Top notch service, quality and delivering what was promised are essential requirements.
Author of 28 books and more than 400 videos and DVDs on Planning, Marketing, Sales and Business Management, Luiz Almeida Marins Filho is an anthropologist, professor and business consultant, besides being an entrepreneur in the agribusiness, education and communication sectors. He presents the weekly television show ‘Motivation & Success with Professor Marins’ and is considered one of Brazil’s most renowned speakers.
HOW TO MAKE A SMALL BUSINESS A WINNER?
A small business has the possibility to customize customer service in a way that a large company just isn’t able to do. And what the customer really wants are three things: (a) excellent service; (b) fulfillment of what’s promised; (c) product/service quality. It’s only with this focus that a small business can succeed.
Quality is the minimum ante to sit at the game table and start playing. Without offering this, any company will be out of the market.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE IN A SMALL BUSINESS?
The owner or leader must constantly set an example of excellence and not accept the lack of quality in any way. It’s no use making speeches. Examples are what count.
HOW TO MAKE THE CUSTOMER REALIZE THAT YOU’RE DIFFERENT FROM COMPETITORS?
The customer, most certainly, will notice if you’re really different and not just say that you are. The problem lies in trying to differentiate yourself in ways that don’t add value.
WHAT’S THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING IN THIS PROCESS?
Simple and effective planning is essential. No cyclist will pedal enthusiastically without knowing where he wants to go. But it’s necessary to be simple. It doesn’t help to plan things that can’t be implemented, either for lack of resources or for being out of the actual reality of the company and the ability of its employees.
HOW TO MOTIVATE THE TEAM?
Dialoguing, explaining, giving the example, opening up learning opportunities. Motivation is not self-help or emotion. It’s necessary to find the “reasons” for which people feel comfortable to give their best.
HOW TO PUT TOGETHER A TEAM THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE?
Excellent people are employed or must be found. So, the recruitment process is critical. We must devote body and soul to find good and reliable people to work. Look for people rather than curricula. This is an ongoing task, both to meet the company’s growing needs, and to replace employees who don’t adapt. Many business owners expect good people to seek them out, but they’re the ones who have to look for these people and then train them, qualify them, and motivate them.
HOW TO PERCEIVE CHANGES AND BE PREPARED FOR THEM?
It’s necessary to make a company from the outside in. We have to leave the office and attend events, trade shows, conferences, lectures, exhibitions. The lazy entrepreneur won’t be successful. Only by participating and being attentive will he be aware and prepared for the changes.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF DOING THINGS LIKE THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DONE?
Successful people “push themselves forward” and overcome the laziness to study, go out, learn, discuss, travel, visit companies, attend events related to their business. Accommodation is a disease that affects thousands of entrepreneurs who, instead of acting, only cry and complain.