Creating Core Values for Interior Designers

Defining your core values as an interior design business may not be high on your list of priorities, but they can help keep you on course and focused on your goals.  

You're adrift in the sea and you find a floating log to hold on to.

This is what creating core values can do for your business.  If you're adrift you can grab hold of your values and hold on.  Values keep you on course, but if you've strayed or have suddenly looked up and realized you don't know where you are and have no idea how you got there, values can get you back on course.

So the reason to define your core values is to keep or get you back on course.

I've been talking about Strategic Planning for Interior Design businesses this month and today I'm talking about Core Values and why you need them.

Why Are Core Values Important?

Core Values keep you on track.  They create a standard of work for you and any employees.  They are a reminder of what qualities your business exemplifies.  We talked about your Vision Statement being the biggest dreamiest purpose of your business and the Mission Statement being the more practical how to accomplish your Vision.  Your core values are the everyday qualities to support the Vision and Mission Statement or they can stand on their own as well if you haven't created those Statements.  At a minimum, knowing your Guiding Light as well as having a couple of core values is a great start to strategic planning for your interior design business.

How to Create Core Values:

I don't want to make this a hard lesson or a deep soul-searching mission.  You know what your values are or what you want your values to be.  So I've created a list of some values for you below.  Pick 3-5 that you feel most strongly about.  I preach Transparency, Clarity, and Integrity so these have become my core values.

Your core values are not resolutions and they are not goals.  Core values are fundamental principles that will guide your actions in business.  So while you can have the goal to treat every client project with honesty and excellence, it is because you find importance in those core values.  I don't want you to choose far-off values to strive for if you don't already embody those values in some way.  For example, don't choose Diligence as a core value if you are not detailed-oriented.  Play to your strengths.

Your core values should be "core" enough that they don't change year-to-year.  They may never change or maybe they shift when your business shifts.  But generally, they are sticking around for the long haul.

Now, Look at the list below.  Write down 10-15 that call to you.  Then over the next day or week, look at the list and start eliminating ones that maybe aren't quite right.  Look up the definitions, play with the word (trust/ trusting/ trusted).  Narrow it down to 3-5.  These are your core values.

Core Values:

Freedom, Transparency, Hard Work, Honesty, Impact, Diligence, Efficiency, Excitement, Integrity, Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork, Communication, Competence, Love, Excellence, Commitment, Determination, Passion, Growth, Collaboration, Happiness, Community, Independence, Joy, Loyalty, Patience, Performance, Compassion, Giving, Respect, Security, Competition, Consistency, Creativity, Service, Trust, Adventure, Open-Minded, Humble, Connection, Stability, Power, Tradition, Courage, Perseverance, Diversity, Recognition, Sustainability, Abundance, Achievement, Balance, Optimism, Wisdom, Wealth, Tolerance, Progress, Honor, Justice, Learning, Harmony, Success, Intuition, Goodness, Connection, Beauty, Accomplishment, Power, Professionalism, Purpose, Systemization, Unity, Variety, Gratitude, Credibility, Wisdom, Vitality, Merit, Peace, Pleasure, Systemization, Imagination, Stewardship, Accountability, Humor, Cooperation, Influence, Boldness, Authenticity, Accuracy, Contribution, Curiosity, Kindness, Directness, Empowerment, Fairness, Enthusiasm, Confidence, Flexibility, Focus, Partnership

Now, it is your turn.  Let me know your core values in the comments below!