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Why policies are destructive for businesses

How often do you really play “The Office game” at work? Personally, I have been practicing this week and it went really well. After receiving a severe allergy of words like ”quality assurance,” ”ensure,” ”situational leadership” I took on the word ”policy”.

The word ”policy” signals rigid and is impossible to reason with – in short a 36 page document from a group of managers who have 40 000 between themselves and their customers.

Suddenly it struck me that a policy's job perhaps is about creating a higher minimum level and that's why we address the issue today. We will talk about your lowest level and how you can make a clear policy for it.

A high minimum makes customers happier and your wallet fatter.

I'm guessing that you, like me, are having a job that you really love working with and that there are lots of things that you love to do and that competes for your time. Perhaps you enjoy playing golf, fishing, working out, being with friends, plan amazing projects, drinking wine and eating good food with friends.

But at work – that's where you have the challenge of making your clients happy and, if you'll excuse the language, beat the shit out of your competitors by being the better option. That's what's fun. It's fun to try to be the best. And being the best means you always have to think of how to make your customers happy. That you're always trying to surprise them with new ideas that will help them so much, that they want to pay you for it.

And the opposite: If you are not sure that what you offer is clearly attractive to a group of people, it's bye, bye. And if you don't make sure that customers in different ways in your marketing will know what it is that you offer, it's also bye, bye. These are the rules. They are both fair and merciless.

And what about the policy?

Right. The policy. It's very simple. Just take out the strongest and the best thing you can do for your customers and move it to the top of your daily list of things to do. And turn it into a question for yourself.

I have a brass plate on the office toilet door (please, don't tell anyone) It says: “How can you defend your place in your customers' hearts today?”

It's actually the only policy I need. What about you?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.