UPDATED: September 2021
About 2 years ago, I published this article about business values.
To be honest, I was really just doing it because all the cool kids were but as this little business has evolved, I’m seeing more and more how important having and living your business values is.
Originally, my values were:
God, how bland and boring. Not me at all.
To be fair, honesty absolutely stays, as does real. But there are some changes.
Quality is gone. Not because it’s not a value of mine but because it’s an expectation that you have when you work with me. Quality shouldn’t be a surprise – it should be the norm. I don’t need to tell you that, so I won’t.
In place of quality, I’ve added a couple of other values that are super important to me. Going forward, my values are:
- Thriving Communities
If you’ve met me, you’ll know that I have a bogan Queensland accent and I’m a bit of a dag (except for my amazing Dreaming Hart earrings and bright pink hair). No matter how hard I try, I can’t escape who I am. But being approachable isn’t just about how I speak or how I dress, it’s about how I make people feel.
When we catch up for a coffee, I want you to feel comfortable talking to me about your business, knowing that I have your best interests at heart. I am not a faceless business or some high-flying tycoon who’s too busy drinking champagne on my private jet to have time for you. You want me, you’ve got me – in all my down-to-earth glory.
It’s important to me that I am honest and transparent, I make the right decisions for my clients and what’s best for them and that the feedback I give is genuine. I’m not here to upsell you on something you don’t need. In fact, if it comes down to it, I’ll probably talk you out of that thing you don’t need.
The last thing I want is someone to walk away from working with me thinking they’ve wasted their money. I don’t want that for you and I don’t want that for me either. Let’s work together openly and honestly and get the job done.
You don’t get much more real than admitting to being a daggy bogan on the internet. And if you’ve seen my social media feed, I’m pretty warts-and-all about how I approach life.
It was part of the reason why I jettisoned the brand name Well Versed and started showing up as me.
If you don’t want to be that way with your customers that’s totally cool but if you don’t mind, that’s how I’m going to be with mine.
This is a new one and it’s probably the most important. I love working with business and organisations that are based in regional and remote areas. Seeing those kinds of businesses succeed is delicious.
I want to help those businesses who are overcoming all the unique challenges of geography reach their potential. I want their customers to know that being based in a remote area isn’t an impediment to getting what you need at a great price with amazing service attached.
I want those businesses to grow. When businesses grow, people and communities benefit.
So there you have it, my business values updated and informing my every move.
Do any of these values resonate with you? Does your copy reflect those values?
The original article:
I’m finishing up my planning for 2020 and this will be the first time since I started Well Versed 2.5 years ago that I actually have a plan.
Sure, I had a business plan when I started but I think I looked at it once and then promptly ignored it because it was written when I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.
This year is different. I’m older, wiser and a little more comfortable with running a business. I have set myself goals – some little, some big, some absolutely off-the-wall huge – and I have worked out what my business values are.
Business values are key to knowing what to focus in your daily business life, when finding your ideal clients, and in your marketing. Even if you don’t have a business plan, you should at least know what’s important to you going forward.
So what are the values of Well Versed?
I’m glad you asked. Maybe by sharing my values, it’ll help you work out yours!
You won’t catch me anywhere near a photoshoot where I’m throwing confetti in the air or standing in front of cool graffiti art. That might be other people’s thing but it’s not mine.
I’m not polished and pretty with a cute desk and paperclips that match my notepad. I work in an environment that is conducive to getting the job done. That means I have piles of useful crap, a post-it note full of reminders that make no sense when I next look at them, and a coffee cup that has a very bad swear word on it.
So no more curated flatlays. That isn’t me. No more marketing that just doesn’t feel right. No more over-polished comms speak. Just all of the realness, all of the time.
I also like using memes, references from cartoons and movies, and emojis to make a point. I know that’s not cool but it’s who I am so strap yourself in.
I’ve always tried to live with honesty but there were some areas of my business where I wasn’t being 100% upfront. Earlier this year, I decided it was time to cut the “we” and “our” from the marketing and just be me.
When and if Well Versed ever expands to a “we” and an “us”, I’ll be sure to change the words but until then, you’re stuck with little old me.
In terms of pricing and upselling, I’ve always been honest about what people need and how much it’s going to cost them. If you want all new website copy but you don’t actually need it, I’m going to tell you that. If what you have just needs a little tweak, then that’s what I’ll recommend.
I’m not about to start ripping people off for the sake of a few dollars. That’s not me.
So to help my potential clients who are motivated and/or limited by price, an indicative price for each service I offer will be shown on my website from 1 January 2020. Each project has its own details, so an official quote will always be provided, but if you want to know roughly what it’s going to set you back, my website will tell you.
You might think that quality is a given – and it is – but listing quality as a value is more about reminding me to always improve the quality of what I offer. I am setting myself real targets for continued professional development this year so that what I know and what I offer is even better.
I’m also going to ensure quality by insisting that the processes I’ve put in place to run my business are followed. It’s my responsibility to make sure they are and often they aren’t so that I can meet a tight deadline or because the conversation might be awkward.
The reality is, I can’t provide quality to my clients if I’m disorganised, not properly briefed, chasing approvals, or worse still chasing previous payments. Small business is hard enough without having to worry about outstanding invoices. So I’m going to do better so I can deliver better.