You probably think of me as Girish Naker, owner of Evolution Print and Design. But when I think of me? It’s a different answer. I’m Girish Naker; father of three.
I have three children, Puja, Punit and Krupa. Well, you might not call them “children” so much these days. The twins are thirty-five and Krupa is thirty-two and between them, they’ve given me four grandchildren so far, with another two on the way.
It won’t surprise you to learn that I love my children very much. And when I look back on their younger years, I see how important the bond they had with my parents was.
Puja, Punit and Krupa each had an emotional connection with their grandparents – my parents – which helped shape them into the fine people they are now. They often remember my parents fondly and talk about the lessons and characteristics that they learned from them.
It’s something that I’m working on with my lovely grandchildren myself. I’ve made it my aim to have that same strong bond with them, so they too will remember me with happiness and know that they were loved so much by their grandpa.
Who’s the favourite?
I find it really rather strange every time someone asks me which of my children or grandchildren I like the best. You’ve probably had similar conversations if you’re a parent too: “Do you have a favourite? Which one do you spoil the most?”
And while it’s not usually a serious question, I have occasionally found myself thinking it over privately afterwards. The answer’s pretty simple really: no, I do not love one child more than the other (not that my children think so!). Of course I don’t!
But I won’t pretend that I don’t act differently around each of my children. How couldn’t I? They like different things, so we do different activities and talk about different topics together. They each have different traits that evoke different emotions. Biases naturally occur, not because I love one more than the other, but because one needs something that the other doesn’t at any given time.
And the biases change on a daily basis – even hourly at times. I’m committed to fulfilling my parental responsibility so I’m prepared to do whatever, whenever for whoever needs my help. I’m talking about things like childcare, running errands, offering advice and, very occasionally, financial help too.
Playing the parent in business
But why am I harping on about all this? Because there’s an important principle bound up in being a father that I try to apply to my business every day.
See, every customer has their own needs too. In my eyes, a small start-up needs the same care and attention as a multi-million turnover business. However much money they’re going to be handing over, I make sure each customer receives the same level of care.
Of course, some customers will have certain needs that others won’t, and you’ll have to respect that. Maybe you’ll need to offer more help in particular areas than others, or give more of your time to one customer if the job demands. But that doesn’t matter, as long as you always let every customer know that you truly care about their business.
Like with fatherhood, it’s about having conversations and keeping channels of communication open.
It’s about understanding needs and working out what you can do to meet them. It’s about offering honest, trustworthy advice that will benefit them in the long-run, not just the short term. It’s about giving them enough independence to ultimately make their own decisions, even if that doesn’t work out in your favour.
Don’t just tell them what they want to hear
Yes, you’ve got to earn a living and make a decent profit, but in the long-run, developing great relationships is what’s going to take your business to the great heights you know it can achieve.
Only by spending time with clients and customers can you begin to anticipate their needs and show them that you’ve got their best interests at heart; not just their cash.
Growing strong customer relationships based on trust is powerful.
In my experience, showing my customers and clients that I’m not aiming for a one-off gain has led to lots of repeat business over many years. We don’t just tell people what they want to hear at Evolution, offering cheap, easy-fix solutions. And we never suggest solutions that are going to make us the most profit, but not necessarily do the right job.
That’s because I would never do that to my children (and I bet you wouldn’t either). By committing to transferring the lessons I’ve learned from fatherhood to the business, I feel the same moral obligation to look after the long-term future of my customers as I do my family.
Some say that as parents, we give away more than we receive. We give time, money and effort and we don’t always see those things returned to us. But what we do get are great memories, cherished relationships and a whole lot of love.
Put aside the same level of time and effort for your customers when you’re at work and you can expect a great return too.
For more information, talk to us. Our small, yet friendly and experienced team will only be keen to help. Call us on 0330 010 2264 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org