The old axiom, “You win some, you lose some,” when applied to a business, can mean customers coming in the front door and going out the back door—in other words, the business is just running in place, going in circles, but not gaining ground. Therefore, NOT GROWING. For that reason, Business Retention is crucial to grow and scale a business.
Another axiom in the business world, you may have heard is, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying!” Unfortunately most small businesses knows little about business retention.
Systemology for Business Retention = Customer Growth
I can testify to the truth of both idioms, because both of these statements were a reality in our business, until I became aware of SYSTEMOLOGY, the study of systems
Once I became aware of systemology, it was as if my business was born again. All things became new in the way we operated our business.
In fact, before my conversion to systemology, I believed the same lie, that most small business owners promote unwittingly. The myth promoted is, a messy business = a busy business = a profitable business = SUCCESS!
Business Chaos is “Normal”, Right? | That’s What I Hear
My belief in that myth cost me dearly! It stole my joy, my peace and the freedom to do the things I had always dreamed of, but could never find the time, much less the money to do. In fact, the main reason I started my own business was to gain financial independence to have free time. Moreover, I’m sure that’s why most people start their own businesses.
Escaping the Big Lie | The Myth Chaos is Normal
In 1988 I started my tiny print shop (400 square feet) on top of a bank, with poor visibility for customers. However, through hard work and not just a little help from God, our sales grew from nothing to about $20,000 a month, in less than a year. We kept growing to $30,000 a month and then to $40,000 a month. However, at that point, suddenly business began to slow to a standstill.
NO, our country was NOT in a recession then, to the contrary, the economy was good. In addition, I was working harder and longer than I ever imagined anybody owning a business having to work. So what in the heck was going on?
What was the Reason for not Continuing to Grow
I made some calls to other business owners who operated businesses of similar size to mine, and I was told this was “normal.” In fact, one owner chided me saying, “Philip, didn’t you know this would be the case, once you got to this size?” In other words, winning some and losing some, is ” Small Business as Usual!”. In fact, a growing business equates to the business owner, working harder and longer hours. Therefore, enjoy being small!
I have to admit after that phone conversation I was very discouraged and felt I had no options but to continue working like a crazy person or shut down my business and go to work for someone else. Moreover, couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life working like that; never seeming to grow or improve.
All I Had Was a Job! I Didn’t Feel like a Business Owner
Sadly, indulged myself in a pity party for nearly a week and even prayed that somehow I would get an answer on what to do about my situation. But, things only seemed to get worse!
Not so long after that, one of our customers stopped by one morning to make some copies, looked around disgustedly, told me that our place was a complete mess and that I needed to clean it up. How embarrassing! Who did that customer think he was anyway? Why, he had no right to add to my frustration, I thought. NOW I was just ANGRY and even more frustrated.
But, even as I was trying to think of excuses for the way our business looked and the whole &@#! situation, my defenses began to vaporize. I had to admit there were SOME things I just didn’t know about being a “high powered” business owner. I must be doing SOME thing wrong!
Only a few weeks later, the answer to my struggles came, when one of my best friends literally threw a popular business book on systemology right next to me in my car and said, “Philip, you need to read this… it will help you get out of the mess YOU made!” The mess I made?
Humility is a Terrible, if Necessary, Teacher!
Well, I read that darned book, and I DID climb out of MY mess. Amazing! And, to my complete surprise, my business began to grow and even flourish. No more winning some and losing some, without ever getting ahead! In fact, I learned all about business retention and how to create a “System of Retention”.
Because of our dedication to systemology, our customers were no longer coming in the front door and leaving out the back door, due to our poor customer service. Our customer retention rate was phenomenal and business disorder was on the decline.
Fact is, in pretty short order, we began to meet and exceed customer expectations, and they began telling others about our quality and great service.
In conclusion, we are still in the process of deliberate and continuous improvement. Although we sold our printing company and started a new company we still promote Systemolgoy. In fact, our Job Shop Management Software and a Field Service Management Software all feature built-in quality control systems.
The answer to business retention and having a symphony of order in your business, is SYSTEMOLOGY,
Did I mention? Great systems work!