Recent studies have shown that “business as usual” is a thing of the past. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the Black Lives Matter movement, has shed a spotlight on businesses in a way none of us could have seen coming. As a result, employees and customers alike expect more from the companies they buy from, mainly that the company shares the same concerns and values. Diversity is a huge part of that. As a result, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) has been a point of conversation between executives and HR professionals in unprecedented numbers.
The restaurant and bar industries were hit the hardest worldwide, leaving an average of over 60% to figure out how to recover and recoup. Which begs the question: are you utilizing diversity to boost your revenue and increase market share?
It’s essential to acknowledge that the diversity experience matters, and by developing a well-planned diversity strategy for your company, you can boost revenue. Let’s face it, we all want to be inclusive, but creating new protocols and systems should also be profitable.
Become Customer Obsessed
When you know your customer (their likes, dislikes, must-haves, dealbreakers), you’re better positioned to anticipate their needs and provide products and services they’re likely to say yes to. Are they primarily male or female? Working-class or business professionals? Married or single? Cost-conscious or not? Like bougie cocktails or not? This may seem elementary, but in a 2019 study where beverage managers were asked to rate their “customer” likes/dislikes, 6/10 failed. Invest the time to see who’s patronizing your business the most, as this may have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Develop an ADA Experience Policy
This is one of the most overlooked categories, therefore an enticing market to capture. What does your experience look like for visually impaired and deaf and hard-of-hearing customers? Besides having the required handicap rail and signage, have you walked through your product or service experience through their eyes? Do more than aim for compliance. Develop a policy standard that includes an engagement strategy for their expertise. Engage a consultant, do the homework and bring your team up to speed.
If you can’t hire a huge team but want to be diverse, consider partnering with another business, supplier, or freelancer. Teaming “strategies” can be as diverse as the team itself. Consider, highly engaged, inclusive, and mixed teams generate 1.4 times more revenue. Meaning, hiring or piecing together a team that shares the same values and goals will produce significantly higher revenues, and who doesn’t want that? Plus, partnering is a great way to level up your creativity and offerings without making a long-term commitment.
Build a diverse leadership team.
According to the McKinsey Institute, companies with more diverse executives see a 33% average increase in profitability. And who wants a leadership team that looks, thinks, and acts the same, anyway? Diversify! Add someone from the LGBTQ+ community, engage a military veteran as a consultant. The perspectives will allow you to cover as many bases as possible and deliver better experiences for your employees and customers.
The natural ability to multitask, prioritize and negotiate is something every company could use more of. Not to mention studies show companies with 20% or more women in management positions generated 2.04% higher cash flow. So, promote her!
TaChelle Lawson is a passionate and talented senior executive with over 20 years of experience. As the founder of FIG Strategy & Consulting, she counsels a diverse and elite clientele who’ve come to rely on her brand-building and preservation prowess. Her talents include brand strategy, business consulting, thought leadership & training and diversity strategy. Lawson has lent her expertise to multiple $100 million ARR companies looking to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach, brand-building, and diversity marketing efforts. She is also a motivational speaker and a member of the Bar & Restaurant Executive Council.
For more ideas on utilizing diversity to boost sales or employee engagement, please visit figfirm.com.