Wednesday, May 03, 2006

All Businesses Are People Businesses

Regardless of what product or service you offer, your business is a people business. Therefore you MUST study people and learn as much as you can about people so that you will know how to interact with people for successful business. You have people IN your business and people who NEED your business. They must ALL be taken care of.
The English Version:
After having read the book, The One Minute Manager, I've become more passionate about people. As stated in this book, most managers give energy to things such as punishing or rebuking people and bossing people around. This is what most of us are accustomed to seeing in our managers in different parts of life. Most managers are concerned solely with results and profits and they want to achieve success in business at any cost. They will trample and crush anything and anyone who gets in their way. Those are the "my way or the highway" people and their success rate is usually very low. Wanting to achieve success is great but there must be accompanying factors and support systems. Most managers want to catch you in the act of making a mistake. This MUST be reversed to catch people in the act of doing something right. This gives you a chance to pat that person on the back. A pat on the back is very powerful and conveys a feeling of belonging and worth.
Now it is impossible for you the manager to get ALL of the work in the business done yourself. Therefore you're going to be employing people at different levels. The happier these people are the more productive they will be. Therefore you need to place results in second or third place and prioritize your PEOPLE. Focus on their needs and show them how being in your business can benefit them. Give incentives (financially and otherwise). Establish and teach them simple systems and show them how to stick to them. Most managers dedicate the least amount of energy to people and people's development. This is a common mistake and only a few managers ever really step outside of that "construct" and focus on empowering people.
You cannot lead from the front because you won't see which one behind you needs his hand held to skip over obstacles. What we fail to realise is that most people must push through their learning curve before being able to competently do their duties. When a father teaches his son to ride a bike, he takes a while before he lets go of the seat and let the boy go solo. It takes time and encouragement to "create" good workers.
In addition to "creating" good workers, you must know where to find them as well as where to find your customers. You cannot expect to succeed if you open a scuba gear shop all the way up in the mountains where everyone loves to ski. Always try to go where there are people who already want what you offer. Maybe you've heard about the failed McDonalds restaurant in India some years ago. Why did they fail there and nowhere else? The cow is sacred to Indians so they do not eat beef hence no burgers were sold.
If you're into business networking, there are many online networking sites that can yield great results. I started benefiting in less than 2 days from my own venture up this alley. You have an opportunity to see exactly what people like/dislike BEFORE you get them into business with you. When you understand people, you make better choices when seeking business partners or employees. People also have different personalities so don't think the same methods or approaches will work for everyone. Some people are slow to adapt to new ideas or opportunities presented to them and others jump right in with little information. Not everyone is a risk taker but what you need to do with EVERYONE is relate to them in their native language. If they're excited charismatic people, adjust to suit and customise to suit each of them. If you encounter someone who is laid back and wants tons and tons of information before making a decision, then go ahead and unload the information on them. NEVER BLANK ANYONE. In many cases, the people who "hem and haw" the most before joining you in business end up being some of the most productive on your team so be patient with them. Of course you won't freeze in your tracks while waiting on their decision but you can check in on them every now and then (do not bug them) to see how their progress is going. This method helps you achieve a high success rate in building ANY business.
Always remember people are your greatest resource. So be certain that you take care of them.

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