As stated in a previous post, about a year ago I started mowing lawns with my two sons. I am trying to teach them a few things. First: the importance of hard work. I know many young men who do not understand the value of hard work. I do not want my sons to be included among them.
Second, I am trying to teach my sons some elementary principles about small business. Most often, I’m looking for principles that apply to all of life, not just business. For example, one of the first lessons I taught them was this: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So, when we show up at a house for the first time, the boys go to the front door, introduce themselves, and let the customer know that we are here to mow their lawn (of course, I have already communicated with the home-owner the time that we will be arriving).
Additionally, however, we are extremely careful to pay attention to detail, especially the first time we mow. I explain, “When the customer comes to look at the job you have done, you want the customer to feel like he or she got MORE than they expected.” In other words, OVER-deliver. Our customers expect us to mow their grass. However, in an effort to go above-and-beyond, we also trim, edge, and sweep. “The customer should be impressed with your work and effort. If the customer is NOT impressed, then he/she will not want to continue the relationship. One of the best ways to build your business is by word-of-mouth. You want your customers to tell their friends about the wonderful two boys who are doing an incredible job with their lawn.”
Finally, before we leave, I ask the boys to return to the front door, let the customer know that we have finished the job, and ask, “Are you happy with the job we did? Is there anything else can do for you while we are here?”
Almost anybody can just mow grass. Do ordinary tasks in extraordinary ways!