People often ask me, how can I make my business better? That’s a damn good question. I think about it all the time.
Let’s think of all the things we have to ‘make better’ - my business, teams life, clients life, the finances, oh yeah and my personal/family life too. Wow, that’s a lot to make better. Ironically, I didn’t write about policies, procedures, product, services or business plans. I wrote about helping people.
I read all the time that you have to differentiate yourself and your business from the competition and that’s how you “get better”. When did the differentiator become showing that you genuinely care about people? Shouldn’t that be the norm? I thought so, but sadly its often not. So many people are jockeying for status position or sucking up to whom they feel can give them more. You’re left feeling used and darn right icky. How often have you felt that you are just another number or dollar sign to be tallied up and tossed out of the way because the next one is waiting? I once sat across the table from a CPA who told us that his favorite clients are the ones he never has to see or speak with. Whoa. I won’t lie it infuriates me that his firm is larger and by some definition more successful. How would his clients feel if they heard him say that? Sadly, we’ve come to accept this is just the way business is nowadays. WHY?! Is it really possible to make our businesses better by getting back to authentic relationships that matter? Aka differentiate.
I don’t quite have the answer as it feels like a daily battle of mine. I do have a few ideas.
A good start is remembering that we’re here to help people. Don’t ever forget that.
Nothing feels better then truly helping someone else. Reach your hand out and help someone up that’s been knocked down.
Pay attention to the little things, such as how your company communicates with folks. If you have an automated line pickup when your customers call, guess what message that might send them, “you are not worth the cost of the payroll to hire someone to help you. But please keep buying from our company!” Yikes.
Anyone could go on for days listing everything we could do better. There’s SOOO much more involved in truly making your business better. I feel it starts with our attitudes along with a hardcore reality check of what our roles are as leaders and providers.
I saw this on a Facebook post and thought how much it stands for what small business means – ‘When you buy from a small family run business you’re not helping a CEO buy a 3rd vacation home. You’re helping a little girl get dance lessons. A little boy get his team shirt. A Mom and Dad put food on the table. Thank you for supporting small business.”
It’s really a circle. Every business owner needs their customers support, otherwise there is no business. It’s our duty as leaders of these businesses to never take our customers for granted. If we receive then we must give back to our teams - which gives to our communities - whom become our customers. Full circle.
Moral of my story… we shouldn’t focus on only growing our businesses; it’s a heck of a lot bigger than that. Perhaps if we focus on the bigger picture of genuinely helping people and running our businesses with heart, our list of things to ‘do better ‘will diminish. It’s sad that business + heart is the minority. It shouldn’t be. Let’s do our part to change that and grow along the way.