How to design a great culture for your startup

“There’s no magic formula to great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” – Richard Branson

The golden rule is such a simple, yet unbelievably profound concept that can do wonders when applied to personal and professional environments. While things can begin to move very quickly in the preliminary stages of launching a new business, it’s wise to begin to map out what kind of a culture you’re hoping to cultivate. A fun and inclusive atmosphere will make this journey you’re embarking on more enjoyable – and much more likely to be successful.

Take into consideration these 4 important elements when creating a great culture for your startup.

  1. What is your brands’ ethos and personality?

Determining what values your company wishes to bestow in the early stages is crucial as development continues to progress. Think about what values are important to your business and essentially what type of a business you want to be. Is there a dress code? Can team members have the autonomy to work from home? What kind of a collaboration process do you encourage? What is the general atmosphere like? Are there cool perks offered in the workplace? It’s important to tackle all these questions early, because it helps provide the infrastructure that will align with your vision in the long run.

  1. Lead by example

If you want to commit to making a positive difference starting out in your community and hoping to expand on that globally – it will start at the top with you. Especially in any type of competitive landscape, a major differentiator for your survival will be what other intangibles you offer.

In the powerful words of Simon Sinek, “people don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.” 

  1. Your culture is your backbone

Richard Branson is fairly adamant about the importance of a healthy work culture and how it could very well be one of the most under-appreciated essentials in business. At the end of the day, no matter how brilliant your vision is or the depth of strategy might be, the foundation can crumble unless it’s supported by a strong and spirited corporate culture. In the infamous words of Peter Drucker, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

  1. Remain consistent

Once you have instilled your underlying values, it’s important to protect these values and make sure absolutely nothing will crumble the foundation you’ve worked tirelessly to create. This means that current and prospective employees are completely bought into your vision and aren’t working against it. It also means mitigating any issues before they manifest into the long-term. Customer service should not be classified as a branch within your organization – rather it needs to be engrained within every artery of communication you produce. Powerful bonds can be enhanced with employees and customers when you consistently deliver excellence as a product.

A strong culture is what will separate the 90% of the startups that fail and the 10% that continue to power towards success. Develop it early; continue to foster it throughout and work to protect it against the strains of time. Hiring a great Product Manager takes finesse, and a methodical process in order to launch your company forward.