If You Can't Say Something Nice . . .
It does not pay to talk poorly about other people, no matter how much you believe they might have wronged you. First, it makes you look petty. Second, when word gets around the other person will become an enemy if not already one and a bigger enemy if already one. Why go out of your way to make enemies?
Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones . . .
When you succeed, some of your peers will take shots at you. It is inevitable. You will be accused of charging too much, of ripping off customers, of treating people poorly. This is envy speaking. This is how others in the trade cope with the fact you have succeeded where they have not. They cannot affect you unless you let them. Do not let them get under your skin. Ignore them.
Treat People the Way You Want to be Treated
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This is the golden rule. Look at each step of your service as though you were the customer. What would you want as a consumer? Your spouse? What should be improved? When you encounter delightful or painful service from restaurants, dry cleaners, other home service companies, ask yourself if you can replicate the good and avoid the bad in the way you conduct business.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Tell the truth and you will never have to worry about getting caught in a lie. For example, if you cannot get a truck to someone’s house today, be honest about it. Do not let wishful thinking on your part become a deception to the customer.
Wash Behind Your Ears
Mom was telling you to pay attention to the little things. The little things have a way of building up to be worse if not attended too.
Use Your Words
Communicate. Your success in business will depend more on your ability to communicate effectively than your ability to turn a wrench. Learn how to communicate well or hire someone who can.
Clean Your Plate!
Be thorough. Do not do things half way. Finish what you start. Apply this to every process in your business. Is there another step you should be doing? Does the process completely clean the plate?
Stand Up Straight
If you slouch and fail to meet people in the eye, you will be perceived as dishonest. So, stand tall and make eye contact. Teach your technicians the same thing. See if the world does not respond differently to your business when you do.
Say “Yes Ma’am” and “Yes Sir,” “No Ma’am” and “No Sir”
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Give people respect automatically. Give it to everyone. Be polite and well-mannered and they are more likely to be polite back. This applies to how you handle people in your company and how they handle your customers. If you do not respect someone, do not expect the person to respect you in return. And, do not expect your people to treat your customers better than you treat them.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
It doesn’t. This is why cash is king. Cash helps you sleep well at night. So, do not spend money wastefully. At the same time, do not be afraid to invest when the return is attractive. Money is a tool to use to grow your business. Just as having sufficient tools makes it easier to perform as a technician, having sufficient cash set aside for use at the proper time makes it easier to grow your business.
Eat Your Vegetables
Some tasks you dislike are good for you and good for your business. Do them. Do them every day. Do them first. Skip them for a day and nothing may happen. Skip them every day and your performance will eventually suffer. If you know you need to raise prices, do not put it off. When you know you will need to let someone go, do not wait.
If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Cliff, Would You Jump Too?
Make decisions based on what is best for you and your business, not what the crowd is doing. When everyone is zigging, should you zag? For example, at some point, the business expansion will halt and the economy will slide into recession. Do not hunker down and try to save your way to prosperity when everyone else is pulling back. Step on the gas. Boost your marketing when your competitors are killing theirs and your company will stand out against your competition.
Service World Expo is Coming
For the most business wisdom you can gain in a week, attend the Service World Expo, October 16 to 18 in Las Vegas. Hear from the top contractors and consultants in the field. Visit the industry’s biggest residential trade show. To be the best, associate with the best. Find them at Service World. Visit www.SWEShow.com for more information and for special pricing before September 13.