As I step up onto my soap box, disgusted with the way some folks are running their business, I look to the future of our world where we support the companies who are growing our community and we avoid like the plague businesses just out to make money.
1. You can’t just make money anymore
A competitor is starting a business identical to yours. They offer great service, a comparable product and they’re HALF the cost, what do you do? Start assuming Amazon is going to be selling what you are, why would your customers keep paying a premium for your product?
No experience won’t get you paid more, experience is a good excuse to pay people more but if they aren’t changing with the times, your executive row is costing your organization a lot of overhead that could be allocated more effectively.
We’re seeing this in many industries, young entrepreneurs are creating companies out of nothing and undercutting the established businesses. The new mover in the market is capitalizing on how much their competition is getting paid for doing the same thing, just with “experience”.
So what do you do if you are an established company with plenty of new entrants into your market? Give your customers a reason to stay. A great product with great service isn’t cutting it anymore, great service is the standard now. The companies who “get it” know there’s something bigger at stake here, something deeper, something important to every customer, caring about your community.
2. Sell who you are more than what you are selling
Unless Simon Sinek was completely full of shit ( we buy things for the meaning behind them, not for the actual product or service. We can buy what you are selling for cheaper somewhere else, so why am I buying from you? Why do I always talk about your company? What do you do that makes customers raving fans? How will you become the preferred in your market place? The recommended provider?
It’s deeper. Your organization needs a deeply rooted sense of purpose. People in a job do the minimum amount of work to complete the task at hand. People who believe they have a calling do whatever it takes to leave their mark on everything they touch. People who have a calling incessantly focus on the art, the creative side of how their work stands out among the rest. Showing your customers that you not only care about them but your employees too, builds trust and loyalty. Trustworthy, reliable people who connect with your customers will create raving fans out of them. Your competitors can try to steal your fans but that never works. You ever ask a Rider fan if the Bombers could steal them away?
When we truly love an organization, company or brand, we will spend money, time and whenever it takes to be associated with them. Be the brand people want to associate with.
3. Corporate Social Responsibility is the future of business
Business schools have a habit of complicating this one. CSR, as they’d call it in my classes years and years ago, was all the rage at the time. Companies were struggling to piece together these “lovey dovey” strategies but the world was demanding it. Later realizing that social responsibility isn’t just a marketing gimmick but a strategy that will propel your company into the future of what business is all about. Actually caring.
Before you go out to save the world you need to get in touch with your staff.
Corporate Social Responsibility starts with corporate employee responsibility. It starts with caring more about your staff, your team, your people. If your team doesn’t think you care there’s no possible way that they are going to see out your vision. Sorry, it’s not going to happen.
Your job as a business owner or executive director is to help people find their calling. When we care about the people around us we have a biological urge to help them. The best leaders empower people, they push people, they help people see in them what they could never see on their own. Why were they put on this earth? If you can push them in that direction you may change someone forever, for the better, as well as develop the most driven workforce ever.
Once your team knows you’re in it for them they have your back. They do things you won’t expect, they will go out of their way just to help your company. But NO employee does that just out of the kindness of their heart, employees go out of their way for companies they know would do the same for them.
Don’t wait for your employees to over deliver, do something for them. Be more generous, be more flexible, actually start caring more. Once you do you’ll find some amazing individuals come out of the wood work. Now, with a team that’s committed to making your organization successful you can start being a socially responsible organization.
CER > CSR