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You can create advantages for customers in how you run your business. For example, you could be trustworthy and responsive in an industry where most of your competitors simply never answer the phone. Alternatively, if you’re able to take on challenges artistically or commercially that your competitors won’t touch, that’s a business advantage as well.

Getting customer service right is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to become more successful. Good service increases customer satisfaction, encourages follow-on sales from happy customers, and it vastly increases referrals of your business to new customers.

You can have a business that sells exactly the same product that everyone else sells and yet earns far more just because your business does a better job of ensuring the customer will be happy with their purchase.

More and more customers are supporting businesses that align with their notions of social justice and ethical business practice. This is, in general, a good advantage to have.

Your business can be socially conscious, ethically conscious, environmentally conscious or a social enterprise but I say this to my students all the time: You cannot do good until you have done well.

The path to doing good through business is through doing well because a business that doesn’t do well goes broke and can no longer do good! Part of your business mission may be to drive awareness about a social issue or a common good but people must buy the product or service that you offer first. The social message gets carried with the success of the brand.

You don’t need to brush aside your ethical credentials but do make sure you build a viable business platform on which to express them. A social enterprise must be an enterprise first and foremost. The social bit comes second.

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