As I sat down to write my blog this week, I thought I would talk about Debtor Finance and its amazing benefits. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Then I remembered that each time I’ve put pen to paper on Debtor Finance in the past, my click-throughs collapse like a house of cards. And according to the feedback I’ve received, people much prefer my small business profundities and side-splitting antidotes.
So this week I thought I would have a crack at shedding light on the importance of Not Being Half-Arsed in Business - and how taking the half-arsed approach is often the death knell for customer service standards.
Each Saturday, my 11 year-old son, who has inspired many of my blogs (Click here to read Lessons from an 11 year old- tips on focus and organisation), plays rugby union for his school. He loves it. Last weekend, he put in what I refer to as a half-arsed effort. Don’t worry - I’m not one of those fathers who lives vicariously through his children, jumping up and down on the sidelines giving my kid, the ref and other parents a spray, but it got me to thinking about how often businesses take the half-arsed approach.
Hang on – what’s ‘half-arsed?’
In case I’ve lost anyone, my definition of half-arsed is not having a go. Not giving the task at hand a good old shake. You know - going through the motions. Giving fifty percent when you really should be aiming for 100.
Half-arsed in disguise
Half-arsedness often shows up disguised as poor service standards. As a small business owner I might be biased when I refer to this, but I often find that the larger the organisation, the poorer the customer service experience tends to be.
A half-arsed customer experience
Take the experience of one of my small business clients.
I’ll try to keep this short, as this rant is about one of my favourite industries. You guessed it – banking. A Director of a small business who I know well has had a pretty good relationship with his bank for about 18 months. As it usually goes with banks, the security over his business is pretty good - the family home, investment properties, Personal Guarantees, his left testicle and his first born child (okay, okay - I made the last one up).
Banks like their security. This is particularly true when it comes to small businesses. So, the Director submitted all the required information to increase his funding facility in early February. Now, banks certainly don’t do anything half-arsed where credit risk is concerned. But the outcome isn’t great for my director friend. Almost four months on, he’s still waiting for his increased funding approval. In Bank Land, four months or more is an acceptable approval period. But in Small Business Land, it’s a massive pain in the arse - and it’s the reason why the small business community doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy when they think about banks.
I’m guessing his bank’s customer service manual is about as thick as the Yellow Pages – and the problem lies in the execution process. The outcome is a poor customer experience; one of the reasons I strongly advocate dealing with more than one bank.
If you can’t be arsed, your business won’t last.
So to wrap it up, if you’ve got a business, don’t be half arsed at anything you do.
I really believe that it isn’t that much harder to do your best at something than it is to go through the motions. I also really think you will love the outcome that giving your all achieves; clients that love you and stay loyal - and that P word – profitability.
This may very well be the first blog ever written on half-arsedness (yes I know that’s not a real word)!
As always, I welcome your feedback, even if you think this blog is…pretty half-arsed.
Here’s to a great week in business.