How do I shift my business culture?

business-561388_1280Any small business owner who has had to write a business plan understands there are a number of components that make a business successful. Usually, these businesses start with an entrepreneurial dream and, as the business grows, the systems start to fall into place. However, there has to be a strategy behind them or the business can suffer. This is why we find the small business owner beginning to seek out more resources such as business coaches, attorneys and CPAs.

A small business owner may simply start with their products and services and not look at other components until their growth begins. It is then they begin to consider their vision, mission, values, and unique marketplace attributes. They begin to better understand their market, their ideal customers and even their competition. In fact, they may learn these things may have even shifted or realigned over time.

Once growth has begun to happen consistently, the small business owner begins to consider employees, business culture, operations, marketing, financial strategies and growth opportunities. Even though business culture is huge in the growth of a company, many times the small business owner does not take a strategic approach to its development or definition.

Business Culture defines business culture as: “The beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.” (Source:

When bringing in new people (and/or new systems) into a business culture, consider these tips:

  1. Hire people open to change
  2. Review your core values and the business culture with the team on a consistent basis
  3. Keep the vision of what you are building in front of the team
  4. When people focus on fear, remind them of the opportunities that are a result of the change.
  5. To build security, remind people of their value and contribution to the growth and their place in it.
  6. Remember the right personality is more important than the skill set.

You know you are successful in changing your business culture when:

  1. New people are received openly
  2. People are open to new things and less resistant to new ideas and programs
  3. There is an increase in team contributions and ideas toward the company’s goals
  4. People begin to evolve and grow into new responsibilities on their own
  5. People consistently are looking for learning opportunities

For a small business owner to implement a cultural change, hiring the right people is key. Then, teaching the strategy for business growth and their part in it are critical. Take the time and do some strategic planning to shift the business culture of your small business and you will see success.

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