Over the years people have asked me how I decide what to write about in our monthly columns. Often it is noticing something basic and then pondering how it fits into marketing or business operations.
I have a teenager, which means I have to deal with the constant cycle of updating, repairing, and replacing of mobile phones. My normally sure-handed young man occasionally drops his handheld device and, after a few such instances, I found myself at the local iPhone repair store. As I observed the owner working to make the little hand-held computer we call a telephone function properly again, I noticed two pretty obvious things:
To fix something as intricate as a mobile phone, you’d better have a lot of knowledge and you best have the right tools to help you get the job done. That day I realized the same principles hold true in commerce.
Have you ever heard the story of the plumber who charged a customer $150 to fix a clogged pipe?
He went to the house, gathered the information needed, pulled out a wrench and forcefully hit the broken pipe. Before the customer knew it, the pipe was fixed and the water was flowing again. The tradesman gave the customer the bill, prompting the homeowner to ask, “How can you charge me $150 just for hitting a pipe?”
The confident plumber replied, “Well it's $50 for the call and $100 for knowing exactly where to hit the pipe and how hard.”
The iPhone repair guy figured out what was wrong with my son’s phone, pulled out a minuscule instrument from Apple, and proceeded to fix it. He knew what to do and he had the proper tools to make the repair.
It’s the same in your business. Employ people who can help you fix what is broken, give them the knowledge they need, and make sure they have the pieces on hand to take care of the job. If you decide to fix something yourself – you’ll need to follow the same basic steps.
While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s the simplest observations that frequently make the biggest difference in business, marketing, and operations.