Mankind is Your Business January 18, 2012Uncategorizedemployees and customers, focus on people, successful business peopleMike Mann If you read A Christmas Carol or watched one of its many film adaptations during the last Christmas season, you may recognize the statement, “mankind was my business.” If Ebenezer Scrooge were a businessman in today’s world of social media, he probably would not be very successful. Businesses must focus on people to be successful. You can offer excellent products and services, but if they don’t fulfill a need, you won’t find any buyers. On the other hand, if you meet people’s needs, they will come back to you, and they will bring their friends with them. Focusing on People It is people who make your company profitable, not products and services. Customers, employees, and investors are the most important resources in any business venture. Your products and services are solutions to your customer’s problems and sources of revenue for your employees, investors, and you. Thus, products and services are means to the end (making a profit), and not the end itself. While most business owners already know this, it can be easy to forget when bogged down in day-to-day operations. Employees and investors want you to make as much money for them as possible, while customers want you to make as little money off of them as possible. The tension between these two groups will always be felt in business. Because you know your employees and investors personally but not your customers, it is easier to pay them their due attention as people. In the end, however, you must make your customers happy in order to pay your employees and please your investors. If you give the needs of each group—customers, employees, and investors—their due attention, you will be able to find the proper balance. An “Organic” Approach to Business In search engine optimization, the term “organic” refers to links to your site that people naturally create when they mention you in their blog or talk about you in online news forums. The term “organic” also applies when they ‘like’ you on Facebook or tweet about you on Twitter. The Best Practices of Internet marketing require companies to focus on their customers as people. The same techniques that produce organic links to your website also produce pleased customers. Companies that don’t focus on people don’t get the organic links and social media chatter they need to rank on the Internet. And therefore, they are not visible to customers. On the other hand, companies that do focus on people will gain both organic links and social media attention. They will earn customer trust and referrals. The Right Way to Please Customers An “organic” business approach is one that pleases customers. Many customers have high expectations, and it can seem daunting to please them. However, there are ways to meet and even exceed your customer’s expectations that won’t break the bank. First, do market research to find out what your target audience truly wants. Then, make it your whole focus to design products and services that go beyond your customer’s wants. This will pleasantly surprise them, earn their loyalty, and connect them with your brand. After that, you must keep producing high-quality products and services that will maintain that connection. This approach to business may be easier said than done, but it is essential to a people-centric focus. When you meet your customer’s needs, they talk about you. When you meet their needs spectacularly, they actively market for you!