Well it’s turning out to be quite a normal year for Amerivet Services. While there have been a couple of little surprises in the timing of business cycles, the psychology of things is pretty much the same.
It’s easy to put things off. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right? Well, the problem with tomorrow is it might be raining, or snowing, or the wind is blowing, or you have a family situation, or you just plain don’t feel like it then either. So then it gets put off until a different tomorrow, and things go downhill until it becomes a crisis.
I work pretty hard to look ahead, be proactive, and avoid train wrecks, but quite honestly there are only 24 hours in a day, and so I have to prioritize things a bit. This time of year we have so much going on that typically I don’t get my snowplow put on the truck until the snow is 4″ deep and still coming down. Yes, it’s my fault. Yes, it happens almost every year. Do I think it will ever change? Probably not, because I usually have bigger priorities this time of year and I’m a very busy person, so I’m forced to “strategically procrastinate.” How’s that for an excuse?
Where I don’t procrastinate is where our customers are concerned. I work very hard to treat every customer as a priority, get every project completed as quickly and professionally as possible, and then move on to the next one and repeat the process. Every customer deserves to be as big of a priority as I can manage.
People ask me quite often, “Who’s your most important customer?” The answer is very simple: “The one I’m working for right now.” I don’t stop one project to go start another one, then end up in a pickle with the first one. It’s just not how I work. I handle every project on a first come, first served basis. The only thing that might change that is if there’s a shortage of material, or if the customer has a delay of some kind. Even then, I do everything I can to come back quickly and complete the project. I don’t like things hanging. “Done” is my favorite term.
I have a sense of urgency about our customers’ problems, and it’s important to me to see them solved quickly. I constantly work to make our work processes more efficient, and I’m always looking for new tools and equipment that make financial sense for our company. I have yet to buy a tool that hasn’t paid off in a hurry for both us and our customers (though there was that one Chinese plasma cutter….).
When you’re in business, or an employee of a business, a sense of urgency is an important quality to have. Customers see it. Employers see it. Good customers and good employers will reward you for it. Even if you’re forced to procrastinate in certain situations, make sure they’re the right situations, and you’ll do pretty well for yourself.
Speaking of priorities, I probably won’t be writing a Thanksgiving message this year. We’ve got a pretty busy week coming up, and I’m going to focus on customer needs up until the Thanksgiving holiday. Then, I’m going to focus on family for a few days.
All the best to all of you. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!