A customer called today and said “I don’t know how many people work there, but…” and it got me thinking.
We often talk around here about how people must perceive our company when they call or place an order. Do they think we’re Amazon with a distribution center of massive proportions? Do they think we’re one person, working out of our garage? Or do they think we’re somewhere in the middle? And most importantly, do they care?
I used to take great pains to ensure this fact was never quite revealed. For sure, we are not Amazon by a long stretch. There was, however, a short time when I did work out of my basement. But when someone calls and obviously can’t determine whether we’re one or 1000 people, I realize that it might not matter, as long as several things are in place.
First of all, we have the distinct advantage of being an online company, which means we can reach a large amount of people with very little effort. Well, by ‘very little effort’, I mean that relatively speaking of course. After years of massive amounts of blood, sweat and tears, when we go home at night, the business still runs. Without us. Hallelujah!
Secondly, when the business is physically open, I’ve chosen to surround myself with two awesome people. (This is not always easy…read my blog post At least they were being honest.) Two fabulous people do the work of 10 mediocre people. It’s simple mathematics. My hope is that I’ve created a warm, honest, fun, inspired workplace. In turn I expect motivated and passionate employees. So far it seems to be working.
Third, we sell products that mean something. I know it comes across in our voices on the phone, in our emails, in our blogs, on Facebook, and on our website. We believe in what we sell and all that goes along with that. We believe in our manufacturers, and the quality of the product, and we believe we are fair.
And last, but certainly not least, we try very hard to conduct business in a professional, honest, and organized manner. We take great care in getting the correct product to you in a careful, timely and inexpensive manner. When we make a mistake, we correct it. If you need help with an order, we give it. We try not to get snippy. We try to get it.
So when all of the above happens…it’s easy to masquerade as something bigger than we are. But in the end, I don’t think any smoke and mirrors are necessary. And we’ve filled almost 30,000 orders to prove it.