Innovation has dramatically changed the business environment. Technology has made information more accessible. Globalization has increased competition. We’ve moved into an age of instant gratification that has shortened the period over which success is measured. If a client can’t get the right answers from you immediately, they get it elsewhere. Yikes!
Business is moving at such an accelerated pace that I often question if we’ve lost a vital connection to our clients and ourselves. That was the topic during a recent conversation with a colleague. We began to look back, with great fondness, to how “old school” business succeeded.
Although we love how innovation has allowed our small business to be more competitive, there are some aspects of business “back in the day” that have been lost in the digital translation.
The Way Back Machine of Small Business
“Way back when” or “when I was your age” were terms commonly heard growing up. Intended to demonstrate how easy I had it, my parents shared their experiences to prove how the world changed.
Respectfully, to the contemporary business owner of today, I’m reminded that, “way back when”, business succeeded because…
- Customer service was handled rapidly and with respect. The customer was right and each transaction was handled accordingly.
- Phone calls were answered promptly and politely – by a live person!
- Commitments were kept – even if it meant longer hours to keep your word.
- Excellence was the minimum acceptable standard of work – not an option.
- Clients were favored – not fired.
- Loyalty was treasured and aspired to achieve with each client interaction.
- Mistakes were readily admitted and corrected – not blamed on others.
- Self-service wasn’t part of the business lexicon. That was the job of the business.
Bringing Back “Old School”
The term “old school” conjures up images from the past. Although some consider it to be “old-fashioned”, “old school” is looked upon with high regard and respect.
Today’s modern business can benefit from a few “old school” business practices like those mentioned above.
In what appears to be a less-connected, self-serviced world of today’s business, going “old school” undoubtedly puts your business head and shoulders above your competition!