Do You Have an ELF Business or a HALF Business?

Business, Lifestyle
Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Ruth King


A few years ago, Darren Hardy, the former publisher or Success Magazine interviewed Joe Polish. Joe turned around his carpet cleaning business and started teaching others who wanted to grow using unique, ethical, marketing practices.


Joe was describing his Consumer Awareness Guide that he used to teach people how to buy carpet cleaning.  In his description he said, “You can have an ELF business or a HALF business.”  When he told Darren what these stood for, I laughed and thought that I’d much rather have an ELF business although at times we’ve all had HALF businesses.


ELF stands for easy, lucrative, and fun.

HALF stands for hard, annoying, lame, and frustrating.


So, what does it take to have an ELF business?

A system that is easy, repeatable, and produces expected results.  Processes and procedures in place and followed.  The key is “and followed.”  If you have a procedures manual and it sits on the shelf and isn’t followed, why do you have a procedures manual?  It was a waste of time, effort, and money.


Likewise, if you have a process for answering the telephone, talking with customers who enter your store, and more.  Every employee contact with a customer should follow a procedure.


If these procedures are not followed, you may have unhappy customers who don’t come back, warranty issues, and a HALF business.


It’s your business.  Implement the procedures as you want them to be and ensure they are followed! This requires management on your part – praising when your employees do a good job and a discussion when procedures aren’t followed.  The discussion can lead to disciplinary procedures if the procedures continue to be ignored.


You all remember days, weeks, and months where you had ELF businesses.  What were you doing?  Who were your employees?  Who were your customers?  How many service agreements did you have?


You also remember days, weeks, and hopefully not months, where you had HALF businesses.  What was happening then?  How was it different than when you had an ELF business?


Keep doing the ELF things so that you continue to enjoy an ELF business.


Ruth King is known globally as the “Profitability Master,” and is a a thought leader in entrepreneurship and business. Her books have been recognized as among the greatest in numerous industries. Learn more about all her business activities here

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