How Your Core Values Can Help You Sell More Printing

If you were to ask small business owners what they want to be known for, most of them wouldn’t say what their business does. Well, at least not completely.

Instead, there’s a good chance that you’d hear them say things like:

  • Integrityand being the best dentist in town.”
  • Honestyand the fastest free shipping company.”
  • Commitmentand one-to-one consulting services.”

Have you ever wondered why that is?

Because just about every human being on the planet (including small business and print owners) wants to leave their mark on the world and be known for more than what they “do.” Instead, most want to focus on the attributes that highlight the “who” of their company to build their legacy on.

And that’s where Core Values come into play. Core values will help show the world that you’re bigger than what you do.

Building the Heart of Your Print Company

Your core values make up the foundation on which your business is built and represent the very heart of your company.

Done right, your core values will be a handful of rules or principles that act as your compass, or better yet, your mirror, to show you exactly who your business is at its core.

Why Does My Print Company Need Core Values?

While you might be tempted to think creating core values is unnecessary, or you have them “all in your head,” take a look at these three reasons why core values are worth the time to create and implement.

1. Core values will help your print business grow.

When you and your team are like-minded and adhere to the same set of guiding principles, you’ll start to see your team working better together.

When you’re all rowing in the same direction and not fighting against each other, team members can better understand their role, and everyone can ultimately serve your print buyer better.

2. Core values help your print business make decisions better.

When you have a set bar of standards, not only will core values help you improve your employee recruiting and retention, but they will also give you a framework that you can run all of your business decisions through.

  • Does saying “no” to that idea mean you’re turning your back on your core value of commitment?
  • Could going rogue on an idea of your own without running it by your team have a greater potential to go awry? And could the core value of accountability save you a lot of heartache in a situation like this?
  • Would a core value of reliability encourage and create a smoother production process at your print shop?

Asking yourself questions like these, and getting your team to filter things through the same lens, will help the answers to those types of questions come much easier.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
– Roy Disney

3. Core values will help highlight your competitive advantage.

Consider this for a moment.

A print buyer is deciding between two online printers for an upcoming event. These printing companies look almost identical in their offerings and price, but one has a set of core values that are highlighted in all of their marketing and on their website. In fact, this printer’s messaging is littered with words, such as community, family, dependability, excellence, and integrity.

Which printing firm do you think the print buyer is likely to buy from? Core values help distinguish your printing company’s identity, which helps to showcase your competitive advantage.

How to Create Core Values for Your Printing Business

If you don’t currently have core values, or your existing ones could use an overhaul, here are a few things you should know.

Your core values should:

  • Be different than your mission statement. A mission statement will say what your print company does; your core values will express how or who executes that mission. For example, the mission of MI4P is to “Help you sell more printing.” That’s the what. The core values of MI4P are integrity, others first, reliability, team-focused, and a positive attitude. That’s the how or who MI4P will be to help you sell more printing.
  • Stand the test of time. Attributes like integrity or trust will never become outdated but will forever be something to strive for.
  • Attract potential customers and new team members. If you’re living out your core values correctly, you should hear about them from prospects and future team members. “I was visiting your website, and your core values really resonated with me.” Your values should be such a cornerstone of your printing firm that they’re your guide for both hiring and firing team members.
Core Value Ideas
Above and Beyond Dedication Organization
Accountability Development Patience
Accuracy Diligence Perseverance
Challenge Exceed Expectations Precision
Communication Flexibility Quality
Community Generosity Relationships
Concern for Others Hard Work Service-Minded
Confidence Honesty Speed
Consistency Humility Strength
Creativity Imagination Synergy
Credibility Innovative Trustworthiness
Customer-Centric Loyalty Zeal

Living Out Your Core Values

Once you’ve clearly defined your core values, it’s time to make them known!

As the team leader, you’ll need to make sure the values are upheld and practiced by everyone in your print company.

How can your company live out its core values? Start here:

  • Don’t keep them a secret
  • Make them visible to all (employees, customers, partners & vendors, etc.)
  • Lead by example
  • Teach them repeatedly by bringing them up at quarterly meetings or employee reviews
  • Use them in your employee communications and point out when you see a core value in action.
  • Align all of your marketing messaging to highlight your values. Prospects and customers can and should know those values through every interaction they have with your company.

Lastly, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”