Zonos, building a great company
We are growing up. Zonos has been through a decade of grit, excitement, tears, laughter, failures, and impact. We were on the verge of death at times, yet today - we continue to grow profitability.
Throughout this journey, we have aimed to be a great company, not a big one. If we build a great company, our product will be great, and our culture will be great. When you build a great company, customer retention, revenue growth, profitability, and impact are the by-products. When you are excited to get to work, when your team has your back, when you are challenged to learn and grow and when you know you have an impact, this is how you know you work for a great company.
There is no “one size fits all” company. My hope is to set expectations for our current team as well as those considering joining Zonos. This is my outline of the type of company we are building and how we will behave internally and externally.
We are on a mission to create trust in global trade. Tensions are high across the world. Countries are becoming more isolated. Laws are changing that could negatively impact trade. Trade is part of the core of the human condition. Fair trade has brought peace and prosperity to the globe. I believe the Zonos team can decode the mess of global trade only if we work together, united around our mission.
At Zonos, we focus on our similarities and not our differences. Zonos provides an opportunity for all walks of life to work together on a unifying mission. Politics and other societal challenges, though important, are not part of our mission.
We promote diversity and inclusion in our company. We are building a global product. We need global talent and cognitive diversity to build something great. To attract all types of talent, we must focus on a mission that as many different-minded individuals can rally around as possible. I have a blog post entitled “Diversity and Inclusion at Zonos” that outlines the importance of a diverse and inclusive Zonos.
We have four core values that act as guardrails for the team to know what we expect and won't tolerate. The proper balance between the values is where we become powerful. If anyone does not live up to these values, they are not a fit for our company, and we will work with them to get to a better place. We expect all our team members to live up to these values.
It's about people. Our team, communities, customers, and the globe are all part of the same human family. We are empathetic and listen to each other. We are good citizens. We trust each other and have each other's backs. As we strive to fulfill our mission and care about those around us, we will do good in the world.
This does not mean kumbaya all day. We do hold individuals accountable and will not tolerate toxicity that hurts the company because we don't want to hurt someone’s feelings.
We will not accept backbiting, cynicism, apathy, impatience, manipulation, or alienation. If you are unable to treat people as equals, you are in conflict with this core value.
We are passionate, hungry, and we show grit. We have been at this for over a decade, and it is hard work. Yet, we are patient because we know great things are not built overnight. We don't shy away from problems; we tackle them head-on. Building a company is hard work. Building a great company is even harder. It takes time.
We work hard, but we don't burn the midnight oil. When it is time to leave work, leave it. We have personal lives, families, and other important activities outside of work. If work is ever interfering with your life outside of work hours, you are probably working too hard.
If you are lazy or unable to put in an honest 40 hours of work each week, you are at the wrong place. Skirting work or taking advantage of the company time is not acceptable. You can be absent or present, but not both.
It takes humility to unlearn something and change the way you work. For us to succeed, we must be innovative. We embrace changes to our team and enhancements to our culture. We double down when we are great and we accept, learn, and move on from our mistakes.
We aren't going to risk the security of our customer's information by doing new. Being innovative is great if you can finish and complete the last shiny new project in the first place. We don't search for the next thing just to search.
We won't tolerate stubbornness or passiveness. We hear each other out, and when a decision is made, we back the decision as if it was our own. If we fail, we fail, and we learn from our failures.
You own the outcome for our customers. It is our job to get it right. If our customer does not see the value for the time, money, and effort they put into global expansion with our product, we are failing them. We pick up the phone; we talk to our customers, and we treat them like people. If we deviate from being united around our mission, we will lose sight of our customers and their needs.
We don't let customers prioritize our days or run us ragged. We control our schedule and care for customers within reasonable, committed time frames. Don't endlessly reply to emails answering questions when you can help document and create systems to better help all our customers.
Without our customers, we are not in business. If you are unable to stay organized, keep a level head, or unable to reply to emails, we will help you with your search for a different company.
To build a diverse and global organization, we have a unifying mission. To promote cognitive diversity, we don’t get involved in politics. We won't fall into political tribalism.
We are about global trade, and we are not an activist organization. If there are issues that conflict with our core mission or hurt our ability to create the company within the scope we plan, we may, on a limited scope, engage in these issues.
We are an apolitical company and have an apolitical culture. We don’t debate politics in the workplace or with our customers. Instead, we will focus on the things we have in common.
We do not tell our team or our customers how to vote, and our team does not expect the company to represent their personal beliefs externally.
There are many great organizations with great causes, including many ideals we embrace. We may internally embrace these ideals and make them our own; however, we will not join in external pledges for the sake of pledging. Instead, watch us; see who we are and what we do.
We are just getting started, and we have a long journey ahead. We are the #1 top workplace in Utah for small businesses, and we have a unique culture. Every team member has an impact, and we believe each new individual changes our company and culture for the better. We embrace that change, and we are excited about what we are building, together.
Founder, CEO Zonos