TNT’s… Tiny Niggly Things
We all make mistakes, but TNT’s… Tiny Niggly Things, can explode and cause all sorts of havoc in your business (and career!); at the very least, you’ll more than likely look back in hindsight with an “oh…FFS!!!” mentality! Very often TNT’s are at the foundations of entrepreneurial life and are simple things that can be overlooked or even ignored.
I’m sure that we have all experienced frustrating moments where hindsight reminds us that we sometimes forget the basics, but these are the things that are often really important. When did you last receive an email where the sender forgot the attachment or even to include a response trigger, or perhaps you’ve called a company switchboard where your call went unanswered, or visited a website with no contact information, visited a shop with products on display without prices. Maybe you’ve tried to buy something online, but can’t find a way to pay!!
A recent experience of mine left me just puzzled as to how some companies manage to survive in business; I just bought a ticket to a conference next month and am still waiting 3 days later for a confirmation email from the organisers with the event detail, despite having paid £400 for my ticket. That’ll probably be my first and last event with them then!!! And what about the all-time favorite way to annoy your customers… give them a call centre to ring that keeps them on hold, navigates through a useless list of button options to press and then tells them how important their call is; all against the background of playing an endless loop of “greensleeves”…..arrrrgh!!
Another category of TNT’s can be far wider reaching and damaging and you should ignore them at your peril. I call it finishing touches. Let me give you a few examples: Not registering your domain name to match your company name. There are many people who start a great business or launch a new brand and then find they cannot register a suitable domain or social media handle as it has been taken already (Ted Talks is just one such example, although this is probably a little unfair on them!). Other examples include deciding on the correct legal status of your company entity (see Stelios and his Easy Group for numerous examples of cease and desist actions!) or even forgetting to register your company or brand name. What about poor translation of marketing materials or campaigns into other languages (hint…see my client www.comtectranslations.com ……such amazing talent), not following up leads and enquiries, not resolving customer complaints, misprinting phone numbers or email addresses, sending impersonal communication….the list goes on.
Whilst these TNT’s are important and are often quite easily fixed, the damage even if rectified is often lasting and unknown. My best advice is to not make the mistake in the first place by checking the basics before you start.
There are plenty of horror stories out there and this is why it’s always worth taking time to prepare your own checklist to make sure you have been as thorough as you can be at the outset. It’s the basics that are important and as they say, the devil’s in the detail…you have been warned.