Change is never easy, but as your business gets bigger, you’ll have to deal with some growing pains. New customers, new spaces, new employees: amongst the flurry of change, it can be too easy to lose hold of what made your business, your business. And that’s a shame, because that cultural spark is likely responsible for at least a portion of your success. No two companies are exactly alike, and a company that was founded with a particular mission, ethos, or mindset should try and preserve what made it different. In my experience, I’ve been able to cling onto the magical spark that makes my business special by following these tips.

1. Allow the environment to determine rules

Businesses have to evolve organically—there is no way around that. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed some serious issues with business owners who try to adopt weird techniques or tricks that they read from a book, or heard from a seminar.

Don’t get me wrong: a lot of that advice is useful, as long as you don’t just take someone else's model and try to shoehorn your business into it—there is no one-size-fits-all solution to running a company. If your office has a relaxed atmosphere, and is doing really well, there’s no reason to turn that on its head. The same goes for more formal workplaces. Really, it’s all about what feels right to you, and your style of management. After all, it is your business. Figure out what feels right early on in the business’s life, and set your policies accordingly. That way, whatever culture you develop is comfortable and functional.

2. Foster cooperation

Nothing will kill a company’s culture faster that disunity. I’ve seen far too many good businesses go down the tubes because the management thought that strong competition would weed out the weak, and let the strong rise to the top. That whole mentality has been roundly disproved—your top people will leave if they don't like how the business is being run.

Your staff should like your company’s culture, and should feel supported and happy within it. Everyone is different, and some people will like more rigid or loose work climates. Find people who mesh well with your management style, and who feel they can flourish in your business’s culture. Then foster cooperation—as your employees work together, they’ll strengthen and fortify that culture.

3. Protect your mission

Finally, never forget why you started this business in the first place. Very few people start a company to simply make money. Trust me—there are much easier ways to earn a living. Rather, people begin businesses to pursue a passion or goal. It doesn’t matter if that goal is something as simple as providing good customer service, or as lofty as making an impact on society. Your company’s culture should spring from that mission, and from your passion. Forgetting why you started could kill the very soul of your business. So never lose sight of that mission, and do all that you can to fulfill it. 


About the author:

Deborah-sweeneyDeborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.


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