Placing community at the heart of your business leads to so much fulfilment, joy, and peace of mind. This fourth segment of “Keeping your Customers Delighted, while also Maintaining Your Own Sanity and Joy” is my favourite in the miniseries so far.
I can endlessly share stories and talk about the magic of conscious business community building, but there’s only so much one can stuff into a podcast episode. Haha So I decided to dive deep into these key areas:
- The three facets of community surrounding your business
- Why it’s necessary to focus on each of them
- How they can make your life easier and more joyful
Listen on the embedded player below, or on your preferred podcast platform. If reading is your jam, then scroll down for the transcript. Enjoy! 🙂
“You know, why it’s good for you is because you’re not in this constant mode of defensiveness and protectiveness, and worrying that someone will steal something from you. That is such a terrible way to live. For your own self, you know, for others obviously, but also for your own self, that is just not a healthy way to live, right? But if you’re open and free and welcoming and helpful all around, it’s such an easy way to live!”Susmitha Veganosaurus – The Feel Good Factor Podcast
If this is your first time here, I invite you to find out more about The Feel Good Factor Podcast. If you think this content can help someone, do share the episode with them. I’d also greatly appreciate a review on Apple Podcasts. Ratings and reviews help the show get discovered by more people who resonate with this kind of message.
Transcript of Joyful Customer Delight Part Four – Building a Community Around Your Business
(edited for a better reading experience)
Hello, hello, hello, what a lovely day it is. It’s been raining in Bangalore for quite some time off and on off and on and I hate it when it gets all cloudy and dingy and rainy. I just don’t feel like doing anything at that time. All I want to do is just curl up with a book and some hot chocolate, hoping somebody else makes the hot chocolate for me, and all of that. But in the past couple of days, though it’s been raining in the evening. It’s been nice and sunny in the daytime. And I’m loving that combination.
Yesterday I just went out to my balcony and sat in the sun and just soaked it up. It’s so good. There’s something so energising about the sun rays. The energy of the sun, it just wakes you up. And for me, it just fills me up with contentment, with life, you know. And of course, I’m not talking about hours of sun exposure and whatnot. Even when I sit in the sunlight, I make sure my head is not exposed to the sun, it’s usually my legs and arms and stuff like that, which is very nice.
I just wanted to share that with you. I wonder if you all feel the same too about just enjoying the sunlight. Especially during the days when, you know, it’s been rainy, and in the middle of that when there’s some nice bright sunshine. If you find that go, go soak it up. It’s going to totally uplift your spirits. Even for five minutes, just try it, and you’ll be surprised.
So yeah, I’m back continuing with my mini series about keeping your customers delighted while also maintaining your own sanity and joy. Three episodes were done, now we’re starting on episode four. And today I wanted to talk about…
Building a community around your business.
A lot of businesses tend to make a business into just a business. So there’s a buyer, there’s a seller, and then there are employees. There’s something a little cold about that. I’m sure it works fine. Of course it works fine in many cases. But there’s a lot of potential you’re losing out on when you don’t turn your business into a community.
There’s so much potential there, especially if you have a brick and mortar place, like, a physical place where people visit. But also this can be done with online businesses through, you know, newsletters and social media, websites and blogs, and stuff.
Talking about newsletters, since I just mentioned it, let me segue into my newsletter. Haha
I have a newsletter called The Feel Good Tribe. I share a lot of very secret, special content only on the newsletter. And of course I like to provide a lot of value to my Feel Good Tribe, which is what I call the newsletter subscribers. So I share tips about life and veganism and cooking and spirituality and holistic business building and so many different things. I just cover a whole bunch of areas.
I also share updates about some latest content, and more importantly, when I launch new courses or services, my newsletter subscribers are the first to hear about it. And often they get freebies first when I launch them before others do. It’s a little, cosy community and I send mails maybe once or twice a month, but I really cherish those moments of writing that email and sending it out. It’s just so so special. So yeah, if you would like to join, go to www.veganosaurus.com/newsletter and join the Feel Good Tribe. I’ll see you on the inside!
