May 28, 2019
The Origin of The SnapBar’s Core Values
What’s keeping you up at night?
It’s a question we rarely ask or are asked. If we were honest though, our answers would range from medical issues and financial struggles to broken relationships or problems at work and beyond.
When my brother and I set out to build The SnapBar from part-time side gig to full-fledged company, our earliest stresses, the things that kept US up at night, impacted our company in such big ways, many of those early struggles gave way to what we proudly call our values today.
Strange, I know, but maybe not as strange as it first seemed.
The Importance of The SnapBar’s Core Values
Our values, like many company values, weren’t born out of a boardroom meeting or brainstorming session.
They emerged from our culture, which is deeply baked into our people and our processes. Our values came about because we wanted to verbalize what we hold as most important.
(The SnapBar Team circa 2016)
So, what do we hold as most important?
Well, the easy, borderline cheesy, answer is YOU, our client or potential customer. The longer answer, and the real honest answer, is also YOU, our client or potential customer…and I’ll explain why.
Is Failure Okay?
In the event industry, failure is a tricky word.
In business in general, failure is loosely held as this unfortunate thing that happens to everyone, but that if you can learn from it, can be spun as a good, redeeming piece of business learning. And to a certain extent, I totally buy into that.
But is that what I should tell a bride if we realize we can’t get to her wedding, the day OF her wedding, even though we’ve been planning on it for 6 months?
It's really hard to see failure as ‘a great learning experience’ when our tech fails and we can’t create the experience we promised a company we’d deliver on.
For the record, these event-industry situations ARE what keep us up at night. The reason is simple, events rarely happen AGAIN the next week. Even if they did, different people would be attending. We would have missed our chance to carry out what we commited to carrying out. And weddings...well a lot of the time they NEVER happen again.
When you’re dealing with the most important moments in people’s lives, the pressure is on, whether it's a product launch, party, reception, or music festival…
We are paid to do our job, but at the end of the day, the months of planning, communication, testing, and design boil down to a limited number of hours, on a limited number of days, and sometimes the event never repeats.
To put it another way, some of our private or corporate events can be more rare than an eclipse…
Why Does The SnapBar Need Core Values?
So, should a company of our size even consider developing core values? How many should we have? Will people even remember them? What if they change over time? The answers to these questions just don’t matter.
(The SnapBar's Company Retreat, 2019)
Our core values were developed because we needed them.
They were born during the sleepless nights and the stressful weekends when we realized our precision wasn’t good enough and we didn’t ask good enough questions about unloading gear.
Or when our lighting was off and we needed to make sure it was fixed to truly capture people’s beauty.
They became real on Mondays, after a busy weekend, while we deliberated about how to show care to clients who were hurting from freak storms ruining their events.
They emerged from our clients asking us to be creative, either in our design or our last minute problem-solving at events.
Our values came about during conversations where we had to own up to any mistake that was made, even if it was out of our control, like a traffic accident or shipping mishap.
How The SnapBar’s Values are Defined?
Our values mean the world to us because they've defined our operating procedures, email responses, policies, contracts, marketing & sales strategies, hiring decisions and beyond for the past 7 years.
Today we have shiny posters and great little sentences that help us explain what we mean by them, but they were born in less pretty ways and took hold of our company during those sleepless nights we experienced in the ‘early’ days.
We even dedicated a company retreat to refining these values.
So thank you for being, or even considering being, a client of ours. Your interest in us and your business impacts me (the CEO) and our team in massive ways. It has not only given life to our company, it has shaped our culture and even the fabric of our lives...at least for myself and my co-founder / brother.
With that, I’d love to share our values with you. If you’ve worked with us before, I hope you see these values being lived out in our work.
If you haven’t worked with us yet, I hope these give you a glimpse into who and how we are as the people behind a brand.