Boardgame Behaviors That Build Business


Building business is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it. Consider four behaviors that build business, all based on one of my favorite things: boardgames. Each is simple to understand, but may not always be easy to deliver. Read up and do your best!

When I was a young girl I asked my mom if I could be in a Monopoly tournament. I won in the first round and can officially own the title of local champion. What a thrill it was! As an adult I realized that the behaviors in the game of Monopoly are the same behaviors that can help you build your business.

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Know what people land on.

Because I know that players land on orange properties the most, I work to grab those first. It’s the same with your customers. Do you know what makes them come to your place of business? Do you know what really brings them back to see you repeatedly? You may think it’s the chocolate chip cookie you offer them while they wait, but it might be the fact that the first person they encounter always knows their name and treats them kindly.

Is it possible that you don’t even know why people choose you? Is it more of a guess on your part? Then it’s time to do some research so you can discover your stats using facts not feelings.

Build early and build often.

The sooner that you can afford to build houses and put them on your Monopoly property, the more likely it is that you’re going to win. There are so many ways for us to spend our resource dollars in business, but I believe the behavior that will build your business is to focus on the staff needs before filling your own pockets.

That may be hard for business owners to hear, but in the two decades that I’ve been working with clients, I find one thing to be universally true: successful businesses have reinvested in their biggest resource, the staff.

When I say reinvest, I don’t mean provide raises and benefits. I mean investing time, education, training, personal development opportunities, and relationships at work. We all know how costly it is to replace staff. Learn to build early and build often by building up your people. It is critical.

Play by the rules.

I think almost everyone has at least one house rule when they play Monopoly. These are tweaks to the original instructions that when used enough become a part of the player’s belief that the rule is real.

For example, are you one of those families that puts a little money in the middle, and then when you land on free parking, you get the money in the middle? That’s not a real rule. Once you agree to play by the rules outside of the original game, then the manner in which you win changes. The same is true in business.

If you have policies on how things are supposed to be done and they exist for a good reason, then honor them from the top down. If the front-line person enforces a policy and the customer asks to speak to a manager, it’s imperative that the next level of authority stand strong in the same stance as often as possible. Otherwise, the customer knows they have found a path to a different answer.

Don’t forget why you got the out gameboard.

I love to play games, and any time I can convince friends to get out a deck of cards or open the lid to a boardgame, I am giddy with anticipation of fun. One thing I can say without hesitation is I am a good loser. Even though I have a competitive spirit, I never let that get the best of me by feeling angry or frustrated when I lose. I truly just want everyone to enjoy the experience!

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I’d like to suggest that we remind ourselves of this in business too. Why did we get into this field in the first place? What’s fun about the people who are sharing this experience with you daily? What can you let go that brings anger or frustration? What actions can you take to make your time together as fun as it can be given your circumstances?

There you have it. Four ways to build your business with a gameplay mindset.

An entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author, Laurie Guest, CSP is a “go-to-resource” for customer service excellence. For more than two decades, she has shared her practical point of view on customer service and staff development with audiences and companies across the country, blending real-life examples and proven action steps for improvement. Her latest book, The 10¢ Decision: How Small Change Pays of Big, presents her most sought-after and impactful strategies to find and retain the best staff and highest-quality customers while delivering exceptional guest experiences.

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