Running a business is one of the most challenging duties you can choose to undertake, you have so many different things to keep track of, from the products to your staff, to implementing a positive workplace culture. But, of course, the biggest part of that equation is your customers. They are the ones keeping you in business, but it’s not just about making sure they are pleased with your products, or you are serving them correctly, there are other aspects of the public that you need to have responsibility for. Starting a business usually means doing everything you can just to keep afloat, but there’s something a little bit more to it than that, especially in the modern world…
The Safety Responsibility
Rules and regulations continue to bind a business now. As time goes on, there are more and more things for you to keep track of. It’s not just making your business safe in the health and safety sense that you need to focus on, but it’s also about keeping an eye on the potential repercussions if something goes wrong. A very common example being bandied around now is the impact of data protection. We see more cases of hacking on a large scale, and not just from the perspective of small businesses, but large-scale organizations are falling prey to malware, spyware, and sophisticated computer viruses. While most businesses have a semblance of knowledge on protecting their computer systems and embracing technology in all of its forms to look after each component, data protection is where lots of companies can fall down now. Businesses are being severely penalized for losing sensitive information, and this is a very real threat that you need to consider, not just for the fact that you will lose a lot of money in penalties, but your customers won’t trust you ever again. And why should they?
The other important safety aspect to think about is making sure they are physically safe in your location. Health and safety is a major bugbear for lots of small businesses. A lot of people think that there is too much red tape nowadays, but making sure that your customers are safe, either when they walk into your store or interact with your products is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. For those who run a fleet of trucks, or are self-employed drivers, understanding the consequences everytime you head out of the road is something that’s got to be communicated to the employees. For someone like a truck driver, fatigue is a very common concern. If they are involved in a life-threatening crash, it’s not just your business that’s going to suffer, if an injured party hires a semi truck accident lawyer to go to town on your business, you are going to pay the price in so many different ways! Self-employed builders need public liability insurance when working in any open space, but for those companies who struggle financially, there are many instances of builders who don’t pay for this type of insurance. This is a big mistake, and in many ways, it’s like operating without a safety net!
The Social Responsibility
The other aspect that you need to consider in how you impact on the public is your social responsibility. Do you feel that your business is operating as ethically as possible? If not, you might find that you are losing customers as a result. This is where your social responsibility comes into play. While your business makes money, this might be enough for you now, but further down the line, there will be a demand that you do much more for the planet and your social sphere. Being socially responsible has a wide-ranging impact, and what are the best approaches? The first thing to think about is your impact on the environment. While you may feel that your business is doing enough to minimize your carbon footprint, if there are customers who see that an immediate competitor is doing more, it’s very likely they will go to them. Surprisingly, it’s not just your customers that demand you have proper working practices, it’s your employees also. Think about this the next time you start to hire new people.
Do you support causes? The average customer will go a little bit further out of their way to support a business that supports a worthy cause. This is social responsibility in action, and it needs to form a prominent part of your company culture. This is a very common aspect of the modern business world now, and if you don’t look at improving your company culture to support more worthy causes, this will result in a loss of custom. You can go about this in many different ways, such as hiring people who value social responsibility, but you could also implement charity rewards, and even crowdsource ideas to give you an idea of what avenue to go down. The public demands you have a responsibility towards social causes. The big concern for most entrepreneurs is that this is, potentially, is an expense upfront. But, this is the way that society is evolving, and if you want better quality customers, you have to pay for them! Most of us are forgiven for thinking that money is the overall goal, but with the spending habits of social groups like millennials, as well as people taking a stand against injustice, a social responsibility is viewed as more important than money in some sectors!
These two aspects will have the biggest impact on the public. Your business brand and image are always going to have an impact, and this is why you need to make sure that your relationship with the public is as comprehensive as possible. The safety aspect is something that needs to be in place from the very outset, but the social responsibilities need to be interwoven with the company culture. We shouldn’t view the customer all the public as one equal piece of the pie, they are much more than that! Not just in the fact that they pay our wages, but we could live and die by their impact!