Click here to buy Elizabeth’s second book, “What’s in It for Me? Marketing from the Customer’s Point of View.”

A Major Concern

On two separate days last week I took my two German Shepherds into emBark for a bath and nail trim. Heather, the owner and founder of the business, is a client of mine. As I drove away the second day, I realized that I wanted to share with you what I had encountered.

That day I had my young Shepherd who is almost two. Stephanie, who was to give him a bath, said, “I love Shepherds and have two of my own. My older one is four and the young one will be two in April.”

“So you know how long it takes a Shepherd to mature?” I quizzed.

“Oh, yes, my young guy is still quite a puppy,” she replied.

Our conversation was much longer, but I won’t bore you with all the details. I am giving you this excerpt to show how she and Alana, the second employee who was helping me get checked in, enjoy talking about dogs in general and, of course, their dogs in particular.

Their love of dogs showed in their interactions with mine. They treated them as they would treat their own dogs, with loving kindness. They gently encouraged the dog they were handling down the hall to the grooming room. They spoke to the dogs in positive tones.

When dealing with me, they asked questions to clarify exactly what I wanted them to do with each dog, how to reach me when the bath and nail trim were done, and how I wanted to pay for the service.

As I drove home with my dog the second day, I thought about one of my major concerns for entrepreneurs such as Heather who owns emBark. That concern is for the entrepreneur to make the transition from working in the business to working on the business. An indicator of this is the owner hiring and training staff that handle customers the same way the owner does. The staff are an extension of the owner’s enthusiasm for the business and its customers. In this case, that enthusiasm is for dogs and dog owners.

Her staff embody the business’s tag line, “Owning a dog is a journey…Are you ready to emBARK?”

Why is this so important?

A business’s staff are its most important marketing tool. They are the ones who ensure that what the business wants to achieve with its customers actually happens. If they do not deliver the product or service as the business owner intends, the business is not fulfilling its promise to customers, and that likely causes them to be unhappy. When they do deliver it, customers are happy, and the business thrives.

That reinforces the owner’s actions to work on the business rather than in it and to hire and train people in the manner that she has been doing.

Are you working on your business or in it?

Have you hired and trained your staff to treat customers as you want them to be treated?

This week’s marketing trivia challenge is What example do you have of how you are working on your business? 

E-mail me your answer.

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