I have officially been in the business world for 10 years, while that doesn’t feel or seem like a lot, I have learned several good habits by following great mentors with incredible business practices. I have also learned far too many tough lessons by doing things the hard way. About 7 years ago my dad said to me “Why do you feel like you have to make the same mistakes as I did, listen to me and learn from me.” I responded with a simple “I’m really good at learning the hard way Dad.”
In my early years I trusted a little too much, maybe gave a client credit terms that didn’t quite deserve it, maybe I hired a new employee just to fill the position in my gut knowing they would not become a champion for our business. I’ve made mistakes, but have always reflected and grew from them. Today’s blog is a list of 5 things I have witnessed great companies do.
1) Great businesses offer flexibility.
Moms need to get their sons to practice. Dads shouldn’t miss ballet recitals and baseball games. When you offer flexibility in the workplace to your employees, you will be shocked at what you receive in return. You’re going to get happier more grateful employees that won’t mind going the extra mile. Why? Because you give a crap about them, their lives and their family.
2) Great businesses evolve in changing markets.
Think about the music industry for a minute. Record players, A-track tapes, CDs, IPods, Napster, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and so on; music has quickly evolved over time. Cars have quickly evolved over time. Medicine has quickly evolved over time. You can’t expect people to buy a sofa from your furniture store in the traditional storefront without offering a 360 buying experience. The sofa has to be online with pricing, comparable models, interest free financing available and a 3D layout of what it can look like in your living room, follow that up with an incredible HAPPY salesperson and you will get that sale time and time again.
3) Great businesses PAY their employees.
When I have customers that have high staff turnover, most times they have a few things in common and the big one is salary. It is not the 1980s, life is expensive. If you want good people, pay them what they deserve and offer an incentive when they prove to be great. My biggest pet peeve is when I have a fine retailer paying sales staff $12 an hour with minimal ability to make more money. Clients do not always come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients!
4) Great businesses have great communication.
We have three offices in three different states. Communication is the most important moving part in our daily operation. Asana, Skype, Google hangout, THE PHONE ect. You see I didn’t type email or text. Email is the biggest waste of internal communication in our business. If you need to get something done right and fast, pick up the phone! We have an employee by the name of Rachel Fisher, she is our production manager and by far the best communicator I have seen in my 10 years. She demands your attention, demands productivity and won’t stop demanding until she gets what she needs to complete her project. No, she is not for hire!
5) Great businesses have great products AND services.
It’s hard to sell a great product without great service. You can buy just about anything on the internet that you buy in-store, but you can’t replace the WOW customer service experience. If you don’t have a WOW customer service experience, fix that and worry about your products later.