We remember a time when it was considered soft or weak in business to have a real focus on giving back. You weren’t a real contender, you weren’t playing in the big league. But thankfully as Bob Dylan so eloquently said ‘times are a changin’. Are you guys old enough to have even heard of Bob Dylan? Maybe we are showing our age. How about this thought from Beyonce ”Take all the rules away. How can we live if we don’t change?”
So yes, times are changing. We are moving to an empathy state. You can now care about supporting your community, you can be generous with time and advice, you can dedicate a portion of profits to a charity you are passionate about while still turning a handsome profit. Generosity does not mean small and broke. Generosity now means abundance.
I LOVE TO GIVE
Generosity is about being willing to give a piece of yourself, whether that be time or expertise. It’s about caring enough to put someone else’s needs or success before yours. It’s about inspiring others and it’s about doing all of this without expecting anything in return.
Multi-million dollar companies have been built because staff are willing to go that extra mile to make customers feel good or because a business leader has generously connected two people that can build a symbiotic business relationship that breeds success.
But don’t just take our word for it. According to Fred Reichheld, the author of “The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth,” a 12% increase in brand advocacy, on average, generates a 2X increase in revenue growth rate. As competition becomes fierce companies need to infuse a spirit of generosity to stand out from the crowd and this principle does translate into tangible business results.
TAKE A LOOK AT ZAPPOS
Zappos is a great example of a brand that lives by generosity. Zappos sell shoes as well as clothing, handbags, accessories, and more. At a time when every business is trying to cut the amount of calls to their call centres to reduce costs, Zappos is proud to set records for the longest calls ever (they boast 10-hour, 8-hour, and 6-hour calls). They want their customers to know that they care and that they will spend whatever time necessary to make them happy. Zappos randomly upgrades their customers’ shipping for free so that they can delight you in getting your packages earlier than expected. Any Zappos employee is ready and willing to go above and beyond their duty of selling you shoes. They will help you with any simple problem on a given day. In 2009 Amazon bought Zappos for $1.2 billion. A warm and fuzzy brand that can’t be taken seriously. I don’t think so.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank.
SIMPLE WAYS TO CREATE A GENEROUS BUSINESS CULTURE
Try adding in one or two of these suggestions into your business model and see how this shifts your business.
- Give your customers a little taste of something for free, you never know, they may pay full price for it once they have fallen in love with it.
- Offer extra benefits in exchange for customer information, allowing you to personalise communication.
- Be generous with your time and advice, without expecting anything in exchange, to focus on a lifetime customer and not just a single transactional customer.
- Inspire as a thought leader with free education on a relevant topic.
- Donate a percentage of profits to support a meaningful cause, and passionately and vocally get behind the cause.
GENEROSITY IN YOUR BUSINESS
If you have found a way to infuse generosity in your business, which translates into better business results we would love to hear from you. Let us know how you did it? Just send us a message at [email protected]
Jodie + Em xx