How Small Business Owners Can Better Inspire Those Around Them

by / Tuesday, 10 June 2014 / Published in Small Business Advice

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Inspiration is like a plant that can grow in any soil, no matter how rocky, but regardless, it still needs cultivation to truly flower. As leaders, business owners are in a position to truly benefit those around them with their leadership abilities as well as their ability to serve as a positive public example. Business owners may feel like they are not in industries with the exposure to make a real difference, but they would be wrong. Any business can create a positive influence in their communities by demonstrating positivity in their dealings with their customers and those around them. What are some ways that business owners can lay the framework for positive inspiration in their workplace and beyond? Here are a few standard practices for making a better and bigger impression.

Embrace customer service as the key to business growth. In every business, you are going to be dealing with customer inquiries and sometimes those will take the form of complaints. Nothing can be expected to go right 100% of the time, but when things do go wrong, that is when business owners have true opportunities to demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction.

  • Place yourself in the shoes of the customer, and devise ways that you can anticipate their needs before any problem arises in the first place.
  • When an issue does occur, ask both your employees and your customer for their sides of the story in order to come up with a clearer picture of the actual happening.
  • When possible, over-deliver against customer expectations. Not to the point that you are bending over backwards constantly, but in the event that a little more effort or resources separate a result from good to great it falls on you to actively go for the better result.

Be willing to listen to feedback with an open mind.  A business should always be able to adapt to the circumstances around it, and that means welcoming both change and customer feedback in a positive context. One of the biggest causes of stagnation in a business is an unwillingness to face shifting realities, holding on to an established way of doing things that may or may not suit the needs of the customer. Aside from customer feedback, being able to speak candidly with employees is a relatively rare quality among managers, which is unfortunate considering the potential gains in productivity that can occur when a team learns how to work closely together.

Lastly, be willing to embrace community in order to make a difference. The community around a small business is what it draws much of its strength from. Word of mouth and real lasting customer relationships can make the difference between a slow month tanking a business’s finances and simply denting them. This is why business owners should take a proactive stance towards community building when possible, embracing the community outside of its doors. Some ways that local businesses are able to turn community participation into positives for their business are through hosting local artwork in the physical locations, drawing in foot traffic, or by teaming up with other small businesses to host fundraising events to help preserve community landmarks or provide for those in need.

Photo Credit to Mycatkins on Flickr

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