A Better Way to do Business
For the last few decades we’ve become increasingly trapped in thinking of business as all about profit. That has become the driving purpose of most businesses, with all other considerations being trampled by concerns for cold hard cash.
But there’s a better way to do business. Better from the human side. Better from the customer side. And as it turns out, better from the profit side as well.
The Human Side
Focusing on another purpose for your business, one that isn’t just making more money, is great for the people who work there. If the products and services you provide are only viewed as a means to the end of making money then it’s hard to get passionate about them. This means that it’s hard for employees to become enthusiastic about their jobs and the services they provide.
There’s a better way to do business. Better from the human side. Better from the customer side. And as it turns out, better from the profit side as well.
Having a sense of purpose, whether it’s entertaining people or providing a great service for your community or whatever else you focus on, gives employees a feeling of value and of pride. They can see the good that their work does for others and enjoy the feelings that brings. This improves morale and engagement, and so leads to greater employee retention.
As well as all this, doing business in a way that doesn’t just focus on money helps employees to cooperate better. If the business is showing them that achievement comes from earning more money than others then they will drift towards competition, towards a selfish attitude of trying to out-do each other for the biggest rewards. If your focus is on some other purpose then you encourage cooperation towards that purpose, and so a friendlier, happier workplace.
The Customer Side
A business focused on profits is one that isn’t focused on its customers. They get dealt with as quickly and as cheaply as possible, in an attempt to get the most return for the effort employees put in.
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A business focused on providing a better service will take the time to do well by customers. Employees will go the extra mile to ensure a great experience. Corners won’t be cut on products, and so customers will get something reliable, something that lasts.
If employees take pride in what they do, not just how much money they make, then the customers will receive better service. And in return the company will get a better reputation, drawing in more customers to experience that satisfying service.
The Profit Side
All of this might make it sound like you would be sacrificing profit on the altar of happiness. But while that could be considered a valid end in itself, it isn’t what you get. Because those happy employees and happy customers will lead to greater profits.
Employees who are happy and fulfilled in their jobs are more productive. They put in more effort because they believe in what they are doing. They look for better ways to serve, not just ways to get better paid. They stick with you when because they enjoy their work, rather than running off at the first offer of a better pay packet. That keeps recruitment and training costs down.
Happy employees and happy customers will lead to greater profits.
Happy customers also add to your profits. Low costs and novelties might create returning customers as long as your costs remain lowest and your novelties the most exciting. But by providing better service and a more human touch you create loyal customers, ones who will stick with you no matter what, because they have developed an emotional bond and they know that you will treat them well.
Finding a better way to do business doesn’t mean ignoring profits. It means putting other things first, and letting profits flow from that. So ask yourself, how can you do business in a better way?
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