As a business owner, you always need to have your eye on the big picture. It’s up to you to be aware of potential opportunities and threats and to determine the direction that your business will take. However, this does not mean that you can afford to neglect the details. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference between a business that is successful and one that is not. Here are some reasons why you must pay attention to the little things:
It gives your customers confidence in you.
When you demonstrate that you are on top of the details, it gives your customers confidence in your ability to handle complicated matters. Often your customers’ perception of your business is actually a combination of several small details. For example, have you ever noticed how bad it looks when one of the letters burns out on a business’ outside sign and they don’t fix it? Or, what do you think when you reach a business’ voicemail and the date that they give on the outgoing message is from two weeks ago? Being on top of the details communicates excellence to your customers.
What’s little to you may not be little to your customers.
Sometimes your perception of what constitutes a small detail is completely different from your customers’. What appears insignificant to you could be vitally important to them. For example, think of a restaurant that provides a colouring sheet and crayons to customers with children. While this extra touch may be easily forgotten by the waitress, consider the difference that it can make to the mother who has to entertain her toddler until the food comes. Don’t presume to know what is irrelevant to your customer; do everything well and you’re sure to make them happy.
Sometimes small things add up to big things.
Big problems that can sink a business often start out as small details. For example, if customers find that you regularly don’t have products in stock, or that you take too long to get back to them when they leave you a message, they may decide that doing business with you is frustrating and move on to your competition. It won’t take many customers leaving to impact your business’ bottom line.
If you’re a big picture thinker, you may feel that you don’t have the time or even the desire to pay attention to the details. This attitude will hurt your business. If you aren’t capable of giving the details the attention they deserve, hire someone who is; it could make a big difference. Remember the old proverb: “For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail”.