5 min read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
Starting a business is one thing, but creating a business for which talented people ask to work is a completely different challenge. There are many companies today that focus more on sales and growing their business than on other essentials, such as creating a place where people want to work.
If you want to start a business that makes a difference in the lives of its employees and ultimately make a difference in the world, it’s time to focus on more than just selling. Below I have provided some ideas that I believe can help build a business that not only grows but excels in today’s economy.
1. Align your business with a cause.
Aligning your business with a cause continues to gain popularity. Why? Simply put, good people want to work for good people. Business owners who want to change the world often use their brand as a means to do so, and in turn attract employees who believe in the same cause. For example, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need somewhere in the world for each pair they sell. What most people don’t know is that TOMS also does this with many other products such as glasses, coffee (which allows them to provide clean water) and bags. Many people want to be part of something much bigger than them. They want to feel like they are doing their part to help make the world a better place. Aligning your business with a cause will help you attract authentic people.
Related: How Two Ambitious Women Succeeded With a Motivated Business
2. Offer the opportunity to grow within the company.
People looking for a company to work for are very attentive to the growth the company offers its employees. Employees want to be able to progress within the company as the business grows. As a business owner, if you can’t offer too much growth right now financially, offer something that will keep workers working for the future. Offer them the opportunity to implement some of their own ideas in the business. Make them feel that you really want them and that they matter to your business. Keep in mind that this approach will be different for everyone. Some would feel accomplished for their ideas to materialize and some would not think that this is enough to stay. Know the person you are talking to.
Related: 10 Ways to Develop Leaders in Your Business
3. Show your employees that you are ready to do the job they are doing.
A very common complaint among employees is that the business owner is unwilling to do what is expected of their employees. They bark orders to their team without any intention of getting their hands dirty. Instead of being the owner of a business that gives orders and reviews on how to do something better, be the one to step in and show them. Show your employees that you are willing to take the time to do the work they are doing. Help them, give them advice, lift them up. The people who work for you will respect you more for this.
4. Offer an open door policy for ideas.
Many companies leave their ideas to the owner, the CEO or sometimes the managers. In my experience, companies lose good ideas from their soldiers on the ground. Employees in the field have the best customer perspective. They can see and hear what the customer has to say. They know what the customer likes and doesn’t like. Creating an open door policy to share the ideas of all employees, whatever the job title, can be a very strong incentive for your employees. Not to mention the benefits it has for business growth. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. There is a good chance that one of your employees has a revolutionary idea, but you will never know because you are not inviting them to present their ideas. Keep in mind that most people want to feel valued and creating an open door policy for ideas will make your business much more attractive to a talented person.
Related: How Successful Leaders Balance Skepticism and Openness
5. Respect your employees as human beings.
In my opinion, this is the most important element of all when starting a business. It is common to hear your friend or neighbor complaining about having a bad boss. They speak of their rudeness or show no respect. This is the biggest dead end for employees. They don’t want to work for a company that has a boss who treats them like dirt. As a business owner, treating your employees with respect and being human will easily make your business stand out. Show compassion to your employees. Talk to them and really show them that you care about their interests and what’s going on in their lives. Create a healthy and positive relationship with your employees and they will support you.
Starting a business these days is not about the number of products you can sell, but the stories you can tell. Creating something bigger than yourself is the ultimate goal of leaving your mark on this world. Create a business that represents something or that will represent nothing.