ANTHONY TUMBIOLO

Finance

What Every Business Owner Should Know About Scorecards

When running a business, it’s easy to let your heart and gut drive your decision-making and forecasting. If you aren’t measuring actions and results, forward progress is difficult and unpredictable. A guessing game of sorts. Defining important metrics that you’ll keep an eye on, tracking them over time, and continuously analyzing them will help you monitor the health of your business.

I have taken this to heart in all the companies I run. And that’s something that, while it might seem tedious and repetitive, I pay a lot of attention to. I can look at them and see ahead at what’s coming or uncover why something happened.

How have I done this?

Through creating scorecards for every system in my business.

They allow me to quickly monitor our progress, make any necessary changes we deem necessary, and execute them going forward. But before I tell you all about them, let’s first take a step back.

What are Scorecards?

Scorecards are documents used to track how your business is performing over a period of time.

But it’s not just about measurement.

They are also management tools that help guide your actions and help you achieve your company’s goals.

Basically, they let you, the business owner, see “ahead of the curve” at what might unfold and back at the reason behind things.

As many fellow entrepreneurs, I didn’t take enough time to define, fulfill, and audit them at first.

In some ways, I felt like I was blind. I kinda knew we were going the right direction, but I had no way to know for sure.

I knew we needed to sell more and our revenue was going up. But I couldn’t say with confidence that would happen because I wasn’t tracking my marketing and sales activities well enough.

When I started working with my coach, however, I started taking these scorecards more seriously.

We now track financials and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through scorecards for every system within my company:

  1.    New business system
  2.    Production system
  3.    Back-office system
  4.    Financial system

But Why Are They So Important?

Scorecards tell you how your business is going. Where it may be off-track, and where you may need to make adjustments so that each system is working efficiently.

But here’s the thing:

You can see the future with them.

No, I don’t mean they are literally a crystal ball. But they do illustrate, metrically, if something may go wrong down the road.

How?

Scorecards are especially useful when measuring leading indicators. Through them, you can see what will happen weeks, months, and even years in advance.

Leading indicators –and I’ll make an article on them specifically– can help both your decision-making and forecasting.

Let’s say you check out your financial scorecards and realize that you have under-collected money from your customers. What does that tell you?

That you might run into a cash-flow problem in the near-term. So you might have to take out money from your retained earnings to make payroll.

Much better to know now than in a month when the water is up to your neck, right?

Another question I often get is—

How Often Should You Look at your Scorecards?

And it’s interesting because I’ve seen everything on the spectrum. Some business owners review them once a month. Others once a quarter. Others once a year. And others, well, never because they don’t have them (they don’t usually last though).

I personally checked almost all of them on a weekly basis. As we’ve grown larger, I’ve started checking some of them monthly. I have a management team that I trust so I don’t have to monitor each week.

Maybe that’s just me. But I would rather make sure I’m up to date on our numbers before it’s too late.

Scorecards and the New Business System

One of the best ways I can think of to share the importance of scorecards is through the New Business System.

The New Business includes the people, tools, and processes that work to generating leads and close clients.

Back in the day, I used to do what many other entrepreneurs do. I tried to go out and sell as much as I could –but I wasn’t tracking anything other than the most basic stuff.

At the end of the year, I’d look at our numbers and say: “Oh, I closed this much business. I thought it would be more/less.”

Now, I look at this whole system differently—

It works like a funnel: generate leads → qualify them → close them. Since I have tracked our average closing and qualifying rates and deal value, I know exactly that…

If I want to make $4M in revenue, I’ll need to generate X number of leads. And then, I can break those leads down per quarter/month/week.

A quick glance at my scorecards will tell me if I’m on track for the time period I’m checking out. If we have to generate 10 leads this week and we’re at 20, things look good ahead. But if we’re at 3, something’s not working.

So, your scorecard isn’t just a tracker. It can tell you what you need to do to hit your goal and helps show if you are on track to hit your goals or not.

Who owns the Scorecards?

Each company and industry should have its own scorecards that need to be filled in, measured, and analyzed. But who is responsible for them?

In the early days, it was just me. I’d be the one tracking how much business we closed, what was our customer LTV, etc.

But, as we grew and I started working ON the business, things changed.

Now, every scorecard is owned by someone. There is an individual responsibility to track, quantify, and evaluate it.

For example, the Head of Sales could be responsible for the New Business Scorecard. Or the CFO for the Financial Scorecard, etc.

