Meaning Well Doesn’t Equal Success: 4 Ways to Run a Successful Business

Meaning Well Doesn’t Equal Success: 4 Ways to Run a Successful Business

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As founder and CEO of Truly FREE , one of the most important lessons I learned was that just because you mean well doesn’t guarantee success. Years ago, when we were a startup, I had it in my mind that all I needed to be successful was an unshakeable vision to make a positive social impact, a must-have product, not a nice-to-have product and an easy-to-use website. This notion was quickly dispelled by reality.

Anyone new to ecommerce learns quickly that having a website doesn’t mean website traffic just appears. We had to rethink everything because shipping our natural laundry detergent was more expensive than the product.

We went back to the beginning. This did not mean that we had to solve the immediate problem. However, this was a central part of our efforts. Our core goal : was to provide a safe product for families, particularly children, and those who are allergic to chemicals and other harsh ingredients. We had to completely reimagine the modern laundry room and our business model.

We discovered four key elements as we built our social impact brand and grew our business. These four key elements were more important than a website and good intentions. The journey and the results have had a far greater impact on society than we imagined. Here are four ways social impact businesses can boost their brand’s purpose and bottom line

Related: How to Know When to Give Up, When to Pivot and When to Persist

1. Make relationship building a core competency

To us, customers are family. This approach is more than a way of thinking. It is our way to do business.

With each decision, we ask ourselves if we would do it for our family. These ingredients would be acceptable for our family. This offer and price would be fair and something that we would recommend to our family.

Every detail matters. Although attention to detail is a well-known concept, it can be hard to remember. Still, when customers actually witness the attention and energy put into every detail — from their experience on the website to the ingredient list on the product — they begin to see your company not just for the products you generate but also for the values and mission you are putting out into the world. These efforts lead to authentic transparency and trust which is the foundation for a long-lasting and solid relationship.

We include every ingredient on our products so that customers can do their own research. It has been a key factor in establishing long-term relationships with customers, based on their feedback.

Relationship building may be a unilateral initiative, but it goes a long way with every customer. We understand transactions pay bills, but our experience proves that relationships build companies.

2. Connect humans to humans

Our non-toxic fabric softener dryer sheets are handmade by women rescued from poverty and trafficking. This is something our customers understand and feel. Customers also know that the money they spend with Us goes towards helping women and children escape trafficking, shelter and feed orphans, and even a village in Haiti with hearing impairment.

We make it a priority for our customers to know the power of their purchase and how it positively impacts other people’s lives.

Transparency combined with purpose makes for good business. Amplifying the human element of your business right out of the gate can rapidly communicate your mission statement and strengthen your position as a social impact business.

3. Prioritize convenience

Everyone’s busy. Our customers don’t need hassles and neither do we. Although we may have the best intentions in the world, people won’t sign up for our products if it is difficult to do business with us.

Brands must always prioritize convenience for every customer interaction. As an ecommerce-based subscription-based business, we thrive upon subscriptions. If brands can simplify a customer’s lives by automating an offer such as a subscribe-and-save model, they should integrate it into their website, promotions, and upsells. We also understand that new customers may not be ready for a recurring commitment right away. Businesses should offer the option to purchase single transactions at checkout. They should also offer a compelling offer that will entice customers to subscribe and save without strings attached.

Some brands may think that this model reduces subscriptions because it offers a “dating” opportunity where new customers can get to know the brand and the brand without committing to anything upfront. If done correctly, your subscriber base will continue to grow.

By prioritizing convenience in every customer interaction you can reduce friction and ultimately meet all customers’ unique and situational requirements.

Related: 4 Suggestions to Improve Convenience for Consumers

4. Reimagine the business model

As noted at the beginning, logistics forced us to reimagine our business model for the better. Laundry detergent shipping costs are as high as the product. Our original plan was to quickly go out of business.

What was the problem? Weight. What can be done to reduce it? This question challenged us as we tried to think differently about laundry detergent.

Water is the main ingredient in detergent. The problem can be solved by removing the water. This will help us achieve our goal of eliminating single-use plastics in millions. This led to a new vision for cleaning and laundry spaces in homes. Today, refills are sold, not huge plastic bottles that end-up in landfills.

Business doesn’t have to be business as usual. You can look at the operational challenges from a different perspective and see opportunities to rethink product development. You can completely reimagine your business’s direction by looking at the details.

Related: 8 Ways To Pivot Your Business To Kickstart Growth

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