Business researcher, businesswoman and author Wendy Lipton-Dibner is a highly successful woman who has led highly successful enterprises and has made lots of money by not focusing on money. Yes, that is correct. This brave iconoclast says that the right product or service and a business model that is not quite like what they teach in business school, is the blueprint for building a long-lasting and lucrative business venture and she has the data to prove her claim.
Lipton-Dibner studied 1000+ organizations that covered a wide spectrum: global, small business, for-profit and not-for-profit. She has also operated several business enterprises herself. What her research revealed runs counter to the holy grail of business management, which is 100% focus on generating profit. From product development to customer service, it is taken as gospel that minimizing costs and maximizing sales are the things to do and every aspect of a business must be aligned around the singular goal of making money.
Yet Lipton-Dibner discovered that the most successful and long-lived companies are those that “make a difference” in the lives of their customers. Think of the distinctive, sometimes revolutionary experiences created by Disney, Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, Hermes and Whole Foods Markets. Each of those companies offers products or services designed to help their customers lead more fulfilling, efficient, productive, healthier and/or enjoyable lives. She asserts that there are two types of business enterprises: those that focus on making money and those that focus on making a measurable impact on people’s lives and it is the latter approach that makes the most money.
Ethical growth strategies that position the company to make a positive impact on the lives of customers reap the most success, especially over the long-term. So how can a Freelancer or small business owner integrate this philosophy into his/her operation? As always, everything begins with the customer.
Ask current and prospective customers how your product or service and its delivery mechanism might be adjusted in ways that would make it more user-friendly. Can you design and deliver the ideal customer experience from start to finish and make those who do business with you so happy that they’ll tell co-workers and colleagues, who may eventually become your customers as well? That is the power of your brand appeal and impact.
As you make the changes that will give your customers The Best Experience Ever, you may find that certain adjustments in your business model, operations processes, quality control, or service offerings may need updating and that is to be expected. You’ll also learn how to refine your marketing messages and sales strategy along the way, because you will be much more tuned-in to what resonates with your customers, promoting trust in what you do and making customers happy to do business with you.
Wise fiscal management of your enterprise will continue to be a requirement, but centering your strategies and actions on the pursuit of the biggest profit margin and net profit often does not pay off in the end. Finding the balance between what it takes to gain and keep customer loyalty and the necessity of sustaining a money-making enterprise is the road to success.
Thanks for reading,