Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Week 52 - Say + Look + Do = Reputation, Farewell

This is the 52nd and final installment of a program of change for your small business. Throughout the year I have shown how an organized approach to assessing “where am I” through to figuring out what you want and finally how to get it is the key to your freedom; freedom to choose, be that to sell your business for a great price, franchise, or simply not have to turn up seven days per week.

Along the way there are soft things (how do you treat your employees) through to hard programs (number of leads x your conversion rate x average sale for example) that need to be worked into your on-going review process to ensure you are constantly improving.

If there is one secret to improving your lot in this small business life it’s this commitment to constant improvement. As I have said the Japanese call this Kaizen and it has helped propel many of their firms into market leading positions worldwide. Let’s face it, you don’t have to be the smartest, or the fastest, or the cheapest. You simply have to thrill your customers and this thrill is relative to their expectations. How do you know what they expect if you are not looking outside your business?

In this world where many businesses are commoditized by a Google search we can’t forget the basics – they are probably more important than ever. THRILL YOUR CUSTOMERS, have your friendly, engaged staff selling as many prospects as much as they need helping them to achieve their own goals. Work with experts on your Google ranking and your PR efforts but never assume these in isolation will fix anything. Sure you could get a spike in orders from a great Internet campaign but if you don’t thrill the shoppers, you have wasted your money. The same goes for a newspaper article on your company. What have you really achieved unless you attract more qualified prospects and convert them into lifetime customers?

It would be right if I didn’t end with my favorite business mantra from OOCL Chairman C.C. Tung.


Say = how you and your employees project your policies and procedures
Look = how your business appears or is perceived by the public
Do = how you and your employees carry out your policies and procedures, thrilling the customer in a profitable manner.

As I’ve just said above, it all adds up to Reputation which is more important than ever. Whether being reflected on-line via customer reviews or spread around the local pub, it’s your lifeblood, pay attention.

I wish you the very best and hope I have helped to Change your Business, Change Your Life. I’ll be posting almost every week from here on but the posts will be focused on marketing things great (and not so great). You can always find the weekly small business program stuff in the archive, it’s up here forever.

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