Some of you may remember the Ford slogan of the 1980’s, Quality is Job #1.
That slogan was true then for businesses. And it remains true today.
Yet, quality sometimes remains hard to find. For example in the last year, two households in my family had to purchase dishwashers. Two different brands were purchased but, to our amazement, both of them had production mistakes that needed to be fixed during installation. The chances of that happening just seem to beat the odds. Neither company seemed to live up to the quality expected.
Will the companies that produced the products survive? Probably. They are large and can overcome it. Large companies have shown time and again they have the capacity to overcome mistakes, although not without some pain.
Small businesses, however, may not have the resources to overcome quality issues. And small businesses in small communities are even more likely to get hurt as word will quickly spread if expectations are not met.
Quality was, is and will remain key to building a successful small business.
When thinking about it, remember:
- Quality is not a cost – It is possible to cut costs and retain quality to a point. But at some point, that relationship will no longer hold true. And as many companies will attest, short-term gains can turn out to be large long-term losses.
- Quality is not a statistic – You may think that 99.9% success is a great number. It’s a good number but would we accept 12 babies a day sent home with the wrong parents or 1300 calls per second going to a wrong number, one other than what was dialed.
- Quality is not a buzzword – Talking about quality or including it in your slogan does not make it happen. Quality is a culture. Quality means giving people control and responsibility.
Quality counts in your small business. Make it part of every task and included each day in your work.
Quality opens doors and builds life-long customer relationships. Make it a key part of your business.
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.