Have you seen the onslaught of advertisements for those new “quickie” face lifts? You know, the ones where you see faces that are, shall we say… a bit tired looking? Then, after one quick “zippie-lift”…Voilà! They are rejuvenated and vibrant again. (Come on… don’t pretend you haven’t seen these ads at least once.)
Well, what about your business? Could it use a bit of re-invention? Nothing drastic – just a quick “pick-me-up” that can make a world of difference? It doesn't matter whether you are an industrial distributor, a mason supply business, or an equipment, container or trailer rental company. Put the complicated business advice aside for a moment. Here are 5 easy, quick, and affordable steps that you can take today to get immediate results:
(1) Lighten up. It could be a quick coat of paint on your walls. Perhaps it’s new inexpensive lighting to brighten up your front counter or illuminate dark corners in your store or office. It might just be that you need to lighten up the mood and environment. If you have snarky, unhappy employees, don’t kid yourself into thinking your customers don’t pick up on that. Try to give your employees the support they need in terms of training, kudos, or appropriate compensation in order to be happy, friendly and productive. Let them know that you want your company to bump Disney as “the happiest place on earth”. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to lighten your staff. Lose the dead weight and bring on motivated employees with whom your customers enjoy interacting. You might be amazed at the reactions of both your customers and your loyal employees.
(2) Enlist the troops. Have a staff meeting and ask everyone to come up with a list of ideas to improve and/or generate new business. If this is the first time you’re doing something like this, have them write down their ideas and hand them in or put them in a “Suggestion Box”. (Yes, really. Some may be shy and feel awkward doing this at first.) You’ll not only get everyone’s creative juices flowing; you’ll also allow each individual to recognize that they play a role in the company’s success.
(3) Buy a pizza. Yes, times are tough. Yes, we all have to cut costs. It’s safe to say, though, that at least 99% of the time, a free lunch by employers isn’t going to break the company bank. And if it’s something that your employees aren’t accustomed to, you and they might just be surprised how a group meal can be a team-building experience. Just one thing to remember: You need to be present and interacting with your group; otherwise, everyone will just be talking on their cell phones or texting.
(4) Be your own customer. You’ve walked in and out of your office or store a zillion times. Your eyes are pretty much immune to the environment; they no longer see what a new customer walking in for the first time sees. So, for starters, try walking in to your office, store, or site and look around… really… look at everything. Is the front counter inviting or a cluttered mess? Is the site clean? Does your “free coffee” area for customers look more like Starbucks or a laboratory growing bacteria cultures? Ask an outsider, friend or family member to pay a visit and then give you their candid, no-holds-barred impression of what they see. Put your ego away and really listen to their observations. Don’t be defensive; instead, learn something. Then, act on it.
(5) Embrace change. Whether you’ve been in business 5 years or 25 years, you need to know who you are… today. Not who you were when you started in business. A business changes throughout its existence – and so it should. Businesses that refuse to take on better technology – be it a better phone system, business operations software, or marketing program – will be left in the dust, wondering what went wrong.
As Jack Welch so famously put it, “Change before you have to”. Giving your business a facelift is an easy way to introduce change to your organization. Better yet, it can be the catalyst to more changes with an even bigger and better impact on company success.