When you’re in business you often hear the phrase “people buy from people”, but just how important are people, and personality, in running a successful business?
On Monday, Gordon Brown the British Prime Minister announced that he is to step down as leader of the Labour party. What was his main problem? Policies, recessions and unemployment aside, people lost faith in him and the moment that happens, whether you are a businessperson or a politician, you are in trouble.
A series of blunders led to Gordon Brown’s downfall; allegations of bullying, public gaffes and the icing on the cake was Labour losing the General Election. But it was the nuances of his character that left him being criticized and deemed as cold, unfriendly and awkward.
If Gordon Brown had a better public persona would the general public have forgiven him these blunders? It is difficult to say but in small business we can learn a lot abut the importance of public relations through this story.
I, for one, have encountered a rude, curt or abrupt salesperson and gone out of my way to not purchase something from them. I know people who have left one job in favour of another simply because their boss was difficult to get along with, unreasonable or simply unappreciative.
This doesn’t mean you always have to be nice to be successful in business, we all know there are times when tough decisions have to be made, but having a personality that blends in to the ethos of your company is vital. Once you have developed this micro-culture within your small business employees and customers will know exactly where they stand and what to expect.
A great deal of small business success can be attributed to developing a company personality. This is considerably easier if, as a small business owner, you have passions, belief and a purpose behind your business. It is your ethos, values and priorities that will become the lifeblood of your small business. Make sure they are positive.
Creating a personality for your business isn’t about cracking jokes and being the life and soul of the party. It can be anything from creating an environmental awareness within your company, through to flexibility for your employees. It’s not about being nice; it’s about being approachable, respected, open and considerate.
Under Gordon Brown Labour lost their personality and strayed from those that so fervently supported them in previous years. This election proved that. Don’t let the same happen to your small business. Your company’s personality should be representative of the thoughts, values, experiences and character of the small business owner.
So, what’s the personality of your small business?