America’s true entrepreneurs today display through every type of advertisement an eagerness to meet the challenge to be the best at what they do. Once prospects accept your invitation to try your business, the results will ultimately be justified through these means: applying four very basic yet critical strategies in the four rules of business. Your ultimate goal must always target a customer encounter that will leave both you and your customer beaming with gratitude for the experience that just took place. You should never have to ask yourself, “What just happened with this sale? It didn’t feel like a ‘good sale.’” Regardless of how strongly you believe you’re doing it right all the time, revisit the four rules of business regularly. Post them somewhere in a private area to do a self-check and be honest with yourself in your relationship with each of the strategies.
The first of these rules is: Customer satisfaction before profit. This is the most important rule because it strengthens your odds to make every good customer a repeat customer. Satisfied customers come back and satisfied customers tell others about you. Satisfied customers remember they were truly satisfied with how you handled their problem, and satisfied customers are who we want filling up our waiting rooms. As I’ve continued to say for so many years, “Without money nothing happens, and without good customer service nothing happens for very long.”
The second rule is: You must know who the boss is in your business. Most of us decided to challenge the rest of the business world with our talent and open our business based on our ability to beat the daily grind of taking orders from someone else. Finally and at last, we opened the doors of our own business and lo and behold we found ourselves with a whole new boss: the customer! Now, we have lots of bosses! Do we like our new bosses any better than the old one? Most of us would answer “yes,” but at great sacrifice. Customers are tough to deal with regardless of industry. We’re customers ourselves so of course we know that, which makes owning the responsibility to provide satisfaction a goal we must meet!
The third rule is: Know what’s in the job for you. You invested in both your life today and your future tomorrow when you opened your business. Take care not to give the store away-your life and future depend on it! You must make the profit you need while building a good customer base at the same time. You must not leave yourself out of the loop trying to satisfy all but yourself. While the customer is the most important component in your business, their satisfaction can never be at the cost of sacrificing your own dreams!
The fourth rule is: Profit before work. This is the most abused rule! The average repair shop in America today records a substantial amount of debt in accounts payable that they’re behind on in payments compounded by additional personal money invested through credit card debt just to sustain business. Add this to regular operating expenses each month and the light at the end of the tunnel begins to get real dim! If you see your name on this list of statistics and you’re tired of being last in line for a paycheck, I have some words of encouragement that should help: You can conquer this situation, but only when you begin to get paid for everything you do and at the right price!
To see if you’re minding all four rules, consider the following statements and answer “yes” or “no”:
I have more complaints than satisfied customers
I see many of my customers at other repair shops and don’t know why.
I didn’t make the money I thought I would with opening my own business.
My customers tell me how to repair their car and don’t want to pay me to diagnose the problem.
I’m afraid my employees will quit me if I don’t do what they want.
I always say “yes,” even when I mean “no.”
I quote prices to customers before I research the labor and call for parts prices.
I don’t want people saying my prices are too high.
If you answered “yes” to six or more, your road’s end may be closer than you think and it’s time to change direction now!