Your customers want to know your opinions!
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
2020 has been a wild ride. That is only fair to say. We have been faced with many challenges making us question our ways of living, but also how to do business "the right way".
How to respond to a worldwide pandemic as a business?
How to respond to serious racial questions?
How to respond to a divided election?
How to keep promoting your business in times when people struggle to put food on the table?
How to respond to the biggest environmental crisis?
It's not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters - Epictetus
This is not the time to be apolitical, to stay quiet, to keep your opinion for yourself.
This means playing it safe. Safe won't make you grow. It won't help you connect with other people. It won't help you change things. It won't help you create the positive impact you are yearning for.
Instead. We need businesses and business owners ready to PLAY IT REAL!
Don't try to please everyone
In today's climate, your audience is expecting more from your business than just a product or a service. If you thought you could pretend nothing is happening and avoid touchy topics while just focusing on your offer, you're going to be disappointed.
As a business owner and a leader, you have a voice that resonates. This is your opportunity to speak up and share what matters to you.
Stop being apolitical and own your values. Yes, your opinion might upset people, it might even drive away customers. But let's be real. If your vision to make the world more peaceful for everyone drives customers away, you are probably better without them. Making a positive impact is not always rainbows and unicorns. But this is how you will create a real community that will support your vision of the world.
As consumers, we need to start caring and paying attention to what the companies we give money to support. We can't close our eyes on their values, we can't pretend it doesn't make a difference. We vote every day with our money. Businesses, on the other hand, need to have clear values that they communicate and act upon.
Double-check your fact
I am assuming that if you are here, we have a similar vision of the world. You are building an inclusive business and you really want to make a positive impact on the Earth and on the community.
Nevertheless, we live in a world where misinformation circulates rapidly. Even with good intentions, you might be in contact with information that is simply not true. Before sharing, make sure to double-check where it comes from, make sure it is a trusted source, and that you really understand what it means.
Welcome feedback & learn
When talking about Black Lives Matter, a lot of companies felt confused. If they spoke up but didn't use the right words, they got called on. If they said nothing, they got called on. If they started supporting the movement by posting pictures of black people all of a sudden, they got called on for not doing it sooner.
Being called on is not your invitation to shut up. It is your invitation to grow.
Welcome that feedback and learn from it. Accept the fact you don't know everything. Show up authentically and don't be afraid to change your mind, to change your vocabulary if you someone brought another light on the subject.
The idea our business needs to be perfect is what makes us fail. Messing up and genuinely wanting to do better and actually doing better is what we need!
Be proud of your business
How can you be proud of your business right now? Take a serious and deep look at your actions. Don't try to justify or make you feel better. Have a clear understanding of where you stand and what you are doing to make things better.
Are you actively promoting multiculturality in your advertising, promotion, and at your workplace? If not, it’s not too late. Step out of the shame and start acting. What can you put in place? Make a conscious effort to reach out to talents from other cultures. Believe me, this isn’t even a gift you are doing for them. This is a gift they are doing for you. A team that is multicultural will bring a fresh eye on a lot of things and will allow you to grow so much bigger.
How are your products manufactured? Are your employees paid fairly? Are you being conscious of the impact your production has on the earth and everyone involved in it?
Are the positive actions you are doing truly positive or just being used as a marketing tool? Did you donate once to an organization and utilizing that years later as a sign you are a conscious business? Look at next year's calendar and set up campaigns that will really support your mission.
Is your communication impeccable? Are you using stereotypes to make your message come across faster?
If you don’t feel legitimate to speak up right now, that's your sign you can do things better. Start putting in place actions that will make you proud to share it.
Being a conscious company, being sustainable, inviting multiculturalism... it isn't something you do just to look and make more sales. Be conscious at the core purpose of your business and then you will reach a new level of success.
As business owners, we are being called and challenged to change the status quo. To change the definition of success and go deeper than just making a profit. To embrace consciousness and sustainability in all aspects of our company. This means stepping up from the back seat and showing up.
Are you ready for the challenge? Now is a great time to look into it and start making it a reality for 2021.
If you feel confused about it all and you aren't sure where to start, let's chat :)