How Do You Measure Success In Your Business? - Column #166
A truly successful business — one that benefits the many and not merely the few — strives to create as much happiness and success as possible for owners, team members, customers and the community while generating a profit. This balanced approach takes all players into account and distributes the fruits of labor far and wide for the betterment of the whole.
There’s a commonly held belief in business that success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible to as many consumers as possible at the highest prices possible while paying the lowest wage possible to make as much money as possible. When followed, this limited perspective of success leaves everyone involved feeling taken advantage of; vastly undervalued; used; and, most importantly, unhappy.
In my work with companies over the years, I’ve repeatedly witnessed the dramatic differences between businesses that truly care about their team members, customers and communities and those that don’t.
Truly successful businesses aren’t merely money making machines. These ventures actually represent a tremendous opportunity to make life more pleasant and the world a better place if they’re used for such noble causes.
All of this begins with the lifeblood of any successful business — customers. If they’re not happy with the products and services provided to them in exchange for their hard-earned money, they won’t return or speak very highly of your company.
As you consider your customer base, it’s important to see them as people who’ve chosen to do business with you and not merely dollars that will bolster your bottom line. When customers are valued and treated with respect, integrity and care, they become over time raving fans of you, your team and business. The happiness and success of everyone increases.
The same principle applies to your team members. Without them, your company wouldn’t function. Without their dedication, it would be impossible to operate a high- quality business. Their agreements to give large portions of their lives to help you in exchange for earning a living shouldn’t be taken for granted. Like you, your team members have dreams of happiness and success. Their families depend on them just as yours depend on you.
Your team members are the conduit between your business and customers. They’re not cogs in the wheel of business, they’re human beings. The more you care for your team members, the more they’ll care for you. When you value and treat them with dignity, they’ll typically give their best to you and your customers. The happier they are, the stronger your business will be and the more success everyone will enjoy.
When you operate from the mindset that others want to be happy and successful just as you do, you’ll see and treat people differently. Through this larger perspective, team members and customers cease to be objects necessary to achieve your financial dreams. Instead, they become vital links in a chain that creates happiness and success throughout the process of doing business.
It’s true you can’t please everyone. Some team members and customers will never be satisfied with your exceptional efforts. In the pursuit of greater happiness and success, you’ll need to let certain team members and customers go.
But without fail, companies that choose to operate from a win-win-win perspective in which happy customers, team members and owners succeed are the most rewarding companies with which to do business, work and run. These businesses give as well as receive.
There’s more to success than profits, status, prestige and power. When a business is operated in ways that honor and support everyone who contributes their time and resources to its well-being, that business is positioned to serve the greater purpose of creating happiness and success in the world as a whole. Its mission becomes a more encompassing endeavor, one that’s not solely focused on providing wealth to owners and investors.
In truth, you, your customers and team members are all in business together. When you operate from this balanced perspective — one that takes into account the best interests of everyone involved and not just yours — your business will produce happiness and even more success.