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Do small businesses need to think about company culture?

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In fact, James L. Heskett, Professor at Harvard Business School, found that up to 50 per cent of a business’s success can be attributed to an effective business culture.

When a company is new, the owner will, knowingly or not, be communicating a set of core values and beliefs, rules of conduct and standards to the staff, which will permeate and become part of the wider brand identity as the business grows.

Especially with a small business where service and contact with the customers is more personal, a strong culture can differentiate you as much as your product or services do. It’s therefore essential when recruiting staff to know what your culture is, and to communicate this ethos to them, so that your employees feel aligned with the company’s mission.

Three successful small business owners, who all built their websites on Wix.com, provide their top tips on creating an effective and positive company culture:

Rachel Wardley, owner of Tallulah Rose Flower School

“When making a decision regarding the business I always refer back to our culture and values to make sure it’s in-keeping. For example, the appearance and tone of our marketing materials, the way employees interact with customers and our dress code. One of the most important things for me is creating an environment where all employees have a voice and are involved in key decisions and the overall direction of the company. This creates a trusting environment, and a real sense of camaraderie among the team.”

Mark Drury, Principal Associate of SPUD

“SPUD puts a lot of importance into ensuring our culture is right. Given the nature of our creative industry, we wanted it to be an even playing-field where the culture is that of partnership and collaboration, rather than hierarchal. Our business draws upon the skills of a broad range of associates and partners, rather than employees. This keeps us nimble and responsive, within a culture where everyone feels valued and in the long-term benefits from the growth of SPUD. ”

Juliet Carr, founder and owner of PaperPoms

“A healthy corporate culture is very important as it’s essentially the personality of your company. I would highly recommend creating a company statement which reflects your core values, and conveys your company’s goals, philosophy, and unique differentiators. This will serve as a reference point for further developing and maintaining your corporate culture. Corporate culture should be a natural growth of your business’s mission, your industry, your customers and even your personality so don’t try to force a culture – keep it authentic.“

Omer, Chief Marketing Officer at Wix.com, is an internet marketing veteran with 11 years of experience in search optimisation, online advertising and social media.

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