Imagine this. It’s my first day on the job as an office manager at Wix. My coworker was sick at home, I had a bunch of emails already waiting for me in my inbox before I had even stepped foot in the office, and, within minutes of sitting down, a small line of employees with questions had formed in front of my desk. The cherry on top? One of our darling four-pawed office mates was wandering the halls lost, searching for its owner.
“Welcome to Wix!”
It’s a roller coaster of a job, and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned so much about innovation, customer relations, and organization from the wide range of projects I work on and people I interact with on a daily basis. Now I want to share these lessons with you! Our job titles might be different, but the takeaways are still relevant to anyone navigating a business world full of competition, packed schedules, and ever-changing landscapes.
Each day brings a new adventure here at the office, and it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of all the different moving parts. These five tips are what keep me centered amidst it all. More than just allowing me to stay in survival mode, they help me identify moments for continuous creativity and improvement in my approach to management. If you’re looking for inspiration on perfecting your business management and customer support skills (plus more entertaining stories about our Wix dogs), then keep on reading.
Whether it’s customers or employees, take the time to form personal relationships with each one. Learn their names and remember little details about them. In an age where the Internet has created so much anonymity, you’d be surprised how far this little touch goes and the smiles it can bring to the faces of people around you. In my position, this sometimes can look like remembering which dog belongs to each employee (this is not a joke). In your business, this might look like recognizing returning customers to your online boutique and sending them personalized recommendations using the Wix Chat app. In addition to making people feel good, storing those little biography snapshots in your mind can help you advance professionally, as well. Knowing who does what in the office and how they work will let you keep a pulse on the ‘big picture’ and also assign tasks according to your employees’ unique skill sets. That right there is a recipe for becoming an all-star team manager and organizing projects in the most effective way possible for your company. Scoring high on your memory recall also means you get to position yourself as a people connector, which you can use to leverage your brand into new market frontiers. Maybe two clients have reached out with a similar idea? Propose a partnership, guided by your consultation. This leads me to my next suggestion…
Even if everything seems to be perfect and running smoothly, always keep one eye open for new opportunities to innovate and experiment. These will be your building blocks to move from merely doing well as a business, to making it big. For instance, I took the initiative to create new welcoming materials to add to the Wix employee onboarding packet, going above and beyond the basics to provide them with all the information they’d want to feel settled into our office. In your role as a small business owner, this could mean thinking of little touches to add to your product deliveries that will bring a smile to a customer’s face, or maybe experimenting with how new social media trends can help promote your brand. Just like with my project, you don’t have to wait for a crisis to happen before implementing these changes. It’s about continually visualizing excellence, and then making it happen.
A major rule of thumb I live by is that there’s always a way. If an employee comes to me with a request that seems impossible at its surface, my immediate answer is never ‘no.’ Instead, I hear them out and, together, we try and brainstorm a solution to the dilemma they’re facing. This lesson can apply to interacting with customers or your team members, as well. In the midst of a busy week or upon receiving a more complex request, it can be tempting to immediately dismiss what they’re saying with: “Sorry, we don’t have…” or “Unfortunately, we don’t allow…” How many times have those phrases jumped into all of our minds? However, next time you’re feeling tempted to type this out in an email to customer, pause for a second, and challenge yourself to channel some of that innovation from above. What is the root of the concern that they’re expressing? Perhaps you can’t offer exactly what they’re asking for, but maybe there is something you can provide that still addresses their core desire and makes them feel heard.
As you can probably tell from my description of my first day at work, there’s alway more than plenty on my plate. I thrive on that high-paced energy, but it begs the question: How do I keep important tasks from getting lost in the fray? Prioritization, prioritization, prioritization. Find the organization system that works for you (hint: Instagram and Pinterest are great places to browse for inspiration) and stick to it like glue. No matter how pretty your calendar looks, though, mentally prepare yourself for moments when you have to throw your well-ordered list out the window. Sometimes you might wake up to an unexpected opportunity you can’t refuse, like when Wix decided to participate in the Big Game of 2018 in just 24 hours. Lots of planned tasks went neglected during that window of time, but for a good reason. Holding this blend of clear-eyed organization and flexibility will serve you well in steering your business towards success.
Some people call it coincidence. I call it karma. I believe giving back to the community you’re a part of, and always going the extra mile for others. This is not about what it will ‘get’ you in return. It’s about modeling the kind of generosity and patience that you’d like to receive. People will take notice of how being treated so well makes them feel, and will hopefully remember that the next time they have a chance to interact with another person. And by choosing to cultivate this kind of culture around you in all of your dealings – from speaking with the office maintenance staff to your manager, and from clients to your supplier – you’ll eventually feel the impact trickle back to you. Besides, these relationships are critical for your business to flourish, and to make sure all hands on deck are equally invested in your mission. Go team!
Of course, it’s not always easy to remember the instinct to give back, especially when you have an overloaded inbox with customer requests. That’s why I stick a little note on my computer reminding me of my karma principle. It’s like a little hint to take a deep breath and reconnect to the passion that led me into this job. Or, if you’re a small business owner, the dream that motivated you to start your company. After that, you might find it hard to keep the smile off your face when typing your response.
The business world might seem rough at times. There is so much to get done, and never enough hours in the day to do it all. The key to making it through these moments is reminding yourself why you started out here in the first place. What is your vision of what your company can offer the world? I hope these tips can help you find your footing amidst rocky waters, so that you can keep growing and building your dream.
Looking for another way to keep your customers smiling? Design a breathtaking website for your business today!
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