Excuse me? Do I work for you??


excuse meMaybe it is our growing obsession with everything American, or perhaps the growing stress of running a business in these turbulent times, or maybe it just has not crossed our minds. What am I talking about? The way that we deal with those who we are obtaining a service from of course!

I am becoming increasingly concerned with the amount of businesses who approach you to help them make their business better, then all of a sudden decide that you are now a lowly staff member and can be communicated with in a manner that is neither polite, nor professional.

Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when working with another business:

  • They are not working FOR you, they are working WITH you. Do not be surprised that your curt email or sharp text message elicits a poor response if any at all. Disrespecting a partner is never good practice, ask any divorce lawyer!
  • No matter how important you think you are or how much you think you are doing for that business by working with them, you are often only ONE of their clients. Expecting something to be done immediately after your communication 5 minutes ago is both unrealistic and arrogant!
  • The other business may be working with partners (or in our case) plugins made by third parties. If that other party is slow to respond or cannot be reached, no amount of badgering will change this fact.
  • What do you think that acting in this manner is doing for your reputation? If you treat a business you are supposed to be working with with disrespect, will you be cultivating great PR? Will they be recommending you to those who could take your business to the next level?
  • Think carefully, is this the way that you talk to your spouse, your parents or your employees? If the answer is no than you could be failing your business and earning yourself a bad reputation.

So what can we take away from this? The one rule that you must ALWAYS be aware of, every hour of every day as a business owner, is that YOU are the ambassador of your business. It does not matter if you are a cleaner, mechanic, flower arranger or financial advisor, the fact that you are part of this business immediately makes you the standard by which that business will be judged for better or worse. You may be the lowliest employee or the company director, to the customer or partner business this does not matter. If you treat them with discourtesy, YOU are damaging the image of your business and it is worth remembering that bad news often sticks around a lot longer than good – just look at the papers!

Today decide to be the person/business that you originally set out to be, be the solution that the business you left in order to start yours was not. Be polite, be patient and be courteous and remember that a good testimonial is worth its weight in gold, whilst bad service will see you back at that old company in no time..