Arussy’s (Passionate & Profitable, 2005) guide on how to create—and keep—an extraordinary business.
From the start, the author is quick to point out that his guide is not your average self-help business handbook, but a “manifesto” and a “call to action” to help make businesses and business owners “exceptional.” Arussy advocates building customer relationships by providing exceptional service, products and, most importantly, experiences. He also writes, against conventional wisdom, that businesses should be “picky” when it comes to customers, cultivating relationships with customers who will be loyal in order to create lasting, fruitful business relationships. Arussy doesn’t believe in discounts but in smiling, being generous and creating pleasant memories for customers. The book astutely points out that businesses aren’t merely competing against similar businesses with similar products; they must contend with every great consumer experience a person has ever had in every industry. Arussy advocates that readers be proactive in enacting positive change and avoid cynicism and negativity. However, although the book offers sound advice, many of the tips and insights are very general or even obvious, as when readers are urged to “stop being average” and “show initiative to make a difference.” That said, it’s more successful when discussing business’ managerial side. For example, it points out that employees are an ongoing investment for any business, and in order to make sure one has the best employees, employers must act as an example to them by showing their passion and their trust. The best advice in the book comes when it discusses the idea that customers are equal creators in business. If a business is willing to work with “fringe customers” who come in looking for specific and unique items, Arussy writes, the business will grow in new and exceptional ways. Overall, this book advises readers to be open, flexible and willing to go “all in” to achieve success.
A pep talk for business owners looking for ways to re-energize.