If you are thinking about starting a new business, you are probably getting all sorts of guidance on the big things that need to happen. You have read countless articles extolling the necessity of a good business plan, strong capitalization, and a devoted business partner. What you may not realize is that it is not just the absence of the big things that can cost your business the success it might have had.
We have all experienced businesses that have sank fortunes into obvious and high-visible business needs. Yet they failed at basic niceties that keep you from wanting to do more business with them. The best doctor in the world might lose business simply because his waiting room lacks air-conditioning, or the chairs were uncomfortable, or the TV was too loud, and always on the wrong station.
So rather than focus on the big things about which you already know, let’s talk about some of the little things that can make a big difference in your new business:
There are two things you can know for certain about every employee and every client; they're going to have to use a restroom and they are going to be thirsty and want something to drink. There is a good chance that the office you are renting has the former covered. You are going to have to supply satisfaction to the latter.
Corporate vendors offer bottleless solutions such as Aramark office water dispensers for businesses of all sizes. If you have a waiting area, you don’t want to be out of drinkables any more than you want to be out of toilet paper. And you don’t want any of your employees spraining their backs trying to lift a 5-gallon bottle and wrestling it into place atop an unstable pedestal.
You should also have a hot beverage machine at the ready. At some point in the day, your employees and clients are going to want a cup of coffee. They can either be on time and get it at the office or be late trying to rush through a Starbucks. Providing inviting beverages keep both employees and clients happy by fulfilling one of their most frequent and basic needs while in your place of business.
Choice of Tech
There was a time when IT managers only allowed Windows PCs in the office and on the network for somewhat dubious reasons. These days, there are too many good and affordable BYOD MDM tools out there that allow a business to have any device running any operating system out there for those excuses to hold up.
There is no real upside to restricting the tech your employees can use. But there is plenty of upside to allowing them to use whatever they like. Here are just a few:
- Lower support costs
- Less training required
- Gains in efficiency due to familiarity
- Less employee frustration with provided tools
Depending on the job, you will lose good candidates because of platform inflexibility. If you have a great software engineer who prefers a Mac to a PC, you may not be able to offer them enough money to work 10 hours a day on a computer they hate. There are plenty of companies who will accommodate their needs, and pay them the higher salary. The same goes for iOS vs. Android. Don’t let platform uniformity stand in the way of attracting and keeping the best talent.
Give Public Recognition
One of the easiest ways to keep an employee happy is to give public recognition for a job well done. A good way to do that is with the use of trophies and placards that stay in a fixed location for all to see.
Contests should be done with a light touch as they can have a demoralizing effect if the same people always win while others always lose. You want to encourage and motivate, as well as provide recognition for great work that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Make sure the big things are covered. But along the way, make sure everyone is well-hydrated. Allow them to use the tech most comfortable for them. And find creative ways to publicly recognize the good work done by all of your employees.