Doing good work isn’t good enough anymore. It, in fact, hasn’t been for quite a while. In the corporate world, when one achieves a standard of ‘Good’ through an appraisal, it can be viewed to be the equivalent of ‘Satisfactory’. Like it or not, it’s average. Anyone with ‘Good’ will surely realise that’s not something they can take home thinking they have achieved anything special.
So why some small business owners think doing a good job is something their customers or network should be especially grateful for is anyone’s guess. It’s the minimum standard anyone should expect.
In Singapore, where I grew up, customers don’t usually wait days for a quote if they want someone to carry out maintenance work.
I have shared many times through my articles, and even in my book, that the bar is constantly being raised. People’s expectations have increased as we are spoiled for choice and in a seemingly omnipresent world. In Singapore, where I grew up, customers don’t usually wait days for a quote if they want someone to carry out maintenance work. The tradesperson will usually provide one on the spot and, if they are given the go-ahead, it’s not inconceivable for them to start work the next day if they are free. Excellence is in their blood. They are energised to go the extra mile do to a great job, not just a good one.
My step-mother, (Singaporean Chinese), taught my siblings and me in ‘Singlish’, ‘’Do what you do, do well.’’ This has been one of my core business ethics ever since. It doesn’t, of course, mean that I get everything right all the time. Who does anyway? It means that I do my best knowing that when I am finished work each day I know that, deep inside, I really did try.
Excellence to me is different from seeking perfection. What’s perfection anyway? Perfect to me may be different to your perception of what perfect looks like. Perfection can hold us back. For example, I’m a believer that it’s best to launch a service or product when it’s ready and working however without endlessly sanding off the edges. What’s the point otherwise anyway? Chances are you’ll be improving things later as customers tell you what needs enhancing and not what you may think.
Yes, I know my websites can be improved. Yes, I know I can do more in optimising them through more SEO. (Search Engine Optimisation). Yes, I know Mr. / Ms. Website Designer, you can do a better job but my priorities and motivations are different to yours. Sell your wares to someone else who is ready for your expertise. For me – and for my customers – actual activity is far greater than spending endless hours tinkering with needless things and having endless, meaningless, meetings or chats over coffee. (Incidentally, you may wish to check out one of my prior articles, ‘Your Precious Time.’)
One of my key performance indicators, (KPIs), is how successful the networking and business growth events I organise and host are, not how glitzy my websites look. I can revisit my websites later.
In my industry, I don’t have a second chance to deliver and achieve successful events.
If my current websites are already helping me achieve excellence that’s a sound measure they are already an integral part of my marketing and delivery process.
If my partners and those I work with don’t adopt a similar approach, then the relationship I have with them is unlikely to last long. Of course, I carry out my due diligence when choosing to work with them, however, it’s only through delivering our objectives – and with vigour – which becomes the real test we’re jointly seeking to achieve excellence through mutual respect.
Consistently having to remind people about following up what has been already been agreed is one of my biggest bug bears and I make no apology for sharing my views on this.
I am not in the game of having to consistently chase people up for actions that have already been discussed and agreed within certain set timescales, as I wouldn’t expect others to have to chase me up. Consistently having to remind people about following up what has been already been agreed is one of my biggest bug bears and I make no apology for sharing my views on this. This sounds harsh, I know, but it makes me think that those whom I frequently chase up for things are unfocused or even downright lazy. They are not seeking excellence nor even showing much passion in what they do. Sure, delivery timescales can slip for various reasons but there’s no excuse for not updating and communicating effectively. It can be disrespectful to the team too.
Many business experts share that ‘purpose’ is key to what one does. Purpose is a given. Why we have to be frequently reminded about that I do not know. Of course, we have purpose! Purpose, to me, is an unenergised word. Passion, on the other hand, exudes energy.
You will have noticed that much of what I have shared in this article, in fact, focuses on delivery. Talking and planning about marketing is just a part of the process. Delivery I feel is often overlooked, as with seeking excellence. It’s not covered nor spoken about much. Marketing is generally viewed as ‘fun’ whereas delivery, (more like delivering), is perceived by many to be boring and potentially something that’s discussed when something doesn’t go to plan. Perhaps something to be passed on to the customer service team? Well, no. It should be at the forefront of everything that’s planned and executed. If not, why not?
Reflect on the various business trade fairs you have visited. How many stands have you seen which focus on delivery rather than marketing? How many even use the word delivery in their marketing? – Food for thought?
- Make excellence one of your key objectives; Individually, as a team and with your partners.
- Make the level of excellence an important KPI and see your business excel.
- Make achieving excellence the reason why you, your team and your partners really have made a positive difference at the end of each working day.
‘’Do what you do, do well.’’ – Thank you, Mum!