There’s a REASON why Best Buy is staying open and Circuit City is not.
And it has nothing to do with the economy.
Today’s guest post from CNET’s Don Reisinger says it as plain as day.
Just plain dumb.
What gets thrown overboard before a ship sinks?
What gets thrown out of a plane that is struggling to stay in the air, or that appears to have less fuel than it needs to reach land?
Answer: Dead weight. IE: Everything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you’re an employee, what are you doing to make sure you are invaluable to the success of your boat (ie: your employer)?
If you own a business, what are you doing to make sure that the products and services you provide are invaluable, must-have items for your clients and prospects?
You can either be the one that stays onboard, or the one who doesn’t.
The choice is ultimately yours. Yes, YOURS.
Today’s guest post comes from WineLibraryTV’s Gary Vaynerchuk, the gregarious crown prince of online wine merchants.
Today, Gary talks about what he does with feedback – of all kinds – both the kind he agrees with, and the kind he doesn’t – and why both have their place.
How do you handle public criticism like Gary discussed?
How does your staff handle it?
And finally, do you even know when someone is talking about your business online?
Today’s guest post is a story from CNNMoney.com about 9 companies who have, as of mid-January 2009, never had a layoff – some going back over 80 years.
Check out the stories of Nugget Market, Devon Energy, Aflac, QuikTrip, The Container Shop, NuStar, Stew Leonard’s, Publix and Scottrade.
Cross-training, telecommuting, careful hiring and resource use, flexible salary review periods, flex schedules, focused expenditure justification, tons of training, great communication, loyalty that runs deep – in both directions, thinking long-term, focusing on the staff as an asset instead of a cost, and employee ownership.
Take one home with you.
Imagine getting laid off at 63 years of age simply because you’re old.
Now they won’t tell you that because you could sue them for that. Instead, they lay you off because another (ie: younger) employee doesn’t have to make as much.
Like a kick in the gut, you’d think.
But not for this guy. Despite health issues, a divorce, a failed consulting firm and getting fired simply because he (wink, wink) made too much, Michael Gates Gill proudly says he can make a toilet shine like a Ferrari.
He says “Starbucks saved my life“, but I think he’s wrong.Â
More on that in a minute.Â
Some businesses offer great service. Some do not.
More often than not, the difference is in the attitude of the person behind the counter. They do what no one else will do (much less try) – just like the dog in the photo.Â
In Mr. Gill’s case, the right attitude is really what saved his life – the attitude of both his and those of the people he works with.Â
I’ll bet it comes across the counter at his shop. In fact, I’ll bet it impacts the attitude of many of his clientele and causes people to want him to wait on them rather than someone else.
Do you have anyone like that?
As you might be aware, I’m the Scoutmaster of a local Boy Scout troop here in Columbia Falls.
I’ve been involved as a Scouting volunteer in numerous forms for about 20 years, at levels as low as you can get, and as high as a VP on our Council Executive Committee.
As a result, I have a pretty fair knowledge of the organization, and I know where to find info when I need it.
Earlier this week, I decided to call the National office of the Boy Scouts of America in Irving to ask a few questions.
Normally, Scouting officials expect folks to ask these questions of the local council office (ours is in Great Falls), but the questions I had were of the nature that the local council office couldn’t possibly answer them.
I should note that the local Council President, the Scout Executive (paid position, similar to Executive Director) and most of the Executive Committee are friends. I know when they won’t know the answer to a question I have – and this is one of em. Enough background, now the story.
So, I moseyed over to Scouting.org (the BSA’s national website) and got one message loud and clear.
The message being sent by scouting.org: DONâ??T CONTACT US.
The main page of scouting.org has no phone numbers on it. No postal address. No physical address. No map to the National Scouting Museum or to National HQ (both in Irving).
There’s no “Contact us” link or contact page. There is a link to find a local council office (ie: Ask them, not us).
Even in the area where it gives direction for someone applying for a job (I am not) all they offer is a PO Box for the 4 regional offices. No fax, no phone, no physical address.
So I broke down and did a search. The results?
If you dig around and end up on scoutingfriends.org, youll eventually find an email form and a PO Box for Irving. But still, no phone number.
If you wanted to contact the national office for something of national consequence – such as giving them a bazillion dollars, becoming a major sponsor of the National Jamboree, calling the Scouting museum to make a donation, or simply to ask a question that a council office absolutely CANNOT answer (in my case, I guarantee it), you are out of luck unless your message is suitable for US Mail.
By contrast, girlscouts.org has a contact us link at the bottom of the main page, which takes you to a page with a mailing address, physical address, a phone number, a local council office finder tool and email contact form.
There is always a silver lining when stuff like this happens. In this case, the silver lining is that I have a new question for my Communications merit badge students: “Look at scouting.org and tell me if you can see anything wrong with it, Communications MB -wise.”
It’s easy to forget the simple things. Your customers want to talk to you. A “Contact us” link is one of those simple, essential, first impression things.