Dogs practically invented loyalty. My pup trusts me. She ALWAYS loves me no matter what mood I’m in, and she’s always by my side as my partner in crime – and in return? I reward her loyalty and ‘m just as loyal back. Such constancy is a lesson for many areas of business. Developing trust and building credibility are vital to creating a sustainable business and brand.
Being dependable, following through on your promises and taking care of your customers will ensure they stick around long-term. Staying true to yourself and standing by your core principles will stand you in good stead – keeping you focused and earning you respect from your peers, employees and clients.
2. Value others
Not only does my dog make me feel like the most important person in the world, she makes everyone else feel special too. She’s super friendly and always pleased to see everyone, no matter who they are or how often she sees them. When she hasn’t seen someone for a while she doesn’t resent them for it – she’s just even HAPPIER to see them than ever before. And if people aren’t interested? She just keeps on sharing the love – and they ALWAYS cave in eventually and she gets what she wants (usually a belly rub).
This ability to make people feel valued is HUGELY beneficial in business. Treat the team you work with, suppliers, partners, clients and customers with a warm and friendly manner. Make people feel included. Should a problem arise, wherever possible deal with it personally and keep communications pleasant at all times.
Being warm and approachable takes very little effort and can go a long way to making connections and building valuable relationships. My advice? Start spreading that feel-good factor ASAP.
3. Sniff out adventure
Dogs like to follow their nose – always led by what smells or looks or tastes the most interesting (even if we think it’s gross). They aren’t afraid to jump right in and they NEVER miss out on an opportunity – and their lives are enriched because of it.
Likewise – YOU can never bring back the opportunities you miss in business. Be curious and brave and on a constant lookout for new opportunities – they are everywhere, so keep informed and up to date with everything relevant to your business to catch as many chances as you can. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Be adventurous and creative and discover new options and solutions. Be willing to look at unique ways to improve and develop your business – it could take your business in fresh, exciting and lucrative directions.
4. Dig for gold (or treats)
They call it being ‘dogged’ for a reason. There’s a little game my hound and I like to play. I hide a few treats in secret locations around the house and she has to find them. Now I can be tough, and I’ve hidden those treats in some really hard to find places – but she NEVER gives up, even if it takes ages. She ALWAYS gets her reward in the end (and I make sure it’s something super tasty).
So what’s the takeaway from our little game? Be tenacious. Persevere. Work hard. Very few things happen overnight in business. Creating an identity and reputation, developing new opportunities, building a loyal customer base – it all takes time and effort. Don’t give up – you WILL reap the rewards eventually… and they will be tasty.
There’s a Chinese proverb that goes “Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails, not their tongues.” Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I haven’t had the benefit of a business partner to shares the highs and lows, but having my dog to talk to has been a surprisingly beneficial experience. Dogs are amazing listeners. My dog lets me ramble on for hours and she just sits there, patiently listening, never answering back and never judging.
That level of patience and willingness to listen can be a very important facet of relationship building within your business. Do you patiently sit back and listen to the issues and ideas of your employees and clients? Do you encourage feedback, good or bad? Really pay attention to your customers and relate to them. Reply to their suggestions, concerns and queries with considered, constructive responses – they will hold you in high regard and consider you a ‘go-to’ business because of it.
Having a dog is fun, and dogs have fun with everything. Adopt that attitude and approach all aspects of your business with gusto and enjoy every minute of it. Sure, business can be challenging, and it sure isn’t always easy, but whatever you’re doing relax and have a little fun. If you’re not enjoying what you do – change it – it will increase your quality of life substantially.
So you can see now why I bowow down to doggy wisdom (see what I did there?) and you should too.
Implementing these fundamental factors can have a huge impact on your business, and make you happier and more productive in the process too.
…and don’t forget to give your canine companions an extra special treat today to say thank you.
About James T Noble: James makes small businesses bigger. He’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and companies to market their products and services online – including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others. Find out more and read business growth tips at http://www.JamesTNoble.com