If you want people to do business with you, they have to be able to find you.
For people to find you, you have to make sure that you have guides leading them to your business.
Guides are often people, but they can sometimes be things as well, such as maps or websites or other useful tools that lead others to our door.
The prime guides for any business are the people who work for them, regardless of what role they play or where they fit on the organizational chart.
If your employees share your intent and are dedicated to the work that they do, they will be beacons of light guiding clients to your door. In an era of disengagement, the company that is able to light a passion in their workers is the company most people really want to do business with. We are all searching for someone who cares.
Equally important guides are your customers. When they are happy, they will each make it their unpaid mission to bring more and more business to you. They are happy, and they want their friends to be happy too, so they encourage them to call on the place that met their needs for a reasonable investment.
Within your business, your employees play many different roles but one must also be a guide.
That starts with the receptionist at the front door who makes people feel welcome, sees to their comfort, and allows them access to the person who can guide them to the next step.
They are then guided by a manager, perhaps, and if that person cannot complete the service they require, all the way to the owner.
At each stage, the guide must remain respectful and courteous to the person approaching the business.
Think about the companies you enjoy doing business with, the places to which you remain loyal and give referrals to your friends. What is it about them that makes you feel good?
You will find it is the car repair shop where the front desk person at the service bay is cheerful and helpful and remembers you. You will find it is the place where the guide delivering the service gives you a reasonable expectation of when the work will be completed and for what cost, and delivers according to the guidelines he or she has given you.
You will find it is the food shopping area where you feel welcome because there is ample parking, shopping carts at the door and no unnecessarily long waiting periods to get checked out.
Just as every person wanting to achieve something needs a guide, so does every business who wants to prosper need to ensure they offer guides.
Guides are not mere conveniences to the business like telephone answering systems that leave the caller in limbo. Guides are conveniences to the customers. When your business offers good guides to help customers and other business partners achieve their intent, you will continue to prosper.