Communicate Your Business Standards To Your Team

Make Small Adjustments And It’ll Make All The Difference

I went to a new lunch place the other week. For the record, I’m a creature of habit. If anyone took a contract out on me, they’d get to knock off early! I tend to be in the same place, same time, every day.

Last month, though, on my way into town, my eye was caught by the beautiful branding of a Middle Eastern café. I’m always on the look-out for SMEs who are killing it in the ‘enticing new customers’ department. I said to myself: “Nick, let’s not have the usual lunch today. Let’s try something new and eat falafel from a great-looking caff!”

Three Steps To Café Heaven:

Step 1: Tempt Your Customer Inside. I saw this place, swooned, walked right in! Tick.

Step 3: Offer a Top-Notch Product. It was goddamn delicious! Tick.

“Hang on, Nick,” I hear you say, confused. “Where’s Step 2?”

Well, here’s the problem. Step 2: Provide First-Rate Service & Ambiance, was a mess. Imagine a fancy Middle Eastern eaterie that’s slamming your lunch about like a 2am kebab shop. The staff looked bored when I walked in and took their time taking my order. Food was pushed carelessly instead of placed on the tables. There were piles of used food boxes on the counter as I paid. I felt like the whole joint couldn’t really be bothered, TBH. It was disheartening.

But luckily, as I said, Step 3 was a success. The food was five-star good.

There’s a Middle Eastern saying: ‘Whoever burns their mouth on soup, blows on yoghurt’.

I chose, however, not to be ‘once bitten, twice shy’ and, curious to get a firmer handle on this food-service near-hit, I recently called in again.

This time the owner was front-of-house and Step 2 had stepped up: service and ambiance were closer to being on point. She had no idea, though, that when she was away, it was different. And I wanted to work with this owner/manager to see how to help her elevate her offer. I felt it needed only the smallest of tweaks to create a massively different impact.

There’s another Middle Eastern proverb: ‘A known mistake is better than an unknown truth’.

The big lesson here? Communicate your business standards at all times and make sure they’re adhered to by all your staff. Charisma in business is great – but when you’ve left the room, your employees can often feel like understanding the brand is a bit like grabbing smoke. Get the staff trained right, however, and the business will be shouting your values even when you’re not there.

Would she want my advice? I took the leap and offered her a free analysis. Happily, she turns out to be the type to want to course-correct rather than to ignore; she booked a Clear Ideas clinic. Her ‘labour of love’, as she called it, is so close to perfection that I’m excited to see how fast we can make Step 2 as strong as Steps 1 and 3.

I’ll let you know how things pan out.