Along with the management team, my job to be aware of the big picture trends. See what’s going well and what are the weak links that need to be adjusted. But I don’t go in and work on each individual KPI anymore.

Scorecards Are Crutial 

  1. Scorecards tell you how your business is going, where it may be off-track, and where you may need to make modifications so that each system is working efficiently.
  2. By tracking leading indicators, you are now able to forecast future trends easily which also helps your decision-making. You can see this by reverse-engineering the New Business System.
  3. As you move from IN to ON the business, you’ll delegate ownership of each scorecard to your team. I still check them weekly to see how we’re performing and what needs to be adjusted.

 


Building a Business

Want to Grow and Scale Your Business? You Need These 2 Things

During Jakt’s early years, I remember how invested and focused I was on sales.

I really believe that, while they should always be a priority, they require even more of your time and effort until you have reached your first revenue milestone.

Should you be architecting the business machine at the same time? Absolutely. You still need to be designing and creating your systems from the jump. But sales is the fuel that gets the machine fired up.

But once you have the engine going, you’re at a very critical point in your company’s growth.

What brought you here won’t take you to the next level. It’s time to find the right people, and foster a culture that supports your business growth and lets you scale.

The thing is, that requires a different skill set that you needed until now. And many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle to make that transition.

I sure did. Here’s what happened:

The Exodus

A few years ago, Jakt was going through one of our lowest points –and I did too.

Due to a variety of reasons, almost half the team left the company in about a month and a half.

It felt like Mike Tyson punched me in the face. And it messed with me on an emotional level. I started avoiding the issue at work while obsessing over it privately.

What was it? What could it be that was driving people out?

I really had to take a hard look at myself as a leader. It wasn’t easy or a 1-day thing. It was a process of self-awareness that doesn’t necessarily have a finish line.

I wrote in this article how I moved from being transactional towards my team to people-centered. And from emotional to accountable.

I also started studying companies that inspired me and that I could take learnings from. And what I found from these businesses that had stood the test of time was impactful.

ALL their Founders and CEOs shared the same two things as the main success drivers of building a company that lasts:

People and Culture.

People

I’ve never worked a 9-5 job. So it’s hard for me to grasp what makes an employee happy and fulfilled. If you’re a lifelong entrepreneur, you might be facing the same issue.

From the start, I wanted to make Jakt a company where I would work at myself.

When I take stock of the individuals that have grown with the organization, I notice we share a very similar set of values.

And not just professional, but also on a human level.

Things like the way they treat people and their level of respect. Even their relationship with money. These are all important.

As the business owner or CEO, your team is the foundation that will support your growth. You need talented people, but also human beings whose values are all aligned.

I’ll write about this in the future (stay tuned – opt-in on the form below), but here’s something we do at Jakt to make sure those values are protected:

Every new potential employee that goes through the interview process has to take a cultural interview. This is not about how skilled they are or to learn more about their previous experience.

Instead, we quickly explain our core values as a company and ask them to share a moment in time where they did NOT live up to them.

Then, we rule out those people with huge red flags as we don’t think they personally share those attributes. We might be missing on some great talent, but it’s worked pretty well for us.

Why do I/we care so much about our values? Because they are the bedrock that will determine your…

Culture

In hindsight, I had no idea what it meant to “foster a company culture.” Or even just what people meant by “culture.”

I knew I had to do it, but how? *crickets*

So I just went back to doing what I saw in the startup world: drinks after work and all that shit. Yeah, apparently that by itself doesn’t work –who would’ve known?

There’s much more to it, and it will be crucial for your business moving forward.

In fact, I recently asked my team why were they staying at the company. Between other things, people and culture were two elements shared by everyone.

And it works in a very similar fashion than a sports team. No matter how good your players are, your culture often is the main factor in whether you win or not.

I used to think that, if a person was contributing and doing their part, they didn’t need to be a culture fit. Now, however, I understand that the long-term play is to prioritize the culture above all else.

What’s more, you have to preserve the company’s culture to grow. And every single person you let in will shift it –so it will evolve over time.

The earliest hires you make will scale the most through the company’s culture. And that makes sense, right?

Because, when you go from 100 to 101 employees, your culture will change 1%. But when you go from 4 to 5, you’ll shift it 20%!

And remember, it starts at the top. As the business owner, you have to be the leading Sherpa that marks the pace as you climb up the mountain.

If you are slacking, your team will too. If you accept mediocrity, that will quickly become the new standard. And if you don’t hold people accountable, no one will.

