When I was young, which was quite a while ago, one of my training techniques was to explain to employees that if they treated the customer the way that they wanted to be treated, many problems would go away and our customer service would improve dramatically.
This worked for many years and then it started to fail. Every generation is different and has different expectations. I had to look at situations through other peoples eyes and use all the wisdom, knowledge and common sense I had and came up with a new rule.
It’s a lot harder but you have to treat the customer the way they expect to be treated, which is different for every generation.
I’ve always kept myself so busy in my life that overwhelmed was my normal state of mind. I would make lists of everything I had to do and at the end of the week I would be so proud of myself because I would always get most of the list done. The problem was that like most people I know I would do all the easy things first so I could get lots of things done. The problem was that the important projects never got finished.
I made a resolution to myself that I would start to work on the important projects first. The problem was that no matter what I wanted to do, as soon as work started my whole day always changed and I spent most of my time putting out fires. So my projects still didn’t get finished.
I tried many things until I came up with the solution that worked for me. I wake up very early each morning, I make the coffee, feed my assortment of animals and then work for 1 to 2 hours on an important project. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you have your own quiet time. Obviously my system works for me but if you want to get the important tasks done, you need to find a system that works for you.
One of the hardest situations with small businesses competing with big businesses is advertising; small businesses never have enough money to compete. Before the internet, in order to be seen and known, it took a big budget which small businesses never had. Also the results were never track-able and you were throwing most of your money away.
When the internet arrived, small companies thought they had a better way to compete with large companies, but the problem turned out to be the same. You could use your whole budget and not receive any good results.
I learned a long time ago that when you’re small, if you used your whole advertising budget to hire a publicist you could do much better. You could focus on exactly what you want to achieve and not just throw money into the wind. Advertising is necessary, when you can afford to do it right.