The Devil is in the Details

“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail” – Charles R. Swindoll

Attention to detail is something often overlooked by many business owners- The look of your logo, fonts being used, the minute features of your product, how your staff greet walk-ins, how the overall company is presented and many other small, intricate details. This really borders on perfectionism, but it is crucial to have this trait or to have someone on your team that has the eye for detail. In a perfect business and endless time, all details should be observed. Obviously in reality, time and energy is limited. The right details have to be observed and perfected. For example, a lifestyle service or good, attention to graphics and presentation is extremely fundamental. Starbucks can never get away with having a substandard seating area. For a manufacturing firm however, the logo is not that important as compared to product quality and speed to market.

You need constant feedback from your consumers and clients about what needs adjusting. Having an outsider give comments also works really well, as being in the job for long periods of time tend to blunt your senses after seeing the same method day in and day out. Approaching successful people who have similar industry experience tend to give the most valuable insights. Asking advice from your aunty, not so much. Taking a look at competitors and what they are doing helps too.

Recruit talents that have this ‘eagle eye’ that you, as a small business owner, might miss. You might be a very talented chef that makes the best pasta Aglio Olio, but if your creativity for naming your restaurant stops at ‘Best-Pasta-Singapore’, you’re going to have an uphill task marketing this brand. Outsource specific tasks if needed. and recognize your shortcomings for details. If you do not have the capabilities for say, making a poster or designing a logo, hire an expert. Pay the money for a good, reputable restaurant graphic designer, because there is no way your shoddy logo made in Microsoft PowerPoint is going to appeal to consumers. Saving this money is just going to cost you more in the long run.

Be very aware of the important details of your business and work on them constantly. The successful businesses are those with owners that are have near obsessive compulsiveness about their product and service. The late Steve Jobs for example, learnt calligraphy in college and fussed relentless about the font type for Apple and it’s geometric placement. Don’t compromise, don’t procrastinate because every minute you leave a bad detail hanging, consumers are most likely going to catch it unconsciously and penalize your business for it.