Small Business Success – Closing The Right Loops
I just finished reading, Loops – The Seven Keys to Small Business Success, which was written by one of my Infusionsoft customers, Mike Chaet, Ph.D. The premise is that small businesses must not only envision success, but must also take the actions needed to follow through – to “close loops.” The end goal being to develop a company with a strong service model that merits, fosters, and maintains long term customer satisfaction.
I have been told that I am a “finisher” so the ideas of closed loops, actions that produce results, and seeing a plan through to resolution all appeal to me . . . I was very motivated to find out more about what Mike and his co-author, Stephen Lundin, Ph.D., had to say about this topic. Below is a combination of book summary and Dee’s “takeaways.” Even though the setting for Loops is a fitness club, the book explores models of excellence in multiple businesses; the concepts and applications are universal. I thoroughly enjoyed the read!
1. Customer loyalty is earned through emotional connection and exceptional service. Look for opportunities to engage with customers on a genuine and personal level – get to know more about their needs and challenges, give more than is required, and differentiate your business by truly caring about your customer.
2. Create a culture that inspires your employees to be visionaries. Empower them to create “WOW” experiences for your customers and to follow through to completion.
3. Mind the Fundementals. Build a solid foundation for your business through strategic planning, goal setting, performance measurement, and accountability. Form a peer support system to share ideas and solicit problem solving perspective.
4. Create standardized systems. Creating defined processes will lead to better handling of the unexpected as well as managing quality control when all goes as planned. Break down big jobs into smaller components – the big jobs will be accomplished by completing one small job after another.
5. Always look for ways to grow and improve. Innovation does not mean “bigger,” it means “better.” Customer needs change and businesses must continually conceive of ways to differentiate themselves from the competition through fresh ideas.
6. Expect the unexpected – always have a plan B and build time and money margins into your plans. Deal with the current realities – the past cannot be changed, but you do have influence over the present and the future.
7. Leaders must set the pace and be an example to employees. They must earn respect and must model the quality of service and follow through that they expect from others.
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on
of an uncompleted task.”
Let’s Talk. How do you prioritize and manage “loops” so that you can accomplish your business goals? Which open “loops” are the most difficult for you to “close?”