What Does It Mean to Run a Transparent Business?
January 5, 2012
A few years ago, I spent my summer vacation in Istanbul, Turkey. I fell in love with the city’s Grand Bazaar, a treasure trove of hand-painted ceramics, jewelry, spices, rugs and antiques. What I didn’t love, though, was the bargaining. As a customer, I wanted to know exactly what I was getting for exactly how much every time. I was not interested in surprises.
I find that my wedding and event design clients are no different. Understandably, they too want to know exactly what they are getting for exactly how much. I must admit, however, that I sometimes find it difficult to be completely transparent with them. This is partially because I worry about overwhelming them with too much information. I also worry that if they know every little detail, they’ll decide I’m too expensive and will hire one of my competitors instead.
Nonetheless, I know that honesty and transparency really are the best policy. By giving my clients proper information and thorough explanations, I ensure we stay on the same team and that they feel comfortable with every step of the design process.
What is more challenging is when I have clients whose first priority is always to get a bargain. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but it does mean that in such circumstances I have to be especially aware of the value I am offering. There’s a big difference between offering something of quality for less money and offering something of very little quality for very little money. I try to make sure that my bargain-hunting clients understand the difference by being as open as possible about my services.
Dear Readers, have you ever struggled with business transparency? Either as a business owner or as a customer? As a business owner, what steps do you take to be transparent? Please share your thoughts in the comments.