1. Treat your customers like real people.
They aren't a social media metric or a google ranking blip. They have lives, feelings and can smell when they aren't valued. Merely expressing gratitude for them doesn't equate to valuing them either. Clients want to be valued and cherished, so give that to them throughout the entire customer service process. You are in business to help others and meet a need, keep that in mind.
2. Be generous with your time and talents.
Generosity is always a winning "strategy" and yet I hesitate to categorize it as so because it is more like a way of conducting business and a way of living. Forget about being so concerned with what YOU (as the business owner) are getting and focus on SERVING your clients. You can't out give the Universe ( I believe Robin Rice has said that a time or to) so give, give, give. Genuinely satisfied clients will be the best source of new customers you can count on.
3. Create and build a business without debt.
Yep. I mean it. Invest in your business, grow yourself, amp up your fanciness, and get more technologically driven as you can afford it, if that is even part of your vision- which it may not be. You don't have to have a bee-utiful website that costs an ungodly amount of $ to run a good, profitable business. Debt = pressure, pain and stress. Opt to build and grow without it. It can be done and yes I abide by this myself.
4. Create a flexible container.
Business- how you conduct it, what you offer, how you serve, what you say- all of that needs to be fluid. Build in flexibility so that you have the ability to experiment, change your mind and revamp copy, design or other elements of flow as you wish.
5. Grow Organically.
Hype isn't sustainable. Organic growth is. Happy, satisfied customers, raving reviews + referrals, social traction based on genuine engagement and dynamite content are sure fire ways to naturally build your business base. It won't happen overnight. And truthfully you probably don't want it to either. The mean time allows time to evolve and refine your craft.
6. Don't make promises you can't deliver on.
Be real in your dealing with others. Do what you say you are going to do. Try your best. Go above and beyond. Don't promise something you know you can't deliver. And when you screw up, acknowledge it. Integrity is the cornerstone of any good business.
Every hard worker needs a break. Allow yourself time away for renewed passion, creativity and a clearer lens.
In the end I say keep it simple. Give a damn. Genuinely care for people, for your people. Care about your impact. Care about what you do, how you do it and how it might shift someone's world.
You are here to serve, to make a difference, to help, to make an impact. Never lose sight of this important truth. Let that always be your compass.