Win At The Basics

Win At The Basics

Running a business isn’t easy—no one ever said it was—but there are a number of easy things you can do that will help you succeed. Let’s talk about two you can tackle this week: 1) Being neat and tidy and 2) Being open when you say you’ll be open.

On the neat and tidy front, consider the local U-Haul franchise where I recently rented a truck to move my daughter from our house to her first place of her own. (Super-depressing for Dad, super-exciting for the 22-year-old who’s in the real world now.)

                      The U-Haul Office

This U-Haul office was a mess. Add to that the terrible smell emanating from whatever it was the employees were eating and you have a business I’ll never go back to.

I don’t get it, folks—how much does it cost to be tidy? The answer is very little. More important, how much does it cost to be a slob? The answer is it could very well cost you your business.

The other photo I’m sharing with you this week is of the hours the Bob Evans near me has posted. Note the sign says they’re open at 6 a.m. on Sundays. Sunday mornings I like to get up early to review my journal and plan for the week.

                      Bob Evans Hours of Operation

Oddly, my family’s not so into rising at 5:30 a.m. on the weekend, so I take my journal with me and go out for an early breakfast. Usually I go to Starbucks, but this time I wanted some eggs and bacon so I headed to Bob Evans. I pulled in the parking lot at 5:50 and could see three employees inside. At 6:03 I walked up and the door was locked. I stood there waiting until 6:13 before I gave up and left. Again, I don’t get it, folks.   

Look, neither of my businesses is perfect. But you’ll NEVER find our offices or our trucks a mess. You’ll also NEVER find us closed when we say we’ll be open. These are easy promises to make but they’re also really important ones if you want to succeed. The way you present yourself—from your office to your trucks to your dress—is a promise to your customers about the kind of work you’ll deliver. If you can’t be bothered with the former, it’s a sure sign you’ll be sloppy with the latter. Being open when you say you’ll be open is a promise to your customers that you’ll do what you say you’re going to do. No business will succeed if it fails at that.

So take a look this week at the way your business looks to others and see if you’re doing these easy things right. If you aren’t, fix it. I guarantee this small investment of time and effort will pay you dividends in the long run.


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