by Bill Green, Inc. Magazine, 1/16/18.
Every entrepreneur wants to know how to scale.
The challenge, however, is that scaling requires both an unrelenting ambition to grow, and simultaneously, an extreme amount of patience. Scaling is not as easy as throwing money at a problem, or hiring as many people as possible. If anything, those kinds of decisions end up running you into the ground.
Instead, I like to think of scaling as the result of your foundation. The stronger the foundation, the easier it is to scale…
1. It’s all about the customer.
One of my favorite quotes is by Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club. He said, “There is only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody from the chairman on down by simply bringing his business somewhere else.”
That’s the absolute truth.
This is something I talk about extensively in my book for emerging entrepreneurs, All In. If you don’t have your eye on the client experience every minute of every day, you’re completely missing the point of why you are in business.
2. Fix mistakes fast.
If you can’t fix the small errors now, how do you expect to fix the big errors later on?
Repeat after me: it’s never the customer’s fault. When trouble hits, don’t be defensive about it. Don’t run around trying to assign blame. Just fall on your sword and do whatever it takes to fix it fast.
…I don’t count the screw-ups that happen in my companies as much as I keep tabs on how quickly problems are resolved. I always tell my people, “We’re all human, and we’re going to make mistakes. But the customer is going to remember how fast you fix the problem more than they’re going to remember the mistake itself.”
3. Underpromise, overdeliver.
You may demand perfection from yourself, your partners, and your employees, but you can’t let that carry over to how you talk to your customers.
Don’t promise perfection to them. Just don’t. ..
4. Tailor your experience to the customer–don’t expect them to adjust to you.
This is a hugely important lesson in today’s market.
You can’t make customers adjust to you. You have to tailor your experience to them, and make them feel like they’re part of your family…