It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling ice cream cones or medical equipment, eventually business begins to become a little grayer amidst the chaos. As your business grows, so does the workload.
There is more drama, more pressure, unforeseen challenges make themselves known, and the stress placed on your need for cash flow is at its maximum. This is all happening while you’re attempting to remain cool and RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
These natural growing pains tend to lead some down a path that unknowingly leads to failure. Adopting a sales-driven mentality will be the day your business starts a slow death. Once you assume that role, your internal compass is re-wired and the culture you are implementing now only values dollar signs while ignoring customer satisfaction.
Let’s not be naive, I don’t work 55 hours a week for a customer’s smile, we have to keep the lights on and hopefully have some leftover after that. However, there ABSOLUTELY is a relationship between the number of smiles on your customers’ faces and longevity in business. This leads me to the best business strategy that nobody is talking about: Kindness.
Something so simple has been lost. Oftentimes, kindness is confused with weakness or being a pushover. Truthfully, if someone views kindness as a weakness, they are simply insecure themselves. The reason kindness is so lost in business is that it isn’t quantifiable. There is no ROI chart I can show a business owner that shows how much money he can expect if he earns 100 “kindness points”.
That’s okay though, it leaves more opportunity for the ones who will listen and take action on this strategy. What it comes down to is this: karma is a practical phenomenon. When you do nice, courteous things for others, they naturally want to help you. Whether that means doing business with you, offering a compliment back, or buying your coffee, people want to do right by those who did right by them.
This strategy of being kind to every soul you encounter (not just in business settings, EVERYONE) picks up speed the longer you continue to deploy it. Three years in and you have your girlfriend’s aunt’s neighbor trying to get in touch with you because she thinks her Zumba instructor could benefit from using your services. You see, it’s very attainable to reach this point because karma isn’t a superstition, it’s practical.
Whoever decides to give value first in a business relationship has the leverage moving forward. This leverage has been referred to as “emotional capital,” meaning you can save, cash in, or invest more in it. Let me explain: you offer to fix Mr. Smith’s Facebook page because it’s severely outdated.
You’ve known Mr. Smith’s food truck as a pillar in the community, so you take an hour or two and do it for free. He is now eternally grateful that someone decided to do that. You now have emotional capital. You can now confidently ask him to refer your services to his food truck friends with a much higher chance of him saying yes. This would be cashing in on your emotional capital. The obvious difference in emotional capital versus regular capital is that emotional capital is all intangible.
That is a disadvantage to some perspectives, and an advantage to others- there’s so much opportunity to capitalize on this strategy because many don’t see it as worth it. Is it possible that you do someone a nice favor and they walk away only to talk behind your back? Yes absolutely, and it will happen. The simple fact is that the benefits far outweigh not being kind in the first place.
It’s so simple: be kind all the time to everyone. When you’re interacting with members of your community online, dealing with an upset customer, a disgruntled employee, or a potential business partner, all require ample kindness for the relationship to move forward.
The way you handle each of these interactions can tell someone a lot about how you’ll act in a decade. It is true what they say: how you do the small things is how you do everything. That’s why people who don’t make their bed in the morning typically have a messy desk and wrinkled shirt 😉