Best-Practices: The Two Most Expensive Words In Business

By Blog, Innovation

Best-Practices, by definition, are accepted as the most efficient business procedures.   When people open a store they will look up the “best-practices for running a store” and implement them.  While this is a great starting point it is not a good stopping point.

The reason?  Best-practices are outdated the moment they are implemented.


The dumbest best-practice by far is the check out process at just about any store.  And all of them do it the same way.

  1. Find and select your merchandise
  2. Find and stand in the shortest line (if your lucky that the person before you is not paying in pennies).
  3. Wait for the privilege to give someone your money.
  4. Select your method of payment.
  5. Pay

Stores have been following and bragging about this best-practice for years.  They show hoards of people standing in line for hours to pay for merchandise on Black Friday.

Just the other night I was in IKEA at 8:45pm.  They had moved from 10 lines to 2 lines and only one took credit cards.  I had $1200 worth of purchases and no desire to stand in a line that literally went to the back of the warehouse.

They lost a $1200 sale.

The irony is that businesses are hoping for the one thing that you don’t want… a long line.  And businesses shouldn’t want long lines.  The longer a customer stands in line the faster they lose the impulse to make that $1200 purchase.

Fortunately,  Apple and Nordstrom’s have figured this out.  When you are ready to make your purchase all you have to do is grab the nearest associate; usually standing around in a Blue or Green shirt.  Sure there are still cash registers, but if I want to buy a pair of Christian Louboutain shoes, why not make the sale the moment that I say, “Why these make my legs look…”

The moment of impulse in sales is powerful.

In my own business, I have worked with my clients to make the moment of sale painless as well.  They can choose the discount based on when they want to pay. If they want to reserve a date in full within 24 hours after talking with me, they get a 10% discount.  Every 5 business days, the discount is reduced by 2%.  Most clients make a decision to hire me within 1 week.

If they are lacking funds, there are certain things they can barter. Prospects don’t even have to call me.  If they want to know my schedule, my rate, all the details about what I can offer, bio, images, and what they can barter all they have to do is download my iBook (which is becoming an App).

Best-Practices are fine to lay the groundwork of your business, but if you really want to become an innovative juggernaut then you must question every process and even best-practice.

Give your customers what they didn’t even know they could have.


Your audience would greatly benefit from Dawnna delivering a keynote at your next conference.