How long do you wait for a haircut? For a table at a restaurant? For your car to be repaired?
How long does it take before you get irritated?
On the other hand, how do you feel when you receive instant service?
“You need your car fixed? We can do it in five minutes.”
“Hello, you’re right on time! Dr. Smith will see you now.”
“You need a new driver’s license? Okay, stand here for your photo. Here’s your license. Have a nice day.”
One of the fastest ways to hurt your business is to make people wait. After five minutes they become uncomfortable. In ten minutes they are unhappy. In fifteen they are irritable. After twenty, they decide to leave.
There is no benefit in making people wait. They do not think, “Boy, these guys are really important, really busy, really in demand!” Instead, they think, “These idiots aren’t very organized.” “Maybe they don’t think I’m very important.”
“To prosper, service must be as close to instant as possible.”
“Anything which stops or delays the flows of a business or delays or puts a customer or product on WAIT is an enemy of that business.” — L. Ron Hubbard
Businesses that provide fast service or fast products take over their industries. For example, McDonald’s gives you hot food in one minute, Jiffy Lube changes your car oil in ten minutes and Lenscrafters makes your glasses in an hour. All three companies have made their owners and executives wealthy because they provide fast service.
The same principle works for you. Each time you make a customer wait, your boss wait or even a coworker wait, you are hurting your income.
For example, a lazy waiter makes a hungry customer wait for ten minutes before taking his order and gets a $1 tip. The same customer gives a $5 tip to a waitress who takes his order within thirty seconds. With 40 customers per day, the fast waitress earns $800 more in tips each week because she gives fast service. The restaurant also makes more money as customers use a table for 45 minutes instead of 60 minutes; more meals are sold.
If you own a small business, you can use this principle to beat the big boys. For example, you open a small print shop, but cannot get enough work to pay your bills. You advertise, “We will finish any print job in 24 hours.” Within a week, you have ten new jobs. Even though you work 15 hours per day for a week, you steal a few of your competitors’ big customers and make a small fortune.
As another example, your boss asks you and two of your co-workers to gather your production numbers for the past six months. You bring it to your boss in an hour. One of your co-workers brings his numbers at the end of the week. The other co-worker forgets all about it. If you are consistently fast, who will the boss want to give more responsibility and pay? Who might get laid off?
If you wish to succeed and prosper, you must be fast!
Action Plan #1
1. How do you make money? List every step of the process you use.
2. Look for every delay. Where do things slow down?
3. How can you speed up these points? How can you provide nearly-instant service or a nearly-instant product?
Action Plan #2
1. Who waits for you?
2. Of these people, who has influence over your success?
3. How can you break all speed records and give these people what they need instantly?
Write down your plans and act!