Attention to detail will pay off for your small business brand

Little things matter, especially when you’re trying to build a brand for your small business. I was reminded of this on Sunday evening as I sat in a waterfront restaurant in New Bern, NC, where I had gone for a long weekend of R&R. Once I turned my eyes from the incredible view outside and looked down at the table, I immediately saw that the bread plate in front of me was chipped. Hmmm…chipped china at a supposedly upscale restaurant? Not a great first impression.

Fortunately, this was not an omen of a bad experience to come; the dinner was delicious and the service was impeccable. But it does go to show you how even small things do count in making up a customer’s overall impression, especially that of a first-time customer who has nothing else to judge you by other than a chipped plate.

Here’s another small example of inattention to detail from my weekend. I was reading the list of amenities in the Guest Services book at the lovely B&B where I was staying. It said each room had a phone and that local calls were free. I looked around my room; there was no phone. Clearly, the inn owners had written this copy 12 years ago when they purchased the B&B and hadn’t updated it since. I assume they removed the phones at some point because everyone now carries a cell phone. They should be reviewing the copy in their Guest Services book at least once a year, if not more often, to make sure the information is up to date.

“9 Ways to Improve Your Attention to Detail” from the American Express Open Forum has great ideas on how you can do a better job paying attention to the little things. I particularly like their advice about making quality non-negotiable. Providing quality is an incredible competitive advance, especially at a time when many small business owners are cutting corners here or there to save time and money. Don’t be a corner-cutter. And make sure your employees aren’t corner-cutters either. Carefully and consistently communicate to them that quality and attention to detail are key elements of the brand you’re building together. There may be no more important message you can give them.


1 comment

  1. good to see this post. keep it on. thanks for sharing this one.

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