What The Amish Taught Me About Business
While their technology is surely dated, their business practices aren’t.
Growing up in Ohio, I had plenty of opportunity to interact with the Amish. Whenever a bad hailstorm would come through, Amish crews would work diligently to repair the damage to the homes around town in record time. They were also a daily sight at local markets, where fresh fruits and vegetables were always available.
At the time, I wasn’t looking at them as a source of business inspiration. I’d read biographies of Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos, trying to gain some wisdom from them instead. I mean, what could a group of people who don’t even believe in telephones teach me about running a marketing and web design agency?
It turns out, a lot.
Looking back, I learned 3 things from the local Amish that have really helped my company grow over the past few years.
You ever watch an Amish crew put up a roof, or raise a barn? It’s quite a sight to see. Everyone has a role, and is constantly working. There’s no standing around for the Amish. Things are completed in record time. There are no outliers or laggards and the efficiency is always at the maximum.
If you’re someone who doesn’t always pull their weight, you’re not just disappointing your boss — you’re disappointing your family, neighbors, and church as well. This deep connection with each other motivates them to do better.
While the Amish may not be the cheapest, the quality they deliver is simply spectacular. You don’t have to worry about a leaky roof, or that your chair is going to break. They only use the highest quality materials, and handcraft them to last for decades. While many companies skimp on quality to reduce costs, I can’t think of a single Amish product that does the same. When you consistently deliver quality time and again, you get loyal, repeat customers.
There are little distractions for an Amish crew. With no phones or modern technology, they’ve grown accustomed to having a high level of focus throughout their day. Most modern business teams cannot say the same. This focus may be partly why their quality is so high.
Without music playing in the background, or headphones in they’re left with talking to each other while they work. This is most likely another reason why they work so well together as a team.