Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Winning The Game Of Business

A lady who runs another cleaning service called me the other day. She was confused, unhappy, frustrated, and depressed.

It was obvious that she had just about given up on her business. She was pleading with me for answers. Her problems were two-fold. She couldn't get customers. And she couldn't keep employees.

Now she didn't phrase her questions in this manner. But that's what it boiled down to. So I gave her my best advice. You can't deliver a great service without making your employees happy first. Your marketing generates contacts. Your cleaning generates customer loyalty.

So step 1 is to make your employees happy. Some say that you should pay them more money. Some say that you should pat them on the back more often. Some say that you should do both. I say that you really only need to figure out one thing. How can you make your employees feel like they are part of the business? For Two Maids & A Mop, it's our pay for performance program and our profit sharing program. There is no one right answer. But there is one wrong answer.

You can't expect your employees to succeed if all you do is pay them to work. Working worked a long time ago. Working together works today.

So what's step 2. That's simple. After you've made your employees happy, start delivering a better service than your competitors. Amazon sells the same books as Barnes & Nobles. But in a different way. A better way.

I've always said that if it weren't for customers and employees then this job would be easy. But easy is for losers. This job is hard. Face the facts. Winning shouldn't be easy anyway.

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