Are You What’s Wrong with Your Business?
At a moment in your career, you might find that your business isn’t doing so well. Maybe you are finding that not many people are buying your product. Perhaps once-regular customers are leaving you in droves. Maybe your staff turnover is high and it’s increasingly difficult to recruit. It’s time to ask: what’s wrong with your business?
This could be due to many things. But, as Tim Denning suggests in his fairly merciless piece, it might be that you have lost sight of the business’s priorities – and this can turn people off. So, no matter how good your product, no matter how catchy your copy or serious your website, the problem might be one that you won’t like to admit.
So, what could it be? To put it bluntly, maybe your business’s problem is you. In your personal quest for success, you may have forgotten why you started the business in the first place. With your eyes on the prize of success, you may be missing the big picture. And by merely seeking profit above personal connection, you are doing serious bother to your business. So maybe it’s time to stop and reconnect with your WHY.
Your Problem or the World’s?
As Richard Branson once said, “great businesses are places where problems are solved and lives are improved”. For Branson, the primary function of business is to solve problems.
Yet, when he said this, he didn’t mean the problem of your bank balance. If you’ve begun to be in business just for the money, the chances are that it will elude you. Because customers recognise profit-prioritising from a mile off.
The problems that your business is there to solve are those of the world, or of your customers. Remember Branson’s words above. Great businesses should improve people’s lives – and not just your own.
And to quote Branson again (you can see that I admire him here), “solving problems means listening”. You cannot improve lives if you don’t know the problems of others. Listening – and forgetting for a moment your own dreams of success – is crucial to this.
So, find out what your customers want and appreciate them. Let their thoughts guide you – not the jingling of the money in their pockets!
Proper Customer Service
Again, people might have no problems with your products at all. They might be completely effective in what they do.
However, these days, that’s not enough in itself. Much more than a product, people are rather after an experience. And if the experience that you directly provide isn’t a very pleasant one, people are going to go elsewhere. This applies despite the quality of the product.
As Denning points out, there’s now a thing called Google Reviews – in case you hadn’t heard of it! And this tool gives customers an impression of your business before they even buy your product. So, if you have been consistently unhelpful to your customers, you can bet that prospective buyers will know this.
Customers do not engage with your business to do you a favour, or to help you become rich. The precise opposite is true: your business should be enriching the lives of those around you.
If it’s not doing that, then that’s what’s wrong with your business.
And precisely the same thing applies to your employees. Yes, they work for you. But they shouldn’t be made to work just for your benefit. Exactly as with poor customer service, the word gets around when a workplaces become a hard place in which to be… Nobody wants to work there.
So, take note again of my tips to promote a healthy workplace culture. Make people want to work for you – and attract some of the best talent in the world. Reconnect with that vision. Develop a feeling of shared vision in your team and regain commitment and respect.
The alternative is that you will never stem the stream of resignations. And that’s only going to end in disaster for you.
What’s the key then?
Simply enough, businesses need to remember the value of knowing their WHY – that mission that underlies everything you do. Make the changes required to enable you and your team to deliver that shared vision and thrive!