How to deal with unexpected closings

5 11 2012

As a small business owner myself and I’m sure everything agrees that the one of the toughest decision of all to close or not to close when a crisis arises?. Well I’ve been coaching one of my clients lately about it so I want to share it with all of you. Please tell me if it is valuable for you.

Every business needs to close but tell your customer as early as possible in as many ways as possible. Some business owners think that if they close and don’t say anything the customer will just come back again. You customers don’t rely on you no matter how great, unique or popular you might be. Once you waste your customers time and see your closed when your hours say you should be open they get frustrated and angry. I have to say rightfully so because you wasted their time. If you find ways to tell them they may be disappointed but more than likely they will be understanding. Remember they get sick and have emergencies as well they don’t expect you to be perfect they expect you to be reliable. Closing here and there is understandable with proper planning and responsibility. HOWEVER expecting them to guess when you are going to be open or why you are closed is not only wrong you deserve to lose the Customer because you don’t care about them you only care about you.

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Do you realize that nobody ever talks about how much Steve Jobs empowered the customer

8 06 2012

I think the biggest thing Steve Jobs did was show people how important they were. For the first time ever he put the customer at the center of everything he did. Steve jobs keynotes weren’t about product introductions as much as they were the future instructional guide to new products. Have you ever wondered why every other CEO in technology sounds like a babbling idiot where 15 years ago the same conversation was an exciting display of computing power. See every other CEO put the machine, technology or whatever he wanted ahead of you the customer and said if you want a,b, and c capability you have to buy this to get it. Everybody dominated the customer mostly out of confusing them. Other CEOs would stand and still do saying mines faster, better, cheaper and they never ever tell us why those things are important to us. Steve Jobs always startedvwith the ultimate customer question . How to does having a b and c capability how does that change your life for the better? . It was never about the device instead it was ONLY it always how it could change you life if you used it. One great Steve gift he never said to the customer you need to buy this for these reasons. Instead he started with this what we have , this why it makes sense and here’s how to use it.

Think about this very powerful point — what happened to the instruction booklet.? Yes you remember that book that when you paid for your technology taught you HOW to use it. Usually written very bad but without it we could even answer these simple questions without it. How does it turn on, how to I put the batteries in right, and the best one that all devices from your VCR, cordless phones , alarm clocks and microwaves and don’t. Forget the Walkman even need this answered– How do I set this stupid clock anyway? . It was your role to figure it out for yourself and that was an extremely frustrating process . People hated the idea of the time it would take to learn how to use these great capabilities . This exactly why the tablet computer was around for years and a complete failure until the iPad showed up. The more complex the technology the longer it took to learn. Apple will never be beat for one reason that no matter what happens the customer is always the center of attention in every single thing they do. Technology was made for geeks not humans until Steve showed back up in 1997. Even though I never met my hero I could absolutely hear him ” We need to make this so simple and so intuitive the customers will forget they even need an instruction booklet. ” Here’s where you can truly see how extremely important your confidence is to Apple and this is how Steve turned the tables on his competition. Remember what would happen at Christmas with one instruction manual was missing. It was complete and utter disappointment till you found it. And yet I’ve never heard one person ever say this to me “where the instructions ?”when opening an Apple product. When you have created something so easy to use people don’t expect instructions or need them you have accomplished a miracle. You’ve given people the time back they had lost in the past. The power of the customers time ,confidence and trust that is generated to just start using the device instead of having to take time to learn how to by reading a book is enormous . How long did it take you to learn about you Sony discman versus your iPod or your old cellphone versus the iPhone and the most time consuming of all PC versus a Mac.
To think that my $700 iPad didn’t need any instructions to use is astounding. Can you do the same thing with a pc ? Nope and its Not even close.





The Social web– how to use Facebook Twtter or MySpace to grow or KILL your business?

24 12 2010

1st you NEED to realize that your business is complete different and should be treated as such then your personal pages. People put up profiles on social websites for a few reasons– get new friends, keep in touch with old friends or have a place to voice your thoughts and opinions among people they like and or trust. HOWEVER– Your business should only be on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace for  ONE pure Goal– To make money !!!!

This is extremely important because many business owners are  running their personal and business profile the same way and it can ruin your business forever!

and you work this utilizing these methods

3  REASONS–and only 3– 1)To get people to spend more money when they buy (if they buy $10 use it for promos to get them to spend $12 next time) and  2) How to get them to buy what you have more often (if they buy once a month to get them to buy once every two or three weeks ) and lastly 3) how to get one customer to bring in more customers (what is going to cause one person to tell the people they trust or trust them that you exist and they support your business as well — growing a customers circle of influence to benefit you)

For you business realize this what you put on on the web is permanent one and you can NEVER retract it. It is called Caching of a webpage in which your browser saves every version of a website to see this use achive.org the home of Googles Wayback machine.  And what your thing as a funny , cool or neat idea or opinion your OTHER visitors might not  agree with and THEREFORE my chose to NOT use your business because they read such things even though you do. This is a HUGE point for those people that have never used your business in the past and are searching the web to determine IF they are going to use your business today. Think about how often you use review sites to purchase a product to see generally how people feel about it. Its great because they are people you don’t know and there for are mostly just speaking pure about their experience. PEOPLE ARE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING WITH YOUR BUSINESS .

