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Danger Zone: A Company Out of Balance
What an incredible job this company does! Beautiful work. I am not sure how they get each installation to fit so perfectly.
The two people who own this small business work incredibly hard, having built their operation on a shoestring. There is much to admire about the way that they operate. Their products are relatively expensive, but offer extremely-high quality – thus, combining to create a very strong value proposition. In addition, the owners are warm and friendly.
Unfortunately, they have been shooting themselves in the foot. How?
They are almost impossible to reach by phone – or any other way. Sometimes they show up hours after their scheduled appointment, making unexpected deliveries when there is no guarantee that someone will be on hand to let them in. Delivery dates constantly shift, as they attempt to accommodate their irate customers. They are hard to pin down, frustrating everyone involved. They have lost at least one large, formerly-loyal contractor this year.
Business has been booming because their product is in great demand. For their boom to continue, they need to do three things:
1) Hire and train additional installers, thereby increasing production.
2) Hire someone to manage their schedule and return calls, thereby enhancing customer service – a key element of both marketing and production.
3) Limit the number of projects they accept so that they can guarantee satisfaction.
The final point is the toughest. Turning away work when you are hungry to succeed can be excruciating. However, it is a better long-term strategy than allowing disgruntled customers to walk away, sharing their bad experiences with others.
Do not allow a meteoric rise in your sales to end in a sudden, perhaps fatal, decline. Pay attention to all areas of your business: planning, production, marketing and analysis. Always remember that weakness in one area can destroy you!
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend