The HeART of Business

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Ascension Media

We believe digital media isn’t about the cool tools. It’s about using the power of technology (implemented with the human touch) to help you find, reach, and engage with your customers as you nurture them into becoming your fans and advocates.

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What is it that makes a business thrive, connect with its customers, and provide more than the commodity it offers:

  • a full belly (for a restaurant)
  • a bed to sleep in (for a hotel)
  • an online platform that shares information (for a digital marketing firm)
  • a car that runs well (for an auto repair shop)

We think it's heART.

It’s easy to envision the obvious and vital examples of doing business from the heart. The food bank that provides the basic need of sustenance. The safehouse that offers a place to stay for those in transition. The community counseling office that holds out a strong hand to pull people back from the edge.

But we believe that doing business from the heart includes much more than these life-enriching services. And we believe that the concept of doing business this way extends far past the creative businesses of writing, acting, filming, and art.

We propose that The HeART of Business, as we’ve come to call it, blends sound business fundamentals and human connection. It is found not just in the social services and artistic arenas, but just as commonly in restaurants, accounting firms, hotels, fitness studios, cleaning services, technology services, auto repair shops… and countless others.

In fact, we believe every service and product can be created and operated from the HeART, because it combines good business methods with the priceless addition of humanness. It results in business transactions that transcend the mere exchange of dollars for a good or service, and adds intangible value to each customer.

Doing business from the HeART doesn’t need to cost money in terms of a business expense. The currency is connection and adding value to each interaction. And the result can develop a customer from a single visit into a lifelong advocate, and make the world a little better place along the way.

We also want to be clear about one thing. The HeART of Business concept is not about fluff and feel-good mission statements and nice-sounding mantras… which may or may not hold up in the light of day, deadlines, and real-time interactions with customers

The HeART of Business is what happens when we approach work from a place of providing value, being of service, doing more than is expected, and seeing the importance of relationship in every interaction.

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It starts with the unquenchable passion of sharing our work with the world and the belief it makes a difference.

What does this look like?

It’s the restaurant owner or trusted representative that spends time visiting with each table, treating both regulars and new customers with the same welcoming spirit.

It’s the tiny wine bar with a tiny kitchen that’s developed a devoted following because of the owner’s dedication to true hospitality and paying attention to the details.

It’s the little B&B that provides thoughtful touches and gracious service to each guest, many of whom return year after year.

It’s the auto repair business that sends a hand-written thank you note after every customer’s first visit.

And so much more.

We believe that businesses created from the HeART also have the opportunity to do better in the traditional forms of “success” when they’re founded from this place: customer satisfaction, retention, positive word-of-mouth referrals, repeat sales, and so on.

So what are some of the factors that differentiate these businesses? We call these pillars of the HeART and they include:

  • Connection: interacting with customers in a genuine, authentic way. Truly seeing them and hearing them.
  • Generosity: providing more value than expected; not necessarily with physical or tangible things but also time and attention -- presence
  • Surprise: providing something extra or unexpected, or a certain experience that comes with doing business with you.
  • Attention to detail: not going through the motions, but paying attention to the small touches that add up to the whole experience
  • Relationship: treating every interaction as an opportunity to build the relationship, and incorporating relationship into the business’ culture at every level of staff
  • Consistency: doing what you say, all the time. Creating the same experience for every customer, whether it’s their first time interacting with your business or their 1,000th
  • Service: not just the service you provide with quality and consistency, but the mindset of being of service to another person, provided from the heart with genuineness
  • Integrity: walking the talk of business mission and ideals. Doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, even if it’s more difficult or costs a little more.
  • Value: the whole value of the product or service you provide, not the cost. Inexpensive things can have great value; expensive things can have little value.
  • Gratitude: operating from a place of thankfulness for each customer and the opportunity to provide a product or service you believe in

We are excited to explore these ideas — and we invite you on this journey of discovering The HeART of Business as we unpack the concepts.

We’ll be exploring steps, pillars, and examples of doing business from the heart. Additionally, we’ll be talking with business owners who operate from this mindset. What do they have in common? What can they teach us about our own businesses? What are the lessons we can take from their struggles that led to success?

Welcome to The HeART of business. We can’t wait to see what we uncover and hear your ideas as well.

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