It’s sometimes hard to admit it, but as we get older we have to acknowledge that mom often did know best. With Mother’s Day just behind us, I thought it would be worth revisiting some lessons our moms taught us that can help not only in life, but also in business.
- Clean up. Mom taught you to always wash your face, comb your hair and look presentable. It’s equally important for your business image to shine. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so whether it’s your storefront, your office lobby or your website’s home page, make sure your business looks inviting, up-to-date and appealing.
- Be friendly. Mom told you to smile, look people in the eye and be polite. The same rules apply in business. People want to do business with people they like, so being considerate, polite and friendly matter, whether it’s you or your employees.
- Share. You didn’t always want to, but Mom made you share the last cookie with your sister and your toys with your friends. Whether you’re interacting offline or in social media world, an attitude of sharing—towards business partners, customers and prospects—will get you far. Make it a point to be generous, and you’ll get back more than you give.
- Tell the truth. Whether you hit a baseball through the neighbor’s window or flunked a spelling test, honesty is the best policy (because Mom always finds out anyway). In business, too, customers value honesty more than ever—and they’ll spread the word about your honest approach to their friends and colleagues.
- Always do your best. Mom didn’t care if you were the best—she only cared if you tried your hardest. Customers, too, can tell when you’re not putting forth your best effort but only going through the motions. If they don’t get your full efforts, they won’t stick around.
- Appreciate your unique gifts. Maybe you weren’t the team captain or the head cheerleader, but Mom showed you how to appreciate what was special about you. Don’t make your business a copycat of your competitors—focus on what makes your business different and better.
Know who else can be your biggest cheerleader? A SCORE Mentor. If you don’t already have one, visit SCORE’s website to get matched with a Mentor for free business advice 24/7. They’ll be almost as supportive as your mom—although they probably won’t bake you cookies.