Do you know what your organisation’s product and services are? Do you have a handle on everything that you could and should be invoicing?
I had this discussion with a business owner of a dry cleaning business with quite a number of outlets that support the dry-cleaning with normal washing and ironing capabilities. During the discussion it became apparent that his business provides services that definitely add value to the customer without him charging for it, and worse, he is unsure of the volume and frequency this service being provided. It then struck me that as businesses grow / expand and business owners start employing more and more people, services and or products may change in some form or shape without the knowledge of the business owner. Image a corporate institution such as a first tier bank – do you think there is some person or entity within the bank that knows exactly the products and services provided at any point in time. I would be amazed if this is possible.
Simon Sinek makes the statement that customers will be loyal to your business as long as they can relate to your belief, cause or purpose. A contributor on one of our previous blogs rightfully pointed that the products and services of a business must reflect this business’s intent. Although this is very true, it is obvious that if our dry-cleaning colleague continues to deliver these unknowingly “free” services it might have serious financial implications. Also, customers might abuse the situation which leaves very little loyalty. In summary, this is not a healthy situation.
How would you suggest we ensure that we have a complete inventory of our products and services, and perhaps more importantly if we decide to do things “for free” how do we do that and where do we draw the line?