How can your personal values be reflected in your small business?
Did you know that 90% of customers mentioned authenticity as an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support? Depending on what your personal values and ethics are, you could be missing out on potential clients by neglecting a surprisingly important part of having a successful business – authenticity.
For me, as a Virtual Assistant I have incorporated my personal values into my niche by specialising in working with sustainable and ethical businesses. But even if your personal values are not at the heart of what your business does, you can still bring your values into how you run your business…
How will reflecting your personal values in your small business attract and convert your ideal clients?
Increasingly, consumers are ‘shopping with their feet’ which means only buying from companies that share their personal values or have a focus on sustainability. There is so much to be gained by bringing your personal values into how you run your small business.
Identifying your Core Values
Maybe what is most important to you is the environment and green living – will you proudly state how you are vegan and publish posts about what that means to you? Perhaps you want to you let everyone know the best energy-saving appliances or easy ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Your core values are important to you and that is what makes them unique. Once you identify which of the core values in your personal life you want to bring into your small business, you can then implement a Code of Ethics. If you are someone who cares about sustainability and the environment in your personal life, your small business should reflect that.
It’s essential to know who your ideal clients and customers are and what you have in common with them, this is because your small business will only be seen as authentic if you believe in the ethical practices and values that you implement. For example, if your ideal client or customer is eco-friendly or a conscious consumer, is sustainability at the forefront of everything that you do?
Sustainability as a core value and ethical business practice
Not only is becoming a more sustainable business good for the world, but it’s great for your small business! Just by saving water, using energy-efficient appliances and following the reduce, reuse, recycle method, you are making a difference environmentally and financially.
The best part about becoming a sustainable small business is that it starts at home. As a small business owner, you are your brand and if you are already implementing eco-friendly practices in your day to day then implementing similar practices in your work will naturally follow. You could provide behind the scenes images or videos for your media marketing to show your ideal clients how you live your values in your personal life as well as in your small business. An eco-friendly VA who shares your values would be a perfect match to help make your marketing reflect your authenticity and attract your ideal clients!
For example, as an event business owner, you could bring your personal values into your small business by making sure that the venue, materials and accommodations are as eco-friendly as possible. This shows that you are not only green when it comes to your personal life but little touches like this can go a long way in showing people that your core personal values are at the heart of what you do.
Making your small business attractive to your ideal clients
You should already have an idea of who your ideal clients and customers are, but it helps to visualise them as real people so that you can humanise and get to know your target market. Are they vegan? Do they drive an electric car? Are they concerned with human rights issues? Once you understand what drives your ideal clients, your small business will be more successful because you, your clients and your marketing will all be on the same page.
“In any business, it is critical that you know who your ideal client is. Failing to know who your ideal client is often where entrepreneurs go wrong…You need to be excited about who you work with. If it doesn’t excite you, then it will make your business unsustainable.”
We spoke earlier about identifying your core values and making sure your business reflects them. Becoming a values-led business means authentically living your brand and making your small business appeal to like-minded clients and customers. Since the pandemic, 60% of consumers are trying to make environmentally conscious and ethical purchases and 71% of the same consumers said they prefer buying from values-led companies. Globally, sustainable businesses that are ethically sourced and values-led are becoming more valuable and sought out, as the need for change is more prevalent than ever. Now is the time to bring your personal values into your small business to attract and convert your ideal clients!
Authentically living your brand as a Small Business Owner
Implementing these personal values in your own life first is the best way to reflect these practices in your small business! Even if you are not usually aware of ethical and sustainable practices in your day today, it’s easy to start! You can try going as paperless as you can, or encouraging your customers to be more eco-friendly; the chances are they are already trying themselves.
When you bring you and your personal journey with sustainability into your brand, it will attract customers because they will be able to feel your authenticity and your values will be clear to them. Why not start buying upcycled furniture, only shopping from thrift stores or charity shops, and bring your customers and clients along with you
Reflecting your personal values in your small business
In addition to implementing ethical practices in your small business, as part of bringing your personal values into your small business, it is also important to work with ethical and sustainable businesses who share your personal values. By doing this, you will create a network of like-minded communities, increase engagement and help the environment at the same time!
For more ideas on how your personal values can be reflected in your small business, take a look at our small business sustainability checklist!