Let’s face it. A lot of people out there seem to be of the opinion that Business Owners are all greedy, selfish and only looking out for themselves. While this description no doubt fits some folks out there, it certainly is not the case with most of the Business Owners I have met, done business with and worked for. Yet that common perception about Business Owners often makes us feel guilty for wanting to grow and improve our businesses. Scrooge is my favorite Christmas story and perfectly illustrates the opportunities for generosity we have in business. So in the spirit of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, let’s look at what changing the path of the future of your business might do to improve the lot of others.
- Give better value than is expected for your industry. Don’t be a Scrooge – give guarantees, give your client a little more than they expect, be faster, cleaner, more contentious than anyone else they can choose for a comparable product or service. Making your clients happy will produce repeat business, enthusiastic referrals and will grow your business.
- Encourage Joy in life – Like Fezziwig, Scrooge’s old Boss, say thank you to your employees and customers – Reward and encourage loyalty and referrals. People buy from those they know, like and trust, so build those attitudes by treating them joyously and kindly.
- Provide a job for someone – as you focus on giving value and being a positive person to do business with, you just might find yourself more profitable as your favorable reputation spreads. This is the perfect point to hire someone. Even if you are not in the position to bring someone on full time, you may be able to hire someone who specializes in doing some of the tasks you have been handling – like a bookkeeper, an HR specialist or IT service. Bob Cratchet’s salary provided for his family, kept merchants in business, and contributed to the general welfare through taxes. The better the standard of living is in our community, the more our businesses grow.
- Give more generously – As business leaders we have the opportunity to see and solve the needs in our community. Tiny Tim and those in the workhouses of Scrooge’s day are with us still. The more profitable we can make our businesses, the more generous we should be to less fortunate. Just as many business owners designate a percentage of sales to marketing, let’s designate a percentage of profit to philanthropy.
- Pay more Taxes – Support government through a larger tax basis. The more profitable we are, the more dollars we contribute to support our government through taxes. The more we employ people, the more taxes they contribute. The more times a dollar changes hands, taxed at each transaction, the more is contributed to the IRS, States, Counties and cities.
So don’t feel guilty for striving for a more successful business. Focus instead on using your business as a means of prospering all those around you.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!