Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Here are the Ten Commandments for maximum (particularly home business) success. Thou shalt follow them if profits be thy goal.

January 26, 2014 by  

Author’s program note. As I write this article, the stirring chords of Elmer Bernstein’s score for the 1956 classic “The Ten Commandments” are ringing in my ear, by turns sultry, bombastic, holy and hubristic, suitable for philistines everywhere, a supreme illustration of why we go to the movies in the first place and why we always will; “of course, I want butter on my popcorn!”

Specifically I am listening to the part that accompanies the Hebrew slaves as they leave Egypt and with joyful muddle begin their historic trek to freedom. As visualized by director Cecil B. DeMille (who had the chuptzah to cast himself as the voice of God on Mt. Sinai), it is a moment of unsurpassed happiness, never mind that there’s a whopping anachronism every minute. A man who could rewrite the Bible could hardly be expected to toe the historic line. He wanted a Hollywood-style exodus… and what Mr. DeMille wanted, Mr. DeMille got.

Thus, for this article, go to any search engine and find the music that helped make this clunker the seventh highest grossing film of all times. Well might Nefertari, Throne Princess of Egypt, (played by Anne Baxter as if dressed for a rendezvous with a pool boy in Bevery Hills) say “O, Moses, Moses” and then say it over and over again. The folks in the grand days certainly knew what they were doing… The real question is, do you? Let’s put you under the microscope and see.

1) Thou shalt not have money as thy prime objective. Of course you want to make money with your business, as much money as possible. That must never be forgotten or disputed. However, it’s how you set about getting this money that’s the key to the situation. Consider this…

Years ago there was a program on t.v. which gave as its prize so many minutes in a toy shop. You could rush hither and yon grabbing everything within reach in an orgy of greed and high-octane avarice, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, quick you’ve only got 3 seconds left. This, I shouldn’t have to tell you is NOT how your business should be run; capturing customers, squeezing customers, maximum fleecing not only permitted but encouraged. Exhilarating this might be… even profitable this may be (for a time) but it isn’t business. It’s organized larceny.

Business has a different objective than merely holding customers upside down and emptying their pockets by any and all means, speed being the objective, not service. For those in this category, “Service with a smile” is a snare capturing the unwary, the equivalent of the big bad wolf dressing up in grandma’s bloody duds, “All the better to eat you with, my dear” the corporate logo and policy.

2) Thou shalt tend your business so it supports you for the long-term, not just the short. The first home-based business I remember was my Uncle Ray’s farm cut with sweat and determination from the great windswept prairies of Illinois. There he defined for me, with few words but maximum dedication what one must do to make business work. What he did he made clear, he did for himself and wife, but far more importantly he did for his three children… and so, sustained by his plan, he did not merely work the land; he tended the land upon which his business was based; he cherished and honored the land. You must do the same.

3) Thou shalt give value to thy customer. We all have before us an enterprise that personifies, exemplifies and signifies how a customer must be treated; that is, if you want to gain the adherence and loyalty of that customer. That enterprise is Wal-Mart. . (founded 1962), and it became in short-order the premier retailer of the Great Republic, thus the greatest business of the greatest country on Earth.

How did they do it? In a single word, “value.” Not only did they make a fetish of delivering value, they turned that delivery into a live, mesmerizing event as they, with art and skill, slashed prices before your grateful eyes, their every move calculated to capture not just eye but time, heart and their next purchase and the one after that… Money, you see, follows value. Thus delivering customer value is the first, the last, the only thing.

4) Honor thy customer. We all “know” the importance of customers; at least we think we do. But this is a promise far too often honored in the breach, which is to say, hardly honored at all. Your policy should be encapsulated in these words: “Check with us first. Our value cannot be beat. See for yourself.” Then do an apples-to-apples strict comparison with how you support your customers by actively enabling them to retain more of their money. Don’t just think it… don’t just do it… always make sure you have informed your customers about what you’ve done. In this age of e-mail, blogs, and video marketing, that should be a piece of cake.

