Four Ways to Stand Out and Grow Your Business

Creating a successful business is about so much more than creating a website and selling your wares. Here are four ways to stand out and grow your business.

Four Ways to Grow Your Business

Creating a Great Culture – Whether you are a Fortune 1000 company or a two person company it’s never too early to decide the kind of culture you want to create and determine what your culture stands for. For example, Whole Foods Market started from the humblest beginnings by two unique individuals, John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy, and as they grew they hired those that fit their culture. Whole Foods Market’s culture is a critical factor in the firm’s success. A company’s culture influences every aspect of its business. Whole Foods Market shows that its culture is a major contributor to the brand’s strength. The firm has become popular not just because of its quality products, but also because of its culture. When you focus on your culture, you create a strong foundation of values, beliefs, and expectations that cause you to stand out in the marketplace that will ultimately allow you to grow your business.

Showing Your Customers You Care – Customer appreciation is a lost art. But smart businesses know that showing customers how much they genuinely care is an opportunity to win people over for life. A little personalization goes a long way. I feel that the most successful companies find unique ways to show their customers they care about them. “You want to go where everybody knows your name,” is the theme song from the popular 1980’s TV sitcom Cheers. After a warm welcome, Jonathan from Central Asia, a popular neighborhood Chinese takeout restaurant, not only knows my name but he knows exactly what I want. Fifteen minutes later, I head for the door a happy customer. On the rare occasion when my meal is not to my liking, Central Asia will pick up the cost the next time I order. My hair stylist at Facets of Hair will accommodate my hectic schedule even if it means opening the shop on Sunday morning. When you show your customers you care, the news will spread and you will gain a competitive advantage.

Leading with Optimism – Optimism is a competitive advantage and is an essential ingredient of innovation. Optimists raise the aspirations of people to achieve their individual best by focusing on innovation, problem solving and creative failures. Research has shown that positive emotions actually fuel creativity and enhance your reasoning skills thus creating more successful results. It’s the optimists who believe that success is not impossible and will take the actions necessary to grow your business. At AOL, optimism is a part of the culture while negative thinking is actively discouraged. AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong for example doesn’t allow loser talk.

Pursuing Excellence – To succeed in the marketplace, companies must embrace a competitive strategy. It takes excellence to make a company work, and it involves putting quality into everything you do. It is clear that those who pursue excellence and share this attitude will stand above the competition.

Do you have any stories that you’d like to share of companies that show their customers how they care?