The 7 Habits of Highly Chilled
Small Business ownersDependability and inventory management: This is the first article in a monthly series on small business owners I have met or worked with over the years who developed beautiful successful businesses.
Stories of successful real business ownersIn 35 years of doing business and working with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, I’ve learned a very important lesson: Success in small business starts by building great habits. I call these practices the “7 Highly Chilled Habits” and I find they’re best illustrated with the stories of real business owners who I happen to have had the pleasure of coaching. The articles are based on my E-book, The 7 Habits of Highly Chilled Small Business Owners. All of my books and other resources are available for free here
Highly Chilled Habit #1:
To be successful in business, be Dependable
BTW, You can read up on the other highly chilled habits here:
I can’t sell what I don’t stock… Colin
- Read habit #2: Be Specific here
- Read habit #3: Be On Top of the numbers here
- Read habit #4: Be Thrifty here
- Read habit #5: Be Clear here
- Read habit #6: Be Careful here
- Read habit #7: Be Systematic here
When the rosé runs outInventory management: A client I once worked with imports wine from Europe and sells it to restaurants around Australia. One day, a particularly cheeky rosé from his range sold out and his Italian suppliers were running behind with fulfilling orders. The situation wasn’t going to be resolved for at least a month and some of my client’s favourite eateries were going to have to put a different rosé on their menu. Not only were sales lost in that month, some of the substitute rosé from other distributors stuck. My client lost several big accounts and tens of thousands of dollars in revenue throughout that year alone. When working through this challenge with my wine importing client, I was reminded of Colin. I first met Colin in the eighties during my early days as a builder in Sydney. Colin was the most dependable business owner I’ve ever met. Colin owned a builder’s timber and hardware store in the inner city, and I became a regular customer of his. This is his website: http://www.swadlingstimberandhardware.com.au/ . Colin was a grumpy bugger, but he ran an incredibly successful business that was far superior to most of his competitors.
Inventory management is all about trust and dependabilityOne of the things that made Colin’s business so successful was that they always had what we needed in stock. The team virtually never ran out of their product lines and on top of that, they generally provided same-day delivery. I asked Colin once about the enormous range and quantity of stock and inventory he carried. It looked, to my inexperienced self, like an expensive business to run. All that money tied up in inventory, stuff on the shelves. Colin’s response was brilliant in its simplicity and I’ve always remembered it: “I can’t sell what I don’t stock,”. Colin knew that what made people like me come back to him over and over was that I knew I could always depend on him to have what I needed in stock, and what’s more I knew I could depend on his business to get what I need to my sites the same day or no later than the next morning. Colin continued to build a Highly Chilled business as a Highly Chilled small business owner. By the time I left the building industry, he had 6 massive stores in locations all across Sydney and most local professional builders had a trading account with one of them. We all relied on that simple philosophy of inventory management of his. My wine importing client has now also become dependable. He now holds at least a 3-month inventory of any label he sells because Highly Chilled business owners make a habit of making great promises to their customers. What’s more, their customers know they’re in the habit of keeping them! More about growing your business here.
Your homework (the chilled kind)Here’s a short exercise you could carry out to start the process of making this habit your own. Practice Highly Chilled habit #1: Take a look at all of the promises you make to your clients and make sure you are dependable. Ask yourself: Do I go to every length I can in order to fulfil every promise I make? Do I, like Colin, have everything that my clients expect me to have in stock? Or, if I say that I deliver in 24 hrs, do I actually deliver in 24 hrs – every time? Hungry for less Netflix, more chill? Explore all 7 habits. you can download the whole E-book for free here
Next Month, We’ll talk about Habit #2: Be Specific and my brother Sebastiaan in Holland