If you’re waiting for a sign whether it be serendipitous or anything else on whether to move on those ideas you have, start that business you’re contemplating, or more. I believe more than ever from some of my recent observations that this is the time. Followed with, probably more than ever.
Over the recent weeks I’ve been in the process of moving my residence. However, unlike times previous, this time was different in many ways. With the clarity afforded me through “retirement” I was able to see situations or circumstances in a variety of interactions that for all intents and purposes had my jaw on the floor most days.
Many businesses today are cutting their nose to spite their face. In an effort to pare back costs the first place most look is with personnel. Reduce labor costs and improve efficiencies is a sound business practice. Reducing those costs through lowering the quality as well as quantity of personnel is not only foolish. It’s nuts.
The interactions I’ve had with a great many businesses over the last month has been nothing but jaw dropping. Forget “good service.” Adequate service has been near nonexistent. I’ve been both stunned and amazed at the brevity of this phenom. It wasn’t in isolated areas (as the proverbial DMV references) It was across all spectrum of business.
“These calls may be recorded for quality assurance” did nothing but refine the quality of frustration as I waited on hold for the “next available representative.” Whom by the way was estimated to be available in “45” minutes. Maybe I called at a busy time? Sure that’s acceptable. However, day after day, at all different hours for the same message means only one thing: You don’t care nor shop your own phones. Period.
This again wasn’t isolated (say the utility companies) this was with private businesses where picking up and moving your business to a competitor is quite easy as far as the transactional details would be. The challenge? You guessed it – read the preceding paragraph.
You might be thinking, “Well sure, that’s big business today.” Or, I’m small or some other excuse) So I’ll answer you with, “Well sure but, (and it’s a very big but) you want to compete when their at their finest? Or, at their worst?” The choice should be obvious yet for far too many it’s not.
I would also follow with this observation: I had more annoyance with solo practitioners or businesses with no more than 5 employees than I had with the larger ones. I expect it with them. (or at least tolerate it more than I should) What I have no tolerance for is the unprofessional claiming or insinuating they care because – they said so. You don’t – and it shows.
More people are making promises they can’t keep, quoting incorrectly, not returning phone calls when specified, not having paperwork ready, not knowing what to do in their own field of business in many transactions or worse, not knowing how to obtain it. etc. – etc.
Probably the most troubling is what I see time and time again.
What has all the tell-tale signs of being a great mover and shaker business with new concepts or ideas, growing so fast – they start putting in inadequately trained or competent people in front line positions. This alone will ruin a business faster than anything else I know.
If the chef of a restaurant is overwhelmed with orders night after night. Just put in a host or hostess that could care less. The chef will have plenty of free time – in no time. (really contemplate the meaning in that line)
If you’re an entrepreneur or of the entrepreneur mindset now is your time to put those plans into motion. Move, move, move. Go, go, go!
If you already are in business shop your own phones, shop your own stores. If your business is fortunate to be growing, look as to not growing just for the sake of growth. It might just do more harm than good.
Turn away business (yes, I just said that) in order to provide your current customers a reason to brag to others about how well you treat them. Don’t get caught up in the growth for growths sake or, slash staff and quality for profits sake. Both are business killers.
So I’ll say it once more: Now is the time. The greatest business advantage in the universe is seizing the opportunity when everyone else is either too busy or, too scared. The time is yours…
© 2013 Mark St.Cyr