HERE IS THE KILLER OF BUSINESS ON THE WEB YOU WILL never FIND OUT WHO OR WHAT IS CAUSING PEOPLE TO DECIDE NOT TO USE YOUR BUSINESS . SO LOOK AT YOUR REVIEWS, FEEDBACK AND POSTS VERY CAREFULLY EVERYDAY BECAUSE THEY ARE DICTATING THE REAL OPINIONS .

 

IF YOU WANT POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS TO CHOOSE YOUR BUSINESS OVER YOUR COMPETITION email me at tom4change@gmail.com and will show you how exactly drive the web, social media and review sites in your favor .





Why you need to look at Apple retail stores if you want to run a great(and hugely profitable)business

8 12 2007

Here are a list of just some things that you need to incorporate into your business Right NOW. I have picked them all up from Steve Jobs design of Apple retail business but they run a better business then anybody on the planet and it’s not because they make great products(wait that’s another post). Instead they understand what all customers want more than anything. An experience that literally transcends any other business (or human) interaction you have had before. Just look at this ever growing list of things they have given society.

1. The close when the last customer(s) leave not when a clock tells them to<shows customers they are #1>

2. The don’t sell they educate <people are mature enough to know when they are ready to buy>

3. They have instore classes all the time <even though you own their product that are not satisfied until you are in using it>

4. The use the clearest and lightest colors in their store <to make it some place you want to come in for the atmosphere and show you they HAVE nothing to hide>

5. You can stay as long or as little as you want with or without an employees help<please make yourself at home and I’m ONLY here if YOU would like me to be–to make your visit more ENJOYABLE >

6. All employees are armed(literally) with a credit card device that is ready where ever you are WITHOUT HAVING TO STAND IN ANY LINE(that’s a 1st–no waiting in line imagine that one)

7. They make ALL APPLE Store grand openings the EXPERIENCE of a life time. <Just like Disney World once in your life you have to attend an Apple store grand opening —you WILL feel the same emotion that YOU are KING>

8. If you Ipod breaks under warranty they replace it <they Don’t make you suffer because their product is defective or breaks–others try and find a way to put the blame on your actions and not honor the warranty–They feel it’s more important doing whatever it takes to keep the customer happy>

9. All employees are HAPPY to be there <makes the fact that you might need help less threatening because they WANT to give you anything you desire, instead of making you feel that they are only there because it’s their job requirement(ahem WALMART excuse me).

I’ll continue this list as I think of more great ideas





Leaving the lights–ON when you are closed

16 11 2007

Okay so may not all the lights but the one that make you money. Does your business sit in a road? Do you have a sign for your business? I know two REALLY stupid questions right. Have you ever thought about all the people that drive by when your closed? Yet a lot of businesses turn off there sign when they close at night. It maybe saving energy but at what cost is it doing so. I say get a really bright sign that grabs peoples attention at night so they are forced to say “whats that?” Best buy is so much easier to find at night than during the day did you ever notice that? It’s that bright Yellow that grabs your eye.  One of the best things I think for a business is to get a removable letter sign that has your company on top and put a random quote on the bottom(people love short GOOD quotes that are funny–they remember you). Look at your traffic patterns at night on different days to decide which times will have the most bang for your buck.

EVEN better put your website or an 800-number on your sign then track the hits. Ask EVERYBODY how they found out about you –I mean EVERYBODY –the results about how nighttime signage drawing attention may surprise you.





whats the most important day in your customers lives?

9 11 2007

The day that they were born every single year!!!! More business is done on peoples birthdays because people feel special on that day(even though they may not admit it) I know several companies that send out gift certificates to be used on peoples birthdays that make a killin. The question is –are you giving your customers the oppportunity to do business with you on their special day. They almost always come back for a repeat purchase or refer somebody etc.





Why start up businesses FAIL –how to not be a statistic

5 10 2007

There is a few very good reason why new businesses end up out of business before they know it. This is all the things that they do wrong so you don’t have follow in their footsteps. These all can be summed up by saying DO as much homework as possible before you get into business and you’ll have a lot less struggle while your in business.

  1. They don’t plan to screw up they are so busy trying convince everybody else that it will succeed they don’t play devils advocate for the challenges they will face. If you don’t mess up your business will have no foundation. Great businesses are built on massive I mean HUGE Adversities. Plan for the worst case scenario then work for the best case.
  2. Have a business plan that people would feel good lending you money on even if your no looking at any. When people say it won’t work instead of defending why it will instead tell them to read your business plan (most people will shut up at the sight of even seen a business plan) . Remember the things that most people that don’t believe in your business idea are saying one of two things either they don’t believe because they couldn’t do it or that you haven’t shown them enough working on the business only getting into business.
  3. Read at least 5 business autobiographies– figuring out how others became successful will only help you to get there faster. It also makes smarter by learning the reasons why things do and don’t work. The more we can learn from those before us the more time we can take in focusing on achieving our dreams.
  4. Interview competitors in your industry and similar industries that aren’t your direct competition or in your local market. You’ll find that almost all entrepreneurs are willing to help you because they understand how hard it is. Never “think”you understand you know the reason why things happen in your industry ask others and use their experience to your advantage.
  5. Over estimate all your expenses by 25% and under estimate all your profits by 40% . In the beginning most businesses are cash strapped so if you set yourself up for things being HARDER than they will be you will surprised at how much cash flow your actually have. You need to give yourself a lot of leeway financially for all the things you never saw coming but show up when you least expect them too.