Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Having a great product or good prices does not excuse stinking service. In fact, I have seen excellent service cover up for boring products.
With this in mind, I would like to share with you, a number of tips, which I have practiced over the years.
I once went to collect my passport photographs from a nearby photo studio. The vehicle, which I had picked at the local car park was waiting for me, so I asked the guy behind the counter to please hurry up so that I wouldn’t have to ‘pay through my nose’ for my fare home. The more I seemed impatient and in a hurry, the more the attendant ‘took his time’.
Needless to say, I decided to find another photo studio for my next set of passport photographs. Many people make excuses such as, “this is Nigeria”. The truth is that, this is Nigeria and Nigeria is changing. Old business habits will have to be broken. This country can no longer afford to have people dragging their feet all day long and doing two-hour jobs in ten hours. Slothfulness is destructive because it is wasteful. Time is more precious than money.
- One way to be efficient with your time is to have your work organized so that you will always know where everything is kept. Computerization also aids organization.
Invest as much as possible in Information Technology. One major lesson that I learnt from living and working abroad is that organizing yourself is an investment that will yield great dividends. Europeans can spend 90% of their time on planning and organization and just 10% of their time on implementation. When action is taken, it is taken with the utmost precision.
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- Buy the right equipment and systems. Re-invest your business proceeds in your work so that you will have the right tools to work with. The right tools will help you work faster. I have seen too many businesses where the business owner spends most of the proceeds from the business on travelling abroad and acquiring real estate while their staff struggle to work efficiently at their cash-cow business.
- Invest in staff training and development. It is a pity that not enough business owners understand the value of well trained staff: (What if we train our staff and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay?)
- Where you can make a phone call, do not make a trip. Thank God for WhatsApp video, MS Teams, Skype, and a number of other applications for virtual meetings. When you can send an e-mail, do not write a letter. Save the trees.
- Kill procrastination or it will kill your business. Whatever can be done in 10 minutes or less, get it done immediately. Do not fill your to-do list with menial tasks.
- Use spare time to do spare things. Do not waste spare time. Use it to plan, correspond, clean your environment, read, organize your work, whatever. Do not use business time to read books. Organization of time for a specific purpose is a form of discipline.