Weekly Business Idea

June 28, 2013 – Entitlement

Posted on | June 28, 2013 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Do you come to expect certain things?  Are there perks of your job that you feel you have a right to?  Do your employees and customers owe you something?

Expansion of the Idea:

All of us have seen the headline stories about the pro athletes or celebrities that have come to expect certain preferential treatment from others. For most of us, this behavior is over the top and not very flattering.  We don’t like it and we would be appalled if our kids acted like this.  Yet, as much as we don’t like it, the entitlement mindset is gradually creeping into our everyday culture.  We have seen social security be transformed from a benefit to an entitlement and in a lot of cases a necessity.

I was vividly reminded yesterday about how this can hit small business owners and employees.  A former client needed me to answer some questions from a bank in connection with a loan application.  While I was happy to help, I needed this person to sign a form authorizing me to do this.  The form is required under Federal law and on top of that I would have required it to make sure that I had authority to properly answer the questions.  This form protected the ex-client’s financial information.  This person was extremely upset in my office about the necessity of coming into my office and signing the form.  She slammed the door on the way out and then proceeded to slam the door in her car.  I proceeded to call back the bank and answer the questions that they needed.

Instead of thanking me for helping her without any advance notice, she was annoyed about being inconvenienced.  My team and I discussed what it would be like to work for her.  Unanimously, we agreed that we could not.  Everything about her business had to be focused on serving her.  This creates problems when you have a cash flow issue or a staffing issue or any other issue that might surface.  When there are conflicts, if they are always settled in favor of the owner, then the business will suffer.  Maybe not right away but it is inevitable.  You will lose your best people.  You will cut back on customer service.  You will stop investing in the business. You will be just a taker.

Peter Drucker, the noted management guru, once said, “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”  He did not say the purpose of a business is to serve the owner.  What is the purpose of your business?  Have you let entitlement creep into your mindset?

Ideas to think about:

  1. How would your customers define your business purpose?
  2. How would your team define your business purpose?
  3. Are your systems and operations geared towards the customer or the owner?
  4. Do you practice gratitude daily for what you have been given?

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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.