Are You a Welcoming Company?

If you are, stop it. Right now.

Companies the world over strive to be welcoming—to make customers, guests, clients feel at home and at ease with every interaction and touch point. Whether the experience occurs in their retail stores, in their hotels and recreational facilities, on their websites or in their corporate offices, companies train employees to offer services and amenities that create an experience their customers won’t forget. And companies spend a lot of money doing that. After all, well-trained staff, premium coffee, souped up websites, points programs, free shipping and down-filled bedding aren’t cheap.

All of that is well and good, but it’s a waste of time and money if a company’s primary focus is on being a welcoming company. A company that’s a “welcoming” company is practicing a 21st century version of “If we build it, they will come.”

No, companies today must go one step further and be “inviting” companies. You can’t afford to wait until  customers walk through your door or stumble on to your website to pull out the welcome mat and treat them well. You must actively invite your customers and prospects to the experience.

Marketing is one way to invite customers in. But an “inviting” company goes even further and immerses itself in the community. Its leadership and its employees leave the comfort and safety of its own turf and commits to using their time, treasure and talents to improve the communities in which they do business.  They serve on boards, both business and philanthropic. They volunteer for community projects and fundraisers. They get involved in school and youth programs. The list goes on and is quite varied, but the commonality is that through these actions, company leaders and employees invite the community to see the company culture at work and witness firsthand the type of service and commitment the company brings to any endeavor.

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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