John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods, believes “business is the greatest creator of value in the world. [It] is fundamentally noble, because it elevates humanity. [It] is fundamentally heroic, because it ends poverty.”
He also believes “businesses are seen as untrustworthy.”
Do consumers consider your business trustworthy? Like all relationships, a business-customer relationship must be built on trust — trust that your cars will show up on time in excellent condition; trust that you will transport passengers safely and comfortably; trust that everything you will deliver everything you promised to a client.
If people don’t trust you, they won’t do business with you. So how does an owner get consumers to believe that his or her operation is the right business to pick?
In a recent Inc. Magazine article, Mackey shares four principles to help business owners run their operations in a “way that inspires trust among people.” These principles are detailed in his book, Conscious Capitalism. Here are the highlights, along with Mackey’s comments:
All businesses need a higher purpose. “Money is not what drives most entrepreneurs. What drives most entrepreneurs is some kind of dream. Businesses will never be trusted if all it talks about is maximizing profit.”
Business must create value for everyone that trades with it. “The most amazing thing about capitalism is that it’s not a zero-sum game. It’s a win-win-win-win-win. Business must create value for customers that trade with it.”
We need a new type of leader. “You cannot create a conscious business unless the leadership is conscious with it.”
We have to create company cultures that are humanistic and empowering. “Conscious businesses have trusting cultures. They tend to be more authentic and caring.”
In addition to being an industry with small margins1 , chauffeured transportation is considered more of a luxury than necessity. Its services are among the first to be cut when corporate budgets shrink.
But by developing a brand focused on the end-user experience and benefits provided to customers, operators can forge a relationship that moves the conversation away from the costs and closer to the value being offered. It all begins from within.
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor
1. Average and median profit margin for chauffeured transportation operators in 2011 was 10%, according to 2012 LCT Fact Book
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