In this post I pose the question, who or what should come first in business? Clients or Staff? What should be the priority of a business? Cash or Culture? Is being Busy important over everything else? To be successful, should we focus on getting the right Projects or getting our People right? I then explain why, We choose staff, over, customers, any day.
Every enterprise exist to serve its customers and without their custom there is no reason for the business to be operating. However, a customer, should never come before your staff.
Today’s consumers are very demanding and they have all the power. I love that as a consumer myself. But, as an Entrepreneur, just as I always Choose my staff, I believe that I should select my customers too.
Well, I am not trying to win an election. I am not trying to be popular. I am building businesses to solve complex problems faced by humanity. My team is crucial to achieving this goal.
The focus of every business out there has to be about building great products and services. To do that, businesses need to have great processes and people. You have to deploy and use the best systems to help you execute well.
Making sure that the business is made of an ‘A Team’ and has a great culture is the key responsibility of any management team. If you could do this then the rest will fall into place.
You cannot control the culture of your customer organisations or partner companies. But, you can select the partners and choose your customers.
When marketing and prospecting, ensure that you qualify your customers carefully with this in mind.
When partnering with other businesses ensure that those organisations are aligned to your core values.
An unreasonable prospect will soon become a very difficult customer. When their values are not the same as yours, the interactions will become a nightmare.
A greedy partner will become a competitor soon. So please pick them wisely.
I know that for those businesses that are struggling to survive, this is easier said than done and I get it. I was there. But, Survival can never be a goal of a business. You must aim to Thrive and Dominate your markets and Industries. You need great staff in order to do that.
This is never an excuse to keep a staff member who is not worthy of your company. If someone doesn’t deserve to represent our brand proudly they should be gone immediately.
If a staff is on the wrong with a customer, help them understand, learn and fix the situation fast. It is fine to reprimand them and perhaps even demote them if required. Regardless, always support your staff. Other team members are watching and lead them by example.
Just as you will fire staff who are no longer believe in your cause, you should sack those customers who don’t deserve your service.
When I sacked a customer for the very first time, It was not easy. It was just under 12 months into our venture. This was one of the 3 customers we were actively working on. But, it was a clear decision as that business didn’t share our values.
Similarly, stop working with those partners who are no longer adding value or sharing your values. Never make people your priority when you are an option to them.
There are plenty of people on this planet and they all can become customers. But, your staff are special. Not everyone can represent your brand. So, look after those chosen ones.
Invest in the Training and improvement of your team members. Help them hone their skills. Get constant feedback and action every possible option to improve your team.
Always put your staff before everyone else.