Categories
Buy Local Consumer Advocacy Customer relationships Leadership Setting Expectations Small Business

Your referrals leave an impression

Recently, I received an email from someone who described a rather unpleasant home improvement job, which involved the purchase of materials and a subsequent installation of them. We like these things to be boring – meaning everything went smoothly with no drama. This one doesn’t appear to be turning out that way. When I say […]

Categories
Competition Entrepreneurs Marketing Strategy

12 keys to getting referrals from your clients

First of all, put yourself in the mind of your customer. Make their worries, concerns, wants and needs your own. Once you’re in that frame of mind, read on… Why do you give a referral? Now that you’re there, think about what goes through your mind when you refer a business to a friend, client […]

Categories
customer retention Customer service Getting new customers Management

Eliminate customer service

What would happen if 80% or even 90% of your customer service calls went away? Wait, what? Oh, I know. You’re proud of the quality of your customer service. I suspect that if I asked your customers, they’d tell me all sorts of great things about how you took care of them, fixed a problem, […]

Categories
Direct Marketing Internet marketing Marketing Sales Word of mouth marketing

No one needs salespeople anymore

It’s great that you have a product that’s so good that it sells itself. That doesn’t mean you should sit on your hands & wait for business to arrive.

Categories
Getting new customers Marketing to women Small Business Uncategorized

What’s important when getting started?

A young man I know is getting started in business. He provides handyman services for homeowners. In a display of wisdom beyond his years, he asked his Facebook connections for things to read and people to talk to re: business advice. Getting started means wearing several hats Running a business on your own means you […]

Categories
Employees Hiring Leadership Management

They don’t want to work & they don’t care like I do

Human resources. Human capital. Two terms that I really don’t care much for (especially the latter one), yet they attempt to describe what is usually the most important part of your business: employees. You might think your customers / clients are the most important part of your business, but without good employees who want to […]

Categories
Employee Training Getting new customers Management Setting Expectations Small Business

Being ready for a new customer

In a sport, when a player isn’t ready when the play starts, bad things tend to happen. In some sports, a penalty. In others, the opposing team gains an advantage, sometimes big, sometimes a few points. In business, being ready when “the play starts” means you might get the business. Not being ready may mean […]

Categories
Leadership Management Small Business Strategic Notepad

Focus alone isn’t enough.

If you’re a frequent reader on business improvement, you’ll undoubtedly read something that encourages you to focus. Focus on one niche. Stop multi-tasking and focus. Worry about the numbers – they should be your focus. Focus on the customer or on your employees, or on <insert list of more focus items here>. OK, so what […]

Categories
Automation Business model Business Resources E-myth Management Marketing Small Business systems

Big Data, Small Business

Last week, we talked about questions. Questions tend to produce answers and more questions, which can result in a pile of stuff that overwhelms a small business. As a business and client base scales, these questions produce data that you can use for guidance, decision making and to ask even better questions. Again, this can […]

Categories
Business culture Customer relationships Customer service Getting new customers Setting Expectations Small Business Word of mouth marketing

First impressions: Driven by mastery

Most likely you’ve heard the saying “A poor artisan blames their tools.” Despite the ROI of blame being zero (at best), this situation goes well beyond blame. When you blame the tool, at least two situations can pop up: Your current tools don’t produce the kind of benefits / outcome / work you need (even […]