So, I hope this post helps you on your journey and show you the importance of people and culture when growing a business.

People and Culture Takeaway:

  • Bring together a team of high-performers and then give them room to grow –while keeping them accountable.
  • Make sure your values as human being and professionals are aligned throughout your team. They are the foundation of your company’s culture and need to be protected.
  • Fostering a positive company culture is what allows your people to be in the best environment for them to excel. As the leader, it’s your job to 1) safeguard it when hiring new employees, and 2) set an example.

 


Leadership

How To Interview For Culture Fit

Through interacting with business owners and CEOs, I’ve seen that some of them struggle to test cultural fit when hiring new employees. People and culture are two extremely important elements. But it’s hard to tell whether someone will embrace and add up to your company’s culture or not.

I’ve seen this first-hand after running a business for 7+ years. But that’s something you have to get right –at least, as right as possible. 

Culture fit is not an exact science.

You never know how new employees will adapt. But you as the business owner still need to take steps to put yourself in the best position. At Jakt, we’ve developed a process to help us get there and increase our odds.

Here’s how we do it:

Jakt’s Culture Interview

Each company has its own specific hiring process.

We’ve added one last interview to the series. At this point, they’ve passed everything else and we intend to make them an offer if they pass this part.

(They don’t know that though – although maybe they will now if they read this 🙂 )

In this step, we don’t test them on hard skills. Or ask about previous working experience, etc. Nothing.

We want to finish this meeting answering the following question: does this person fit with the culture we have created at Jakt and will they add to it? That’s it.

Back when I used to run these interviews (now our Head of Department runs them), we didn’t tell them what the interview was about beforehand. We’d just say they were going to meet with me for a bit or something vague like that.

And that’s because we want to get them at the most real selves. We don’t want them to prepare or overthink anything. Just to show who they really are.

At that point, they’ve never met me and there’s no rapport.

So, here’s what we do:

All I say is this—

“We’re going to talk about culture and our values at Jakt today.

I’m going to ask you a question about each one. You can pull from either business or personal life examples, whichever you’d like. And anything you aren’t comfortable sharing, you don’t have to.”

Then, I dive into the first one.

For example, “be your word” is one of them. I go ahead and describe what the value means to me in a sentence or two.

And then, and here’s where it gets interesting:

We ask them to talk us through a moment in their life where they did something that goes AGAINST that value.

“Tell me about a time when you didn’t do something you said you were going to do and it negatively impacted the people around you.”

And what are we looking for here?

We don’t expect perfection. We don’t want them to tell us they’ve never “messed up.” I’m the CEO and I can tell you there have been times that I’ve acted in ways that aren’t 100% in line with our values. No one is perfect!

We’re looking for how they handled the situation, Listening to the language they use and listening to how they reacted. What they were thinking. How they felt. What they learned from it. Etc.

And we’re looking for red flags.

Was this time just a time when they didn’t live up to the value or is this a larger thing? Do they have the potential to live this value at Jakt?

Is this a value we don’t think they can live up to at all? Or might cause issues with the culture?

And we go through this for all seven core values. So yeah, it’s a long interview. About 60-90 min. And it’s tiring, for us and for them.

But it’s worth it.

And it’s also a great way for us to get to know them. And a great way for them to learn our core values and about our culture a bit.

It’s helped us get into much more deeper conversations than regular interviews do. And that puts you one step closer to figuring out whether they’ll be a good fit or not.

However, there’s something that you want to do first. And that is…

Prerequisite: Fostering a safe place

Look, I’m not going to lie to you. These type of interviews are not easy.

Yes, you have to pull this kind of shit from people because they are not easy questions to answer. Especially during an interview.

And surface level answers are not good enough in this type of exercise. You really want to get to the details of the story. And keep on going one layer deeper with your follow up questions until you fully understand what their actions and words were, etc,

The more specific the better.  

But I can’t emphasize this enough: it has to take place within a safe space.

We let them share as much or as little as they want. If they ask whether they should give a business or personal example, that’s their choice.

Providing an environment of trust and respect is actually what will help you get more raw and truthful answers.

People have cried before, but not because we browbeat them. These interviews are emotional, and you have to help them feel comfortable.

Seriously, don’t push from a place of cruelty. This is not an interrogation. But you are trying to get some good info so you can learn more before you let them into your culture.

Does it work?

Mostly. (if you were expecting a firm 100%, sorry not sorry)

The truth is, nothing works all the time when it comes to people. You just have to give yourself the highest chances. And I truly believe this cultural interview helps you get there.

