When people think of a small business, it’s usually a Main Street-style shop—a florist, a hair salon, a restaurant. On a bigger scale, it could be a local marketing firm, a graphic design agency, or a family-run insurance company. But running a private school is actually just like running a small business, except every day you see the same customers, and they stay in your shop for 6 straight hours.
Here are three important things I’ve learned:
- Surround yourself with people who want to grow. Workers who have a growth mindset are more likely to be loyal during the hard times and appreciative during the good times. Whether your worker is a teacher with a master’s degree or a stock boy with a high school diploma, a person who wants to learn will also want to succeed. And their success will almost always convert into success for your business. Surround yourself with those people, not the ones who just want to get through the week until the next paycheck.
Which brings us to:
2. Give your team opportunities to advance. That doesn’t mean you need to have a hierarchical organization chart where every employee has a position above them to advance to. Advancement doesn’t have to be a promotion, it just has to be opportunity. That could be in the form of taking lead on an existing project, developing a new idea, becoming a mentor to a new hire, or just learning a new skill. By developing your team, you develop your business.
3. When it comes to customer relations, listen, don’t lecture. Any good teacher will tell you that more often than not, they learn more from their students than what they teach them. It’s the same with customers. Let them teach you about their needs and desires before you start telling them what you have to offer. It will not only save you both a lot of time and energy, but you might find you can help them in ways you hadn’t anticipated. And if you don’t have what they want, they’ll appreciate your honesty and effort and probably will come back again.
Keep these lessons in mind and your business will be on its way to earning an “A” in no time.