Your Best Investment

The best investment a business can make is an investment in their people. ALL of their people, not only the ones who work for the business but the ones who buy from the business as well.

Most business leaders agree that investing in the development of their people is essential to long-term growth. They see their people as an investment that pays limitless returns. Many of those same business leaders however see their customers as almost an expense. They want more customers but they want them with as little expense attached to them as possible.

When a business sees their customers as an expense they provide the lowest level of service possible without losing the customer. At least that’s their goal.

Businesses that see their customers as an investment do market research to determine what MORE they can do for their customers. Businesses that see their customers as an expense do market research to determine how much LESS they can provide them. Hopefully without losing them.

If you don’t think a business would do that “how much less” type of market research then you have been very lucky in avoiding the need to speak with certain companies that 99% of the population loves to hate. Those companies lead the way in what I would call “negative market research.” They bake a certain amount of customer “churn” into their annual plans with the understanding that’s it is cheaper to lose some customers than it is to invest in them.

If you have a cell phone or cable TV for instance you likely understand exactly what I’m talking about.

If you run a company and you see your customers as an expense then your customers will one day see you as a company too expensive to do business with.

Good companies invest in their customers, better companies invest in their people, great companies invest in both.

Providing consistently excellent service isn’t hard. But it takes constant effort and a realization that you’re never “there.” Even if the majority of your people see your customers as an investment if you have just one or two who don’t, the customers will find them. It’s almost like magic…in a bad way.

Are you investing in your people? All of your people? If not you’re missing an opportunity to grow your business at a much faster rate than you probably are today.

Invest in all of your people, it’s truly the best investment you can make.

An Organization’s Greatest Asset

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve asked the leader of a business or organization what their greatest asset was I probably wouldn’t care about a paycheck or the stock market anymore. 

 

If I had a half a dollar for every time they answered “my people” I’d be pretty well off too. 

 

A leader saying their people are their greatest asset is the easiest answer they can give. Showing that their people are their greatest asset is a completely different thing. 

 

If you were to watch a typical leader’s actions you would think their greatest asset was their computers or copiers. They typically spend more, way more, on their IT Department for example than they do in their training and employee development departments. In the vast majority of companies it’s 30-100% more. 

 

In most companies the investment allocated to grow their people is near the bottom on the list of budget allocations. 

 

So are your people your greatest asset? Does your budget reflect that? Are you consistently investing in your people or is that an investment that is too easy to cut when budgets get tight? 

 

When you stop and think about it you know investing in your people is the best investment you can make. The challenge for most leaders is that they don’t stop and think about it. They instinctively respond to the urgency of needing “things.” They forget the incredible importance of developing their people. 

 

I understand that other things seem important but they only help your people grow your business. “Things” alone don’t do much for you. Never forget that it’s your people who will grow your business not things.

 

Investing in anything without investing in your people is a lot like buying an excellent cut of meat without buying anything to cook it on. You could eat it raw but you would likely consider the meat a terrible purchase. 


Don’t only say your people are your greatest asset. Invest in their development and demonstrate that you mean it.