In any professional endeavor, the bottom line has to be a top priority--after all, a business can’t stay afloat for long without a healthy profit margin. Yet it’s also important to address the non-profit side of things, to project a genuine demeanor of concern for clients, your staff, and the larger community. Caring is the sixth key to establishing a brand that is both powerful and well thought of in the minds of your clientele.
Research shows that millennials, in particular, want to know the businesses they patronize stand for something. And many beauty industry leaders have made philanthropy part of their corporate DNA: Estee Lauder and Avon are active in the fight against breast cancer, Philosophy donates 1% of all sales to mental health causes, L’Oreal spotlights “Women of Worth” in their campaign to honor real women’s achievements.
Smaller enterprises clearly don’t have the resources of these corporate powerhouses. But you can still emulate their root philosophy of showing the basic ways you care:
• For your craft: Let clients/patients know you’re passionate and up-to-date on every aspect of your profession. If you have a trainer come in to instruct staffers on new techniques, post the training video on your website and social media. It underscores the idea that your staff is well-versed in offering the very best service, with the most up-to-date methodology.
• For your staff: If employee birthdays call for big celebrations, share the fun! Post pictures of the birthday honoree, along with snapshots of the celebration. Likewise, if you have an employee-of-the month program, be sure to include it on your website or Facebook page. The message that comes across: “We love our staff, and our staff loves us. Come join in the lovefest!”
• For your clients: Think of creative ways to express appreciation. Some thoughts: Give a 10% discount to teachers; offer a “client appreciation week/month” where all services are 20% off; include an extra service if patients/clients purchase a particular procedure.
• For your community: There are so many ways to show your commitment: Support a food drive, contribute a gift certificate to a silent auction for a local charity, offer a 1% donation on all services purchased to a worthy local (or national) initative.
The point here: You don’t want to be perceived as merely a “factory” pumping out discounts, but instead, as an enterprise proactive in supporting causes that matter--whether you’re opening your heart to clients, staff or worthy enterprises in your community and beyond.