By Cary Weston
This morning I woke up a 5am and, as I usually do, walked down stairs to let my dog Otis out to investigate any new activity or smells that may have appeared during the overnight hours.
As I opened my front door, the gateway to Otis's morning adventure, I fully expected there to be a slight resistance in opening the door.
And there was. It was the daily newspaper.
But before I bent down to pick it up, it occurred to me that I merely expected the paper to be there.
It's only the absence of the paper in the place I expect it to be that causes a wrinkle in my early morning routine.
Picking up the paper, I starting to think about all that must go right and all the effort that is unseen - mostly in the late and overnight hours - to make sure that paper rests against my door when I open it.
There's a lot involved in the paper and I'm betting there's a lot involved in your business as well.
Whether you produce a product or provide a service, many things have to go right.
The routines and systems we create in our businesses are designed to make the delivery of products and services seem seamless to those who benefit.
And as customers, we come to expect the consistency but don't always understand the effort behind delivering it.
There's a marketing opportunity in that: educating and reminding customers of all the work that goes into delivering quality is important for your business. There's minimal value in an expectation unless there's an understanding of the depth behind it. For without it, customers may just be expecting the paper at the door.
Yes, it's ok to toot your own horn once in a while. If you don't who will?
So as a business, learn to communicate how you do it. Showcase the systems and routines that make you unique. Be open and be transparent. Connect with your customers on a regular basis and share the process as much as the product.