Every shop owner I have ever met wanted to change something in their shop at some point in their career. The real challenge is implementing change so it lasts forever, because many times things go right back to the way they were if you aren’t careful.
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Geoff Berman, one of our seasoned coaches at ATI, has a very successful strategy for implementing change, so let’s listen to his story.
Ever wondered why no matter how hard you try or how committed you are to a diet, you just can’t keep the weight off? If you’re lucky, you’re one of the few that this doesn’t apply to. But for most of us struggling with our weight, it is a daily harsh reality. You just can’t keep the pounds off.
So why is this so hard? Let’s explore the process and see how this happens to us. One morning we are getting dressed and the pants that are five sizes bigger than what we wore in high school are hard to button. Our spouse has been making comments about our weight. We hear people snicker behind our backs. Our doctor told us our cholesterol is too high and we are 30 pounds overweight. What we see looking back at us in the mirror disgusts us. “That’s it!” we say. “I have had enough!” It is at this point we decide to go on a diet and the cycle begins.
Commitment Isn’t Enough
This is where we make the declaration that we are no longer going to eat the things we love. We are going to cut it all out and learn to eat what we have to eat and not what we want to eat. We no longer are going to eat those delicious greasy, fatty foods, and we dive in with both feet because we decide this is a life change and realize this is just the way it has to be from now on. We quickly learn to adjust to foods like salad (with no or light dressing), turkey, chicken, fish and assorted fruits and vegetables and nothing else. We no longer drink juice, soda or alcohol and learn to drink only water. Boy, this is going to be fun! We are committed and off we go.
It is great in the beginning. We are on a high and while the start is tough, we quickly adjust and trudge forward. We see how the weight is falling off as we step on the scale. Our clothes are starting to fit us again. Our spouse, friends and coworkers comment on how we look. “You look great, Dave! Have you lost weight?” You no longer despise the person staring back at you in the mirror. This external motivation is what keeps you going and you do it. You starve yourself into losing weight, and one day at the end of this journey you say to yourself “I did it! I look good! I’m going to celebrate. I’m having pizza tonight.” This is the beginning of your journey back to the weight you were, and before you know it, you’re making another declaration to starve yourself and lose the weight all over again.
This happens because from the start we are doomed to failure. We went “on a diet.” Just saying that implies that the process is temporary. What we need to do is “change our diet.” We fooled ourselves into thinking we changed our diet, but we did not. This is the same problem we have in our shop. We make change, but rarely is it a permanent change. As shop owners we create a new policy or introduce a new process. Three months later we see it isn’t being done. We don’t understand why, or worse yet, we allow our staff to convince us it doesn’t work — after a weak attempt at best. They just do not want to put the effort into doing it. It’s just too hard.
One Thing at a Time
What would happen if we just changed one thing in our diet? I like to drink soda. So let’s say I decided to stop drinking soda and change nothing else. Let’s say it took me three weeks before I could be honest with myself and say, “I am done with this. I don’t crave it anymore. I am happy drinking water.” It is then that I have made a permanent change and can now move on to my next challenge and stop eating potato chips. Once I figure out the steps to reach my goal and implement them one at a time, my shop will improve as long as I am confident the change I have made is one that is there to stay.
I think it is fair to say that not having soda for a few weeks is probably not going to help me lose much weight. The process is going to take much longer, and the instant gratification I crave will not be there. Isn’t it also fair to say that I am healthier for not having those chemicals in my body?
Our shop is the same. As shop owners we need to pick one thing, stick with it and make a change that becomes part of what we do permanently. It is now part of our shop culture. It needs to be measurable, and we need to measure it. Once we see we have achieved this step, then we can start on something new. Like the soda, this one thing alone may not have much of an impact, but we will know our shop is healthier for having done it.
Build a Foundation
You are probably thinking this sounds like it will take forever to accomplish. I can see why you might be thinking that, so I want you to consider this. Investors will tell you, if you take $2,000 and invest it in your future and don’t touch it, seven to 10 years from now that money will have doubled. Ten years to wait for $4,000 doesn’t sound all that great.
The big benefit comes later, because every year thereafter, you are getting the benefit of the 10-year double and doing it with money that was not yours to begin with. After 30 years, instead of having $8,000, you may have as much as $50,000. This is what I refer to as accelerated growth. We have to build the foundation first, and then we will see the growth.
This same concept applies to your shop and its change in diet. This is hard for most shop owners even though it makes logical sense, because as Americans we have been trained since birth to be impatient. We want everything faster. Faster Internet connections, our food cooked in a minute or less, we can barely wait for the light to change when we are driving. We need immediate gratification and we expect it. If you learn not to expect an instant change and you know how to measure your progress correctly, you will be able to change your shop’s diet. As you slowly make these permanent changes, knowing your shop is healthier but not expecting immediate results, I think you can see how there will be a point where it will all come together and your shop will have achieved accelerated growth.
We can help you change your shop’s diet. We will help you see the steps you need to take to make your shop healthier. We can hold your hand and coach you through the process as you see the change slowly take hold. It is truly an amazing transformation and one that I can proudly say our clients are enjoying, even in this difficult economy.
To demonstrate an example of how you can help change the diet of your shop, simply click on the link below and register for a free, live 30-minute interactive webcast. We will walk you through the process and show you a few step-by-step examples of how your shop can easily accomplish this.
One of the most powerful ways to give your customers something they did not expect and get them addicted to your shop is to call them a few days after the service and thank them. Learn the most common mistakes shop owners make when implementing thank-you calls. Find out the most effective way to do it and how to make a permanent change in you shop’s diet. It is actually faster and easier than you may think and done right, it will exceed your expectations. Simply go to www.ationlinetraining.com/2012-06 and learn how one thing at a time will change your life.
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