Happiness and The Fringe Benefits of Friendly BusinessLance Winslow
November 1, 2011 — 1,665 views
Have you ever met a small business owner who ran their business in an angry way? They seemed Machiavellian when it came to bossing their employees around, and they were always trying to do harsh negotiations with their vendors. That's not a very friendly way to do business, but over time they probably reasoned to themselves that they can watch their costs, and run their business in an autocratic way, maximizing their profits.
The reality is the business world doesn't always work like that, and to run your business that way you could be shooting yourself in the foot. This doesn't mean you should allow your vendors to cheat you, or under deliver on their promises, nor does it mean that you should allow employees to text message their friends while at the cash register, or let their friends get free products when you're not around. In that case in a way the vendors or employees are stealing from you, and that's unacceptable.
Now then, there are fringe benefits to running a happy and friendly business. There is a thing called tough love, and that might be a better way to run a business, drawing lines in the sand with company policy, but also allowing the employees a little latitude, and the vendors a little give as long as they are holding up their end of the bargain, and performing as promised. Before retirement, I ran a franchising company, and in the franchise operations manuals I made a note of this. In fact, I had whole chapters on vendor relations, employee relations, and community business relations.
Why you ask? Because it is amazing the number of referrals you can get from your employees, your vendors, and other businesses in the community. That is if you treat them with the respect they've earned and deserve, and you get to know them on a friendly basis. I'm not saying that you have to go over to their home for a barbecue on the Fourth of July, friend them on Facebook, or give them free tickets to the ballgame; although you might.
Rather, I am suggesting to you that you should act friendly in your business dealings, not purposely boss people around for no reason, and always consider how you'd feel if you were in their shoes and they weren't yours. Be happy. There are so many fringe benefits to running your business in a friendly fashion, that it would be difficult to write it all down in one small article. Therefore, you are going to have to trust my advice because it comes from three decades of observation, and lots of experience. I surely hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
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Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank. Lance Winslow believes writing 24,444 articles by September 4th at 4:44 PM will be difficult because all the letters on his keyboard are now worn off now.