24/7. For many businesses the offer of service at any time of the day is one they use to set them apart from the competition. But is it realistic?
Are most electricians, having worked a long day, going to be happy to answer their phones at 3am to fix a problem without charging the equivalent of a week in Center Parcs during the summer holidays?
I’m sure some will, but it’s tough. Everyone needs rest.
In our business we have to be flexible. Most deadlines are ‘no-fail’, so if the client needs us to be working until the middle of the night, then we have to take it on the chin. The sleepy, unshaven chin.
We have a policy though that if we’ve had a tough few days we’ll take workload off each other so we can rest. A tired mind makes work difficult and mistakes happen. It makes sense to get out of the work environment if at all possible.
It’s a delicate balance. In the early years of being in business, the idea of giving a client timescales that didn’t mean we’d become familiar with a number of late night djs on the radio was alien. Jobs were done well and jobs were done quickly. It was all about making an impression, securing repeat business.
While we still always aim for that, we are now confident and experienced enough to be realistic. A complicated job may take time (and cost a bit). Rushing it thorough on the cheap could be detrimental to both ourselves and the client. And we make that clear. Deadlines are agreed and everyone ends up happy, and with less bags under their eyes.
Of all the problems in the business world though, being busy is not one of the great dramas. You must be doing something right. So let’s face it, sleeping 16 hours a day probably shouldn’t be your aim…