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Dialing in to the Details

You know how to do your job, run your organization, right? This is a great time to make sure you have the details right.

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

Recently there was an article in my local paper about a man, Mark Clawson, who has found success in an even smaller niche than power sweeping. Over the past 25 years, Clawson has built a successful and creative career restoring and recreating the dashboard instruments in classic and antique boats and automobiles.

It's not what it is Clawson does for a business that has me include him in this month's editorial, though. Rather, it's how he has approached his business. First off, it's clear that Clawson truly loves what he does for a living.

His love of his craft has led him to learn a variety of skills and techniques, through trial and error, research and borrowing from a wide variety of outside sources. He has gone to great lengths to perfect his processes – the quality of his work product, if you will. You see, when it comes to improving his business, Clawson is dialed in to the details.

dialed in to the details

Although Clawson started out doing almost everything by hand, he has transitioned to become familiar with computer-based techniques that make the results even better and which have gained him an even greater following. He does whatever it takes to find the raw materials he needs, with the ultimate goal of providing his customers with the most perfect end result possible.

As an example, Clawson needed to replace the broken glass that covered the gauges of a Cord automobile built around 1930. The gauges were so rare there weren't any others he could find anywhere. That might have spelled a dead end for many businessmen, along with loss of a customer, but not for Clawson.

Clawson was ingenious enough to prowl thrift stores until he found drink glasses with the same thickness and curvature of glass as the Cord dials. He cut the glass by hand and meticulously fit the pieces into the gauge. Can you just imagine how thrilled his customer must have been?!

Again and again, throughout the article on Clawson, runs the theme of perfection. No doubt in part because he truly does love his chosen work, Clawson emphasizes over and over the striving he does to provide the absolute best work possible. Part of that is his ongoing commitment to finding, then adopting or adapting, the very best ways to accomplish all of his business tasks.

For me, although there were many other quotes to choose from, my favorite was "If you don't raise the bar continuously, you eventually lower the bar by default." How true! And, it made me wonder where in my own business and personal life I might check to see if I'm continuing to raise the bar and, in contrast, where I might have let the bar lower by default and not even realize it.

"If you don't raise the bar continuously, you eventually lower the bar by default."

My hope is the story of Mark Clawson will help each of you reading this raise your own bar at every juncture where such might be made to occur. Each in its own way, all of our stories in this issue provide you with opportunities to do so.

To that end, our lead story is on how to maximize your company's value to your customers. After that, whether it's a government-subsidized assist in providing health insurance, or our article on hiring more employees or getting a quick write-off on equipment, we relate ways you can 'up the bar' in your company.

Our list of what to look for when choosing the best credit card processor can help in that regard, too, as will learning how one of Australia's top contractors has grown to become a leader in his Melbourne area marketplace.

My hope is that each of you find they all help in one way or the other. If you have ideas about articles you'd like to see in the future, please let us know that, as well. Our goal is to write about what you want to read. And, if you have a sweeping-related need please contact us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can.

I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business" manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their informational needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

By the way, if you don't have a listing yet in our Contractor Locator section, you are missing out on what is arguably the best advertising value in sweeping. At the same time, you'll be helping to keep online and active.

Good Sweeping!
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