Put people before profits, and profits will come.
Put profits before people, and people will run.

The tricky thing about business is that in order to survive (and grow), you have to make a profit. You need a financial model that generates significantly more revenue than your costs.

Yet at the same time, if you make the pursuit of revenue your highest aim, your business will ultimately fail. Over time you’ll forget the needs of the people you’re serving. You’ll stop listening to them, caring for them, working to help them, and exceeding their expectations. And when that happens, things do downhill quickly.

Prioritize Well

One area we have to encourage our clients in is prioritizing. There are times people come to us wanting to implement a tactic: build a website, set up social media profiles, do some SEO work, etc. Their hope is that if we do this one thing (or some combination thereof), their sales will explode and business will take off. But we must always point them back, first and foremost, to the needs of their customers. We have to continually ask this question:

How will this benefit your users?

If a clearly defined answer can’t be given, then we have to take a step back. There’s no use throwing time, money, talent, and resources into something which isn’t designed to help people. The very thing they’re trying to do (generate more revenue) will actually cost them far more in the long-run.

A Shift in Mindset

At the end of the day, this boils down to a shift in mindset. Yes, you can build a new website, do the social media campaign, or enact an SEO plan – but it must be aimed at serving your customers in some way. If it’s being done merely to boost your sales – with zero thought about how it helps your customers – it simply won’t work long-term.

The irony is that when you do the opposite – put people first, ahead of profits – then people actually want to buy from you. They feel loved, cared for, and served. And all of a sudden giving you their money seems like a worthwhile investment.

So if you’re looking to make a profit, keep the focus on your customers. They’ll thank you in the long-run. Both with their words and with their wallets.