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The 4 Best Business Philosophies to Improve Your Company

The 4 Best Business Philosophies to Improve Your Company

The 4 Best Business Philosophies to Improve Your Company

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The world of business is fast-paced. There is a lot riding on every company decision. Advice on how to improve your company’s environment should be a welcomed change. 

Updated 08/05/2022

Business is tricky. It’d be a lot less interesting if it weren't, but it would certainly make life easier.

The business world evolves quickly, with little between defining your success or failure. 

When you are involved in a business, the intensity of the constant fight to flourish can make it hard for you to step back and take a look at the qualities that define successful businesses.

Getting that broader perspective can help lend you values you can use to improve your work and optimize your mental process

These broad principles are sometimes referred to as philosophies: guiding notions that give you a lot of direction in all the different decisions that advance your company. 

What is a Business Philosophy?

A business philosophy is a set of guiding principles that connect the company vision, business model, core values, and mission statement. By distilling operations and goals into a set of principles, a company can create a code of ethics that creates a roadmap for strong corporate culture and good decision-making. 

A business philosophy is normally established by founders, co-founders, other executive contributors, or an HR team. However, team members may also be included in the development process in small business or startup settings. 

Tools for Establishing a Simple Philosophy for Your Business

Business philosophies are challenging to create because they should be all-encompassing yet simple. Simple philosophies are best for stakeholder understanding and overall customer satisfaction. Here are a few sources of truth to look toward when creating your corporate philosophy:

  • Code of Conduct: list of rules and practices of an individual or organization 
  • Business Leaders: experienced professionals within an industry that serve as mentors to employees and drive growth
  • Business Practices, Initiatives, and Operations: current happenings within a business that speaks to company culture
  • Customer Experience: the quality of interactions with your brand from a consumer point of view
  • Mission Statement and core values: statements that define why your business exists and the important values of the company

Each of these elements is key to how companies are run and their bottom line. Therefore, they can inform your chosen business philosophy in different ways.

4 Common Practices That Benefit Your Business

The following 4 tips will provide you with the perspective and know-how to craft your own business philosophy:

  1. Abandon the idea of discouragement
  2. Treat everyone with respect
  3. Ask for help
  4. Let yourself tune out

Looking for help creating the perfect philosophy, mission statement, or code of ethics? Connect with a corporate training company

1. Abandon the Idea of Discouragement

In business, you’ll fail often. But you will also learn.

Failure can be painful. Many motivational types will gloss over how debilitating failure can be in business, but it’s important to experience it.

The key to this philosophy is to untether the feeling of having failed from the idea of discouragement. 

“Feeling discouraged is an utter waste of time. You’re far better off feeling miserable about whatever it is that has gone wrong and wallowing in that for a little while and then drying your eyes and continuing onwards, than ever feeling discouraged,” says Marshall Stoneham, business blogger at 1Day2Write and BritStudent

Discouragement slows you down in your development and is actually a way for your mind to insulate itself against the feeling of failure. 

Embrace failure, with all of its sadness and self-pity, but dust yourself off and keep on keeping on.

In a study conducted by SBA that showcases how business owners characterize their companies after 4 years, over 60% of businesses consider themselves a “success” after closure. 

SBA Study shows 33% of business owners said their business was a failure upon closure
In contrast, about 33% of business owners feel that their business was a failure upon closure.

2. Treat Everyone with Respect

With a busy schedule, you can easily find yourself being overworked. Because of this pressure, it becomes easier to brush people off. 

In modern business, treating people indifferently, let alone poorly, is not a good look. People need to go out of their way to be respectful and calm. This simply means empathizing with others

Building a reputation for being considerate will help in a variety of ways. It is a philosophy that extends quite comfortably into the rest of your life, as well.

In a SHRM job satisfaction survey, treating your employees respectfully is the most important.

SHRM survey 65% percent say respectful treatment of employees is very important to job satisfaction  
Surprisingly, job security, which is an individual mindset, is towards the bottom. Being respectful of others goes a long way. 

3. Ask for Help

In business, nothing is humiliating about asking for help, regardless of your experience level.

In fact, asking for help makes you seem more intelligent. 

“Socrates himself tells us that wisdom is the knowledge that you know nothing! Of course, you might want to perhaps temper how much Socratic wisdom you take on board in business, but the core message is very valid. If we’ve learned anything from the ancients, it’s the dangers of hubris. In business, you seem infinitely more sage if you turn to experts for advice wherever possible”, writes Edgar Koch, business tech writer at Australia2Write

Asking for help doesn’t just seem like good practice either; it is absolutely the best way to move forward.

You can’t know everything and in every area of business, you should be looking for advice on how to proceed, for the best possible results.

According to Heidi Grant, “It’s virtually impossible to advance in modern organizations without assistance from others. Cross-functional teams, agile project management techniques, matrixed or hierarchy-minimizing structures, and increasingly collaborative office cultures require you to constantly push for the cooperation and support of your managers, peers, and employees. Your performance, development, and career progression depend more than ever on seeking out the advice, referrals, and resources you need.”

4. Let Yourself Tune Out

We live in an age of opinions. They’re everywhere and, in the scarily large majority of instances, those opinions are unsubstantiated.

In business, as in life, you must develop a bit of a radar, or a filter, for intercepting information that will be of no use to you. 

Having just explained why you should ask for advice often; it seems this is a contradictory philosophy. Tuning out is healthy. 

You can’t be too affected by what people around you are doing or saying.

There has to be a point when you confidently tune out the jarring opinions of others and rely on your own knowledge and trust yourself to make the right choice.

If you spent your whole time listening to all the noise around you, you’d never progress at all.

Business Philosophy Examples

A good business has a strong business philosophy. Take athletic apparel retailer Nike, for instance. 

Nike purpose and company philosophy example

Source: Nike

On the company's Impact page on its website, the above statement identifies the importance of building community, protecting the planet, and increasing access to sport. This statement supports the company's mission and vision, but can also be used to gain an understanding of philosophy and culture. 

Consumers will find the Nike website is full of messaging that aligns with these values, making their corporate philosophy clear both internally and externally. 

This company is a good example of how entrepreneurs can use a company philosophy to foster a sense of teamwork among employees.

Take Charge of Your Business’s Work Environment

Business philosophies are useful because they give you a very broad idea that can be applied in various ways, without much alteration.

You will find that, if you adopt a philosophy and begin to shape your business ethos around it, there will be a satisfying synergy between all the different elements of your business life.

To create a thriving business work environment, it is important to maintain collaboration and creativity, adopt new approaches to problem-solving, and involve all staff in goals and projects.

A company that pays attention to these fundamentals early on will experience stability and long-term success. 

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