At the beginning of each year, untold resolutions are made to eat right, get fit, and improve overall health. Ironically, by the time Valentine’s Day arrives, the majority of those resolutions get conveniently tossed out the window. After all, one box of assorted Godiva truffles can trump a 12-month paid gym membership any day.
But wherever you are on the business scale, there’s always room for smart, preventive maintenance by performing regular checkups to improve overall function, day-to-day operations, and profitable results.
Shameeka Hunt, lifestyle innovator and CEO of KeepMeTight®, shares a few tips to “work the middle” in your business to achieve greater agility, productivity, and stamina:
Strengthen emotional intelligence: Not everyone is your friend. You must learn how to separate business relationships from social relationships, even when the relationships are with the same person. As time passes in your business, you will quickly learn who your true business supporters and champions are. It might shock you, hurt your feelings, and cause relationships to crumble, but never take any of that personally. Adjust your mindset and reactions to people’s actions and words. When you feel all alone, remind yourself that you have what it takes to achieve all your dreams and goals, no matter how lofty they may seem. No challenge is so big that it cannot be overcome with the right mindset, motivation, drive, and work ethic. You were built for this—yes, you can do it!
Go hard, or go home: How’s your customer service? How’s your responsiveness to phone calls, e-mails, and social media inquiries? Are you a distant owner or hands-on? As my company ships our revolutionary shapewear for women across the country, I find that smart consumers value and are searching for a business that provides exceptional customer service and treats every person like a diamond that deserves exquisite care. While your product or service may be wonderful, the general consumer is becoming more aware and selective of where they spend their money and will choose a company with superb customer service over another that may be lacking. So while it may seem to take up valuable time and effort to provide personal attention, in the bigger scheme of things, you could be securing a client for life (that could make referrals), and that’s priceless.
Keep your core aligned: As a business owner you’re pulled in different directions. In order to keep things in perspective, meet deadlines, and maintain focus, it is important to put things in order. For example, setting up a detailed file structure or automated system helps with paperwork and keeps things organized for tax preparation. Not to mention that your accountant will love you for it. Stay true to core business values: commitment to excellence and integrity, delivering on your brand promise, paying attention to detail, and valuing the customer first—just to name a few. Don’t be afraid to use innovative technology to keep your business operations and activities in sync. Put systems in place so you can avoid missing out on important opportunities and deadlines that, if missed, could cost you time, relationships, resources, and money.
Keep it natural and organic: Above all, be yourself—because nothing beats authenticity. Exercise good judgment and business sense for what is appropriate given the environment, conversation, or engagement. You know whether you’re being your true self, presenting your true character and passion, and living in alignment with your own ethics. Tell your story when and where appropriate. A true, relevant story resonates deeper and won’t quickly be forgotten.
So, let your smile and positive energy light up a room. Speak confidently, while looking your next client or partner in the eye. Don’t be too prideful or arrogant to admit that you don’t know everything. Oftentimes the props of social media and powerful brands paint a picture of superhero entrepreneurs. But in reality the business world is quietly awaiting your earnest transparency. And that, my friend, is the real deal.
Shameeka (@KeepMeTight) will be sharing more tips, tools, and strategies as she prepares to host and showcase entrepreneurs from around the region at her upscale KMT Posh Club event on April 18, 2015, at The City Club of Washington in Washington, D.C.
Roz A. Gee (@RozAGee) consults and speaks as The Brand Empowerment Agent™ and CEO of The Rated Gee Agency (www.RatedGee.com), A Brand Empowerment Company that offers service sectors in Media Relations, Brand Identity and Development, Brand Messaging and Speaking/Training. Roz has masterfully mixed over 20 years of cumulative experience and has worked professionally for industry titans such as General Electric, AT&T, AOL, IBM, SAP/Sybase and Northrop Grumman. Facebook: www.FaceBook.com/RozAGee – Business: https://www.facebook.com/TheRatedGeeAgency