Attention to Detail: Method for Success

How many times have you gone through the drive-thru window and picked up food, only to find out they left the onions or tomatoes, when you specifically asked them not to put them on there? A lot, I’m sure. Then as you are discovering the pungent onions or the soggy tomato you begin to think to yourself, “It was a simple request. You would think they could figure out how to leave one item off of a sandwich.” These are the little things that will salt your experience with an otherwise great restaurant. The more often these things happen, the more likely it is a reputation for inconsistency will develop. This is why it is so important to pay attention to the small details when running your own business.

In the scenario described above; if I were to interact with the owner of that particular restaurant, I would be judging his character more harshly because of the negative experience I have from visiting his restaurant. If I were an investor, I’d pass on this restaurant because I would think that his management of that establishment was sub-par.

If you are running your own business, with your name attached to your product or service, you want to make sure that your product or service is impeccable. At least, that is the case for me. Not only is your business’ reputation at stake when small mistakes are made, your own reputation is at stake.

I will tell you from experience, I remember the things that go wrong more than the things that go right…and I’ll tell you why. When I go to purchase a product or service, I expect it to be a certain way. When that product or service meets my expectations, I’m satisfied and I’ll continue to purchase that good or service. I’m not generally wowed by anything (except customer service) because I expect things to be perfect anyway. With that being said, when something isn’t perfect, it’s easy to remember because that experience deviates from my expectations. This is why paying attention to the smallest of details is very important!

The required reading, It’s A Jungle In There, by Steven Schussler, the appearance of his property was so important to him that he picked up a cigarette butt and threw it away. This blew his potential client away because his client believed that since Mr. Schussler paid such close attention to a cigarette butt on his sidewalk, that he must pay that much attention to the detail in his work. I, personally and professionally, believe that his client was on the right track with the assumption that the finer details are taken care of when working with Mr. Schussler. Again, it’s not just the product or service that you are representing, it’s yourself as well.

Building on the aforementioned idea of selling yourself with the finer details, you will often hear that investors like to invest in people. Making sure the finer details are well taken care of can say a lot about your character. Any idea or product can be successful with the right people behind the helm, and I believe this is why investors like to invest in people rather than products.

One Comment

  1. The scenario you describe certainly leaves an opening for a competitor. I went to a restaurant today and the service was quite slow and shoddy. The thought of coming back was not particularly exciting. The only thing that will keep me going back there is a certain dish I can get only there and nowhere else. So the unique service they provide gives them a little room for error.

    I suppose the combination to really watch out for as an owner is when the product is not unique and when the service is average or below. In that situation, watch out!


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