Since I was talking about community I’m like “hey this, I cannot let it pass by”, because the newsletter subscribers are a very, very core, important part of my community. The Veganosaurus and The Feel Good Factor community, you know.
So to build a community around your business, you need to understand that there are multiple aspects, multiple facets to a community which surrounds a business.
The first is of course your customer base, your clients.
You know, when you build that kind of a one to one, personal, very, very cosy, communal relationship with them, then you won’t even think of them as customers. Though technically they are, you won’t think of them that way. You’ll think of them as your guests, or as family, you know, that’s how it becomes.
Think about the places that you visit often. Whether it’s offline, if it’s a cafe or a store. Or if it’s online, a social media account or an online group. What makes you go back there again and again? What makes that place attract you back?
One of the key things is a feeling of being welcome there, a feeling of being at home, you know, there’s that comfortable feeling.
It’s very, very important that you create that kind of an atmosphere around your business, or in your businesses if it’s a physical place.
At Carrots, which used to be my vegan restaurant, we had created this really cosy ambience. There was a very home like feel to it. And people often said, “yes, the food is delicious, but what brings me back again and again is the energy of the place. The way you make us feel, the calmness, and that very friendly nature of your team. And how you all welcome us, make us feel really comfortable, that’s what brings me back again and again. That’s what makes me bring my friends, family and anyone else to your space so that we can spend time here.”
It plays a huge part in your long term customer satisfaction and customer delight. And it doesn’t just help your customers, it helps you, and it helps your team, because you feel really nice.
The less formal you are, the closer you feel to your guests, to your customers, clients, the happier you feel when you see them, right? Because you’re close to them. So it’s nice. It’s a joyful experience. And that kind of a joyful energy just multiplies. The more you feel it, the more they feel it, and then it reflects back at you. It’s a beautiful feeling to experience on a daily basis when you’re working.
The second aspect to building your community is with your team members.
That is so, so important. In the last episode I was telling you about how protective I am about my team, or I used to be about my team when, you know, I had my business. It’s because they are precious! Your team is very, very, very key, very, very, very important, to your business.
The happiness that they feel, the amount of love they feel doing the job that they do, makes a huge difference in the entire atmosphere and the energy of the organisation.
So if you have team members, make them feel joyful. Take extremely good care of them. Make them feel like this is their home, because you know our business is our second home. A lot of times we’re spending a huge part of our day at our workplace, at our business, right? They’re doing the same too, so they’re your second family. Treat them that way.
When you build a really good team culture, and when you are able to trust your team with more and more ownership… they need to feel that sense of ownership when they’re running the business, sense of responsibility that, “it’s my place too, it’s my business too. And they’re my customers, so I need to make them happy, and I need to have a good relationship with them.” That really helps, that really makes a world of difference to the energy, to the way your clients and customers feel, and more importantly to the way you feel. Because then you’re not the only owner, or if there are two or three partners, you’re not the only owners.
Your entire team has ownership, your entire team takes on responsibility. So you can delegate.
You can delegate so peacefully, without stress. So that brings you long term peace of mind. You can get to spend a lot of me-time with yourself. You can put your focus on things that matter in your life, and also, you can spend more time on your business than in it, than running it.
That helps everybody overall, right? So be very, very sure to value your team and to nurture them and let them grow and blossom in your business.
And then finally, the third aspect of community building is with your fellow businesses.
Particularly this is for conscious businesses where you’re working towards a greater cause. In my case, it was veganism. So whenever other vegan businesses opened up, my heart filled up with joy. It felt nice that the community was growing.
We were the first vegan restaurant in town all those years ago, in the country even. The first ethical vegan restaurant all those years ago. So when others started coming by it was really nice because it was really lonely at first, you know. You’re working towards the cause, you’re making things happen, and then you’re doing it alone. It gets quite lonely from this end.
Regardless of how much of support you get from your customers, it’s not the same as getting a fellow business owner to talk to. Somebody who’s going through the same thing as you are, somebody who cares about the same cause as you do. And who understands the business from the inside. You know the ups, the downs, the struggles, the fun, all of it.
