5 Business Lessons I Learned From Flying Southwest

At the time of this writing Im sitting 10000 feet in the sky heading home
from a week long trip to California I hadnt planned to write an article on the
plane but Ive been so impressed with Southwest airlines I couldnt resist

If you live in the United States chances are youve heard of if not have flown
Southwest airlines

They are known throughout the US as a reliable and fairly cheap airline
provider a perfect fit for a college student like myself

Rest assured even if youve yet to hear of them or live outside the US youll
still be able to take away a few key points from this post

Having flown hundreds of times on dozens of airlines Ive come to understand
which airline companies get it and which dont and unfortunately in the US
its frequently the latter

Today I will be sharing what makes Southwest airlines the best US airline in my
opinion and what you can learn from them to make your own business flourish

Cultivate Happiness

One of the reasons I try to fly Southwest as much as possible is because I find
the people working there to be amazingly happy

I can tell that most employees dont just work at Southwest they actually WANT
to work there For an airline this is fairly rare

I cant tell you how many times I see employees of other airlines not give a
damn whether or not their customers are happy

With Southwest I always feel like my satisfaction is their number one priority

Zappos the popular shoe company has been getting a lot of press lately because
they do a great job with their customer service department and it obviously
boosts their sales

How does Southwest cultivate happiness Right now the entire plane is being lead
by the stewardess in a dance to celebrate the 4th of July

Whether you work for yourself or with others its important to just do work but
actually love the work Make happiness a priority At Southwest they know how to
cultivate happiness and they have a very happy customer as a result

Know Your Customer

One of the things I like about how Southwest runs is that they know their
customer

They know that many people are just looking to get from point A to point B at a
relatively low price point If youre looking to be coddled throughout your
entire flight with fancy feet rests and outrageously expensive 5 course meals
Southwest is not your airline

Southwest could easily attempt to cater to the higher end customers of the
flying world but in the process they would alienate those who enjoy their cheap
fairs and simple flight routes

Theres an old saying Ive sure youve heard that says if you try to please
everyone youll please no one Great advice but do you listen

If you blog for example its important that you know your audience and dont
waste time trying to please those who have no business buying your product or
service

Reminding yourself that you control who you sell to is very important Its OK
to push your limits every now and again to explore who will buy what but
remember to stick to your fan base because that is where the action is at

Its OK to let people walk Its OK if what you offer doesnt suite everyone
because quite frankly it shouldnt

Focus on your following and watch the results roll in Know your customer like
you know yourself it works

Cut Back The Non Essentials

As I just mentioned because Southwest knows their customers they are able to
cut back on the norms of other airlines

For example Southwest doesnt serve expensive microwaved meals Instead they say
you can do without

Sure not having a meal on a 4 hour flight may be inconvenient at times but that
problem can be easily solved by bringing your own food onto the plane while
keeping cash in your pocket

Southwest also doesnt do business class which allows for them to keep their
rates low while pleasing those who would never even consider flying first class

If youre looking for a full body massage and pull out bed Southwest makes it
clear you better look elsewhere

Because they dont have to charge you for food or over the top comfort they are
able to keep their rates low and please their specific customer Those who want
to fly for cheap

Are you all fluff Could you simplify to get the point across easier

Often times we load our businesses up with unnecessary components that only slow
our mission down

Try cutting back to only whats necessary and see where that takes you

Be Unique

Ive already covered most of the ways Southwest is unique in my previous
points no meals on board no first class etc

Yet I cannot stress how important it is to rise above your competition For
example Southwest has a policy of not being on other travels sites allowing
you to only buy tickets on Southwestcom

Maybe its just me but Im very impressed with that idea because it says this
is where Im at come and get me

When flying Southwest you dont have to search the entire internet for hours to
find the best deal because you know exactly where its at

How is your service or product unique Are you going above and beyond the
competition or are you producing average quality work

Look for small ways in which you can improve your business Little steps add up

Keep It Simple Stupid

The main reason I enjoy flying Southwest is because you know exactly what youre
going to get with them

Theres no random baggage fees or constantly changing rules Occasionally they
have to make changes to stay up with the industry but generally speaking they
are fairly predictable when it comes to their service which Ive come to enjoy

I see far too many businesses changing their game plan when its really not
needed Keeping your overhead and business model simple allows for you to
dominate your competition without pissing a bunch of people off

Dont try to overcomplicate things when the easier way works best Dont fill
your business with shit that doesnt add to the core Simplicity always wins

What companies do you have a tremendous respect for What actions are you taking
to ensure that your tribe shares that same respect Please share in the comments
below

in Uncategorized |

5 Business Lessons I Learned From Flying Southwest

At the time of this writing, I’m sitting 10,000 feet in the sky heading home from a week long trip to California. I hadn’t planned to write an article on the plane but I’ve been so impressed with Southwest airlines I couldn’t resist.

