3 ways to lead with compassion at work

In Good Company: "How we built a business on compassion"
In the latest instalment of our series 'In Good Company', profiling small business owners, we talk to inclusive removals company Shirley's Removals…

For most people, moving house means worrying about fitting years' worth of belongings into boxes, trying not to smash entire crockery sets and hiring the right 'man with a van'. 

Shirley's Removals, however, deal with customers who have an additional layer of concerns.

Founded in 1988, the business partnered with the Terrence Higgins Trust to battle the stigma against people with HIV by providing a moving service for them when no-one else would. 

Now run by Magali Boato and her partner Wendy Robertson, the company is still putting inclusivity at the forefront of everything they do, and with glowing Google reviews and a fiercely loyal customer base, they're going from strength to strength.

Here, they share how they run a successful business with compassion at the forefront of everything that they do… 

1. Trust your gut

"Your instinct will always be the right one, but your head will try to challenge it," says Wendy. "If and when that happens, try to acknowledge it and really talk to yourself about it. I know I've definitely fallen into the trap of knowing what I should have done in my gut, but I let my head take over. It's OK to lead with emotion sometimes. You don't have to over-strategise every single detail."

2. Keep it simple

"If you're putting your heart and soul into what you're doing, you don't want to be bogged down in overcomplicated systems," says Wendy. "Things are a lot simpler when you can easily access training and tools. Personally, we couldn't do without Google Adwords, which tailors our ads for us so we don't have to worry about reaching the right people. The way it's set up is nice and easy for a small business to get up and running, it's not complicated."

3. Be kind

"Respecting the people you work with is very important," explains Magali. "You won't grow on your own, so you need to respect people and work together. Kindness is super-important." Wendy adds: "Those words get bandied around a lot – 'be kind', 'be fair'. But you should be, and you should be genuine with it, not just go online and write about it. It comes through your soul."

Shirley's Removals' Google toolkit
Google Maps
Put yourself (literally) on the map to increase your visibility and get discovered by lots of potential new customers
Find out more
Google Reviews
Provides your customers with useful information about your company, while a good reputation helps to secure more business
Find out more
Google Ads
Choose specific goals for your ads and let Google take care of the rest by reaching customers searching for your services
Find out more

In the past 18 months, an average of 5,000 British businesses a week sold online for the first time. Google provides companies like Shirley's Removals with tools and training to support their growth. Whatever your mission, Google has free tools to help your business today.

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