Editor’s note: This week’s post is from Part 1 of 2 from guest blogger Aundrea Y. Wilcox, a professional business consultant and author of the book, Startup Savvy: Strategies for Optimizing Small Business Survival and Success.
I think that I’m a pretty easy going person. I’m open-minded to most ideas and willing to try new things even if it’s outside of my comfort zone. But my daughter says that once I get stuck on something, it’s hard to get me off of it. I admit it’s hard for me to let go of something when I’m really ticked off, which takes some doing by the way. Right now, I’m stuck on something that I witnessed yesterday that was mind-blowing to me.
Knock, knock … Your pizza is here.
When my husband received his pizza order from a local pizza store last night, a bright pink flyer was glued to the box top. The flyer advertised a new nail salon a mile or two down the road. There is an existing nail salon right next door to the pizza store, which has been in business for at least a couple of years as far as I know. I was surprised by the flyer for two reasons. First, the pizza store was a major chain. You would think there would be a lot of red tape involved in getting the required permission to attach a local flyer to each box. Second, the pizza store was promoting another nail shop located in another retail center. Would this not be an act of negligence of tenant?
Being the person that I am, it was impossible for me not to immediately look up the chain’s Values and Philosophy. They say that their mission statement and guiding principles make up the core commitments that govern their business decisions. They say they are committed to an inclusive culture which values the contributions of their customers, team members, suppliers and neighbors. If that is true, then why would they treat their next door neighbor so poorly (as in this case)? Not only is this un-neighborly and in bad taste, it’s setting a fellow small business owner up for failure.
Sadly, 80% of small businesses fail before they ever reach the five-year mark.
Common reasons for failure include: lack of money; lack of experience or education related to their business endeavor; lack of a written business plan; and lack of passion. If you are a small business owner, how enthusiastic would you be about your neighbor helping one of your competitors promote their business across town? Even if you are not a business owner, how would you feel about anyone sabotaging your progress?
Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if someone shared with you what has worked for them and what has not worked— ultimately saving you money, time and frustration? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all followed mom’s advice to love thy neighbor as we love ourselves, or as the GOLDEN RULE says: treat others as we would have them treat us?
If you’ve been in business for more than five years, someone out there has undoubtedly helped you grow your business into what it is at the moment. Every day is an opportunity for you to return the favor to someone else. Small business owners should be looking for ways to help their neighbors not hurt them.
Next week: Four things that you can do right now to help your neighbor rather than hurt them.
Aundrea Y. Wilcox is a professional business consultant and the author of the book, Startup Savvy: Strategies for Optimizing Small Business Survival and Success. To connect with Aundrea, follow her on Twitter @StartupSavvy, and “Like” her Facebook Author Page, StartupSavvy. Visit startupsavvy.biz for more insights and tips about small business ownership and management.