The Quality of Your Work Says What You Stand For
Do You Put Quantity Over Quality?
In today’s episode: We discuss how when the quality of your work starts to go down, it hurts your business’s brand in your community. We also discuss why your quality starts to slip and the 3 things to keep an eye out for.
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Episode 80: The Quality of Your Work Says What You Stand For
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at the 3 ways the quality of work tends to go down and why it is so important that you don't let this happen.
Did you know that there are two main reasons local small businesses get a bad reputation in their communities? The first one is poor customer service and the second is through poor quality of work.
We’ve talked a lot about poor service in the past, so it is time we discuss the quality of your work and how it tells your community, what you stand for.
Typically, when we start out, we pay a lot of attention to the quality of the jobs we do. We understand that the best way for us to grow our business is through the word of mouth recommendations we will get on our great service and fantastic job we did. So, odds are, each of you spent a little extra time and care to make sure the job was done well.
But Here’s Where the Wheels Come Off…
As our business grows, our time becomes more precious. We try and please everyone and we try to knock out as much as we can. Time becomes our enemy. We tend to speed through the job and cut corners. If the business gets too big, we hire folks to help out and we don’t check in as often as we should. Let’s take a look at each one.
CAUSE #1 – We Cut Corners the Better We Think We Get
The first thing we do when our business grows is we start to cut corners. Let’s face it, the more we do something, the faster we get at it. We also unfortunately get a little cocky about how good we are. So we take shortcuts where we think where no one will notice. This is the beginning of the decline of our quality of work.
CAUSE #2 – Too Many Jobs to Do
As we get better, and our business picks up, we squeeze more and more into our day. Or maybe, we need the money so we take on more than we can really handle. The busier we get, the quicker we go and the less we pay attention to the details we should be keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, these details do not slip by our customers or clients and starts to plant a seed of doubt about our business.
CAUSE #3 – Our team takes over and we stop watching
As your business grows, you start to hire temp help to stay on top of the growing business. When working side by side with them, we can keep an eye on their quality, but as the business begins to grow again, we can’t watch everything they do. And since no one loves our business and our customers more than we do, without the supervision, this help just doesn’t do the same quality work that we would do.
So, What Can You Do to Stop This Poor Quality of Work Creeping In?
First and foremost, we need to recognize that we are guilty at times of cutting those corners. When we catch ourselves doing this, we must knock it off. It is a slippery slope that we don’t want to be on.
You also must put the processes in place to ensure this doesn’t happen. Maybe have a 10-point quality checklist you use, or something similar that forces you to stop and spend a few minutes looking at the job through a customer’s eyes.
And if you have people helping you with the job? You must have a set of best practices they need to follow. You must make sure you check their work. Even if it means driving over to the job site at the end of the job. If these folks have been with you for a bit, maybe you do it randomly vs each time. The goal is to keep them on their toes for random follow ups.
THE COMMUNITY WILL STOP RECOMMENDING YOU
So, here is what starts to happen once these quality issues pop up. People will put up with quality problems for only so long. First, they stop recommending you to their family and friends, then eventually they stop calling all together.
I’ve done this with vendors I’ve recommended to my people whose quality was once high, but as their business grew, that quality started to become a liability to not only their business but to mine as well.
So guess what starts to slowly happen? Yep, the local business’s jobs start to slow down. Without the word of mouth, new jobs stop coming and those who have trusted them through the years, stop calling.
An Example of Quality Control Slipping Away
Let’s take a look at a landscaping business that has been mowing a group of say 50 regular clients. The jobs range between a basic mow to include some hedge trimming, weed removal and various other items around the yard.
The business owner decides to take on 10 more yards but now is stretched and has to squeeze in one to two more jobs a day. They arrive to do the yard and zip through, like they have a millions times before. Only this time, instead of being meticulous about the weeds peeking through, they just mow over them vs getting at the root like they use to. Instead of taking the time to make sure hedges are squared off, they just cut quickly. Oh, and the nice mow pattern they normally do, is now done differently and just looks different to the customer.
No longer are the neighbors asking them who does their yard. No longer are they recommending to their friends. Eventually, some customers decide not to renew their contracts. They just feel like the quality isn’t the same.
THEY MIGHT NOT TELL YOU BY THE WAY
Here is the rub, when these customers start to drop you, the odds are they will not even tell you why they are leaving. They probably like and don’t want to hurt your feelings. So they just say they are cutting back or changing directions.
You never know the truth so you never fix the problem. The business just seems to get harder to grow. Little do you know that what made you take off in the first place (great service and quality of work) is the very thing that is unraveling it now. By the way, until someone is brave enough to tell you that you even sense what has been happening.
Remember, your customers see your quality of work as hand in hand with the great customer service you provide!
Ok, time to bring this puppy to a close. If you leave with nothing else, please realize that your quality of work is just as important as the customer service you provide. So please put into place the processes you need to ensure that you never drop the ball on quality.
And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
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Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.
The second book is one I wrote based off a popular example I always use when folks are trying to understand their role as a leader with their people. Check it out.
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