If you are starting a new business, the last thing you want to do is fail. No one begins with the idea that their venture will not work. The success rate for small business is greater than most people think. According to statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), seven out of ten new establishments survive at least two years and 51 percent survive at least five years. This is a far cry from the previous long-held belief that 50 percent of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years.
There are numerous resources available today to help those who want to launch their own business. The Internet alone provides a wealth of information to the lone entrepreneur. Whether it is a short article, an online course or a six-week training program, most offer the same advice. They talk about business plans, marketing strategies, financial resources, management skills and, of course, web presence. The one element that is most overlooked and that can cause a small business to tank is the lack of business etiquette skills–the failure to exercise workplace manners and to offer employees training in customer service.
So are we talking here about business etiquette or customer service? Both, actually. They are one and the same. We are talking about how we treat customers and employees. It starts at the top of the chain and works its way down. If you are courteous and respectful of your employees, they will be courteous and respectful of your customers.
Unfortunately in today’s world, not everyone comes to the workplace with good etiquette skills. They don’t teach business etiquette much anymore. It is impossible to find such a course listed on a high school or college curriculum.
As a small business owner don’t make the fatal mistake of failing to offer business etiquette courses to your employees or taking one yourself. The best business plan and marketing strategy plus all the financial resources you need cannot make up for a lack of interpersonal skills.
As a business etiquette trainer and coach, I would like to see manners, etiquette and interpersonal skills on every entrepreneur’s list of things to consider when starting his or her own small business. Who knows? With an emphasis on etiquette, your small business could one day become one of the Fortune 500.
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.