This week at Sozo Firm, we’ve been putting our brains to work trying to draw up the core values of Sozo or, as Mike Michalowicz puts it, our Immutable Laws. While we’re still in the early phases (i.e. there’s a dry erase board on an easel set up in the main walkway for anyone to scrawl their latest brainy thought), I thought I’d share a little of what we’ve come up with so far. And, for those of you who might be familiar with Mike’s book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, we’re quite a ways away from the polished, memorable Immutable Laws. Right now, we’ve just got vague, rather dull “thoughts” that we’ll have to refine over and over until we’ve got our etched-in-stone Immutable Laws.
So, here goes …
The questions I threw out into the air at Sozo were:
- What really matters to us at Sozo? What do we especially, particularly care about?
- What particularly displeases us or even perturbs us that we absolutely do not want to be like?
The answers that we came up with are as follows:
- We care about being accessible to our clients. That’s why we have a toll free number. That’s why I freely give clients my cell phone and tell them they can reach me any time of day, any time of night. That’s why we try to respond as quickly as possible to a client’s email.
- We care about ethics with the clients we serve. If we partner with a client to provide services to them, we’re going to be spending some significant time learning about that client, their products, their services, their marketing, their strategies, their reputation. If that client does not conduct business ethically, I cannot be comfortable trying to help that client succeed. If that client promises their customers one thing but fails to deliver (and doesn’t care), I can’t be comfortable working for that client. Simultaneously, we should strive to operate in a fully ethical manner with each client.
- We care about being selective with the clients we serve. Closely related to #2, we carefully select the clients that we enter into contracts to serve. We don’t merely provide a service; we enter into a relationship with each client and care deeply about their success. We give ourselves 100% to help that client succeed. If I can’t fully back a client because I don’t agree with that client’s philosophy (such as a tobacco company), I shouldn’t select to enter into a contract with that client. We also shouldn’t select clients just because they offer the most money. Client selection should be based intrinsically on who the client is, what services they provide, what products they offer, their customer service, their guarantees, their reputation.
- We care about being transparent with our clients.
- We care about being honest with our clients.
We’ve got some more answers, but I’m trying to figure out exactly what we meant when we wrote them down 🙂 Give us a couple more weeks of brainstorming and refining, and my goal is to end up with 3-4 memorable Immutable Laws which will guide what we at Sozo do as we continue up the road in rapid growth over the next many years to come.