. Then he stated that he didn't think it was his. Finally, he accepted the money with thanks. It would have been easy for me to keep the money and not even mention it but I believe that honesty is a "black and white" issue. You are either honesty or you aren't. Even when I say something and it doesn't come out right I try to immediately correct the statement. When you are honest with other people, they will usually respect you and often will emulate your behaviours.
Excellence - "Good enough" is not "good enough". I strive to ensure that what I give to others is the best I can possibly give. In fact one of my goals is that every person will walk away from me stating "That was the best part of my day". It does not take much to be just a little better than your competitors and the clients appreciate that. Giving them a bottle of water, a handout or a compliment can lift their spirits and help them to feel comfortable. When your paperwork is error-free and your services are top-notch, both you and your client will feel satisfaction. Also, as my daughter says "When you build good relationships with clients, the money is the easy part".
Hope - Our clients come to us because they have a problem or want to avoid problems. That means that they want to know that things can be resolved or prevented. Our job is to offer them the hope not only that things will be better but also that we can help them to become better. United States President Obama did not have the experience or notoriety to help him win the election. He is the first to admit that it was highly unlikely for him to have been elected President. What he did offer the people, however, was exactly what they needed to hear - hope for the future. They wanted to vote for someone who would make improvements in their lives and solve problems they were facing. Barack Obama not only promised hope but also was a living example of the possibilities that dreams can come true for the least likely individuals.
Finally, one of the values that I want to relay to my family, friends and clients is a spirit of adventure. You see, when we approach life with the idea that we can take a few risks to gain amazing experiences, we will enjoy the journey - every step of the way!