So, on top of this cultural interview, there’s also all the other normal interview stuff going on. Intro interview, skills-based interview, etc… References. All that.

The way we use this interview is more to rule people OUT.

If you don’t pass this, you don’t get in.

But just because we are ruling people out, it doesn’t mean we could still have people in there who negatively affect the culture. This is only 90 mins and we can only learn so much.

Along the way, we constantly monitor culture fit, evaluate it, and fire based on it if we need to remove the negative influence.

You see…

If we find red flags or things that don’t feel right, we pass. No questions asked. Doesn’t matter how good you are at the skills portion of the interview.

Protecting our culture is more important.

And if the answer is “I think they could be a good fit, but there’s just something not right?”

In my experience, don’t hire them either. It’s never worked out well for us when we were on the verge between yes and no.

If no red flags and no bad feelings and they pass this test, we hire them.

It eventually might not work out. But this is a step we’ve added that has made a difference and helped us filter people out. It also has the added bonus of introducing new hires to our culture during the interview process.

It’s your job to be a guardian of the culture

Everyone who comes into a company influences the culture. Culture is not stagnant. It evolves with each new person that joins.

But you can choose which people come in and influence your culture.

And once they are there, you can also maintain the standard and the importance of the core values and living them every day.

There’s no way around that.

You, the business owner, are the guardian of your company’s culture. It’s your job and your responsibility to maintain it as you grow. It all starts at the top.

Culture Takeaways

  • Testing every potential new employee for their cultural fit is important. One option is to do this through a cultural interview where you ask for their actions against your core values.
  • You need to pry for in-depth answers since it’s human nature for people to stay at a surface level. At the same time, foster a safe space for them to be comfortable with sharing.
  • Your company’s culture needs to be protected. Do this by filtering out the people you hire and keep them accountable for the values over time once they are there.

Building a Business

The Most Important Thing Needed To Grow Your Business To $1M/year

So, you’re just starting out. Or maybe you’re not starting, but you still haven’t hit that milestone that you were aiming for (no specific number tho).

For me, I found it to be after we crossed a Million dollars in revenue. Things kind of changed after that, so let me share my story of going from $0 to hit that first $1M.

I started Jakt after graduating from college. I was working out of my NYC apartment and, in hindsight, I had no idea what I was doing. I was ok at the coding part of it, sure. But the actual day-to-day, well, that stuff I was figuring out as I went along.

It’s tempting to look at big companies, hundred-million-dollar firms with all the trappings of big business, and to try and emulate them from the jump. Even Jakt (we’re at around $4M/year now) doesn’t operate now as we did back then.

But I’m here to tell you that all of that –the offices, the business cards, HR, payroll…– needs to (in my opinion) be firmly off your radar when you are just starting out.

That’s right –I focused on one thing to make it to that first $1M.

The Most Important Thing Needed To Grow Your Business To $1M/year

And, again, I don’t want my words getting lost just because you’re seeing “$1M.”

The point I’m making is around the time when you’re getting “off the ground.” There’s no unanimous milestone. It can be any number depending on your industry, service, location, etc.   

So, what did I find most important?

Sales.

There are many things that are important when you’re running a business. But if you want to grow, you have to focus on sales and top-line revenue. No business has ever survived or grown without revenue and sales.

Note: this is MY experience growing my business. I’m not saying it’s perfect. I’m not saying you necessarily have to copy the way I did it. I’m just sharing what worked for me in hopes that you can too find some value in it.

But how, right?

I’ve written about sales before –specifically about rewiring your relationship with them.

Sales seem to not come naturally to some people. I think that part of it is our misconception that you have to “manipulate them into buying” — no shit you think selling is hard then!

My approach to sales is simple – I’m a naturally curious person. I want to help people. While I’m an introvert, I like to talk to and, most importantly, listen to them and their business problems and challenges.

When you know or uncover what someone needs, then it all comes down to whether you can help them or not. If you can, that’s when you offer your services. And if you can’t, my approach has always been to refer them to someone who can when possible.

But it really all comes down to serving instead of selling.

My First Big Deal

Looking back, I do think there was an inflection point in that process. Our first major deal. A quarter million dollars.

That was a fun moment, let me tell ya. I remember that, after the meeting, the client made an off the cuff comment while smiling: “we’re signing with you because we like how you’re dressed.”

