PAUL & SARAH EDWARDS: LIFESTYLES FOR THE MILLENNIUM
For continued business
success, get engaged
IF YOU’RE A small-business owner or a self- Engagement involves more than simply
employed professional, it’s easy to wonder sending out newsletters and e-zines or
if you can really compete over the long haul offering regular discounts, premiums or
with larger, resource-rich companies or other promotions. Engagement is even more
lower-cost offshore firms. But believe it or than courteous interpersonal interaction.
not, you may actually have the edge. It’s about forming personal relationships
Consumer research shows it’s not neces- and caring for clients and customers as
sarily size, resources, pricing or, surprisingly, fellow human beings. And that’s where
even customer satisfaction that determines small-business owners and self-employed
what makes customers stick like glue with individuals can really shine.
a company through economic ups, downs Because you don’t have to be concerned
and plateaus. It’s how engaged a company with managing a large-scale organization, you as a neighbor, colleague and even friend.
is with its customers and clients. meeting demanding quarterly returns and Such relationships, be they face-to-
Paul & Sarah Edwards are pioneers
in the home-business field.
They can be reached on the Web
Often there’s little of difference in cus- continually containing costly overhead, you face, on the phone or online, can make the
tomer satisfaction between one company can focus on the people you’re doing business difference that gives you the edge for con-and the next, but there are large differences with. You can get to know them, their needs, tinued success. So each day, as you interact
between how engaged companies are with their concerns and their triumphs. You can with your clients, engage with them as you
their clienteles. And the more engaged they celebrate and commiserate with them, and work. It not only makes the work you do
are, the less vulnerable they become over jump in to help out when you can. You can more meaningful, it is also protection for
time to the enticements of competitors. also give them the opportunity to get to know long-term success. C
at your side HERE’S A CONCEPT that might make you, Become a sounding board. Your ongoing
your staff and your business a lot happier: role is as a sounding board, not as decision
delegating some tasks. maker. Your critical responsibility is to meet
Delegating sounds easy, but managers at regular intervals with delegatees so they can
are often reluctant to hand off projects recaptheiraccomplishmentsandsetbacks,and
for a variety of reasons, says Bruce Wilson visualize what lies ahead.
WHAT IF YOU COULD have an executive
coach sitting by your side and guiding
you through the tough challenges in
running a small business? Now you can.
Marshall Goldsmith, dubbed by
The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The
Economist and others as one of the
preeminent business coaches in the
country, is making his personal library
of coaching tips available online at
His specialty is helping successful
leaders achieve positive changes in
behavior—for themselves, their people
and their teams.
The site includes links to
Goldsmith’s articles, audio, video and
print interviews, and columns from
Fast Company. He has also launched
a monthly e-mail newsletter, Leading
News, with fellow executive coach
Patricia Wheeler. Clicking on “Marshall’s
Newsletter” allows you to subscribe to
this free resource.
To read an interview with Goldsmith,
a Costco member, go to costco.com and
select “Costco magazine.” C
( www.wilsonstrategies.com), a leadership Accept risk. There is more than one
and customer relationships coachin Seattle. approach for getting almost any job done.
Namely, they like things done a certain way Fight the temptation to take over when
and don’t place enough im portance on their difficulties arise. Delegatees may
roles as delegators. develop better approaches
But managers are missing than your own, and the
out if they don’t delegate, says benefits of delegating
Wilson, a Costco Executive will more than offset
Member. Delegating frees up minor setbacks while
their time while fueling learn- they learn.
ing, innovation, motivation Celebrate successes.
and leadership in the people Don’t fall into the trap of
theylead. fearing that delegatees’
Wilson offers these steps successes make you look
to successful delegating— bad. Your success as a
and positive results. leader can be measured by
Give up responsibility whether you select people
for decision making. First, with ability and energy,
agree to project parameters—including then give them the support they need to do
requirements, resources and how success will their jobs well.
be measured—in cooperation with delegatees. Last, prepare to be pleased by delegatees’
Thereafter, delegatees must make all decisions resourcefulness, enthusiasm and growth—and
that fall within the scope of their project. be proud of their accomplishments. C