Businesses don't have to compete - yes it's true
Today I picked up a piece of furniture that I’ve ordered online from a furniture company here in Sweden. It was a neat and fresh looking laundry basket made out of solid pine wood. I love anything made of solid goods so I couldn’t resist this one, especially for the reduced price that it was. At the check out I was chatting with the woman behind the counter and she sort of excused that it took some time for the computer to open up the required program and I said that I totally understand and I also shared that I work in a furniture store myself, so I really understand that sometimes it needs a bit of shuffling behind the scenes to make things happen for the customer.
I told her which particular store I work in and she was a little bit surprised and said, “and you still come here?” And I said to her of course, and told her that we didn’t have this particular item in our store and when I saw it online I just wanted to have it. In fact it was actually the second one I bought because I’ve purchased one the day before. Then she shared that she had also come into the store that I work in and bought some curtains that we’ve had on sale once, and that she also goes to another furniture store to buy things if she needed it and I felt, there you have it!
Why have the mentality that we have to compete against each other for customers and try to grab as big piece of the market as you can when you can work side by side and realise that you might sell similar products but each one of you bring a different flavour that suit some and some not so much and that is what it should be like.
When you make it about the figures and the end result we are totally missing the point in having a business to begin with. It should never be about the numbers, it should always be about serving people, in whatever way that might be. And if a company is more about earning money and put people second then we as customers have the choice to what store we choose. Meeting this woman made me realise that we who work on the floor, so to speak, seem to be open to this type of cross pollinating, if I can use such a word and maybe this will spread up through the chain to the bosses and board members.
My prediction for the future is that the businesses who focus on people first will get the numbers as an added bonus effect and those that are more into the numbers will eventually fall.