The Most Important Factors In Any Business
Many businesses struggle to decide what are the most important things to focus on – especially when they are in startup mode.
The most important parts of any business are not things like fancy computers, whiteboard walls, or anything else that is a distraction from the three most important parts to a business’ success.
Nothing comes before and everything builds upon what I consider to be the three most important part of every business:
- Employee Experience
- Customer Experience
It is that simple! Without these three things, you business will suffer and won’t grow.
If you don’t have sales, even infrequent ones at the start, you’re not a business, you’re a hobby. Hobbies are fun and I encourage everyone to have a hobby and to spend their time doing things they enjoy – but running a business like a hobby gets expensive fast. The main difference between a business and a hobby if that the former gets you paid – and that relies upon sales.
Sales are the key to everything from hiring employees to getting nice office furniture, and growing your toolset. If you want more money, you need more sales!
Second, In every sale, the customer either has a bad experience or a good experience, I personally don’t believe in anything in between. If they weren’t blown away, the experience wasn’t good enough.
Customers who get fantastic service leave great reviews and tell friends and other potential customers. Consistency is important with customer service, 1 excellent experience can’t be followed by 4 mediocre or bad ones. This uses systems that are in place, especially online, to grow your business just by doing business! Failure to have good customer experiences though can produce negative effects, so they must be avoided.
If the customer doesn’t have a good experience, it is 99% of the time, the fault as the owner/manager. The exception is that some people are just bad customers, but that can be mitigated by the management of expectations, which must be set at the start and delivered upon for every customer. If the expectations were set but not delivered upon by the business, management is responsible – and must work to fix the experience if possible.
So how do you create great customer experiences? Simple: Create great employee experiences.
Employees who are taken care of financially, given the proper tools, given necessary and always expanding training, and a work environment that allows them to have autonomy over their tasks, will make your customers’ experiences excellent.
This includes both employees that do and those that don’t interface directly with customers as salespeople. Every employee’s actions and efforts have to be geared towards creating great customer experiences – and this is why management must work to create great employee experiences!
Here Are Some Examples:
- An employee that is stressed about money because of low pay can’t deliver great customer experiences. If they are wondering how they’re going to pay rent because they aren’t paid enough or given enough hours, how can they be worried about the customers’ experience?
- An employee without proper tools cannot complete their tasks, whether is is a hammer for a carpenter or an email address for a sales person.
- If the employee isn’t trained properly for what your business expects, they won’t know how to do their job correctly and won’t be able to meet expectations that have been set for the customer. But they aren’t to blame, they weren’t trained! Everything from how to answer the phone to software usage, and meeting structure varies in every business and industry, empower your employees to do their best work with training.
- If employees don’t autonomy over their own work, their individual talents are being wasted. Every employee needs to have the opportunity to bring themselves into their work which makes their actions and interactions genuine and authentic (this is also a great case against micromanagement). If your customer feels genuinely cared for when doing business with you, they will be back, will leave good reviews, and will tell their peers.
All sales travel through the employee experience to the customer experience, and the more you care for your employees, the more they are able to care for the customer experience when completing your sales.
Small businesses can’t afford to not have excellent employee experiences.
I’ve worked at some amazing businesses, but at each place, the biggest factor I remember was my employee experience. Being taken care of, given tools, and trusted to accomplish tasks empowered me to do my best work and do my part in delivering an excellent customer experience, even if I wasn’t directly communicating with customers. It can be even as simple as encouraging customers to leave their desks/work behind for 10 minutes every three hours and go on a walk. Some managers might feel like this loses them ~30 minutes of work each day, but instead is gains an employee that is more focused, less stressed, and better able to work effectively. I learned this first-hand when working in Los Angeles where I had to go move my car every 2 hours.
Many business owners I’ve worked with feel similarly, going as far as to make employees who are having a bad day for any reason go home early with full pay knowing they can’t deliver the level of customer experience expected.
To review, everything else in a business rests upon these three focus points: sales, customer experience and employee experience. To buy better computers or any tools, you need more sales, more sales are completed to an excellent customer experience standard by employees who are having an excellent employee experience with proper pay, tools, training and environment.
No business can afford to not have all three. Long term if will ensure that sales come in the door and leave NEEDING to write a glowing review and to tell their friends that they had the “best experience ever” – helping drive more sales simply by doing better business.
Watch the full video on these three focus points below or click below to read more articles like this one!
Creative Director and Head Producer, Modern Icon Media