To keep it simple – 2 areas will drive your small business success.
First, does your product or your service provide clear value to your customers and prospects? The strength of your product or services relative to competition, value or necessity for customers, general market conditions, profitability, etc. will all determine future success.
Secondly, the people in your organization have the largest impact on your success. There have been interesting studies that demonstrate clearly that the view that customers have of your business often mirrors the view of your employees. If your employees aren’t enthusiastic and “loudly” endorsing the company, it’s unlikely the market will feel compelled to buy.
Every enterprise must be market and customer focused to succeed, period! But, perhaps, much of that market energy can be managed by supporting employees and ensuring that their positive energy becomes the beacon for your organization’s success. The obvious issues of attracting and retaining and encouraging teammates include competitive compensation and benefits, healthy work place and sound HR practices.
Yet, that’s not always enough to differentiate your business. Following are just a couple of thoughts on other practices to consider when creating a great place to work for your most essential asset, your employees:
- Establish unique benefits that may be a competitive edge. They could be simple and inexpensive such as a monthly public transportation pass or a 6 week paid sabbatical after each 4 years of consecutive service
- Leadership is an employee value – don’t underestimate its importance. Seeing you as a visible participant in the business, and relaying your energy positively, cascades energy into the organization
- Reward and recognition matters. These can range from official monthly recognition, communicating success of an individual or group attainment to simply providing remarks at team meetings shouting out good deeds, especially those positively impacting customers.
- Accountability … and empowerment are essential to establishing a great place to work. Some managers have difficulty defining accountability and managing it. Yet, what employee wants to work in an environment where he or she can’t expect good performance from colleagues. Also, growing empowerment, with accountability, will only accelerate everyone’s participation in the growth of your business.
- Respect your employees. The very simplest of demonstrations of respect for diversity, establishing a fair and ethical work place, and good will to one another internally will determine the view the outside market has of your company.
These all seem obvious, but living them and proactively working them every day will positively influence the success of your enterprise.