Stuart Pearcey
Words and Spaces Ltd
Thu,18th September, 2014

Have you noticed that in business we're urged to 'go the extra mile' when no travelling is involved, and to give 110%, even though it's clearly a mathematical impossibility?

Seems that today 'a little extra' is anything but, and has become the new normal. But what's in it for us, the smaller companies at the bottom of the food chain? There would be a hint of arrogance in any client who says 'take it or leave it; we can get someone else to do that.'

Sure you can. And if that's your approach to business, good luck to you. But how hard would it be to invest next to nothing in a pat on the back at the end of a job well done? Have you ever considered the potential reward for the investment of less than a minute spent knocking off a congratulatory email?

At the other end there's a supplier who feels that little bit better about you; that the extra mile or extra 10% not reflected on the invoice have been recognised. That can come back to reward you in any number of ways. Perhaps the individual will point more business your way from friends and colleagues. Perhaps they'll offer you preferential rates when you bring repeat business. Perhaps they really will go the extra mile, sleeping and waking with thoughts about how to deliver 'that little extra' for your business.

Dickens summed it up in A Christmas Carol, when he has Scrooge say: "He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives is as great as if it cost a fortune."

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