What business are you in?

When you meet someone for the first time, they will usually ask you what business are you in. The answers tend to be ” I’m in the automotive business, the retail business or even the advertising business.

But the real answer is that everyone is in the people business. The Apple Store is more about people helping consumers than iPads or MacBooks. The radio business is more about people than radio advertising due in great part to the lack of tangibility which is similar to services  versus products. 

Nobody gets it better than Richard Branson

“We give our people real autonomy, and celebrate their achievements by identifying star contributors, highlighting brand ambassadors in our internal newsletters and hosting parties for individual employees. The newsletters and parties also provide context and information about why we do what we do, and what we’re accomplishing. We encourage employees to take advantage of flexible work hours: They can opt for alternative schedules, to work from home, or to work from one of our other offices. We also foster physical activity through initiatives like discounted gym memberships and in Britain, by using tax incentives to encourage employees to bike to work,” explained the Virgin founder in a recent entrepreneur.com blog.

“To learn whether what we’re doing is working, we listen to feedback from our employees, which we gather through ordinary conversations and through satisfaction surveys. We also measure success by referrals, since there is no stronger endorsement than when an employee tells a friend or relative that a company is a great place to work.”

So the next time someone asks you what business are you in, the answer is clear.

Enjoy the day.

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