The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone’s editors or publishers.
When interacting with clients or clients, there may be times when business leaders want to be able to switch places with their clients, if only so that the clients can see situations from their perspective. With their roles reversed, customers can develop a better understanding of why something went wrong or why certain things are the way they are, which will hopefully lead to higher customer satisfaction in the end.
But if entrepreneurs and customers can’t really switch places, they can share their views. Below, nine business leaders from Rolling Stone Cultural Council each shares a fact that they would like all customers to know about running a business and the impact they think that knowledge would have.
Entrepreneurs give their heart and soul to their businesses
I wish all customers knew how passionate most business owners are about products and services. Most business owners are dedicated heart and soul to their business. Therefore, running a business is truly an incredible opportunity to serve people in hopes of improving their lives. If customers could understand that, they might be a little more understanding when things don’t go exactly as planned. There will be hiccups from time to time in any business. This knowledge could create a little more empathy for the business and the business owner. – Billy Carson, 4BiddenKnowledge Inc.
Business owners are incredibly dedicated
I would especially appreciate clients understanding the dedication and ingenuity needed to build a successful business from the ground up. Running Linktree is more than just a job; it is an essential part of my identity and my daily life. When customers recognize this, it builds trust and goodwill, inspiring our creators to understand why we get up every day. – Antoine Zaccaria, Link tree
Running a business is an imperfect science
As a business leader, I’ve learned that we can be affected by extenuating circumstances, and that affects our customers. Expecting predictability at all times is a setup for failure. If there’s one lesson to be learned from the past three years, it’s that businesses, like people, need help and support to pivot and flexibility from customers to navigate change. – Stephanie Dillon, Stephanie Dillon
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It takes sacrifice to make a business work
I would like customers to know the sacrifice and commitment it took to get the business up and running. Hopefully this knowledge will encourage frequent buyers and consistent supporters once they realize how much sweat and how many tears have been shed to maintain its upkeep, overhead and functionality. This, in turn, could be a key turning point for increasing the number of successfully run businesses overall. – Tiffany Gaine, SS World Entertainment
Being an entrepreneur is exceptionally difficult
Running a business, especially a fast-growing one, is fun, but also exceptionally challenging. There are many choices to be made every day, and each involves trade-offs. Most business owners do their best to build amazing businesses and strive to balance the interests of their customers, employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders along the way. – Dan Giulani, Volt Athletics
Prices are set for a reason
Customers buy from who they like and trust. However, many want free advice or discounted rates. Clients need to understand our financial commitment as business owners as well as the time spent growing our brands and business. This comes at a premium. The fees are based on endless days and nights of work, many failures with some successes and a continuous need to improve our craft. – matt campbell, my wedding songs
Constructive feedback helps
I would like customers to know how important it is to provide constructive feedback directly to the owner. Obtaining customer information is valuable for improving the product or service. It’s also equally impactful to hear what’s going well, in addition to what can be improved. A business owner often only hears complaints. Let them know the good stuff too, so they can pass the kudos on to their teams. – Traci De Forge, Produce your podcast
Leaders must balance social justice and financial success
Most leaders care about social justice and equality and want to create a good work environment where employees can thrive. However, we also need to ensure that our business is financially successful so that it can continue to serve its customers and employees in the future. This balancing act can be difficult at times, but in the end, it’s what drives most business owners and managers. – jeffrey zucker, Green Lion Partners
Making changes isn’t always easy
There are so many moving parts in running a business that making changes has a causal reaction – and not always a good one. Keep in mind that we are human, that we do our best. If there is something positive you want to share, always let the owner know. If there is something negative most of the time you can just constructively email the company so they have time to think, address and implement. – Susan Johnson, New Media Film Festival®