Small businesses exist for two reasons. One, to fulfill the needs of the owner, and two, to fulfill the needs of the customer. THAT’S IT. We often conveniently forget this.
So for every time you got annoyed that something like this happens:
- Facebook has decreased your reach so that you have to pay for things to be seen by more people,
- Your customer claimed to her friends that she made the cake herself,
- The photographer named you but failed to tag your business in the photos of the event,
- The venue didn’t make any mention of your business when they posted about it,
- You didn’t get a thank you note after working your butt off on a cake….
YOU FORGOT that there are only 2 reasons your business exists. For YOU and for your CUSTOMERS.
Let me give it to you straight. None of the people in those examples owes you a damn thing.
Facebook has NO obligation to promote your page for free. It’s a business, not a public service.
Your customer can say whatever she likes about her cake. She paid for it.
The photographer is promoting their business. They don’t have to promote yours.
The venue is promoting their space, not your business. They don’t have to promote yours.
The customer is thinking about the next thing happening in their lives. She paid for it. Now it’s over for her.
So…would it be nice if Facebook showed your posts more widely, if customers told everyone they know about you, if vendors and venues tagged and linked to you, and if we got thank you notes? OF COURSE. However in all those examples, the customer needs part of the equation is being fulfilled entirely – they got what they wanted. Your responsibility is to them, not to FB or the venue or the photographer.
So what about the part of the business which is meant to be about your needs? Those needs include the need for recognition. Here’s the thing – since nobody owes you or your business anything, it’s time you TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PART OF THE BUSINESS EQUATION.
Don’t like how Facebook works? You have the choice to leave the platform or pay for their services.
Want your customers to praise you publicly or send thank you notes? Ask them to share your business card or leave a review.
Don’t like that you didn’t get tagged or mentioned? Send a polite email asking for a link or a mention and offering to give one in return.
Notice how in none of those do I say, “Go on social media and rant or complain.”