I know, it’s a loaded question. And the easy answer is to say that they are equally important. But what if you had to choose?
I thought about the question today, in the midst of our latest snowstorm.
A couple of local businesses I know had to make a decision on whether to open or not. It’s a big day for these businesses since it is Super Bowl Sunday.
The owners had to make the tradeoff between risking the safety of their employees in getting to work or choosing to satisfy customers who may have been counting on the businesses to be open.
If I had to choose between the two, I would go with the employees as being the more important of the two groups.
The employees are a reflection of the business, and showing the employees that you respect them is a sign of a company that cares. And customers should want to support such a business. And potential employees would be attracted to such a business.
But if you put customers first, many people may assume that the business favors profits over people. And that may make it difficult to attract effective and loyal employees.
So to me, it starts with taking care of your employees, and once you have proven that you are loyal to them, then you can work to gain the same trust with your customers.
That combination should make for a successful business…