Timeless Advice For Any Organization


 I'll say here that "business poems" aren't really my thing, but I recently came across a poem that changed my mind a bit. It was written in 1942 by poet Edgar Guest and is titled, “Good Business.” Maybe I’m the only who hadn’t seen it before, but I doubt it. The exact terminology used could certainly be updated for a 21st century audience, but the sentiments expressed are as applicable today as they were in 1942.

Good Business

By Edgar Guest

If I possessed a shop or store
I’d drive the grouches off my floor
I’d never let some gloomy guy
Offend the folks who came to buy
I’d never keep a boy or clerk
With a mental toothache at their work
Or let a person who draws my pay
Drive customers of mine away.

I’d treat the person who takes my time
And spends a nickel or a dime
With courtesy and make them feel
That I was pleased to close the deal
Because tomorrow who can tell
They may want stuff I have to sell
And in that case then glad they’ll be
To spend their dollars all with me.

The reason people pass one door
To patronize another store
Is not because the busier place
Has better silks, or gloves, or lace
Or cheaper prices but it lies
In pleasant words and smiling eyes
The secret that I believe
Is in the treatment folks receive.

It is good business to be fair
To keep a bright and cheerful air
About a place and not to show
Your customers how much you know
Whatever any patron did
I’d try to keep my temper hid
And never let them pass along
The word that I had done them wrong.

Something to think about: Why not share the timeless ideas expressed in this poem with everyone in your organization? It certainly couldn’t hurt. And it might just remind everyone of why your business exists.