Maria Haggarty, vice president and general manager at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), has learned a lot about business from her career working in a variety of industries – from how to develop “brand value” both professionally and personally to the importance of partnering with the right people.

As part of a special series GBT has developed for small- to medium-sized enterprises, Maria shares some of her top tips for growing businesses – for instance, how essential it is to know what kind of culture you want to have and build during the early stages.

“Culture is very malleable when your company is one or two employees,” she said. “As your team grows to 10, to 100, to 1,000, you recognize that you need that thread back to the culture to help your employees, who have now become your brand, create the same connection you would as the founder.”

Learn what other tips she has for small- and medium-sized enterprises.