Competition Customer service Management Marketing Strategy

Quality: As your small business grows, it’s more critical

The Lady in Red
photo credit: Hamed Saber

Have you ever been 1 in a million? If so, you’re one of those hypothetical software bugs that programmers talk about as they work on a routine that processes transactional data in a new system.

During that conversation, the pragmatist in the group mentions the possibility of a problem with the programming in a certain situation. The rest of the group rolls their eyes and one says “That’s a one in a million shot, we don’t have to program anything for that.”

And maybe, just maybe they’re right. Until they find real success.

How do I define “real success”? Let’s take a random number. Suppose you consider success to be 1000 customers.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that those 1000 customers average 10000 transactions each, per day, in your software.

That’s 10 million transactions per day. And while this is somewhat of an edgy assumption, 10 million opportunities to stumble across a one in a million issue means that 10 times today, your phone is going to be lit up by a ticked off client.

Tomorrow, the same thing. And the day after.

In many situations, good enough is good enough (those of you who follow Dan Kennedy know exactly what I mean). However, the problem with waiting to fix these kinds of things is that they tend to crop up when your quality can least afford to get in your way.

  • On the Friday after Thanksgiving if you are in retail.
  • On the Monday after Thanksgiving if you have an e-commerce store.
  • On April 1st through 15th if you are in the tax business.
  • In June if you are a wedding photographer.

You get the idea.

Where are the critical locations for improving quality in your business?