The 5 E’s of Managing a Small Business – From Doughnuts to Divorces

Tim Hmelar of Web Lunch Box at Twitter HQ in San Francisco


Are You a Small Business Owner wishing to grow your business and obtain more customers?  If so, You need to know the 5 E’s of Managing a Small Business for your specific business.

1.      Expectation:  What does your customer expect from engaging in a business relationship with you?  It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling doughnuts or divorces. You must know what your customer’s expectations are and be able to meet that need.  If you can’t deliver a great doughnut or end an unhappy marriage –  don’t offer your services.

2.      Economics: Can you meet your client’s needs at the agreed upon price?  All parties to a business transaction like/need/or want to know what this is going to cost.  You might walk into a doughnut shop and buy a doughnut without asking the cost of a doughnut, but it’s highly unlikely you would hire a divorce lawyer without knowing the cost of getting divorced.

3.      Efficiency: You must be able to deliver your doughnut or divorce in the fastest most efficient way possible.  You can’t waste your time or your customer’s time providing your service and, and you can’t spend financial resources for long that make you lose money.  How many people are going to wait more than 5 minutes for their doughnut or how many people are going to agree to spend more time than necessary with their psycho spouse while you play golf or go on vacation?

4.      Effective: You must deliver on your promise to meet your client’s expectations.  If you deliver a bagel instead of a doughnut or spend months of a client’s time and money only to deliver a temporary restraining order instead of the desired divorce you will have unhappy clients.  Not only will you have unhappy clients, they will tell everyone they know what an idiot you are when it comes to business.  And if they use Yelp they will go out and publicly trash your business on the internet.

5.      Evangelist: Here’s the super cool thing.  If you meet your customers (expectations), deliver your service at the agreed upon price (economics),  do it in the agreed upon time (efficiency), deliver exactly what you agreed upon or beat the agreed upon expectation (effective), you end up with an unpaid marketing and sales Evangelist for your business.  You can’t beat having a raving fan of your business telling everyone they  know about your product or services.  And if your customer is on Yelp they will probably go to the internet and publicly tell everyone how great your business is.

is the CEO and Founder of Web Lunch Box
a social media training and consulting company in Palo Alto, CA.  Tim devotes his professional time to helping small businesses grow their business, helps many community organizations achieve their goals, and loves to spend time with his family and with giving, kind people.