Driving home from a business meeting yesterday, I saw a sign outside of a local business that read, “Quality is not an act. It’s a habit.”
Who can argue with that? (I dare you!)
As an entrepreneur, you can’t deliver a really great product or service a single time (or even 2 or 3 times) and expect to be known for your quality. “Quality” demands consistency over time. You have to make quality a habit and practice it each and every day to earn the distinction of being known as a quality provider.
The Meaning of Quality
Earlier today, on my Facebook page, I asked the questions…
“What words do you think are synonymous with ‘quality’?” and “What does quality mean to you?”
Integrity, honesty, and “done right the first time!” were among the responses. Those who answered also agreed that for a business to stay around long-term, it has got to make quality and the characteristics that are at its foundation a top priority.
Making Quality a Priority
Whether you’re a solopreneur or a small business owner with employees, you need to set the expectation of quality in all work produced and delivered to your clients. A consistent drive to strive for excellence should be part of your company’s M.O. That means doing your very best for clients, standing by your work and making it right when a client is justifiably not satisfied.
Patience and Passion
To earn the “quality” seal of approval and word of mouth endorsements, you need patience as a new entrepreneur (or as one who is reinventing the perception of your company). When I transitioned from a corporate product management/development role to an independent freelance writer just over 2 years ago, I had to put a great deal of time and effort into building my portfolio, getting my work and capabilities recognized, and establishing relationships that would lead to future projects. For someone who likes to see immediate results and return on effort, that was tough!
But a sincere passion for what you do will make the level of patience required more palatable. If you believe in yourself, your business and your value to clients, you’ll inherently find the fortitude you’ll need to stay the course.
Be patient. Be passionate. And above all, persist in making quality a habit. The reward of a “quality” reputation is within your grasp!
Your turn! What does “quality” mean to you? What does it mean to your clients? Are you working to become known for quality, or are you already there?
Consider joining the Dialing 8 Project! A forum for learning, sharing & getting the most out of your social media efforts for your small business.
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