Q: I launched my own consulting company a year ago. My clients have been happy and I’m making a decent living. What do you suggest I focus on to maintain the success I have created in my business?
A: When I read your question, what immediately came to mind was “This person is smart. They are focusing on both the bottom line and happy clients”. I call this goodwill management and it is key to survival in these tough economic times. All long-term successful companies do this.
Goodwill is to a company what a good reputation is to a person.
Goodwill is defined as: a kind, helpful or friendly feeling or attitude. And in business it’s the amount of value a company’s good reputation adds to its overall value.
Think about goodwill like a bank account, only this one is your emotional bank account and it is equally important to keep an eye on as your financial bank account. In fact, the more you deposit in your goodwill account, the higher your financial bank account will rise. The two work together.
If you have a healthy balance in your goodwill account then when you mess up (and we all do) you have enough in your goodwill account to draw on and will maintain loyalty to your company. You want to make goodwill deposits with your clients, employees and stakeholders.
Here’s how to maintain and build your goodwill account:
Be nice – seriously, it’s that simple.
Be real – nobody likes a phoney.
Be consistent – with your word and your actions.
Give that little bit extra – that unexpected “oh wow” factor.
Be grateful and express your gratitude – everybody likes to know they matter.
Give back – in ways that are meaningful for you.
Investing in developing goodwill for your company will produce positive dividends for years to come.
I found this quote and thought it summed goodwill up perfectly.
“If you take goodwill for granted and get sloppy, you might get away with it once or twice, but you won’t get away with it for ever. You should always treat the things that treat you good with respect, because otherwise you will suffer for it. More important than that is the fact that it’s just the right thing to do.”
Linda Hamilton is an award winning master certified life and executive coach. Contact her at www.coachlinda.com