By Robert Wagner, HoganTaylor Advisory Lead Partner
“You See George, You’ve Really Had A Wonderful… Business?”
In the holiday movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” small-town mortgage lender George Bailey receives an unusual and profound gift. A guardian angel shows him a view of the world as if he had never lived. He was able to see the lives he had positively impacted and how he had elevated his community. In short, he was able to know with certainty that his life had mattered.
If you are a business owner, you can be assured that your life and your business matter. You are changing lives and impacting your community. You matter.
Christmas is often described as a “magical time of year.” During this season, lifelong memories are created and shared with those we love. We reflect on the good of humanity and the many blessings we have received. This year, reflect also on the magic of your business and be confident that your life’s work matters.
Six Reasons Your Business Matters
1. Your business provides solutions to your customer’s most important problems
Whether you offer your products and services to consumers or to other businesses, you are helping them solve their most important problems and enabling them to also be successful.
Customers buy from you for a reason, and it is rarely just price. They appreciate how you treat them and how well your product or service meets their needs. You stand behind your work and are willing to go the “extra mile” so your customers know that when something goes wrong, you will take care of it. You treat your customers’ employees with respect, and that means you probably care about all people.
2. Your business provides hope for employees to overcome past circumstances
Your company provides wages and opportunities for employees who may have come from families that have never experienced hope and a bright future. By providing the right environment and by truly caring for your team, your business helps employees break through generational poverty and the accompanying hopelessness and despair. Furthermore, the impact of your business reaches deep into families and changes the trajectory of the lives of children and even grandchildren. As they see their own family change for the better, they learn to confidently believe in a future of possibilities instead of the certainty of need.
3. Your business provides hope that some businesses and their employees do keep their promises
The promises you routinely keep to your customers and employees is a powerful motivator and encourager to those who have been let down in life many times. When you do what you said you would do, and when you demonstrate that you make decisions based on your stated values, even when it is hard, you prove that you and your business can be trusted and that you will not let people down when it counts.
4. Your business provides a culture that brings happiness and fulfillment to people’s lives
People are not loyal to companies. They are loyal to people and to culture. The loyalty you enjoy from your team is a direct result of the culture you have built and the leadership you and others are providing. For most people, being happy, challenged, and believing they are making a difference are far more powerful motivators than money. Great people have employment choices and your people are choosing to serve at your company because it brings them some level of joy. Even more profoundly, the joy that you and your business bring to their lives is multiplied many times as they interact with your customers and with the community around them.
5. Your business provides powerful experiences that propel people’s lives forward
Your business provides opportunities for people to grow. How often does someone trace the turning point in their work lives back to a single event when they were asked to stretch themselves into a new challenge or to do a task they had never done before.- Your business provides these kinds of opportunities, hopefully in a relatively safe environment. These opportunities provide people with the chance to discover hidden talents and/or to learn new skills. For many people, the opportunities they have experienced at work have helped take them further than they ever dreamed possible.
6. Your business provides your community with stability and the resources to fix problems and move forward
Building a healthy business with happy and motivated employees makes your community better, as well. A strong workforce needs goods and services, including housing, transportation, entertainment, and dining options. These businesses drive additional business investment, growth, and opportunity. A strong workforce also provides resources to work on community problems and to invest in the community’s future. Without your business, and many others like it, communities suffer.
This year, as you enjoy this special season, know with certainty that your business matters to those around you and your community at large.