In this post I pose the question, who or what should come first in business?
To be successful, should we focus on getting the right customers or getting our People right?
Pandemic or otherwise, What should be the priority of a business? Cash or Culture? Is being Busy important over everything else?
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 have all the power to choose. I love that as a consumer myself. I, as an Entrepreneur, always choose who will be on my team, So, I believe that I should also select who my customers will be.
As, I am not trying to win an election, I am not trying to be popular. I am building businesses to solve real problems faced by humanity. My team is crucial to achieving this very important goal.
The focus of every business out there has to be about building great products and services that add value. To do that, businesses need to have great processes, technology and people. You have to deploy and use the best people and systems to help you execute your strategy 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 well then the rest will fall into place like magic.
You cannot control the culture of your customer organisations or partner companies. But, you can select the partners and choose your customers. I have removed staff and also sacked customers and partners due to this cultural misfit.
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 mis-aligned partner will not be able to help you thrive. A greedy partner will become a competitor soon. It will be very hard to fix these things. 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 long term goal of a business. You must aim to Thrive and Dominate your markets and Industries. You need to innovate. You need great staff in order to do that. Otherwise your business ought to die.
This prioritisation is never an excuse to keep a staff member who is not worthy of your company. It is the reason to remove the bad apples real quick. 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. Support your people at all times. It is fine to reprimand them and perhaps even demote them if required. Regardless, always assist your staff to become better and build systems to help alleviate issues that led to the problem in the fist place.Other team members are always watching so 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 those as your priority when you are just 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 get to 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 people first. We are happy to share how we use systems and processes to help us with this. Contact me via email at email@example.com