The Tuesday Bit: Excellence

Practice Excellence

Do you provide excellence or are you just average? Here’s why I ask…

I stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops to grab an americano the other day. It costs €2.70 for a small strong coffee, probably 20¢ dearer than the next most dear coffee on or near the city, and 40¢ dearer than the coffee shop right next door.

This place opened up a few years ago right next door to an already established coffee shop. Crazy you might think. How can they open a coffee shop right next to an established coffee shop, charge way more for a coffee and expect to succeed?

Fact is they are still there almost 2 years on and they seem to be doing well that is despite being more expensive than any other local coffee shop in the area, and there are quite a few.

I buy there for coffee for two reasons…

1. The experience of buying coffee from people who know their shit, deliver consistency and are pleasant to deal with.

2. Their coffee is better than most coffee that I can buy anywhere around.

Fact is I’m likely to go out of my way to buy coffee from these guys even though it’s more expensive than the place right next door!

So what can service business owners learn from this?

I suggest that we need to deliver more in terms of quality workmanship and charge accordingly. Now that might seem simplistic and difficult to grasp but that’s only because we’ve been schooled that cheaper is better, that people will buy our services because we are cheaper than the rest.

This is a flawed mentality and one that will get you in trouble sooner or later. So here’s what to do…

  1. Understand that you have no competition other than the competition you set for yourself.
  2. Go and find out what the average charge is amongst other similar service providers and add 20%. That’s your rate.
  3. Bring a level of service to match your price and ensure your staff are trained to deliver it.
  4. Get business like, get concerned with bringing quality and don’t settle for customers who won’t pay your fee.

Excellence is something not every service provider practices, and that’s because most of us believe that it costs us more. It doesn’t, not necessarily anyway. What it does do however is provide tons of extra value for the right client.

When you practice excellence you’ll turn many off in the beginning. Some clients will try to force you to comply with their idea of “the right price”. They might even see you via their clouded filters as a rip off.

But if you believe in what you are doing and keep going then your clients will eventually be reflected in your service.

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