Centerco community member Tina Seidel, founder of Trellis Bookkeeping, shares the values that guide her small business‘s growth

By: Tina Seidel, Trellis Bookkeeping

Core values are much more than words on a wall or on a website. They should be the guiding principles and values that Tina Severy small business’s decisions get measured against.  Each decision should align with those values. If you move away from this, then you either need new core values or you have lost your way as a company.
We created our company’s core values for Trellis about 15 months ago. The company was undergoing some changes and it just seemed like there had to be some boundaries to figure out where to go. Having these principles as guideposts has helped us grow our business from within, and to stay focused on our long-term vision for serving our clients. Here, we explain why our values were chosen and why they are important to us.
Growing a Honesty and Integrity in Everything we do:
At the heart of Trellis Bookkeeping we are professional accountants. When growing a small business, honesty and integrity are critical to every aspect of your business’s performance.

Accountants have nothing if they don’t have their integrity.

My Intermediate Accounting professor often repeated the importance of integrity. It is critical for our clients to know that their virtual bookkeepers completely embrace this not only in words but through their actions each day when working on their accounting and handling all transactions.
Respect for People, Data and Time:
Respect is a big deal at Trellis. We want to show respect to everyone that we come into contact with. Every client we interact with is unique, with individual needs and concerns. We want our company’s actions and our personal interactions to be sensitive to this, while showing that we value their business, and their trust in our abilities. This includes treating client data and time as if it were our own. I often say that the most important thing is having the expert at the table even if it’s not Trellis. I believe this shows respect to get the right person in place to assist business owners with whatever problem they are facing.
Strategically Embrace Technology:
We vet the technology that we use with our clients for functionality AND to make sure they have a return on their investment. Trellis has partnered with several software companies, but the relationship with the software companies is secondary to the relationship with clients.  We recommend what will make the process more efficient and will be used by the client.
Have Fun!
As the founder of a growing small business, it’s easy to get bogged down in the seriousness of everyday work, but I believe there’s room for fun with my employees and my clients – whether it’s time for a quick laugh or an afternoon lunch. Personal relationships should be a priority for every business owner.
Do you have story about your core values?  What principles would help you grow your small business within your personal and professional vision? Please leave them in the comments below!

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