Business > Small Business Enterprises
Why conscious business practices are the future for any small business
There is a lot of uncertainty in the business world at present, with every day bringing a new challenge. Regulations seem to constantly change, whilst global events affect people’s spending habits. Advances in technology may have made it much easier to do business, yet this has just increased the number of new companies each year and so in turn the amount of competition. These types of challenges affect all businesses but are particularly difficult for a small business.
Conscious business practices can be adopted to effectively overcome these hurdles. When implemented into a business, the team will follow robust strategies that will provide them with the ability to create solutions for any issue. These practices will benefit the company, its employees, and its customers.
Conscious business is a concept based on being aware of the consequences of our behaviours and actions. At its core is the idea that it is essential to do no harm to others as we go about our working day. Conscious businesses aim to maximise the benefits to people and the planet and are just as focused on their customers’ profits as their own.
Values are one of the most important aspects of a conscious business. This is what defines the company and the behaviour of everyone within it. Typically conscious businesses adopt values like authenticity, integrity, and care. Every element of the business from the website to internal communications are aligned with these. This embeds a supportive and positive energy into the company. Potential customers who place importance on these same values will naturally be drawn to the company and, when they recognise the outstanding way they are treated, will become long-term customers.
Communication has long been held as one of the most important skills for a businessperson to develop and it is no different within a conscious business. After all, it is through communication that you advertise the values of the company. However, did you know that the most important part of communication is listening? When we actively listen, we learn what is important to our customers. We can get to the heart of their issue and deliver an exceptional solution that caters to both the customer's wants and their needs. To practice great listening stay present; take on board everything the customer is saying and only consider your response when they have finished speaking.
It is equally important to listen to team members. Employing this skill heightens the collaborative aspect of the team within meetings and brainstorming sessions. Team members can build upon each other’s ideas and perhaps someone’s side comment is even heard which becomes the lynchpin in a truly innovative solution. To facilitate this, consider the sort of environment your team will need. Ensure everyone feels comfortable to be heard. Put in place rules which make meetings safe spaces where there are no wrong comments. Emphasise that there is a ‘no blame’ culture and mistakes are welcomed as they provide an opportunity to improve. Taking these steps will completely change the atmosphere in meetings and will drastically upgrade the quality of work produced.
The element of conscious business which places as much attention on the outcomes for the customer’s business as your advocates the adoption of a win/win strategy at any given opportunity. It is never a question of how you can best advance your cause, but how you can benefit all parties. A win/win strategy can be applied when negotiating with a customer, another department, or a teammate. Be aware of what are ‘must-have’ requirements for you as opposed to ‘nice to have’ ones and be prepared to relinquish some of the lower priority options in order to meet the requirements of the other parties. In the short term, you may not have the best possible solution for you, yet your behaviour will not go unnoticed. It will naturally gain ‘brownie points’ in the eyes of the other person who will be more than happy to return the favour at a later date. Perhaps you will get help on a future project or the customer will become a long-term, loyal customer.
Small businesses are often more centered on the people within them than other aspects of the business. Ultimately, they are the driving force of the company. Therefore, it is important to consider the well-being of the team. Within a conscious business, you’ll find additional benefits outside of remuneration so the team feels valued and cared for. Managers will understand what motivates each team member and will attempt to accommodate this; it could encompass flexible working hours, free lunches, long holidays, the opportunity to learn the latest tech, or simply receiving feedback on tasks. When these items are made available, team members will be happier, more focused, and more driven.
This article has covered some of the key reasons why applying conscious business practices to company strategies will have a massive impact on any small business. Just by becoming more aware of people’s natural tendencies, you will be able to adjust your behaviours and actions to create greater all-round benefits. Relationships with both team members and customers will transform, solutions will be elevated and your company will flourish.