Your business shouldn’t focus on money this year. That sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But there’s a very good reason for it, one that pays off even bigger in the end.
Why shouldn’t your business focus on money?
For those who aren’t familiar with Jack Welch, he’s most noted for being the Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981-2001, during which time the company’s value rose 4,000%.
General Electric is perennially named one of the world’s top 10 most admired companies and number 1 in their industry. So when Jack speaks, people listen. And here’s what Jack has to say:
“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.” – Jack Welch
But Mr. Welch isn’t the only person who thinks you shouldn’t focus on money and quick profits.
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group’s magnate who’s helped launch over 400 companies over the years, holds a similar belief. So does Herb Kelleher, co-founder, Chairman Emeritus, and former CEO of Southwest Airlines (also a perennial top 10 most admired company).
Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway (a third perennial top 10), Walt Disney of The Walt Disney Company (a fourth), Steve Jobs of Apple (a fifth), and so many other leaders who’ve created the world’s best brands all hold this common belief that a business should not focus on money.
Clearly, there’s something to the sentiment, but what is it? What are all these titans of business focusing on instead?
So, what should your business focus on?
A business’ top priority should be delighting customers.
Businesses should focus on giving customers more, on providing them with the best experience possible. And if that best experience isn’t currently available, you should create it.
Think about Disney. Their mission for decades has been “making dreams true.” When you watch a Disney film, and certainly when you walk through a Disney park, you experience the magic. It’s fantastic!
Each year, Disney World raises their prices, and each year, more people pay for the Disney experience. Customers value the experience, and when you create great experiences, everyone wins.
When Virgin Atlantic first started, they had one plane, with one route. Every industry expert thought they were idiots! But Virgin provided an (at the time) unheard of member lounge with complimentary everything. Food, drinks, the whole nine!
The experts thought this was crazy. That there was no way spending so much money on “frivolities” could possibly work, especially competing against so many legacy brands.
But consumers quickly decided they’d rather pay more for an enjoyable travel experience. (This included “Upper Class” service at discounted rates, and complimentary limos to/from the airport.)
People wanted to be treated like humans instead of numbers, and they rewarded Virgin for providing that experience with their business.
Customers look for great service. Customers look for friendly faces, for helpful associates, for businesses who treat them like royalty, for helpful products, and for great experiences.
Instead of focusing on money this year, you have got to focus on delighting your customers and users! Make their experiences magical, and you’ll win.
All the companies and leaders mentioned above, and dozens of others, focus on creating experiences people want. That’s why they’ve become some of the most successful brands in the world!
The fact is, customers don’t care about your bottom line, they care about their experiences. So don’t focus on money. Instead, focus on delighting customers and providing the best experience possible.
If you were a customer, isn’t that what you’d want?
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