The importance of values


29 Mar 2010

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It’s vital for every entrepreneur to identify, understand and live by a set of values for their business, according to Anthuan Xavier, co-founder and former managing partner of BDO Simpson Xavier, and chairman of several Irish companies.

“At the end of the day, it’s values that drive the business,” he explains. “And the values have to come from the entrepreneur, who has to live them.

“I’m talking about honesty, integrity, trust, an absolute commitment to make things happen, and teamwork, once they get more than one person working for them,” he continues. “That forms the foundation for the business. And, if you don’t have values you’ll find that when things get tough, you’ve nothing to fall back on.

“Once you have a set of values you can go back and say, ‘This what we’re all about – we’re committed to giving exceptional service, we’re a company of high integrity.’ Customers will recognise that and they’ll come back to companies that have values.”

While company values often remain unwritten, Xavier recommends going through the process of sitting down, making a list of what the values are and discussing them so that everyone understands the foundations on which the business is built.

“It sounds very fluffy, but believe me, it’s very important,” he says.

By Grainne Rothery

Photo: Anthuan Xavier, co-founder and former managing partner of BDO Simpson Xavier, and chairman of several Irish companies

For more start-up advice, go to Bizstartup.ie.

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