Cash flow is king in any kind of business, but cash flow can be unpredictable for many businesses. Author John Warrillow lays out a simple plan in his book: The Automatic Customer, for how any industry can develop predictable reoccurring revenue by creating an automatic "subscription" line of business. Subscriptions can be used for advice, information, service, or products. Think newsletters, maintenance/service contracts, product of the month, etc. More and more businesses are using this format, including: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Microsoft, Target, Walmart, Dollar Shave Club, The Mosquito Squad, etc.
Customer service is not a department, it is an attitude and excellent customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can have great products and great prices, but without great service, you may not be able to attract new customers and retain your current customers. The bottom line is: happy customers come back and remain repeat customers, unhappy customers not only don’t come back - they are likely to tell a dozen or more people about their poor experience with your business. They may also post a negative review online for millions of people to review. This kind of negative publicity is very difficult to overcome. It costs six times as much to gain a new customer as it does to maintain an existing customer. With statistics like these, it’s easy to see how expensive and detrimental poor customer service can become.
What are Job Aids?
Job aids are written tools that help employees perform job tasks. They are like “cheat sheets”, “crib notes” or “Spark Notes” in the working world. They come in many forms; including: checklists, reminder cards, forms, templates, procedures, diagrams, charts, etc. Their purpose is to help employees consistently perform their jobs at the highest level possible.
What is an operations manual?
All businesses, even the smallest, should document and publish their standards, policies and procedures in an operations manual. Your operations manual must be given to each employee and it should grow and change with your business. Because it is such a valuable business tool for you and your staff, keeping it updated is an important business priority.
Cheryl Matt, owner of CBM Business Consulting offers her perspective on productivity, efficiency and organized business operation.