Who’s got your back?

Who has your back business-wise?

This entry is from guest blogger, Cindy Hartman of Hartman Inventory Systems.  a business and personal property inventory company

When you call a service company, you expect someone to arrive at the agreed-upon time (unfortunately, often that is within a 4-hour timeframe – but that’s a whole other issue).

For instance, a repair service for heating and air conditioning, the electric or gas company, a handy-man or remodeler, carpet cleaners, etc., all will give you a time and normally do show up within that specified time slot.

But what happens when they’re late? Of course, the utilities don’t have competition, but those that do, does this negatively impact how you feel about them? Will their tardiness encourage you to call someone else next time? Do you wonder if they really want your business? After all, they have a staff of employees … can’t someone arrive when promised? Even if late, they normally do arrive. And if they can’t come at the appointed time, you’ll eventually receive a phone call explaining the situation and asking to reschedule.

This brings me to the businesses that are sole proprietorships, the one-man show (or woman), the solo-preneur. What happens when they can’t get there? This happened to me recently. I had computer issues and scheduled a morning for the owner/technician to arrive at 9:00. That time came and went. So did 10:00 and 11:00, which encouraged me to call. I left a message, and an hour later sent an email. Mid-afternoon another phone call and another left voice message. I had plans, and rescheduled my day to be there, only to sit all day for nothing. What happened? I don’t know. I never heard back from him. No apology. No explanation. No “nothing.”

This encouraged me to consider our company. My husband and I are the owners and the service providers. What if we got in an accident? What if we both were sick and couldn’t call our customers who were waiting for us? We wouldn’t have anyone to make that apology and reschedule calls for us, either.

Everyone knows you need an exit strategy and succession plan when you’re a business owner. But few talk about the daily needs for covering emergencies. In a social setting, when some says “I got your back,” they are letting you know they’ll be there for you, no matter what. But what about a company? If you’re a small business owner, who has your back? Who knows how to access your calendar and where your customer files are? Who could make those calls for you if you are unable to?

Some suggestions are a trusted family member, a virtual assistant or a fellow friend/business owner. This small detail could save your reputation. It could also save your business.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Amazing how we're on the same wavelength! I recently considered this when Ashley and I -- plus my husband -- all got a stomach virus.

Since then, I've worked ahead to have blog posts ready to go in the event I get sick. I also spoke to a few writers who are willing to do a few posts for me on short notice if need be.

I had planned to write a post on this, too! :) Amazing how much we think alike.

Did you find someone to re-schedule should you and Mike be unable? (This also could help in the event of a snow storm/power outage so long as your Blackberry still works.) :D