What he didn’t know was that we had dressed up for this meeting specifically. Right before, I called my partner at the time –a classic t-shirt everyday guy– and I told him to go to Macy’s.

We didn’t have much then, but we decided to invest in some nice clothes. I told him it would be worth it. Talk about ROI, huh? 🙂

Suddenly, we needed to hire people and turn the business into a machine. But none of that would have mattered if we hadn’t been working day after day to get the sales to fuel the whole thing.

There’s plenty of other shit you’ll have to take care of after you make the big sale. But, until then, your job is to make that sale.

It’s all there is.

But What About Everything Else Needed To Run a Business?

Great question.

I’ve made it pretty clear already that I personally find selling is the most important thing. And you shouldn’t really be spending much time building the machine until you have the revenue secured to fuel it.

At least that’s my take –sell first, and then design the perfect service or product around it.

At the same time, I do think it can be beneficial to keep in mind the future systems you’ll need to support your company.

In my article on the 4 Business Systems Every Agency Owner Should Know About, I talk more about the details of building the machine — New Business, Production, Back-Office, and Financial.

You’ll eventually have to set the right people, processes, and tools around them. So, while your main focus should be selling, researching and taking small steps to properly build the 4 systems will help you in the long-term.

With time –and the more you transition from IN to ON the business, you’ll be able to coach people on how to do it. You’ll become the Architect. The less your company depends on you, the quicker you will be able to grow and scale.

If You Could Go Back in Time, What Would You Change?

If I’m honest, I wouldn’t change anything.

And of course I made some decisions that didn’t go as planned –but I learned from them. They were part of my process and don’t regret them one bit. I had to go through them.

I turned them into valuable lessons that I can now apply and share with you (here’s 5 more — and these cost me $100k+).

Yes, even if they hit the balance sheet in the wrong direction.

If you started another company, what would you do differently?

Glad you asked. Because I am starting another company: Polpo Finance.

With Polpo Finance, I’m taking a slightly modified approach. We are selling and landing clients first–no change there. This isn’t just theory on what I’ve done in the past. I’m eating my own dog food and we’re using it again. I have much more experience now but, back then, I didn’t even know the systems I needed.  

Now that we have a couple of clients, we are starting to build out the systems (that I mentioned above) while continuing to sell. So perhaps you could say my new approach is:

Sales + Systems

With all my years of experience and learnings, I think this is the right approach now, so that’s what we are doing. If this changes in the future, I’ll write another post and share. But as of now, this is the approach that I’m personally going with.

So, the way I grew Jakt from 0 – $1M was by focusing mostly on sales. We didn’t have any huge marketing campaign either —here’s how I landed our first customers,

But I did invest a big share of my time going out of my way to talk to people, find if/how I could help, and showing what we were doing at Jakt to them.

There is an endless amount of things that are important when you run a business. But the truth is, sales are the number one requirement for them to exist. I don’t care if your Production team is amazing — they’ll be bored out of their minds (and you will be losing money) if you don’t bring in clients.

So focus on the sales and revenue but, while you’re at it, be sure that the systems created in your company don’t all have to go through you.

Growing Your Business To $1M/year:

  • How did I go from 0 to $1M/year? Sales. Sales. Sales. Early, in the beginning, focus on them above all else. Get out there and work for them.
  • Start building systems early and focus on streamlining those systems so they’re scalable. But keep selling.
  • Buy yourself some nice clothes. *wink*

Leadership

Core Values: How To Define As A Business Owner

Core Values DO NOT make you money.

Sales do.

Marketing does.

Channel partners do too.

But core values? Nah.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you might be thinking this yourself or heard it before.

And, here’s the thing, they’re “right.” Sure, core values won’t directly put cash in your bank account on their own.

But…

There is a massive return on investment when core values are defined, agreed upon, and implemented within your company.

This doesn’t mean writing them down on a piece of paper and then moving on. They won’t do shit if they’re filed away somewhere.

Core Values

Core values are the foundation of your company’s culture.

When they’re aligned across your team, you are fostering an environment that is capable of moving forward positively and profitably.

So, just because they aren’t cash flow generating assets, that doesn’t mean they’re not extremely important.

And honestly, you’ll probably lose a shit ton of money if you don’t establish and live up to them.

(How would I know? Because I’ve been there myself…)

You’ll have a mediocre company culture, you won’t attract high-performers, you’ll have high turnover etc.

That’s why, in many ways, your core values do have a monetary value. Not just to help you build a company that’s capable of growth but also to save yourself from being neck-deep in trouble.

