Desperation, frustration, limitations, lack of funding, under-staffing, lack of knowledge, being spread out thin… and so on! It’s painful to see that I too was in that place in my business; where a new client who needed a product was more of an inconvenience because meeting the request required more resources, cutting in to our bottom line, a bottom line that was still in the negative. When your business costs more than what you are currently bringing in there is a mentality that can begin to eat away at you. You create what i call, “the small business mind of entitlement.”
you begin to operate out of lack because let’s face it; abundance feels scares, and its starting to show in the way you think and service your clients!
You will see this mentality quite often but you just have to know what you’re looking for. For example, let’s look at an actual experience I had with a mom and pop restaurant . I walked in during prime time- it’s lunch and their teenage daughter is doing her homework; she’s taking up a 4 person table in a restaurant that holds a max of 6 four person tables, it’s a small space and the restaurant is full. Where will I sit? I had to order my lunch to go.
How about walking into a florists, it’s your mothers birthday and you want to buy her favorite tropical flowers. The owner doesn’t carry that specific flower because it turns out to be quite expensive and the life expectancy on that flower isn’t worth it, plus, she doesn’t have many people asking for that flower anyway! (granted, this part may not be made known to you) You ask her if she knows of any place who carries the flower and she quickly proceeds with a No, and begins to show you alternatives that don’t come close to what you’re looking for.
Let’s stop for a second and think about the two examples I just gave you; see the similarities? If you don’t, don’t worry, I’ll explain soon enough.
Now let me take you to a local Coffee house owned by a young beautiful couple. It’s a weekend and you walk in to have a business meeting. You order your coffee and sit down with your client who you raved about this place to. Soon after you sit down to start your meeting, the husband comes in with his two adorable kids, he has grocery bags in his hands and starts to unload his car full of goodies. Meanwhile his kids are sat at a table outside in a busy street left to stay still while the groceries are unloaded. Soon enough a desperate mother runs out of the kitchen yelling for her 2 year old son who ran off into the street. His 7 year old sister was supposed to watch him. (thankfully he was caught before running into traffic)
If you’re anything like me, you appreciate small business- and some of these scenarios may not seem to be a big deal, or maybe you identify with these small business owners. I want you to look a little deeper with me and explore the reasons why this ‘small business mind of entitlement is potentially killing your business.’
I read once, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” One can argue that this mentality is too extreme, let me assure you; in my experience you have to have this mentality with everything you do. holding yourself to higher standards is where you want to be.
Operating out of lack in these scenarios means that you put the customer second. You and your needs come first. If the client wants to be serviced by you, your client should be okay with putting up with your lack of service, inconsistency, and carelessness. This is having a small business mind of entitlement. People are extremely understanding but do not sacrifice the service you give for your current needs and wants, it will bite you in the butt in the form of bad reviews and or one less customer. instead of building up your business for success, you’re building it up for a great fall.
How could these businesses act differently? For starters, here are some solutions that you can implement in any scenario:
Never take up usable space while serving your clients
Offer the client to call other providers in the area who may have the particular product readily available. (you are providing a great service by doing this even if you don’t get the sale) If no one has the specific product, you can count that this customer is yours!
As cute as kids are, you can’t run a business and take care of children at the same time, you will always choose one over the other. it’s not fair to you, the kids or your clients. *in no particular order (find care)
Other examples of this ‘Small Business Mind of Entitlement’ are as followed:
Closing during regular business hours
Talking “at” your clients and customers
Getting an attitude with your clients or customers
Going back on your word
Making promises you don’t intend to keep
Producing a product or service that is sub-par and expecting the client to accept it
You make up the rules as you go and everyone else gets the short end of the stick
*This list can just keep going! I’ll stop here (for now)
operating with a small business mind of entitlement is easy to do. Be open to self evaluation and start making the changes that are necessary to exceed the industry norms in your field! We all have to start somewhere, but the real progress comes when you can look at yourself and realize there’s work to do- and do it.