The evolution of my business from a bare-bones startup to a robust nationally recognized enterprise has been an impactful lesson in manifesting one’s dream. I’d like to say that it was all part of a grandmaster plan. But it wasn’t.
Through my first 10 years in business, I was my only salesperson. I grew my medical records business by cold calling, taking decision-makers to breakfast or lunch meetings, and more importantly, relying on word of mouth. From my very first client, I established and followed a few business guidelines. These served me well, from the time 22 years ago when I was just starting out with a copy machine at my kitchen table, to eventually providing a foundational set of values for MediCopy’s 200-plus employees across the country.
Instinctively, I knew when I conceived the business idea that it was important to have basic common sense rules that aligned with the expectations of the customers, clients, and patients I served. These had to address the needs and desires of all three. As MediCopy grew and evolved, the rules eventually turned into our core values. They’ve proven key to the company’s success.
Every decision made is based on our core values, whether it’s hiring or firing, bringing on new clients, choosing a vendor, or creating KPIs for our team. They guide us in what we do and how we do it.
These seven core values have been a key to our success:
1. Maintain 100-percent accountability.
This simple, commonsense but effective rule comes down to holding ourselves and our co-workers accountable for deadlines, projects, hiring, sales, and every other element of fulfilling our company’s role. This doesn’t just apply to large projects, but extends to every simple task, such as replying to emails or returning calls in a timely manner and demonstrating/valuing urgency in business and follow through.
2. Offer open and honest communication.
Again, it’s common sense that “honesty is the best policy,” but so many people either hide the truth, lie, or are too timid to express themselves openly. Some may evade the truth for fear of hurting someone, stepping on someone’s toes, or confronting an uncomfortable situation. But dishonesty always makes a difficult situation worse. My motto is to “Live so you don’t have to explain,” and that means adhering to honesty in every situation.
3. Continue personal and professional growth.
Of all our core values, this is my favorite. It’s born out of my own realization that defining and pursuing dreams will make them come true. I believe that the only thing that’s constant is change, and if you’re not growing, you’re dying. What a great feeling to wake up every morning with a vision of what the day can be, what you can accomplish, and what action you can carry out toward fulfilling your vision!
4. Build trust with clients.
After nearly 22 years in business, we still tout our stellar communication and availability in our pitches to clients. All 4,000-plus MediCopy clients have my cell phone number. Communication and accessibility provide the foundation for the trust that MediCopy has built with our clients over the years. People aren’t used to open and honest communication, accountability, and accessibility in their vendor relationships. By providing these as the basis of all our relationship with clients, we establish a rapport that’s appreciated and valued — as evidenced by the enduring allegiance of my first 10 clients throughout the company’s 22 years in business.
5. Honor and nurture staff.
The company’s employees are scattered across the country. We’re a diverse group, with 77 percent women and 49 percent BIPOC. Sixty percent of the management team is BIPOC or LGBTQ. The core value that honors the diversity among our staff is an important part of our culture. We believe it’s important to have all backgrounds at the table to voice their opinions. It’s also important to be compassionate with our team members. From time to time, we all encounter personal issues or hurdles to overcome. The way we react to those situations shows who we are as a company. Showing team members respect and support builds loyalty and makes them likely to reciprocate in kind.
6. Stand out from the competition.
From our combined core values, we’ve created a reputation for our company — what I prefer to call a personality. By living our core values, that personality shines, whether giving a sales presentation, interviewing a potential employee, networking at a tradeshow, or even receiving an award from an association. Adhering to our core values results in projecting our company personality so that, often, when my sales team and I are presenting to prospects, they’re more impressed with who we are, then what services or products we provide.
7. Donate time and resources.
Whether it’s time or money, my staff and I continually step up to provide support where it’s needed. We’ve built houses and playgrounds, we’ve served at the Nashville Rescue Mission and, on one occasion when they needed water, we sent over 3,000 bottles. Giving back to the community is the right thing to do and will always be part of our core values.