By Nick Andriacchi
Running a business is not for the faint of heart. There is very little that you can control. The economy, rules, regulations and of course competition are things a business has no control over. But the way a business owner conducts business and who they surround themselves with is totally under their control. You’ve heard the saying: “Do business with people you know, like and trust”. With all things being equal, successful business owners tend to weigh trust the most. When you trust a partner, you know they have your best interest in mind. They will give you good advice even if it’s something you don’t want to hear.
I was reading an excerpt by business strategist David Horsager on the bottom-line impact of trust. He has developed a system with which he teaches leaders how to build the Eight Pillars of Trust:
- Clarity – People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous
- Compassion – People put faith in those who care beyond themselves
- Character – People notice those who do what is right over what is easy
- Competency – People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable
- Commitment – People believe in those who stand through adversity
- Connection – People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends
- Contribution – People immediately respond to results
- Consistency – People love to see the little things done consistently
Trust is the key component of success. The trust you have with your team and colleagues, the trust you place in your vendors, and the trust that you work to earn from your clients.
Make Trust the Foundation of Company Culture
Trust touches every area of a business. Vendors, employees, and clients.
Start with employees. There are many studies that show employees are way more productive when they trust management and each other. They feel like they can take more risks to better the company because management has their back. Bottom line – they become enthusiastic to come to work and rave about the company.
This spills over to the clients that you are trying to earn their trust. Enthusiastic employees, ones that go above and beyond for your customers is what earns your clients trust. When the client trusts your company and something goes wrong, they know it’s an honest mistake and will be patient while things get fixed. They will be open to your advice as they know you have their best interest at heart.
A Lesson from a 96 year-old businessman
I got lucky to spend a day with the late, great Nick Bertucci shortly before he passed away. He owned a small butcher store for over 50 years and frankly, I learned a lot from him over the years. He really embodied all eight pillars of trust.
We had many conversations that day. A lot of them had to do with the future – even when we reminisced about the past. A true entrepreneur even in his final days.
The conversation eventually turned to trust. We spoke about who helped him launch and grow his business. A child of the great depression and who didn’t return to school after serving in World War II, he was born with a great brain for business but needed help in areas where he wasn’t as well versed. One area was the legalities of running a business and he had many questions about how it should be structured, compliance with the different laws that come with running this particular business, etc. He chose wisely in the law firm of Spina, McGuire and Okal. Anthony Spina, his long-time attorney helped him get started and guide his successful business through many complicated issues. What he told me was this:
“Do business with people who you trust and don’t worry about how much it costs because good partners more than pay for themselves”.
In business and in life, we are faced with many choices. There will always be options to choose different services, vendors and even friends. But most importantly, choose ones that you trust and are not looking out solely for their self-interests. Success will come much easier.