We just celebrated 25 years in business which just like marriage now a days is a HUGE milestone. The two main reasons for this article is to first and foremost say THANK YOU to all of our Guests, our Team Members and our Vendors. It's been an awesome ride and we have still have a lot of miles left to go.
I also want to address the widest end of the funnel for creating a long lasting viable and profitable company. An indispensable part of the answer is that you have to give a shit! I would say it's actually our number one competitive advantage. It's also known as caring. You have to care about what you provide, who you provide it to, how you provide it and who helps you provide it.Let me dispel something right up front. This is not easy stuff. It's f@#%ing hard!!! Day in and day out with every single interaction. But if you want to build something long lasting you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work on this.
Sorry if some of this article is coming across as a bit of a rant. I'm somewhat (ok big time) irritated with people somehow expecting things to come to them. I'm even known to say "if someone goes out of business they deserve it".
Seriously, to all of those who own, run, manage or just work in a business. Step up and get in the game. The quote I read this morning actually prompted me to sit down and write this article "Don't be an order taker, Be an Experience Maker". That's it, but again much easier said than done.
I'm not sure how to make you care more. But you need to make it a priority. Go to classes, get coaching, surround yourself with others who care. The biggie, if you don't care about what you are currently doing, PLEASE DO SOMETHING ELSE. It shows and everyone around you knows when you don't care. I'm not just talking about an individual. I'm talking at a company level too.
I think it happens when people stop at the wanting part. They want things to be a certain way but wanting so doesn't make it so. Too many people and business owners small and large have a vision in their mind of how things should be, but they fail to execute in making it happen. Sometimes it's as easy as just making more effort. Other times it just requires different effort. And many times it requires a couple steps back of reflection to see what you really want.
Don't you get massively irritated when you try to spend your hard earned money somewhere only to met with indifference. ME TOO!! What makes it worse is when you look at their marketing they tout being great at service. WTF. This is the big disconnect. Perhaps someone sitting in an office somewhere cares but most front line people don't care or aren't empowered to care. Which essentially means most companies are straight out lying to you about what they deliver. Sad but true. Also fixable with a lot of hard work and focus.
Debbe my wife and partner just got back from a trip to the Capital One Corporate Headquarters. She was invited to give our story of how Capital One has helped our business grow over the years. At the end of a 2 hour Q & A session with 250 of their management staff they asked one last question. "What do you tell your team to keep them focused". Capital One is a very conservative financial company which made Debbe's answer that much more surprising. Her answer, you guessed it "Give A Shit!" They liked it so much they are putting it on t-shirts #Give A Shit.
The best summary I can offer is to treat people the way you want to be treated (and maybe even a little more). Do this with EVERY interaction and you will have the foundation for long lasting success.
Debbe & Mike Simmons. Owners Bicycle Warehouse