If you live in the United States, chances are you’ve heard of, if not have flown Southwest airlines. They are known throughout the US as a reliable and fairly cheap airline provider, a perfect fit for a college student like myself. Rest assured even if you’ve yet to hear of them, or live outside the US, you’ll still be able to take away a few key points from this post.

Having flown hundreds of times on dozens of airlines, I’ve come to understand which airline companies “get it” and which don’t, and unfortunately in the US it’s frequently  the latter. Today I will be sharing  what makes Southwest airlines the best US airline in my opinion and what you can learn from them to make your own business flourish.

Cultivate Happiness:

One of the reasons I try to fly Southwest as much as possible, is because I find the people working there to be amazingly happy. I can tell that most employees  don’t just work at Southwest, they  actually WANT to work there. For an airline this is fairly rare. I can’t tell you how many times I see employees of other airlines not give a damn whether or not their customers are happy. With Southwest I always feel like my satisfaction is their number one priority.

Zappos, the popular shoe company, has been getting a lot of press lately because they do a great job with their customer service department and it obviously  boosts their sales.  How does Southwest cultivate happiness?  Right now the entire plane is being lead by the stewardess in a dance to celebrate the 4th of July.

Whether you work for yourself or with others it’s important to just do work but actually love the work. Make happiness a priority. At Southwest they know how to cultivate happiness and they have a very happy customer as a result.

Know Your Customer:

One of the things I like about how Southwest runs is that they know their customer. They know that many people are just looking to get from point A to point B at a relatively low price point. If you’re looking to be coddled throughout your entire flight with fancy feet rests and outrageously expensive 5 course meals Southwest is not your airline.

Southwest could easily attempt to cater to the higher end customers of the flying world but in the process they would alienate those who enjoy their cheap fairs and simple flight routes.

There’s an old saying I’ve sure you’ve heard that says if you try to please everyone you’ll please no one. Great advice but do you listen?

If you blog for example, it’s important that you know your audience and don’t waste  time trying to please those who have no business buying your product or service. Reminding yourself that you control who you sell to is very important. It’s OK to push your limits every now and again to explore who will buy what, but remember to stick to your fan base because that is where the action is at.

It’s OK to let people walk. It’s OK if what you offer doesn’t suite everyone because quite frankly it shouldn’t. Focus on  your following and watch the results roll in. Know your customer like you know yourself, it works.

Cut Back The Non Essentials:

As I just mentioned, because Southwest knows their customers they are able to cut back on the “norms” of  other airlines. For example Southwest doesn’t serve expensive microwaved meals. Instead they say ” you can do without.” Sure not having a meal on a 4 hour flight may be inconvenient at times,  but that problem can be easily solved by bringing your own food onto the plane while keeping cash in your pocket.

Southwest also doesn’t do business class, which allows for them to keep their rates low while pleasing those who would never even consider flying first class. If you’re  looking for a full body massage and pull out bed, Southwest makes it clear you better look elsewhere.

Because they don’t have to charge you for food  or over the top comfort they are able to keep their rates low and please their specific customer: Those who want to fly for cheap.

Are you all fluff? Could you simplify to get the point across easier? Often times we load our businesses up with unnecessary components that only slow our mission down. Try cutting back to only what’s necessary and see where that takes you.

Be Unique:

I’ve already covered most of the ways Southwest is “unique” in my previous points, no meals on board, no  first class etc. Yet I cannot stress how important it is to rise above your competition. For example, Southwest has a policy of not being on other travels sites, allowing you to only buy tickets  on Southwest.com.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m very impressed with that idea because it says ” this is where I’m at, come and get me.” When flying Southwest you don’t have to search the entire internet for hours to find the best deal because you know exactly where it’s at.

How is your service or product unique? Are you going above and beyond the competition or are you producing average quality work? Look for small ways in which you can improve your business. Little steps add up.

Keep It Simple Stupid:

The main reason I enjoy flying Southwest is because you know exactly what you’re going to get with them. There’s no random baggage fees or constantly changing rules. Occasionally  they have to make changes to stay up with the industry, but generally speaking they are fairly predictable when it comes to their service which I’ve come to enjoy.

I see far too many businesses changing their game plan when it’s really not needed. Keeping your overhead and business model simple allows for you to dominate your competition without pissing a bunch of people off.

Don’t try to overcomplicate things when the easier way works best. Don’t fill your business with shit that doesn’t add to the core. Simplicity always wins.

What companies do you have a tremendous respect for? What actions are you taking to ensure that your tribe shares that same respect? Please share in the comments below.