It wasn’t 20 years ago today. It was probably in September or October. But twenty years ago this Fall, I came down with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I am not my business. No one person is my little business. My business consists of many people working together to accomplish individual goals, and together we accomplish great things. Many of these people don’t even work directly for my company!
One of the greatest phrases I’ve ever heard on customer service came from Pacific Bell (Pac Bell) Telephone. For a few years they answered the phone with the line: “How may I provide you with excellent service today?”
From time to time someone comes up with a new “business parable.” Perhaps the most successful example in recent history is Who Moved My Cheese?, a tale of dealing with change. In fact, an Amazon.com search of “business parable” results in more than a dozen current books. Each of them will lead you to additional options.
You’ve probably heard the advice that you need to prepare your “30-second commercial” or “Elevator Speech” to introduce yourself. The idea is that you can polish your introduction and practice it so that you don’t have to think when someone asks what you do.
If you run a small business, you face many challenges. Taxes alone will keep you employed full time! When I hired my first employee I made up a “tax calendar” for myself so I wouldn’t miss any filings for federal withholding, unemployment insurance, quarterly state and federal forms, etc. Between state and federal, employer and regular income taxes, deposits, tax returns, and sales tax, I had 49 filings or payments due in one year!
Why does McDonald’s restaurant succeed? When one-of-a-kind restaurants come and go all the time, why does a chain like Red Robin or Chevy’s or IHOP survive? Because they have consistency and reproducibility. You need this too.
Change is one of the most trying things we deal with at work and in our personal lives. Both the presence of change and the absence of change are causes for vexation. In fact, “change” may be the greatest source of human problems.