I use a framing store for the certificates I hand out in sessions such as my Million Dollar Consulting® College. For December’s College, my wife took the certificates from the calligrapher to the framer, but the owner told her that her husband, who actually did the framing, wasn’t there and wouldn’t be back for a couple of weeks—far past my deadline. She directed my wife to an arts store a couple of miles away where there are assembled frames.
We found that the assembled frames were almost indistinguishable from the hand made fames. The difference in cost: Framer is $450 for 10; store is $40 for 10.
This is the problem with small business owners. They don’t think of the customer relationship, only the immediate work. I’m sure most of you would have suggested to her: bring the framing to a competitor if you have to, but get them done for your customer of five years; find someone who can do this on a subcontract basis; learn to frame yourself as the owner; line up replacements when you know your husband will be away.
I’ll go back to her. I want to support her, her work is very good, and she’s two minutes from my home. But a lot of customers won’t under similar circumstances.
Consulting is about common sense. Alarmingly, too many business owners and senior managers are lacking it. Don’t be shy about charging for it, because the value of common sense is constantly on the rise.
© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.