You’re only as good as your word. Missing deadlines, arriving late for meetings, forgetting to follow up or follow through – these are all symptoms of procrastination, and key factors of Small Business failure.
As a Small Business owner, operator or employee, you cannot afford to slide down procrastination’s slippery slope. Since word of mouth is the most effective low cost marketing strategy (and a rich source of revenue and referrals), you must be perceived as someone who:
- Keeps their word
- Honors their commitments
- Values their customers’ and clients’ time
You may be familiar with the expression “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. Here is its procrastination-related corrolary: “If you fail to show, you show to fail“. Free yourself of the voice in your head, which is telling you some variation of the following: “I work for myself, therefore –
- Noone is the boss of me
- I set my own schedule
- My time is my own
- Why must they nag me – I’ll get it done (eventually)
The phrase “it’s only time” is a complete falsehood: time, to a great extent, is all there is. As an independent entrepreneur, or as an employee, you either bill for time directly, or the time required to perform your task (or make your goods) is a major factor in your compensation. Time is, in many ways, your most valuable asset.
Timeliness is also an aspect of quality, which is a perception in the client’s or customer’s (or employer’s) mind, NOT an objective quality of the work performed or goods created. As a computer service professional, a hard-won lesson is that the job isn’t done until the client perceives it as done. I could have fixed it weeks ago, but if I wait for weeks to tell the client, only at that moment is it done as far as they’re concerned.
And let’s face it — the person paying for the job, not the one performing it, is the one who must be satisfied. Don’t take too long to understand that, if you want to stay in business…
Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com