Friday, March 9, 2012

The newest, oldest and above all most important tools for your business.


As we set out to build our businesses we are inundated with the latest “must have” tools.  Tools to increase our productivity, to help us with our marketing, to help us find new customers and keep the old ones.  Tools to build a web site, to launch a product or even to help us track our financials.

But…those aren’t the kind of tools I am talking about.  Here’s some you might not have thought of, that are free to use, but can cost you terribly in the long run if you don’t use them.

Honesty.  Intellectual honesty.  Being honest with yourself about your products, your marketing, and your growth.  About being honest in your representations with your clients, your brand and your employees.

Loyalty.  Loyalty is such a magic quality.  It can carry you through dark days, and build a bond with your suppliers, vendors, clients and employees that can’t be broken.  Remember, you can’t demand loyalty, but it often comes back to you when you give it.

Courage.  Courage to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.  Courage to admit a problem with your product to your best client.  Courage to tell your employees the truth and ask their help in solving a problem.  

Faith.  A belief in yourself.  A belief in your employees.  In your company, in your product.   And most importantly, in your customers.  If you don’t believe in them, your relationship will never work.

Perseverance.  Winston Churchill had it right when he said “Never never never never give up!”  Sometimes we win by simply not giving up.  Ever.

Enthusiasm.  Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.  Emerson had it right.  Enthusiasm is infectious, contagious and most of all fun.  And don’t we all work better when we’re having fun?

So how do you do all of this?  How do you create this kind of environment in your office?  In my opinion…you can’t create it.  I think it’s like motivation.  I personally don’t think I can motivate anyone, I think the best I can do is create an atmosphere under which motivation can occur naturally.  And I think that’s how it is with these tools as well…the most you can do is walk the walk.  By maintaining a core set of ethical principles…yes that’s what we are talking about here…ethics…you’ll build the right Company…the right way.


Peter Justen is the Founder of FivePlus, a cloud based financial dashboard for small businesses (www.fiveplus.co) He is considered a subject matter expert in small business, and has been interviewed by leading publications including Forbes.com, WSJ, INC, Entrepreneur, PC Magazine, PC World, and FOX News Radio. Peter was profiled by Smart CEO Magazine as one of the “20 Leaders We Admire in Washington, D.C.”, and was singled out by the Government of Finland in their study on innovation as a “Shining example of US Innovation”.