How to Define Core Values (That Mean Something)

I’m sure that each company has a different approach to doing this –but this is how we did it at Jakt.

I first listed everything I could think of that was important to me. It was a long list of things that I thought would be positive drivers of our company’s success.

How many?

About 100 of them. I knew that many of those were not suited to be “core values” but I still thought it was important to write them down.

While you’re in this stage of the process, don’t be afraid to braindump everything you have and see what’s the end product.

What’s next:

Then, I brought these 100 values to my team. I think we were about ten people at that point (more on when to do this later).

And we deliberated as a group – which ones did they like? What resonated with them? Which ones hit close to their heart?

I personally believe that you need feedback from your employees. They’re NOT your core values. They’re your company’s. And while you might have started it, your employees are an essential part of it. Culture is made out of people – not the business owner.

From the list of 100, we eventually filtered it down to 15 core values that were important to all of us. To get to 15,  it was a process of refining them back and forth until we were all in a general agreement.

But 15 is too many. We decided 7 was the right number since more than that can be hard to remember.

So, we had another discussion about the values. Based on this, we narrowed it down again with me being the final decision maker if there were a couple we couldn’t decide between.

Note:

Not that long ago, I came across a talk from Twilio’s CEO, Jeff Lawson. In it, he explained how his company documented his company’s own core values.

They used a very similar process that we did. And I wanted to share how they did it because I thought it was great as well. Listen to the full talk below:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CKI8Jah-Po

Your Core Values Can Evolve Over Time

Your company will evolve over time, offerings will change, and people will change. Who you are as a business owner will. And even what you stand for as a business will too.

So it should not come as a surprise that your values will evolve as well. They are not stagnant, but fluid.

A lot of people don’t see eye to eye with me on this.

They say core values should never change. But I just disagree.

I’m not saying they should change all the time. Or every year for that matter. And just because you remove one from the list of 7 doesn’t mean it’s not a value and importance to the company.

But there could come a time when there’s another core value that is a better fit than others. And I’m willing to make that change if and when needed.

So…

Your core values don’t have to be the same in year five as they were in year one. Or when your company has 55 employees versus when there were three of you.

Jakt is definitely not the same when it was me and my roommate than now that we do $4M/year in revenue. Make sense, right?

When should you define your company core values?

That’s a good question. And I don’t think there necessarily has to be a universal answer.

We did it when we had about ten people. In hindsight, that might have been a bit late. Before that, I had traits and values in mind that were important to me. But they were not documented as part of the company.

I also don’t think you should do them when it’s just yourself. At that point, you have very little idea of how the company will look like as you start hiring people.

If I could go back and do it again, I’d personally say that the ideal timing would be between 3 to 5 people. But, then again, you have to find out what works for you and your situation.

Are they really that important?

It depends on whether you live them or not.

Turn your core values into actionable values. Not just cool words that sound good but don’t mean anything.

Here’s an example:

One of our core values focuses on creativity.

But the core value is not “creativity.” Because sure, you’re throwing your team a concept that looks cool. But what are they supposed to do with it?

So, we decided to define it as “Be Creative.” And I think that helps make it more livable. You can be creative. You can also easily use this in language. Hey Bob, be creative 😉

Or, another example, “responsibility.” We changed it to “take responsibility.”

As you can see, we use verbs before the value, so that they are actionable. And, once you have them clear, you also have to continuously…

Protect your core values.

Your core values depend on the people at your company. It only takes a few people that don’t take them to heart for them to start losing value.

One way we do this at Jakt is through a “cultural interview.”

I’ve written a whole article on this specifically (check it out here), so I won’t go into details.

Another way to do this, and this is arguably the most important, is to constantly be monitoring for them. If someone isn’t living a value, immediate feedback and discussion need to happen.

Otherwise, the value means nothing and the new standard is not living the value.

Also, this applies to you as well, business owner. With core values, everyone is on the same level and you need to hold yourself accountable as well.

In a worst case scenario where someone is a repeat offender and you don’t think they can improve or they are negatively affecting the culture, you must remove them.

Define Core Value (and Stick To Them)

  1. A good way to define your core values is by starting with brainstorming everything that’s important to you. Then, and with the feedback from your team, keep closing into the few that matter the most.
  2. Your core values are not static and should evolve over time. As your own company grows, they will too.
  3. They need to be actionable and liveable. You, as the business owner, also need to be the guardian of the culture and values, as does everyone else.