Our firm believes each owner of a privately held business is unique. This affirmation is found on our website and at the bottom of my monthly newsletters. I have come to understand this uniqueness from a much deeper level in my years of working with this firm in having the privilege to serve business leaders from many different industries and backgrounds. Each company has its own set of core values and philosophies as the leader’s guidance and insight influences their employees.
Because each owner and company are unique, the following two principles must always be followed by those who serve them.
- Listen and Clearly Understand their Problems– What is a problem for one business may be a strength in another. There are no “cookie cutter” solutions to solving the issues facing a company. In order to understand and assist the owner, their unique problems and challenges must be first understood. Only then, can a solution begin to be developed.
- Treat Each Business Differently– If each company and its owner is unique, then the service provided to them is unique. It is called service differentiation and it is vital. Jonathan Burns explains it this way, “Service differentiation is the key to providing excellent, consistent service at a reasonable cost. This important profit lever is a process in which a company sets different service policies-ranging from order cycles to degree of operations integration-for different groups of accounts. The company always keeps its promises, but the promises are different to different groups of customers(Byrnes, p.159).”
Listening to a company owner carefully and treating each one differently shows they are valued, their challenges understood, and provides greater assurance they will be assisted.
*Byrnes, Jonathan L.S, (2010), Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink