The Paramount Importance of Slowing Down in Small Business
Slowing down in small business? It’s one of the smartest moves you can make.
When people think of a small business owner, they often picture a person with a talent who decided to enjoy their freedom and do work on their terms. More often than not, that image of an entrepreneur doesn’t fit.
In reality, many small business leaders work tirelessly, day in and day out. Eventually, the idea of freedom becomes a product conveyer belt. In other words, life becomes unending work. If this becomes your reality, it’s not only your personal liberty that suffers, but your product may fall to pieces as well.
Bottom line: when you place an emphasis on speed over quality, you are essentially running on a hamster wheel. You’ll churn out projects, but your business won’t grow.
If you really want to enhance your business reputation with unmatched service, ditch the idea of faster is better.
What clients really think about fast products.
Efficiency and speed often appear in the same sentence, but those two things aren’t necessarily related.
If you run a small business, I’ll ask you to switch roles for a moment. Think about your life as a consumer of goods and services. If you’re looking to buy a quality product, wouldn’t you prefer care and attention to detail instead of unrealistic speed?
Unless we’re talking about fast food services or buying a purposefully cheap product, I’m reasonably sure you’d prefer quality service over speed of delivery. Sure it’s fast, but it’s likely to be a fast piece of do-do. (Note to self: copyright the phrase “fast piece of do-do.”)
And it’s not only small businesses that suffer from the problem of working too fast and too much. Corporations are filled with employees who are simply trying to do enough work not to get fired or noticed by the boss.
The truth is, I don’t blame them. But I never want to see a small business mirror that work model. When I think of how to rectify this issue, I can’t help but think of the people I see when I travel.
The idea of slow travel is 100% correct.
You might see this while on vacation: dad has the knee socks on and the camera around his neck. Mom checks the itinerary and adjusts her sun visor. The kids are tugging at their parents’ shirttails, begging to go back to the hotel and jump in the swimming pool.
Meanwhile, this family misses the sunny day, the swans sailing across the lake, the fireworks unfurling over the waterfront. They’re sacrificing the moment for the sake of speed. Instead, they flit from place to place, squeezing in everything they possibly can.
But really, the family misses the important moments for the sake of filling their camera roll and showing off Kodak moments that they did not actually enjoy in real time.
There’s a movement called Slow Travel. The basic premise is that one should stay in one place for a longer time in order to drink it in, and discover the hidden but easy to find gems the destination has to offer.
I recommend using the same model for any business venture.
It’s about doing quality work and shutting down the conveyer belt. When you check off every milestone fast and efficiently, how’s the end product looking?
Chances are, it looks cheap and rushed. Slowing down is not about laziness, and it’s not really about freedom either.
Slowing down means you care about your product and the customers who by it. You care enough to take the time and put in the elbow grease necessary to create something of unparalleled quality—a product few if any people could duplicate.
What happens when you slow down.
You get better. Moreover, your product gets better.
When someone signs up to work with a small business, they are looking for a person or group who is meticulous about what they do. While there will always be deadlines to meet, it’s more about efficiency and quality than speed.
When you turn off the product conveyer belt, you’ll improve your business holistically. For example:
- Your inbound marketing will become more audience-centric, as you’ll have time to study and understand your buyer persona’s needs and overall psychology.
- Your SEO score will improve, because you’ll rank for the right individuals.
- Your social proof will improve exponentially, as you’ll have a longer list of truly satisfied clients who feel appreciated that you spent time on their project instead of simply getting it over and done with.
That last bullet is the truest of all. When you slow down, you satisfy your clients and make a quality impact in their lives.
Speed be damned. I opt for real progress instead.