Planning Your Success in the Service Business

St Patrick’s Day has come and gone for another year – and we all likely heard the phrase “May the luck of the Irish be with you” just a few times this past week. People seem to believe in it, so much so that several of my true ‘Irish” friends were busy filling lottery ticket orders as the big day approached.

But even if you are a believer, but are missing some of this true Irish heritage, today’s Delfi Column has some tips on how to make your own luck in your career and your business.

  1. Be Thirsty for Learning Opportunities

Whether you’re an intern, junior associate, or the CEO of a global organization, understand that you are always a work in progress. The most successful business professionals always state the importance of learning. Attend a new networking event, read the latest book in your field, learn a new skill. Ask your boss if there is any new training that you can attend. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group of over 400 companies recently tweeted “I love learning & expect to keep learning until I drop. Learning never stops?” Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, attributes his business success not to his high level of intelligence, but to his desire to never stop learning.

  1. Learn all Aspects of your Business

Salespeople, find out how your marketing department attracts all those leads. Marketing, learn how your customer service team manages those client relationships. Executives, make sure that you understand the crucial processes in your business. You can never expect your business to run like a well-oiled machine if you don’t know what makes those parts rotate.   If your company structure allows, ask to shadow a fellow co-worker in a different department for just an hour one day. Sit in on a sales/service call, witness how shipping manages an order, or learn from IT how they keep your computer system secure. Having a greater understanding of the roles of your colleagues can have a dramatic impact on how you do your job. Restating the above comment, all skills are valuable, and learning should never stop. Besides – your fellow team members love the interest and really enjoy showing you how their work processes run.

  1. Be Gracious in Business

The Irish are considered a pretty friendly and sociable bunch – and how you treat people in business can have a significant impact on your career. Treat everyone that you interact with as you would want to be treated yourself – which is the simple golden rule of all relationships.
Buy your co-workers their favorite coffee or bring them breakfast. As a leader, treat your entire staff to a “pizza Friday.” It may not seem like much, but that small gesture could make their day and boost their productivity. And for everyone else you interact with, whether in your daily life or in business, simply smile at them. The smile — transmitted either consciously or subconsciously — is viewed across cultures as a sign of friendliness, especially when greeting someone. Frowns, too, are generally recognized as indicating sadness or disapproval. You will be amazed at the power of a smile

  1. Be Fearless

Don’t be afraid to say yes to a project, even if you haven’t quite figured out the logistics yet. Speak up if you have a good idea, and share it (politely and appropriately of course). Don’t assume that because you’re an intern right now that you won’t be running your own business in 5 years. Believe in yourself and what you are doing today. When I think of a strong fearless entrepreneur, I remember a famous for a quote from one that I admire: “Think with your imagination, not your memory.”

  1. Be Passionate about Service

Regardless of what business or agency you are in, always remember that you are actually in the service business. Most businesses think that they are in the manufacturing or retail business, or in health care or education, or….. The reality is that we are all in the service business. And businesses that operate with this principle as “job one” succeed and thrive – and the rest strive to survive. Starbucks is successful because they understand that they are a service company – that just happens to see great coffee.

And now back to the Irish Theme:

“May your business always be too small to hold your friends and customers “. –Irish toast

“May you never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten” . –Irish blessing