I have been in business for 13 years this year – and I’m a great believer in celebrating every milestone so you will see a lot of ‘13s’ around me this year.
This month I decided to share 13 tips per week about what I love in business in my weekly blogs, in this month of love.
The first thing I love in business, is people.
(Next Friday’s blog will be all about Loving Planning)
I love people:
People are central to business. No matter what the size of the business, be it a corporate or a sole trader, or a start-up, human beings are central to success or not, as the case may be.
Once you accept the key fact that ‘people’ are where it’s at, here are 13 tips for success.
Knowing yourself is essential. You need to develop yourself and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. This is critical to success and you have to do it at least once a year as you grow and develop. It will help you realise where you are going wrong, particularly, if the same problems keep occurring with others. Understanding these issues will help you make wiser choices.
Asking others for feedback and accepting constructive criticism will also help you to recognise where you can make improvements. Getting into the habit of asking for testimonials when working with clients aids this too.
Embrace difference. It is more than likely, your best customer, client, supplier or staff member is someone with a different personality to you. Learning how to recognise different personality types can help give you insight into how to behave when interacting with people. Knowing yourself well, means you can develop strategies to flex your behaviour, if required.
Be curious about people. Not only in business, but life. We are selfish, we all want to feel good. Understanding how to routinely make others feel good, and feel is important and will make you a great business person. Give people your time. Show them you care.
Listen and hear what people are saying. One key thing is not to wait to speak but to actively listen to what the other person is saying. People respond well to that and, if what they want is not achievable in the way they’ve hoped, or there’s been an issue – they will listen to your response, as long as they’ve been heard first.
Learn how to bide your time, particularly in B2B professional services. This is about learning how to sell well and ethically. People don’t want to be continually bombarded with high pressure sales. Once you have had your initial conversation, take your time to get to know them. Regularly keep in contact on social media and perhaps via your email marketing and let them have access to seeing how you work and what you are doing.
Build relationships of trust. Let people see that you fulfil promises, fix things when they go wrong and do things when you say you will. Meaningful, authentic relationships will grow when people see you have honesty and integrity in the way you work.
Communicate with people who don’t know you or your brand yet. Enable people to find your business easily. Remain visible on different social media, so that people can see what you are up to in your business. Ensure you have accessible methods for people to contact you, don’t make it hard for them to make contact.
If a client you work with has health issues, or as recently has happened, has had to close during Covid, rather than chase and expect payment, or delivery of a service on time, show compassion, and give them some slack. Be clear about your expectations but remove as much pressure as you can. People with integrity will value your care, and in return, continue to support your business in the future.
On occasions share some of your knowledge for free to help people to see how skilful you are, and how enjoyable it is working with you.
Supporting other business people within your community is beneficial for both of your businesses. As a business owner you are seen to be bringing business to the local area, and giving local people work.
Always behave how you want to be seen. People notice what you say and how you say it. If you are very active on social media, make sure that you are always kind, and if you are negative, there is a very good reason why.
Share what you love, not just in business, but in life too. As much as we want to be curious about people we work with, clients are often curious about us. Talk about your passions. What are your hobbies? What do you love doing when you’re not working? People often connect with others, because they find they are interested in the same things. It can be a conversation starter and an ice-breaker.