No offense to Marshall Field, the retailer who is often credited with creating the slogan “The customer is always right,” but give me a break. Following this piece of advice has probably put more small businesses out of business than anything else. We have seen way too many small business owners justify keeping bad customers by quoting this phrase.
Everyone loves something new and shiny! Many of our small business clients refer to those bright shiny new objects as squirrels. But while we’re all chasing these new shiny objects, we might just be missing something that’s right under our noses that can help grow our businesses. Past customers.
It seems these days that everywhere you look a new podcast is popping up. It’s to the point now that there are over 1 million podcasts currently available. And that number continues to grow. Even fake people have podcasts…Ron Burgundy anyone? So the question we pondered today during the show is, should your small business have a podcast?
We were talking with a coaching client recently who was struggling to justify increasing prices for one of their services. She kept using the word “justify” when trying to convince herself that it was OK to increase prices. Our discussion quickly shifted to talking about what made their service different from the competition. We also chatted about the mindset of their ideal customer.
As we are now into November, thoughts of year end are dancing in everyone’s heads. But first we have Thanksgiving and Christmas before we get to the new year. We also have Black Friday which is one of the biggest shopping days of the year with people lining up on Thanksgiving night to make sure they are going to land that sought after toy or electronic.
One of the biggest enigmas for small businesses is balancing time vs. money spent on their Marketing Plan. When first starting out most small business owners have more time than money so the Marketing Plan is often 90%+ focused on time with 10% or less focused on money. For example, a new business owner may spend a lot of time going to different networking events at things like the Chamber of Commerce or BNI. If they are more tech savvy chances are the owner will be spending time on social media.
This year has been one of rediscovering things for many folks, and we here at Dirty Secrets of Small Business are no different. During the show today we shared several stories of things that we are rediscovering. The list includes everything from golf to high school football on the personal front to things like cold calling and networking on a business front.
So what kind of memories do you have of the library? If you’re like most people, it goes back to your early childhood days and story time. Perhaps you rediscovered the library when you had your own kids. Many of us spent time in the library during high school or college. But chances are that once you got into the business world you stopped visiting your local library altogether.
We all know it’s tough finding good people. So when you find the good ones you want to hold onto them with both hands and never let them go! But how do you get them to stay? Is it all about the money?