Consultant Donald Cooper says that small business owners need to reconsider their goals and the way they meet them. Is your business model to be the doctor, responding to people who are broken, to always have line ups and dealing with unhappy people, or is it is to be proactive and schedule like the dentist? Cooper kicked off the Automotive Industries Association of Canadas inaugural AXIS event at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, Ont. this morning. While doctors are faced every day with people who are broken down, dentists schedule visits, take days off, and, in the case of his dentist, are raking in millions. More importantly, they have a sane work life. It is understood that the automotive business has increasing challenges, he says. The automotive is tough. New vehicles have longer service intervals. Great staff are harder to find and tougher to keep. But, hey, every business is tough. Every business is tough unless you love it. Lets face it mediocrity is no longer an option. If were trying to succeed in business by being mediocre, once your customers have been to Disney World, youre screwed. Some 60,000 young people being paid minimum wage staff Disney. They belong to the Teamsters, and they deliver a world-class product. If youre just trying to satisfy the customer, youre not aiming high enough. Cooper says that satisfied is not where an emotional connection takes place. What we need to do is raise the bar. In small and medium sized business, the owners and managers spend 90% of their time working in the business, and 10% working on the business. This is not a new assertion, but is important nonetheless. We retreat to the familiar. We do the things that we can do with one eye closed and one hand tied behind our back. He says that the road to success begins with being able to communicate three things better than your competitors. That keeping their vehicle with regularly scheduled maintenance is important to their safety, personal convenience, and financial well-being. That youre the best person to do it. And when they should schedule that maintenance. One of the most discouraging big lies is that people say there is no such thing as customer loyalty anymore. We know about 10% of what we need to make a decision in our life. We are desperately searching for heroes who know the 90% that we dont know. Are you the caring coach? People are desperately looking for heroes to be loyal to. If you are not seeing loyalty, you have not been the best that people are looking for. Or you are not communicating it. You need to take ownership of the problem and stop whining about it. The AXIS event takes the place of the Automotive Industries Association of Canadas Aftermarket Forum. The event takes place today, with several related get-togethers over the weekend in connection with the Grey Cup championship football game on the weekend.