In my list of random business notes, there’s one called “Things I’ve needed that clients need, too.” It’s a list of general business practices that I find I get irritated with whenever I have to hire a third party contractor or individual. There’s a lot of business style overlap between me and a house painter or artist.
They are, in no particular order:
- Clear prices
- Direct guarantees of what we will do
- Fast, concise communication in *my* preferred medium
- Low prices
- Fast loading site
- Better search rankings
- More content
- A presence on social media
- Knowing what I’m not missing from elsewhere (I.e., competitors or other vendors)
- A loyal, friendly, partner
- A fast way to sign up and get started
Some of these are pretty straightforward. But a year or two ago when we started thinking about SuperPixel, this was my checklist for “things that have to be done right”. Some things are a little more opaque, though. Number Three, “Fast, concise communication in my preferred medium” is a big one for me. I don’t like to use the telephone. I think it’s kinda slow, the connections are always spotty for one or both parties, and it takes longer than a good email does. But if someone prefers to communicate via text or phone, so be it. I try to remember what most people default to and keep that in mind.
A “fast loading site” came about because I was looking up some service provider (I think it was bike-related), and I couldn’t find a site that worked well on my phone because they were so large in data size my cellular connection was struggling to keep up.
“Better search rankings” was something we needed for our own selves, so it makes sense that if it’s important to us, it’s important to our clients, too. Likewise, “More content” wasn’t so much about more for the sake of more, but for ensuring I had all the information I needed, which led to “knowing what I’m not missing from elsewhere”. I want to know, or at least feel, that when I hire someone I’m getting someone who either knows more, has done something more than others, or is just plain better in some way. For us, we strive for the “knows more about market research” angle. I personally read an endless stream of books on marketing theory and thinking. Even the old stuff.
“A social media presence” seems weak, but what I’m more concerned with is what a provider’s presence is like on Yelp. But there’s something to be said for a company that shows up to Twitter or Facebook and doesn’t do anything with it. It’s also a clue into how the person thinks. Clear writing is indicative of clear thinking.
Lastly, I often found service providers but things fell flat when it was time to actually get started. We fixed that with our simple sign-on page at superpixel.co/get-started. It’s easy to read, you sign at the bottom, submit. Done. No paper to scan, no fax machines to roll your eyes at.
This list has been remarkably stable for us. It hasn’t needed much revision and it’s still as true today as the day I wrote it.