It’s a delightful experience when you build that kind of personal camaraderie, a personal relationship with your fellow business owners in your conscious business circle.
When you do that, you give everybody permission to keep doing that.
Since we were the first restaurant, and then when other restaurants started opening, we opened our hearts to them, and they opened their hearts to us. And we all had really good relationships.
If we had some small issue with one of our gadgets or an oven or something, we would actually request the other restaurant and go bake there. Or if somebody had an issue with their employees or something, they will have somebody from here go there and help them out. And we’ve done all kinds of fun things like that. Very neighbourly, things like that.
And because we started out that way, as new and new businesses started cropping up within the vegan sector, within the vegan field in our city, they also felt safe to open up – to us, to each other. So that’s a beautiful community, it led to a really, really beautiful community.
I assumed that, “yeah, that must be the way vegan business communities are everywhere.”
And then I visited a couple of other towns where I noticed that either the businesses (some of them) were actively sabotaging each other, which really sucks, or they just wouldn’t have a relationship with each other.
They’d be very, very protective of their own business, and they didn’t want to build a connection with other businesses, or share anything, any information or support with each other. And I was flabbergasted! I’m like, “oh okay, this how it is, you know, vegan businesses also end up behaving like your regular, for profit, no principle businesses in other places.”
Of course, I’m not saying ours was the only town where people supported each other. I’ve seen vegan businesses in other towns support each other, that also has happened. There was a huge difference again, in the atmosphere… not just the atmosphere, but also how long businesses lasted, and how many new businesses cropped up.
In cities and towns where the vegan business community was getting along beautifully and supporting each other, the vegan business movement thrived.
It continues to thrive here in Bangalore, in fact. The community’s beautiful!
And then in cities where they were kind of in competition, and not really doing much for each other, didn’t care about anything but their own business, in those places, places closed down pretty quickly. They didn’t last as long, you know. Wherever there was politics and rivalry and stuff like that, places closed down.
It’s very important that when you’re running a conscious business, you become a good, valuable part of the entire business ecosystem, the entire conscious business ecosystem.
And you support like-minded businesses, you support new business owners. Again, when my restaurant used to run, if there were new vegan businesses that had cropped up, and it seemed like they were kind of trying to make something on their own, trying to grow, we would always lend them support.
We would freely and openly share any kind of knowledge, or supplier contacts and things like that with them. If they were home businesses, we would ask them to come and give samples of their products to our guests on a weekend or talk about their products to our customers and things like that. We had just built a community and it felt nice.
You know, why it’s good for you is because you’re not in this constant mode of defensiveness and protectiveness, and worrying that someone will steal something from you.
That is such a terrible way to live. For your own self, you know, for others obviously, but also for your own self, that is just not a healthy way to live, right? But if you’re open and free and welcoming and helpful all around, it’s such an easy way to live!
And then it doesn’t matter, you know. Like, my business closed during the pandemic, and when it did close, I still felt good. I still felt a sense of joy because I knew that by building this community, by helping fellow businesses, we had created enough ripples to help the movement keep going forward, very strongly. So it was like, “oh, my work here is done.” That kind of feeling is what I was left with at the time my business closed.
It’s so important to have this feeling of fulfilment and joy and gratitude and ease while running your business. That will ensure that you’re happy, it’ll also ensure that you keep on providing that delightful, joyful feeling to your customers and clients too.
So building all these facets of a community around your business, whether it’s with your team, with your customers, or with your fellow conscious vegan business owners, it makes the whole business journey so smooth and magical and delightful all around.
So that’s it for today’s episode. I truly enjoy talking about community. It’s a topic that is really, really close to my heart. It’s the closest of everything that I have spoken about so far.
Consider this, think about it. And see how you can incorporate more community related building, more community related activities around your business, so that you can continue to keep your customers delighted while also maintaining your own sanity and joy.
Transcribed using Otter
“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.
If my content resonates with you, join my free newsletter where I share Life and Business Tips, Vegan Hacks, Holistic Guidance, and more.
Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”