Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Business from a Dog's Perspective

Business really should be easier than it is. Perhaps if we took our cues from the pups in our life, we’d see that it’s really not that hard afterall. I’ll share a few things that have helped me stay focused on keeping business simple!

Sales – it’s all about negotiation. My dog wants a treat… I want him to behave. “Sit and stay,” I say. He does, he gets a cookie. Eventually, we graduate to “Sit and stay.” He does and I tell him he’s a good dog. In business… “Mr. Customer, won’t you buy my service and I’ll give you this wonderful item?” And, after they’ve continued to purchase, the reward becomes appreciation and intangible items rather than stuff.

Operations – I learned recently that a happy and well-behaved dog is achieved by giving them exercise, discipline and affection – in that order. If I demonstrate the behavior I want to see, manage it within guidelines, then reward when the proper behavior is executed… my operations run smoothly.

Accounting- no matter how many biscuits I say I have – he always knows there is one more in my pocket! Always know your critical numbers! Know what indicates that your business is healthy as well as what tells you it’s sick.

Customer Retention – To retain a customer is much like “retaining a pet”… Feed them, exercise them, discipline them, talk to them, reward them… it’s a process. If you’re not paying attention to them, they will find someone who does – and, so will your customers.

Business Philosophy – the philosophy of a dog is simple – get as much lovin’ and food as possible everyday! Business is really the same…it’s all about how much appreciate your internal and external customers and what you feed them (or the knowledge you give). After all, garbage in makes for garbage out – so feed your employees, customers and partners that “high-quality food”.

Research & Development – no matter how perfect you think it is – there is always room for improvement! Whether learning a new trick or perfecting the art of securing a belly rub… Processes can improve, products can improve and so can service offerings. Constantly evaluate the “tricks” of your trade.

I hope you chuckled a little, but most importantly, I hope it causes you to say “aha”… we could all use more “aha” moments in life! Just like we could all use more dogs in our life… here’s wishing you sloppy, wet puppy kisses and customers as loyal as a big brown dog!

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