• Dave Fuller MBA, Author

Little details always count in business

Updated: May 7, 2018

This week, I received a return to sender letter in the mail from a subscription to a service that I had sent in my payment for. It was my uncashed cheque. I had sent my cheque in to the business who had moved several months previously, to the address they had provided, and low and behold, someone hadn't taken the time to reprint the subscription forms and so the address was wrong.

What this meant, is that my cheque and order for the service had been returned unprocessed. It made me wonder how many other customers that this had happened to?

Perhaps you are in an organization where you think you don't need any more customers, because you feel you are busy enough. Maybe your business just has a culture where attention to details doesn't seem to matter because employees see the leaders in the organization as sloppy. I have seen some companies where employees have the attitude that they don't need to pay attention to the details because don't feel that they are being treated fairly. There are some establishments where staff are not held accountable and therefore the bosses feel that they need to micromanage everything themselves. Ultimately when any of these scenarios take place in a business, the business is setting itself up for the ultimate failure.

So how do we ensure that someone pays attention to the details? And what exactly are the details we need to pay attention to?

Every business will be slightly different in what is going to be considered an essential detail. There are some things in your organization that are crucial to its success. If these things don't happen, you are not going to be able to deliver your product or service. Understanding how your business works and the vital processes that maintain profitability and product and service delivery are key.

Documenting, teaching and training your staff on what they need to do to protect their jobs and ensure that the business thrives, is critical to having a successful business. Having an accountability process ensures that someone is accountable for these small details.

Unfortunately, many leaders of small businesses assume their business is successful merely because it has some customers. However, when we fail to understand the critical elements that determine success, we risk our organization being derailed because of staff neglecting minor details.

Sometimes as leaders we gamble on the fact that our customers or prospective customers will "assume" certain details. Failure to communicate certain details within our organizations to our employees, and externally to our customers results in confusion that leads to loss of business.

As for my subscription, I plan to drop off the envelope and the cheque to the business and renew my subscription. I wonder how many of their customers will take the time and effort to do the same. How many customers will this business lose because they didn't pay attention to the details? If they didn't attend to this essential detail, how many other details are they missing?

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