I was flying home from Houston Texas last week and had a connection through Atlanta airport. One of the busiest airports in the world… I took the tram to Concourse D and decided I needed a bite to eat. I stopped by one of the diner food establishments… In general I try to avoid fast food when I can, but their registers were all down and they could only take cash. What does this have to do with opportunity?
Living through Hurricane Irma was quite the craze. It had been almost 10 years since Florida experienced a major hurricane. Having lived through Frances, Jeanne and Wilma in 2005 was incredible. Most people hadn’t lived through one of this magnitude. As usual there was a lot of hype in the media, but all in all it could have been much worse. Working for our power company here in Florida I could not be prouder of what we accomplished. Then I reflected on what lessons you could take away as a business owner, and here are my top 3 for you to consider.
This past weekend I was sitting at the local car service place, because I had a alignment issue that had to be repaired. If you know be by now I am always observant and pay attention to the little things… One customer came in with a flat tire and he comes into the store (obviously in a hurry). He asked the person behind the counter, I need to have a flat fixed, can you help me? The store manager says, yes I can help you. Did I mention it was raining so the place was close to a ghost town. The guy asks, how fast can you fix it? Manager replies, it will take about an hour. One hour the guy says? Obviously frustrated because it looked like he has an appointment. You can tell what he was thinking… There is no one here???
Ever been at your local coffee shop, or even Starbucks? Ever waited in line to order something and the line is 20 people deep? A few weeks ago I walked in to Starbucks and there was a line at least 20 people deep. Of course, everyone wants their favorite coffee or tea drink at the right temperature. Why do most people just stand in line mindlessly? Did you ever wonder that? They will just stand their anxiously waiting for their turn to order, and then you wait even longer to get your drink. People are committed to the line, and feel some kind of weird bond or part of the team.
Ever stood by the bus while your kids are darting towards the school bus? Well every morning, I take my kids to the bus stop and to help the Moms out I take charge and try to organize the chaos. It is not easy by any means. The first couple of times it was true chaos… The kids just rushed the bus as soon as it showed up at 7:20 AM. I nearly got run over by 1st graders with HUGE backpacks. Here is what it looked like… Side of the bus and kids everywhere!!!
Sick? That never happens to me, right? Wrong! Even this week as I got a cold, it was one of those 2 day quick colds. On day three it happened, I had acute laryngitis and in an instant my voice was gone. I could not speak for two days… not a peep. Why does this matter to you? It got me thinking that many people could have their businesses interrupted by being sick. Keep on reading as I share my 3 secrets to keeping your businesses humming while you are sick.
Why not you? Why? Over the last several months I have been covering basic improvement tips that apply directly to all types of business sizes and types. Starting today I will mix it up a little bit, by talking to the medium to large business owners or anyone who wants to improve their functions. Why not you? You are out there…. every day you come to work and there are things that you know could be done much better… Things can be tweaked a little bit to improve your daily life at work. Why not you? Take the first step and make a decision to start today,.
Here are three things to help you stand out from the crowd, give yourself a chance to make a change:
1) Be alert
2) Get moving
3) Don’t slip
Read on! You don’t want to miss this…
Yup, it happened to me this past weekend. About to have a party for my daughter, and she goes: “Hey Dad the toilet is leaking”… Silence…. Followed by… Are you kidding me??? Guilty look from the son… I didn’t do it… When deep down you know it was him. Cracked toilet tank, and water everywhere.
You may be wondering at this point, what does this have to do with process improvement? Let me enlighten you!
Being repeatable is not enough to win at business, you must be able to transfer it to others. Not everyone will have the same standards that you have… Ask people to make a cup of coffee, and there are literally 1,000 ways to make it. How do you ensure that this knowledge is transferred properly? This can be done with proper documentation. Written documentation is called a procedure, and there are the more visual ones you see in restaurants. This one has pictures, so the person making it has a visual reference on order, ingredients, and visual construction.
Care! You need to be present in your business and set the tone. Start off on the right foot, and drive even more success in your business. Cranky customers? On days you are feeling down and beat up, these three things will help you push through. I was in a restaurant the other night with my son (yes, daddy-son dinner date! 😃 ) and there were 3 couples sitting next to us. Two of the ladies were completely nasty to the waitress who I have known for a long time. Did I mention nasty? I am sure you know what I mean, let’s dig in.
3 steps to help you care: