You are starting your own business and there are so many steps to take: think of a name, register your trade name, apply for a license, get insurance. All are important and crucial steps in starting an enterprise. However, there is a very important question you must ask yourself before starting any business. This question will help define your reputation, establish your company culture, and contribute to your overall growth. What do I want my core business principles to be? Why are these important? Loyalty, Gratitude, Humility, Respect, Trust, Fairness, Courage, and Integrity are the building blocks of leadership excellence. Building your organization on these solid principles will result in achieving your business goals successfully.

Let us begin with Loyalty. Loyalty and business don’t mix very often in today’s competitive environment. After all, “healthy” competition is the basis of our market economy. Can you blame a client for going with better prices offered by your competitor? What about an employee who leaves your organization for better pay? Whatever the case, loyalty in business seems to be conditioned to other variables. How can you encourage loyalty from your employees and clients in today’s competitive environment? How will this contribute to your success and overall satisfaction?

Let us consider an example: a business owner and his team take on a project. However, he insists on having things done his way without regard for his team’s suggestions or his client’s input. Because of his position, he may force the team to do things his way. What is the result? Even if his way is the most efficient, he may loose his team’s interest and loyalty. They may conclude that there is no need to worry about the business or the quality of their work and, as a result, their productivity and the business’ will suffer. What can you do so this situation does not arise in your organization?

Encourage transparency

Be committed to having open communication with your team by asking and being asked the tough questions. Ask for their input and share, not only the happy news but the bad news as well.   When you take the time to share information with your team, you are empowering them. They will feel truly invested in the company’s growth and achievements. Their trust will increase and your relationship with each one will grow stronger. You will enjoy improved communication which will resolve issues promptly.  Creativity will flow and productivity will rise.

Make your team a part of your day

In other words, spend time with your team. Of course, you are a business owner. Your time is limited. But if you spend time with your team, you will get to know them better. Their strengths, their challenges, their ideas and so much more. They will feel connected to you as well as appreciated, respected, and valued. In turn, their sense of loyalty will increase. These results will not only be perceived by you and your team, but by your clients as well. Happy employees will result in happy clients.


Help your team members grow

Talk about their career goals. Yes, the work they are doing right now is important but asking about what they want to achieve professionally will show that you are interested and invested in helping them grow. This personal interest will motivate them to work harder and encourage loyalty on their part.

Loyalty is important to any organization but remember that loyalty should not start with your employees or your clients. Loyalty in business starts with you. Start today.