Insignificant details

We hired a professional photographer this Christmas and he almost lost our business.

My wife is one of four kids. One of those kids has four kids. We have a kid. Another sister has two kids.

There’s a lot of us.

And this Christmas we finally had most of us together. So my wife took to booking a professional photographer to snap some photos.

She went through the typical process of reviewing websites and inquiring if they could do a shoot near the holidays.

She found one she liked who had availability, but then a wrinkle came up. The end product was that they’d provide a CD-ROM of the photos.

That’s a problem. We don’t even have a CD drive in our house anymore. We’re not going to go through extra hoops to get these photos off of this thing.

We’ll find someone else.

But it occurred to us to just ask to see if they had another method. Could we just give them a USB thumb drive to put the photos on?

And they could — even mentioned they’ve done this with customers before.

Huh. So they almost lost our business because they failed to update a tiny detail of their process with recent changes around options for delivering photos to customers.

I think a lot of business are like these photographers. There’s a bunch of small details that pile up. Clearly they aren’t a priority. Taking and displaying awesome photos probably ranks much higher on a photographer’s todo list than updating policies and website FAQs on how photos are delivered.

But then they lose a customer here for this and a customer there for that.

So at Highrise, we cycle in time to at least get some of the small things done — the little nagging issues that don’t seem significant but may lose us a few customers here and there.

And you don’t have to be a software company like us to accomplish this. Just slot in some time to work on the non-priorities. Make one hour every Friday the time you spend doing a little polish. Touching something that isn’t going to move the needle. Change an email footer. Improve a single image. Rewrite a confusing sentence.

It’s important to not get overwhelmed with these bits or they’ll take over the time you should actually be working on the most important thing.

It flies in the face of everyone trying to chase Pareto’s Principle. “Just work on the 20% that brings you 80% of the impact.” But eventually, all those little improvements pile up to something pretty significant too.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups, try Highrise.