5) Thou shalt try to buy your own product. As I write this article, it is just after Christmas. This year my holiday was marred by companies over promising and under delivering products and services. The Boston Globe, for one, proved again that no matter what great things are promised, the failure to deliver the basics makes a mockery of each and every grandiloquent assertion from the boardroom. Words, just words; each more suspect than the last.

Thus, day after day, I called and yet again attempted to use a simple credit card to order home delivery (and across the street from Harvard University no less) of my daily newspaper. To no avail. Calls were made, calls were answered, more pledges were made, more disappointment (and some hot language) engendered. Nothing worked. Thus did John Henry, brand-new owner of this venerable rag, show me what my subscription was worth and so punched another hole in his sinking ship. Copywriters might ply their motivating trade… but it all came to naught in the subscription department. If he tried to order his own paper, he’d see for himself… I hope his experience parallels mine so he gets the whole picture of muddle and rooted inefficiency.

6) Thou shalt handle complaints with speed, thoroughness and zest. Want to know how ordinary people handle complaints? They don’t. They toss them into the circular file with the most cursory of readings; then to the land fill. You, however, you who aspire to greatness and greater profits, must do better. You must see that each complaint points the way to improvements of every kind. Thus, properly handled, each complaint leads to increased profits. Is that how you do things now?

Consider the way you handled your last complaint. This may be painful, but no pain, no gain. Did you handle the complaint at once? Or did you put it in the “Raven” file, to be dealt with “Nevermore”? I think we both know, don’t we?

Now hear this, the way you handle complaints determines not merely how fast and how certainly your business will grow, but whether you have a business at all. Act accordingly… and do it with a smile, even it that smile be more forced than sincerely meant. In this department as all others, practice makes perfect.

7) Know thy staff. Here again is a commandment clearly known but too seldom honored. Do you even know the names of the people who are straining every sinew to advance you? Or are these just numbers on a page? Try this.

See how long it takes you to write the names of the staff members you are immediately responsible for. Do these names come easily, or must you must strain to remember?

Staff members must be honored, not just dealt with as quickly and cursorily as possible. Know their names, their family details, their good points, and bad. This is not merely your job; it must be seen as your privilege. There is after all no greater honor than helping a fellow citizen of Spaceship Earth rise. Exercise this privilege at every opportunity.

8) Reward both customers and staff spontaneously, when they least expect it. After you become an adult, most of life’s surprises are unwelcome, involving as they so often do frantic intelligence about health and financial matters. Such surprises unsettle and upset, and are not at all what I have in mind.

Instead, become the master of unanticipated surprises that brighten lives and help build lifelong relationships, for these relationships are absolutely essential for business and personal success and satisfaction.

Thus, seek out customers and employees and give them unexpected presents ranging from a pair of movie passes, gift certificates to a fine retail store, or a week-end in Cancun. Your kindnesses will never be forgotten… and if that isn’t good business, I don’t know what is.

9) Thou shalt pay your suppliers at once. Whilst I was writing this article, I received an SOS call from one of my suppliers, a man whose organizational skills are (I’m chagrined to say) “challenged”. He needed to pay some crucial bills and would I mind wiring funds for work he had not even invoiced me? I was able, and so the bank wire went out that very day. His thanks were immediate, warm and effusive.

Why do such a good deed? Because with it you have bought yourself a future favor for need yet unknown. Here is a variation on this theme. When I’m able, I often send funds “on account” to my various suppliers; that is for no invoice in particular but my account balance in general and not yet communicated to me. This never fails to astonish these suppliers, who, like you, live in the area of “slow pays” or, worst, “no pays.” Your name will be blessed accordingly.

10) Finally, today’s last Commandment: visit me at jeffreylantarticles.com. There you will find over a thousand articles of my authorship, a cornucopia of practical business details and timely profit-making information, so beneficial to you that you’ll never need to be commanded to use it but will embrace it with joy. After all, such information will deliver your personal exodus from wage slavery and give you the financial freedom you want. And we can all say “O Moses, Moses” to that!

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. at www.worldprofit.com, providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Join NOW at http://20waystoprofit.com/associates Republished with author’s permission by Patrice Porter http://20WaystoProfit.com. Check out Detox My PC -> http://www.20WaystoProfit.com/?rd=hp7KJNO9

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