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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Rules Were Made to be Broken

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

Whoever said that rules were made to be broken wasn’t kidding.  There is an important place for rules to establish order in society and even in business, but in most cases, it behooves you to approach your business with standards, instead of rules.

For example, take this bag of carrots that I purchased recently.

If you flip over and look at the label, you will see that ingeniously, the ingredients are labeled as such:

Yes, who would have thought that the ingredients in a bag of carrots would be…carrots.  Now, why do they bother?  Because there is a rule that says food needs to be labeled.  But in reality, it makes sense to have some stipulations and exceptions to the rule, such as if the only ingredient is the food inside of the bag, there’s no need to list it.

You probably have rules in your business when it comes to customer service, return policies, email protocol and more (if you don’t, that’s an entirely different problem to deal with).  But wouldn’t it be better to use some common sense and have standards instead?  Have a standard, but empower your employees to use their best judgment when handling issues, because there is almost always a logical exception to the rule.

This way, you get the best of both worlds, really. You have a standard system for employees to follow, but also give them the ability to make a customer happy or rectify a situation when common sense dictates a different outcome.

This should lead to happier employees, better morale and more happy customers.  Because who wants to do business with a company that is so stringent that they would- by choice- label the ingredients in their bag of carrots.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth