All good companies have solid operating principles to guide their businesses. Mission Statements and Core Values can be found on most businesses web sites, office walls and marketing collateral. For some they are just words but for the great companies, ownership and associates understand it, they walk the talk. It’s practiced everyday, most importantly customers of these great companies feel it in the commitment and dedication to solid customer service when they do business with them.

Costco gets it for sure. My wife and myself take the odd trip to Costco, I call it the $500.00 store, we don’t seem to get out of there without spending at least $500.00. As a Costco member I love getting their magazine ever month, it is very insightful. This month their VP of Marketing, Membership Services and Travel, Ron Damiani penned an excellent story talking about the Costco operating principles. Costco’s operating principles began when the company was founded in the early 80’s, Costco calls its the blueprint they follow to ensure business is successful and they meet the customers expectations.

Here is their code:

Obey the law – Costco adheres to the laws of every community where they do business and don’t cut corners. This ranges from safety standards for products to employee wage and hours law.

Take care of the members (customers) – trust has been extended because Costco charges a membership fee. Costco says they will only succeed if they don’t violate the trust of their customers and that trust extends to every area of their business.

Take care of our employees – it’s simple: Costco feels it’s employees are their most important asset. They are the front line in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction.

Respect our suppliers – They are Costco’s partners, for Costco to prosper in business they must prosper as well.

At the end of the day Costco knows that achieving all of these goals allows the shareholders to prosper. As I read this article I couldn’t help but think how these principles are so similar to our family businesses and we try to follow similar principles every day. With hundreds of corporate customers and many successful business partners we are very privileged to see so many follow similar operating principles as Costco. Over the years we have adopted some of those great practices.

Next month we celebrate 31 years of being business, as our leader I can confidently share with you that our business journey has been filled with many ups and downs, many successes and our share of failures along the way. When we have been most successful as a business it is when we have paid the most attention to our people. In our businesses our Core Value is People. Simply put, simply practiced.

Enjoy the rest the summer, be safe.