SEN Design Group

SEN Blog

How to Establish Your Principles of Great Business

“The quality of your decisions will determine the quality of your life.”

—Ray Dalio

What are your business principles?

Owners who know what they stand for may already have the parameters that shape how their kitchen and bath firm does business. However, most owners wouldn’t be able to rattle off their principles when asked what they are.

Running a business from the owner’s principles is one of the key ingredients that make a business efficient and successful. Knowing what to say yes to and what opportunities to turn down is key to consolidating your efforts for an efficient enterprise bound for the highest possible level of success.

Think about it: If a company is not operating on the owner’s principles, then it will not reach the owner’s goals. To that end, the business will run less efficiently than is possible.

Owners unable to articulate their business principles off the top of their heads haven’t connected their principles to their company.

To leverage our principles in our business, we should be clear about what they are. If you are unsure how to clearly state your principles off the top of your head in seconds, then take a look inside this advisory to see how to align with your principles in five minutes of your time.

Operate with your principles clearly in mind

Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, reports in his New York Times bestseller, Principles: Life and Work, that he achieved his massive success by reflecting on his mistakes with an open mind. Dalio created a simple equation to express this revelation:

Pain + Reflection = Progress


A true reflection on our mistakes gives us three advantages:

  1. We can avoid making the same failures again.
  2. They allow us to clarify our principles.
  3. Our business will become more efficient.

Dalio defines being principled as: “consistently operating with principles that can be clearly explained.”

If you know what your principles are – share them. Write them down, refer to them, and refine them when needed. After reflecting on your mistakes, you will see where your firm stands against your goals for it. You will also become adept at knowing which decisions will be successful and which opportunities should be decided against.

Hire people who fit your principles

While people are our greatest assets, principles are our greatest attributes.

When your principles are clearly stated, getting the right people on the bus is an owner’s next most important decision for their business. Most owners spend as much time in their office as with their families. With that in mind, build a workforce rooted in your principles, much like members of a family share the same values.

  • Keep your principles in mind when you are interviewing candidates
  • Only consider candidates who line up with your core principles
  • Talent and ability are valuable. Don’t hire people to fill roles, but those who can shine in any position they are placed into
  • Take note of candidates who ask lots of great questions
  • Hire talent, not people, to fill a role
  • New hires may not fit the job they were assigned, but if you hire great people, most likely, they will do excellent work in another position in your firm
  • It’s better to cut weak employees loose than to let them truck through a role they are not good at
  • Hire people you want in your life

When your principles are at the center of your operations, you have the foundation from which to build and achieve great success.

Putting principles into effect

As a kitchen and bath firm owner, you know how important structure is to your operations. But how do you know if you’ve created a culture for maximum growth and profit potential?

  • Have you checked with your personnel?
  • Have you consulted a specialist from outside your firm?
  • Do you observe the habits of successful firm owners?

While your principles are yours alone to decide, strategic consulting can provide invaluable insight into the highs and lows of your operation. We have discussed some ideas over the years that are critically important to the success of kitchen and bath businesses. See if they line up with your principles.

Create a culture of radical transparency. Through a good-better-best presentation, transparency in pricing empowers the customer and generates more excitement from them through their increased involvement in it. The culture of transparency is a way of troubleshooting and deploying the ideas that are the best direction for your business to take.

Conduct a meritocracy. Not all ideas are equal. Poll your staff regularly on topics for their take on your big decisions.

Make the right hire. Look for people who would be valuable to your firm regardless of what post they would hold in it. Getting the right people on the bus, then putting them in the right roles is key to the efficiency and success of your business.

Employ the right selling system. Speed up the time it takes to earn that retainer, unite your sales designers in a selling method that engages the homeowner and delivers consistent overall project budgets within an 8% margin of error.

Every team member works to achieve your goals when you build your company around your principles.


SEN Leadership Team


Master strategic planning, selling more into each job, leveraging technology, Good-Better-Best selling, and other smart implementations at one of SEN University’s valued online business courses – or contact Shannon Blair to attend our in-person schools.

We’re closing in on 2022’s fall conference, but members can still register to join us in Tucson on September 20-23. We will discuss how interactive budgeting can earn your firm a higher gross profit, discover creative strategies with keynote speaker Kristen Brown to inspire your sales team, get prospects on your website, into your showroom, and so much more. This September is the time to invest in your business for 2023 and beyond!