How much would you be willing to pay someone for their services, if you knew they took shortcuts?
Think about that for a minute. You know they are always taking shortcuts to get the job done. Yes, they need to make a profit; yes, they are in business to make money. But if you see nothing but short cuts do you stop and think, “How good of a job are they going to do for me?”
I thought about this today, while sitting in my local Starbucks and watching this young man come in to place his order. He was wearing a t-shirt advertising his business. He ordered a fancy, expensive drink.
I also noticed his rather expensive watch. He had the latest iPhone to pay for his drink. He was wearing quite a bit of jewelry. I could go on and on with the things I noticed. But the two things I wanted to mention most are:
1) he had driven up in a newer top-of-the-line Mercedes SUV; and
2) he was trying to short-cut the system to get a deal.
Now I bring up this story for a reason. The shirt he was wearing advertised his business. He had a tile business; laying tile and masonry work in homes. His shirt had the business name on it accompanied by a cheap generic logo, like he copied it out of a book. On the back of the shirt were a phone number and a Gmail email address.
First, I am not judging by the car or the expensive look. I am sure he has been successful at helping people by providing a service. And that comes with a reward: the success of money in the bank and the ability to live a better lifestyle.
What I am going to say about this is, it appears he took all the cheaper routes for his business, investing very little. Then it appears he is spending money to live a lifestyle instead of investing to grow his business.
I did take some time to talk to him. He is a very nice guy and, yes, he is very successful in his business. No he does not take short cuts in laying tile in peoples’ homes. He told me he is about doing the job right and providing the look of extreme luxury when he does his work.
When I mentioned the Gmail address to him, he said he has built his business on doing a good job and the referrals that came with that. By keeping a great reputation he is able to build and be successful. Then he thanked me for pointing out what it looked like.
Most of us would not stop to talk to someone about what kind of job they do. Most would have taken the look of what they saw and judged based on that without finding out anything else. They would not have asked, “Do you take shortcuts? Can I trust you with the job of making my home floors look great with tile?”
Today, look at the big picture of your business. When people see you, are they able to read the picture correctly? Or will they have to talk to you to get the truth? Remember we get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure all the little things set the right impression for your business.