When you go into business for yourself, that often includes going into business for others as well. The majority of businesses are directly exposed to the public and must have at least one employee in order to grow and flourish. One of the most vital factors in the success of a business is whether the business owner or manager is able to meet the needs of both their employees and customers. This article will dissect the psychology of employees and customers and provide helpful insight on how to create a harmonious balance between the two for the betterment of the business as a whole.
If your business is growing fast, or simply started out on a larger scale, you will need to hire employees. Hiring employees to handle routine and mundane tasks and deal with customers will go a long way toward providing you with more time to work with business contacts, do the “back-end” jobs (accounting, advertising, ordering, and so forth), and do more of the things that you really want to do like spend time with family or doing leisure-time activities.
Regardless of how easy the job you have to fill may be, the last thing you want to do is hire the first applicant that comes your way. Make a point of being picky – your business depends on it.
Before hiring anyone, you need to get organized.
The first thing you need to do is create a job description. All this needs to be is a list of the various duties and responsibilities that the person you hire is going to be doing. Remember to be realistic! If the job description is extensive and it is not realistic that any one person is going to be able to perform those tasks to your satisfaction during an 8 hour shift, you will need to hire more than one person.
Now that you have put together the job description, you need to complete a set of instructions to give to the employee so that they will know exactly what you expect to see done, and how you expect it to be done. Employees appreciate direction and instruction from those they work for because it enables them to do what they will be paid to do without having to constantly ask what they should be doing. Keep in mind whether they will be dealing with customers in addition to handling other store or office related duties and make sure that they will have ample time during a work shift to get both done.
Wages and work schedules are another thing that you must think about before hiring any new employees. Needless to say, you will have to offer at least the minimum wage. At the same time, you should be adequately compensating the employee for their time, depending on the tasks they will be hired to complete. Employees do not want to feel as if they are over-worked and under-paid and will not be happy in such a position. Assuming they accept the position at all, they will certainly be less productive, less attentive to customers’ needs, and the reputation of your business as a whole may suffer for it. Keep the work scheduling fair and realistic as well. Employees are people too, and most have families and friends to attend to. Give at least two days off per week, please.
It is now time to start the actual hiring process. As mentioned earlier, you will not want to hire the first person who applies. The person you want to hire is one that is qualified for the job. They must be personable and work well with the public. They should be self-motivated and have a strong work ethic. Most importantly, they should be knowledgeable about the products or services that your business sells so that they can better represent your business to the public. Depending on what types of products or services you offer, you may find yourself needing to train an employee on the finer points. Do this. It will be worth it in the long run.
Once you have hired someone to work for your business, it becomes your job to provide direction, feedback, and instruction when necessary. Some say that no news is good news, but in an employment situation, most people appreciate receiving reviews of their work every so often. Praise your employee – often. Let them know how they’re doing, whether it is positive or negative, but remember to use tact. No one likes being talked down to or intimidated, so always be aware of how you speak to your employees. Make the criticism constructive and employees will thank you through ramped up productivity.
Another way to keep your employees on the ball is to lead by example. Who likes to work for someone who does nothing but sit around all day? Make teamwork the order of the day by doing some work too. Your employee will not feel like they are the only one working and will be more willing to pitch in to get things done.
In order to compete in business in this day and age, it is crucial that you remember that consumers have the ability to browse and shop online in an instant. If you cannot provide what the customer is looking for, and fast, they will simply look elsewhere.
Keeping up with demand by having plenty of merchandise in stock is an absolute must because the last thing you want to do is lose a sale. Learn to anticipate what will sell and in what quantity so you can make sure to have it available at all times.
You must also compete with the internet and the speed of shopping that it provides with customers. In other words, don’t keep your customers waiting. They are the lifeblood of your business and you cannot afford to lose them. This means that you and your employees need to be available to the customer at all times. Their purchases need to be processed in a timely fashion. Their questions need to be answered quickly and accurately.
Speaking of answering questions, that leads to the issue of knowledgeable employees and why it is so important to train your employees so that they can effectively assist your customers. No customer enjoys walking into a store, asking a question, and having the employee state that they do not know the answer. The customer does not want to wait while the employee finds someone who does know the answer. If your business cannot provide answers, the customer will seek them elsewhere.
Good register-side manner will go a long way toward keeping customers happy and coming back to your store. The customer does not want to feel as though they are putting the employee out by asking questions. They do not want to feel like they are intruding. Make sure that you are projecting a welcome image by greeting customers as they come into the store. If time allows, engage them in small-talk. Appear friendly.
Creating a mesh between employees and customers is what will ultimately make or break your business. By taking the time to educate yourself, your employees, and your customers, you take a large step toward ensuring the success of your business.