Today is the next-to-last segment of the series, Preparing for War: You vs. Recession. Over the past week and a half, we have worked through the various things that entrepreneurs and small business owners can and should do to combat economic uncertainty and ultimately, the war against recession. There is no doubt, recession is on its way, if not already here lurking around every corner and already affecting us all.
But before we go on, allow me to reiterate, I’m not diminishing the importance of financial professionals by leaving them out of this series. It’s understood that managing and monitoring financials are extremely important functions, but there are many exceptional CPAs and the like out there to handle this function. It’s a given. Many have done a phenomenal job of doing so since the first lockdown. Again, kudos to these fantastic professionals. Survival to this point would not have been possible without you!
To recap the series, we addressed personal branding as a way to stand out in the community, understanding that people are attracted by a business or brand, but they want to do business with people. Being known (or perceived) as the subject-matter expert, the go-to person in the community certainly provides a leg up on competition while also building and reinforcing confidence in the minds of customers and employees alike. With personal branding established as a cornerstone of our strategy, we turned our focus to customer experience, employee experience and culture.
That said, the lion’s share of this series focused on the front line. It’s where the magic happens in a business. We also know it’s where catastrophes happen, as well. There’s a provider and a receiver in every transaction. Truly, it becomes a relationship beyond just handing over money or delivering food to a table. A positive experience is created by all the expected things in a transaction (quality food, product & service, professional environment, cleanliness, etc.) AND a sort of bond between provider and receiver, a relationship in the moment.
As well, the provider, the employee delivering a positive experience cannot be expected to do so if they aren’t experiencing their own positive experience within the business. We’ve identified the customer experience AND the employee experience as two additional cornerstones in our strategy. We took things a step further and introduced various tools and resources that would help monitor and evaluate both experiences including the Net Promoter System.
If you take only one thing away from this series, I highly recommend implementing the Net Promoter System in your business as soon as possible. Of course, I do recommend incorporating all parts of the strategy for optimum results. The Net Promoter System truly is a remarkable tool and one that highlights success and failure. It is spot-on!
The last cornerstone, culture was addressed and of course, is intertwined with the experience factor, both for customers and employees. In addition, culture extends to all stakeholders within the organization and that do business with the company or brand. I wholeheartedly agree with the quote from management guru, Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It does, for sure, but that certainly does not eliminate the need for strategy!
There you have it, the cornerstones of our strategy – personal branding, customer experience, employee experience, and culture. They make up a very strong foundation if all are developed and put into place diligently and correctly with no shortcuts. Like a foundation that has a weak cornerstone, the foundation becomes compromised and all above it will begin to show signs of damage. The extent of damage depends upon the weakness of the cornerstone, or as two or more cornerstones fail simultaneously.
So, what’s left? What’s missing?
Well, there is a very most important thing missing, a person, and that person is YOU! Yes, you, the business owner, the entrepreneur, the CEO, the brand leaders, or whomever is charged with and responsible for the success of the organization, company or brand. Although success is the result of many working together toward common goal, there must be a formidable leader at the helm. No war has been won without one leading the charge.
And we know that a leader must be at the top of his or her game in order to be successful, and even more so during challenging times. That means that tomorrow, we will turn our attention to mental health, the focus of such that is often lacking in the busyness of the day. Often, mental health as it relates to business and its leaders is only mentioned after the fact. Although we now know it must be front and center. Unfortunately, mental health is still on the backburner for many. That must change!
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count.