Ahh, essential businesses. You hear all over the news that small business is down 20, 40, even 60%, and that 1 in 6 small businesses are closing. Businesses that are still not reopened after the shutdown, even 7 months later. But what about Essential Businesses? Especially in industries that are thriving – construction & trades, veterinary, grocery, and more. More often than not, though, businesses that are busier than ever are simply not making the profit that should go hand in hand.

There are 4 hot spots that we want you to closely analyze to assure that even in the busiest of times, you are truly thriving:

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Take a look at the customer experience, from start to finish. Examine that experience through the lens of your pickiest customer from the very first time they contact your business, to the completion of the project, and beyond. If you can find any little cracks in the armor of your systems and processes, it’s time to adapt. Have a neutral third party interview your customers and ask them to honestly rate their experience with your business. When things are crazy busy, we find that even the best team members miss steps along the process. How are you handling these mistakes with the customer? How are you handling negative reviews? Be sure that this resolution is completed quickly, thoroughly and without emotion.

PEOPLE

Even the best people have a bad day, and crack under extreme pressure. After all, they are human. When there is so much work that needs to be done, pay attention to your people. Are they fighting? Are they irritable? Uncharacteristically quiet? Feeling defeated? These are all signs that the leader needs to step in. Is it time for a lunch with the boss? Is it time for a break?

The fact is that 71% of employees are currently looking for a new job (Washington Post, 2019). And the best of the best is hard to find. Employee turnover costs money, and at the average 26.3% turnover rate, a 100 person organization with an average wage of $50,000 annually will rack up conservatively from $1 million to $2 million per year in turnover costs. Would you like an extra $1,000,000 in your pocket? We would too.

A loss of $1,000,000 is a 911 situation with most businesses, one that needs some outside help. A neutral third party that can hold up the mirror to the business and figure out what is really going on can stop the bleeding.

SAYING YES

Some of the most successful business owners adopt the mantra of “the answer is yes, what’s the question” when it comes to customers. But is it hurting your business? While providing an exceptional experience is priority #1, taking on too many projects can allow the system to fail. Can you take on that project or client and give them 100% of what your business has to offer? If that answer is no, then you could be doing more harm than good to your reputation. Learning to say no may very well save your business.

SYSTEMS

There is a famous hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Clarke County, Georgia, near UGA, called Weaver D’s. When you go to Weaver D’s, it is a very small kitchen, a dining room that seats about 30 diners at mismatched chairs pulled up to long tables covered in red and white checkered tablecloths. It’s hot, muggy, and the best fried chicken you’ll ever eat. Dexter Weaver’s slogan is “automatic for the people” (yep, that’s where REM got the name for their Grammy-nominated album). What’s that mean? When someone compliments Mr. Weaver on the food, he responds with two words: “it’s automatic.” It’s consistent. Always the same. He and his few employees executed the system the same, every time, automatic.

In your business, are the systems established to be automatic? Can the team, customers, and vendors count on the experience being the same every time? If not, take some precious time out of the hamster wheel and look at your systems. Is there a certain way you answer the phone? Is there a way to route the call to the right person? Does that person know the next step? Keep going through the entire process, every detail. Your team will thank you for it.

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Are you working harder than ever and not reaping the financial benefits? Schedule a time to talk with one of our coaches. Our one hour assessment can help you on the path to some rest and relief, along with more profits than you ever thought possible. Contact us to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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