By Florin R. Ferrs
The Beatles once sang, "All You Need is Love, Love Is All You Need," and perhaps they were on to something. What if I told you that "All You Need Is Love" applies to your small business startup? What if all you need to give your IT startup the best chance of success is a bit of love?
This St Valentine's Day, let's explore how love can be the secret sauce to help you beat the odds and put your startup on the road to success.
Love What You Do
It seems that nowadays, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. You hear about hundreds of business opportunities every time you go online, from drop-shipping to cyber currencies. But the real question is, do you love drop-shipping? Do you love dubious get rich quick schemes? Nobody does (even people that have made money from it). When you look at truly successful people, like Richard Branson, or Bill Gates, the common denominator is that they love what they do, and it shows.
Whether is was licensing DOS to IBM (Gates), or selling an unknown album to Hollywood (Branson - Tubular Bells), having love for what you do helps you believe in yourself, and therefore enables others to get on board with your vision.
For Gates, his love for computers has enabled him to retire as a global philanthropist, and one could say that he's now able to share the love, via his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
For Branson, his love and passion for the Tubular Bells album has enabled him to start an airline, pioneer space tourism, and still have time for philanthropy all over the world (see his concert in Colombia in favor of Democracy in Venezuela).
Do what you love, and success will follow. Then share the love, once you have 'arrived.'
Love Your Customers
Without your customers, you don't have a business (definitely not a successful one). But loving your customers goes well beyond 'The Customer Is Always Right.' Loving your customers means listening to them so that you can provide the tools they require from you (that's our policy at SherpaDesk). Loving your customers is also offering transparent and fair pricing (we do that too) as well as providing actual 'good value.'
Love Your Partnerships
Part of listening to your customers is establishing third party partnerships and integrations that your customers love. Offering the right third-party integrations that complement your service and help your customers be successful is the ultimate act of love for your users (and your partners). At SherpaDesk, we're big believers in establishing partnerships with services we love because our customers love them too.
Love Your Staff
Your staff are the face of your company. When customers reach out to your business, it's your staff that will be in direct contact with them. It doesn't matter if they are IT techs or social media managers; your team is your brand because they are the ones that your customers are in touch with.
But loving your staff goes beyond paying fair and competitive wages, it includes things like proper on-boarding and training, reasonable and realistic goals and expectations, flexible work schedules, and no zip-lining 'team-building' exercises.
The biggest mistake a startup can make is to fear innovation. Particularly in the IT world. Technology changes very quickly, and loving innovation will help keep you at the forefront of new tools and ideas that will help keep your customers happy. Don't be the next Blockbuster that turned down the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million. Netflix is worth approx. $150 billion today, and Blockbuster is down to one holdout store up in Bend, Oregon.
This is important. Some entrepreneurs are scared of success. They work very hard to make it and then freak out when they start seeing the first fruits of success. Love your success. Embrace it. Your customers depend on it, your staff depends on it, your third party partnerships and suppliers rely on it. So please don't freak out when you first make it big. If you're running your business with love, then success is welcome, and it will only help you share the love even more.
Who knows, maybe someday you can retire and dedicate your time to philanthropy, just like Bill Gates.
It's St Valentine's weekend. Hit us up on Social Media or the comments section below with what you love most about SherpaDesk. We have a few Yeti hats for the top posts!