How do you reply when someone asks you, “How’s business?” What do you think, and what do you say? How does your staff talk about your business? And what’s the message they pass on to others?
Over the years, I’ve been involved owning, working in, and working on various different business through differing economic conditions.
I was once told that a good answer to the question of “How’s business?” is to say, “Interesting, really interesting.”
‘Interesting’ covers a range of possibilities, and if the person who asked you was doing anything more than just being polite, it can open up an ‘interesting’ conversation.
Let’s face it, you probably don’t want to brag about how well you are doing, nor do you probably want to spill your guts with the woes of the world and reveal intimate details of the stresses and strains you are under. I can tell you, I’ve tried both ways – plus a whole lot more.
After years of trying different responses, I sincerely believe that the best response is, “Business Is Great!” It works, no matter who you are talking to – customers, suppliers or staff.
Now, my next comment may seem more than a little self-absorbed and not very customer-focused, but the most important person you can be talking to about how business is, is yourself.
Yep, I sincerely believe that how you talk to yourself and how you choose to see the world is the foundation of how your business will be. After that, your staff is the next important. Then your customers. Then others…
So, is business really “great”? Or is this some positive-thinking delusion-inducing affirmation that you are using simply to con yourself and others?
Well, in reality, your business is probably not going to be ‘perfect’ in the boom times, and obviously, tough times will bring other challenges. Only a naive fool would think that tough economic conditions won’t impact you in some way – but it’s not all bad. At least, it doesn’t have to be.
From my experience, in every industry, there are always some businesses and some people that do well, even in “the tough times”.
How we choose to see the world, and even more importantly, how we choose to influence those around us to see the world, is critical. We can inspire others or we can discourage them.
Sometimes this inspiration and influence might be conscious and deliberate to motivate our team and encourage them, to help them share our vision for the future. Other times, people just observe us in our actions – and follow our lead.
But what messages are we giving them? How do they think about our business, and how are they going to talk to others about our business?
I was running a business magazine and publishing company twenty years ago in Australia when the country was hit by a recession. Most businesses were implementing cost-cutting measures and were cutting back on purchasing advertising. In the magazine publishing industry, a large portion of revenues came in through advertising sales so this started to impact on our business.
Having some customers who stop buying from you is bad enough, but it starts to get a lot more serious when some of your own salespeople start seeing and believing the stories of doom and gloom. It can be a downwards spiral from there.
But, as the owner and editor of the magazine, I was seeing things differently. Every day, I was talking with plenty of businesses that were, in fact, still going strong! Some were doing better than ever – especially as their competitors fell by the wayside, distracted, disturbed and discouraged by the negativity around them.
So, I felt I needed to change the focus and the mind-set and help our sales team see the same vision as I was seeing. And I needed them to understand it was okay – even essential really – for them to see the world differently than others.
We talked a lot about this in team meetings, but I felt it needed to be crystallized even further, for myself just as much as for our staff. One night, I sat down in my office and started writing, The result was “Business Is Great”.
Read the Business Is Great Poem to know more about business freedom.
Source by Richard Keeves