May 11 2009

Making Service Business Service Better

Shut Your Business Down!


     Can the service your business provides be better? Are you in a position to MAKE it better? I would hope so, or you wouldn’t be likely to be visiting this blog for business owners and managers. But perhaps you think you need to live with what you’ve got?

     Maybe you feel like you just shouldn’t rock the boat? Or could it be that you might be stepping on someone else’s toes, or that service improvements wouldn’t work, or may create havoc in your industry or –let’s see– you could never get your dollar value back for the time invested?

     Anything like any of those reasons serve you as a quick answer so now you can move along to some other site? Do yourself a favor. Shut your business down tomorrow. You’re likely to have more success selling off your office or site supplies and equipment than you will staying where you are, doing what you’re doing. You find that insulting? Good! Maybe there’s hope yet.

     If the suggestion to hang up your spikes makes you angry, maybe you need to look in the mirror and shake yourself by the shoulders and breathe some new life into the services you’re providing. Making your services better is more likely, FYI, to INCREASE your business than decrease it.

     Why? Because people talk. People who get better quality services tell others, and this works much quicker and much deeper than any advertising can produce. A couple of years back, some shrewd entrepreneurs even invented the word BUZZ as the modern day equivalent of “Word of Mouth”– except that word of mouth is genuine; BUZZ is contrived.

     The point is that THIS– this economy, this time in history, this year, this month, this week– is in fact the time to start making better what you already have. Don’t let the biased mainstream news media, the zero business-experienced government, the monster union-dominated automakers, the moronic 37 trillion bank VP’s who all know less than one another convince you to sit back and take it on the chin!

     You didn’t start and grow your business to shut it down. Don’t let others lead you down the path of status quo. Now is the time to rise, to innovate, to take a fresh look at what you have, and who you have…associates, employees, customers, vendors, affiliates, neighbors, industry, community.

     How can you make more of all that now? What new ways can you pull your assets together to put yourself and your service business in a leadership position? What’s holding you back? It’s a choice. It’s your choice. 

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Send your input anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Good night and God bless you! halalpiar              # # # 

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Nov 22 2008


Sleeping With The Boss?

A staggering number of U,S, businesses —96%— are estimated to be either family-owned or family-controlled! 


     It’s anyone’s guess how many are family operated, but the bottom line is that it takes a very special relationship or cluster of relationships to work together effectively all day, every day (even every few days!), and still maintain healthy personal lives and separate identities.  Teamwork.  Shared leadership.  Give and take.  Active listening.

     This post comes from firsthand experience. 

     My wife Kathy and I work together, eat together, sleep together and vacation together.  We’ve been doing that every day, pretty much seven days a week, for over twenty years. 

     We’ve nearly killed each other a hundred times, but neither of us would have it any other way, and we’d do it all over again if we could.    

     Noted management professor and author Harry Levinson says “The family is never free of the business; all conversation and relationships seem to be built around it.  Nor,” he adds, “is the business ever free of the family.”

     When you eat, sleep, and drink the business, it’s often difficult to separate personal issues and concerns, to live personal lives, to be preserving your relationships. 

     But keep in mind that because all behavior is a matter of choice, separating business from personal is only difficult when you choose for it to be difficult.  You can choose for it to be easy!

     In entrepreneurship development programs and family business counseling sesions I ran, I would often advise married business partners to paint or tape a brightly-colored line across the doorway to their bedrooms, and not allow any business discussions, or even business thoughts to creep in and cross the divider. 

     One couple reported they enforce a required laugh out loud –even half-hearted– as admission to cross their red lightbulb-lined (on a timer) door frame.

     I guess the thought of that is a laugh by itself, but frankly, this bedroom divider line idea is probably useful advice for any couple, regardless of career. 

     Keeping a pen and paper (and penlight!) next to the bed to record middle-of-the-night bursts of inspiration or jot down to-do lists that keep you awake should provide all the business outlet anyone should need once he or she steps into the bedroom. 

     Bedtime in the bedroom is simply not the right time or the right place to talk about sales, distribution, taxes, accounts payable, collections, irate customers, business investments, R&D projects, bank loans, marketing programs, or employee performance. 

     It’s just not, that’s all.  It’s, in fact, destructive, taxing, unhealthy, and highly stressful . . . like the negative wired-out edge you might expect to get from watching network tv news all night! 

     Besides allowing yourself to jet down, and sleep more soundly, it will help soothe your neurological system to get brainstorm ideas and troublesome thoughts down on paper, and out of your head!  And DO remember the penlight.  No one likes waking up in the middle of the night to glaring lights and her or his bed partner writing up a business storm.    halalpiar 

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