Building A Solid Service Business


The inside of the Aligator Snapping Turtle’s mouth is camouflaged, and it possesses a vermiform (literally, “worm-shaped”) appendage  on the tip of its tongue used to lure fish, a form of Peckhamian mimicry.  The turtle hunts by lying motionless in the water with its mouth wide open. The vermiform tongue imitates the movements of a worm, luring prey to the turtle’s mouth. The mouth is then closed with tremendous speed and force, completing the ambush. Lifespan is 80-120 years; they mature at 12 years of age.

The close up view above is my first; I’ve never had the honor of meeting one so up close and personal before (rather happy about that). What I found interesting about this critter are two things: the longevity of its lifetime and the way it attracts the attention of his dinner. In this fella’s large tub there were minnows swimming around trying to stay out of his way. Can you imagine the stress level of these appetizers?

This primitive creature is equipped to live a life that is longer than most humans, and some have been reported to live to 200. The viciousness of the snap of his jaws would take your fingers off and according to his keeper, “You would bleed to death if help wasn’t given in just a very short time.”

Is your business designed with longevity in mind like this simple creature? How do you attract the attention of those clients and/or customers you need to keep your business well fed? Do you wiggle the proverbial worm and then inflict harm instead of giving them the service they need and pay for?

Kind of harsh, I know. But what I have found over the years of my life doing business with those that supply the services and goods I need, is that a good number of them are just like this turtle. Eager to get your attention, snap your money away and leave you bleeding.

In these rather bleak economic times we all must work together to supply the needs of the other, willing to work hard to deliver the goods our customers need. This isn’t the time to hold on to those price lists from a time when the economy supported them before. If we value our services so high that customers cannot afford them, you will lose out big time.

Using word of mouth, social media, the Internet, and free ads are ways you can increase your visibility without increasing your costs. Choose wisely those advertising methods you use to lure in a customer and when you have their attention, treat them with respect and work out a good deal for you both.

This is one way your business might actually live as long as this primitive creature, the Alligator Snapping Turtle, a great business your children will be proud to work in for decades to come. Price, combined with good service and going the extra mile, is what is needed in these shifting economic times. Now wiggle that worm and bring in your customers–then treat them like you would want to be treated.

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