The Small World
It’s a big world out there. One that’s full of big companies, large enterprises, global conglomerates, and household names who are striving for service excellence. They want to be the best in their industry. But it goes further and, if I may steal a line from the classic 1986 movie Top Gun, they want to be “the best of the best” by gaining cross-industry acclamation and public recognition for their achievements. Life’s essentials such as oil, gas, electricity, and water are found, produced, and delivered by big. The population needs big. Without big, life is over.
Or is it?
Many readers of Clickipedia will be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, particularly those who have completed courses at business schools throughout the world. While big may provide the essentials in life, it is arguable that this is simply fulfilling the lowest level of this hierarchy, physiological needs (that’s the vital stuff that we need and somewhat take for granted), and once this is satisfied, we move on to the next levels where we want to make life more enjoyable, straightforward, and comfortable. This is where we turn our attention to home-related services such as maintenance, cleaning, HVAC, ironing services, and, well, the list is almost endless.
But these regular and routine home services are not delivered by big. Instead they are delivered by small; those millions of small businesses who exist to take control of the important, but smaller, things in life. And without whom we would have less time to concentrate on and appreciate those things that really matter to us like careers, family, and fulfillment. Small gives us some of our valuable time back by taking care of these services for us.
In the six, almost seven, years that I have worked for ClickSoftware I appreciated big and how service optimization drives efficiency and organizational change. I still do. But at the beginning of 2011, I took over managerial control of ClickSoftware’s online small business product, ServiceTycoon, whose sole purpose is to make the lives and operation of small service businesses more manageable and efficient. And what is very clear to me is that, big or small, cutting costs, improving efficiency, enhancing customer service and satisfaction, and competitive pricing are synonymous with both. I was recently told in life “don’t sweat the small stuff” but try saying that to a passionate small business where every cent, penny, nickel, dime, or whatever currency counts. For small, positive word of mouth and reputation is vital, more so than in big who can rely on advertising campaigns, and celebrities to promote their goods and services. The ServiceTycoon customer base proves that big passion for service excellence exists in small too. And it exists in abundance.
And let’s not forget too that small contributes to big. In fact, much of what is big is actually made up of a sizeable network of small: contractors or franchisees, sometimes of just one or a few people, who operate as small, independent businesses as an integral part of the operation of big. Maybe small is therefore big?
So if you ever think that service management solutions are just for the big guys, then think again. The backbone of daily life may actually reside within the highly dependable small business sector. It is small that makes life more meaningful. With small, life begins.
So if you’re a small service business or a big business that utilizes the services of a network of contractors or franchisees then be sure to stop by ServiceTycoon soon. In the meantime, share your thoughts with us on small…what do you think about the role of service management products and how they can help you now, and in the future?