If It Hurts When You Do That, Stop Doing It

Small businesses usually don’t fail because of poor products or services (in fact, the owners usually work themselves to exhaustion). They fail because of stupidity.

My air conditioning guy, with whom I’ve spent thousands and to whom I’ve sent referrals, never showed up last season for a preventive check (which I pay for) despite three phone calls. I told him if he didn’t call me by today, we’re through. He won’t and we are.

The local Bentley dealer and his larger campus, from which I’ve purchased millions of dollars in cars over the years, fired or transferred all the people I trusted in sales and service. So I bought a $400,000 Rolls in Massachusetts, where my service manager wound up. And they now service my Bentley and will sell me my next one when I’m ready.

On our very affluent main street, some shops come and go within 90 days. My wife can walk in and tell me if they’ll last after five minutes of looking around. One coffee shop, for example, had a kid employed who kept his face in his phone, and didn’t stock trays to carry the take-out coffee!

They—and you—need to stop focusing so much on your products and services, though that seems counterintuitive, and focus primarily on common sense and customer relationships. I will give you the benefit of doubt on an error, since we all make them. But I won’t for rudeness, inattentiveness, or stupidity.

And that’s the common sense you need to consult with them or anyone else.


2 thoughts on “If It Hurts When You Do That, Stop Doing It

  1. Just happened to us at a new restaurant. lost 5 different tables because of their inability or desire to customer relationships.

    Opened 10 minutes after they said they would open. Sat their drinking their coffee drink while seeing 5 different families wanting to eat Easter dinner at this new (open about 3 days). When they finally opened the doors, without a hello or welcome they said: only open for drinks. restaurant not open for another hour.

    Lost our business as well as the other 4 families.

  2. Clearly under the category of Dumb Ass Stupid Management. How about this: I once pulled up in my Ferrari to a lemonade place and bought a $2.49 drink. But all I had was hundred dollar bills and credit cards. The manager refused to change $100 (he could have, it was late afternoon) and doesn’t accept credit cards under $10. I told him in that case I’d pay him the next day when I drove buy. He took the drink back and told me to drive down the road to CVS for change. I drove down the road and never returned. That was Del’s Lemonade in North Kingstown, RI. I was driving a $200,000 car and he thought I was going to cheat him after making it difficult for me to buy the stupid drink!

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