As the founder of a successful, fast-growing company, I’ve been lucky enough to experience many unique stages of a firm’s development. What I’ve learned over the years is that a company’s core values are extremely important and ever-present, regardless of whether you’ve identified them or not.
Early on, the focus at Buyatab was on sales and proof of concept. There wasn’t any time to think about things like core values. What I didn’t realize was that our core values were there, even in those early days, always hovering in the background, taking form as time went on.
As Buyatab began to grow, these values became more prominent and easier to define. EGC — also an acronym for electronic gift cards — is what our core values are about and is the foundation on which our culture is built.
The “E” is for entrepreneurial. We are in a fast-moving industry so it’s extremely important to us to have a team whose members think of themselves as mini-entrepreneurs — meaning that we all love finding solutions to problems and don’t let excuses get in the way.
The “G” is for genuine. Embedded in our mission statement and our secret to success is a deep-seated desire to build honest, long-term relationships with our clients and partners. This is impossible to do without a team that is — at its heart — genuine.
The “C” is for creative. We are a tech company that is revolutionizing an industry. In all aspects of our business, we thrive on challenging the status quo. To do this effectively, creativity must always be at the forefront.
When you’re starting out, a company’s values are formed based on the individuals initially involved. However, as you begin to add to your team, your chances of hiring people based on those core values may actually be small. This is simply because, on a surface level, these values tend to go undefined and remain largely invisible. If you’re lucky, it can happen accidentally, but when you’re in a growth phase you can’t afford to count on that. So, if I’ve learned anything after all these years, it’s that concretely defining your core values is essential to putting them into practice. It’s actually everything, when you think about it.