Words like classified and top-secret usually don’t get attributed to information for no reason, yet, being too secretive and even deliberately misleading can sometimes backfire spectacularly. Pushing this too far can become the most common reason why one part of the company doesn’t know what the other is doing, as well as the fact that your clients don’t seem to trust you. On the other hand, being transparent and honest can be a way to win people over. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several ways in which transparency gives your business a boost.
Transparency in pricing
Some companies try to make their products appear cheaper by deliberately deducting the tax and cost of delivery. This is especially important, seeing as how about 25 percent of all your shopping cart abandonment can get attributed to the unexpected shipping cost. By some twisted logic, a lot of entrepreneurs deduce that if they could only conceal this number, their sales would skyrocket, whereas this is not the case, at least not in the way in which they’ve intended.
Sure, they will trick some of their buyers to make a purchase they don’t want but once the bill finally arrives, it is highly unlikely that they will see that customer coming back for more. This is incredibly problematic due to the fact that return customers are by far the most lucrative demographic for your brand. Just 8 percent of them are responsible for 40 percent of your entire income. In other words, by playing this game, you stand to lose more than you gain in the long-run. This is why you need to be as transparent about your pricing strategy as possible.
In order for a company to thrive and prosper, there has to be at least some degree of internal unity present. Still, if your company is not a sole proprietorship but a limited liability company, you will have a lot of shareholders who put in their assets, yet, aren’t big enough to actually make some important calls. Neglecting or abusing these shareholders is a horrible practice that is bound to backfire and in order to avoid this, you need to protect their rights. Once again, this can be done through transparency.
To begin with, you need to sign a shareholder agreement. In this way, you will make it clear from day one what everyone’s role in the company is. Apart from legally protecting your shareholders, in this way, you will also send a strong message of trust. You will show them that there is no hidden agenda or a plan that they aren’t included in. After all, they are a vital part of your company and it is important that they know what their role is from the very beginning.
Being honest with your employees
When it comes to honesty within the office, you need to make sure that you are as honest as possible towards your employees. First of all, even the most intuitive employee isn’t a mind-reader, so if you want them to do something, you need to tell them so, clearly and openly. Ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun-Tzu once stated that if the order is unclear, it is not the soldier’s but the commander’s fault when its execution fails. In other words, you can’t expect your team to work towards the bigger picture if they’re unaware of what this bigger picture actually is.
Moreover, you need to be very clear, specific and direct when it comes to feedback (especially the negative one). Sure, sometimes your employees will be aware that they’re underperforming; however, this isn’t something you can fully rely on. When they’re doing something wrong, make sure to tell them so that they can improve. The first step towards solving a problem is learning that there is one, to begin with. Likewise, if they’re doing a great job, make sure to mention this, as well. You would be surprised just how far a bit of recognition can go.
Without proper communication, there is no collaboration. However, even the best-structured, the most eloquent and the most elaborate speech is useless if it is not honest and transparent enough. At the end of the day, you’re running a business, not a support center and in order for a business to thrive, it has to be efficient. This means no sugarcoating. If your customer base deems your products too expensive, you gain nothing by trying to make their price appear lower. If your employee is underperforming, you gain nothing by giving them a pat on the back. At the end of the day, transparency seems to be the only path that leads towards progress.