Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is it the economy or you?

My good friend Rick recently had a blog post about 'the economy' and how business people like to blame it for the shortcomings of their business.  It resonated so much with me that I had to respond and wanted to share it with my readers.  My comment is below...

Is the economy the real problem?

There isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't complain about our crappy economy.

I was in the restaurant industry for seven years. In those seven years I became accustomed to my colleagues complaining a sucky environment. I used to nod but I have never supported that position. I can testify that in my time of being in the restaurant industry I never had one declining year in combined sales. Why was my business growing when others were failing? Is that indicative a failing economy?

Granted there are times when there's an economic slowdown and many companies and industries suffer from the economic slowdown.  Although 2008 was tough on communities that had huge layoffs, mine was not one of them. The economy is our scapegoat. And that's not just.

Here are some of my experience over the last four weeks:

I called a roofer to fix my roof. He showed up the same day to assess the damages. I called three times to get a price quote. He never returned any of my calls.  After four weeks, I had to call someone else.

I needed some drywall done. My drywall guy took 5 months to show up. When he finally did show up he told me it was one week job. One week turned into three weeks. The quality was ok but the inconvenience of living in dust for three weeks was too much. I'm sure he'll blame the economy as less people use his services.

I had a plumbing problem. Plumber told me he was really busy for two days, but promised to assess the problem on day three. That was three weeks ago. Where is my plumber? I'm sure the economy has something to do with his declining sales.

I had to call an electrician four times in order to get him to install the wiring required for my hot tub. I haven't received his invoice yet. Maybe he'll have to call me four times to get paid. Would that be acceptable? And now I have to call him back because he didn't finish the work that he promised he would. Again I'm sure the economy will be the blame for any downsizing of his business.

I wanted a hot tub. So I visited two local companies and asked for a quote. One company took three weeks to respond to my request. They were too late, I already made my decision. Again the damn economy will be the downfall of another local company.

If you're in business, do yourself a favor. Blame the things you can control and stop worrying about the things you can't. Unless you're in the shoe business and everybody stops growing feet, the economy is probably not your problem. Newsflash you're the problem!

Face the music.  Put on your big girl panties. Stop blaming everyone but yourself, and get to work. The economy should be blaming you for defamation. You're hurting the economy by giving crappy service.

I spoke to a local restaurant owner today. I asked him if he accepted American Express because I had to bring someone out for lunch next week and our company uses AMEX for entertainment expenses. He said, 'no, we don't take Amex.' I asked, 'why don't you sign up? I could go there for business and you would probably get more clients. Its the most popular corporate card in the world.' He said, 'Yeah, sorry for the inconvenience, we don't accept it.'
I just don't understand why people don't try to please their customers.

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