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From A to Z… 26 Ways to Shred the Competition

From A to Z… 26 Ways to Shred the Competition

Just getting by isn’t enough in today’s business world.  If you plan on succeeding, you need to come prepared for battle.  You chose this, so grab your sword and shield.  Entrepreneurship isn’t for wusses…  Looking for ways to shred the competition?   Here are 26 tips and tricks from A to Z to give you the winning edge: Amaze your customers.   Keep them wondering how they ever managed without you. Bring something new to the table all the time. Call clients just to check in.  They will like the personal attention. Don’t avoid phone calls. Examine how you are doing things.  Is it still practical? Finish up projects.  Don’t leave assignments hanging. Get organized.  It will benefit EVERYBODY, including you. Help your customers strategize so they can be successful. Impress with outstanding customer service. Join networking clubs to gain new insights. Keep trying to better yourself. Learn and grow from your mistakes. Make sure you always show your appreciation. Never lose your drive…your clients will sense it. Open your eyes to better ways of serving. Prepare, Plan and avoid Procrastination Quit making excuses if something goes wrong. Remember why you became your own boss.  FOCUS! Stay the course.  Hard work and perseverance will pay off. Talk to your clients often and make sure you’re still on track. Understand that not everybody will like you, and that’s okay. Value your employees… they will help you succeed. Work on keeping relationships strong. X-ray vision and a crystal ball would help!  Ask clients for clarification. Yearn to always keep that spark. Zero in on your clients’ needs always. There are many ways to...
4 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Business

4 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Business

Stay hungry. One of the most important points for business owners and executives to keep your edge and stay on top of your business. We all know what happens when we get full or over-eat. We get lethargic. We get sleepy. We want to lay down and take a nap. When we stay hungry, we stay innovative and fresh. Staying hungry mean we are always on the hunt, looking across the competitive landscape for ways to catch that next advantage or shore up any weakness which might prohibit us from moving forward. People don’t leave companies, they leave leaders. Human beings create connections with other human beings. What are you doing to always improve your leadership and create connections with your people? The company will not create that connection, but you can. What are 3 things things you can do this week to strengthen that connection? Affirm them on a job well done. Perhaps you could coach them and help them grow. Maybe you could provide a more clear, career path. The primary point is for you to always be growing in your leadership capacity to create more upside in your company by growing your people. Execution is more important than the idea. Leaders often get too excited over ideas and not excited enough about execution. Ideas do not work, you have to work ideas. Try to firmly place this in your thinking. Remind yourself that mediocre execution is better than no execution at all. Great thoughts and ideas die on the vine in your organization because we don’t have enough focus, energy and patience to see our select...
Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Too Big?

Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Too Big?

– Aka “The Enlightenment of Customer Reviews” NOPE, this is not another BLAH BLAH blog about weight loss, self-image or body shaming.   Actually the title above simply suggests that if you really don’t want to know the truth, then don’t ask the question!  If you are a business owner, however, you can’t bury your head in the sand.  You better want to know if your customers are satisfied, if they would come to you again, and if there are things you could have done better.   The best and most consistent way of achieving this goal is through customer reviews. Keep in mind, although reviews are imperative it’s important for you to understand that your client’s time is valuable and the last thing they are thinking about is the impact this will have on your business.  Most have no clue how (or where) to leave such testimonials so it’s best to develop a system that is efficient and easy… for both of you! If you follow these simple tips, obtaining reviews from your clients will be relatively painless: Streamline the process to keep it fast and simple. They don’t owe you this courtesy, so don’t make it a chore for them. Use links with few and specific instructions. Make sure the process is cell phone/tablet compatible. The entire thing should take no more than a few minutes. Try it yourself to see if it is quick and easy.  Re-do the process if it is not painless. Decide which review sites will have the biggest impact on your business. Ask for the review promptly after you have completed your service to...
Trapped In A Time Warp?   12 Signs that You Are Stuck & Will Lose Your Butt to the Competition

Trapped In A Time Warp? 12 Signs that You Are Stuck & Will Lose Your Butt to the Competition

Once upon a time we all lived in small towns, or at least tight knit communities and neighborhoods.  If you needed your hair cut you’d go to Hank’s Barber Shop, you bought your sandwiches from Sidoti’s Deli, and the pharmacy on the corner didn’t belong to Walgreens.  Businesses didn’t have to market, network, advertise, tweet or blog about their services to get and keep their customers.  They offered their goods and services, and people came for them.  It’s how business was done. That was then.  Welcome to the modern world!   If you think you can rely on your business surviving the old fashioned way, where people buy from you because they always have, stop and think again!  Even if you’re located in a sparsely populated burg, the town folk now have the internet, Iphones and all kinds of other techy gadgets… they can find it cheaper, better and quicker on Amazon if you don’t get your head in the game and convince them they want their money flowing in your direction. Are you going to just trust fate?   You basically have two choices:  To be passive or to be proactive.   Obviously choosing to do nothing is about as passive as you can get… might as well throw in the towel now and save yourself the hassle and grief.  If you are immobile and stuck, you are in serious trouble.  The protective bubble you are wrapped in may feel comfy, but this cloak is indeed deceiving.  You are trapped in a time warp and will eventually lose your butt to the competition.  Make sure these obvious issues don’t apply to...
Most Unhappy Customers Don’t Complain; They Just Never Come Back

Most Unhappy Customers Don’t Complain; They Just Never Come Back

The important thing to remember about giving mediocre customer service to your clients is that most people don’t complain… they simply spend their money somewhere else.  We can all think back to a time when we went to a restaurant and the food was cold or overcooked, the waiter gave horrible service, and the whole overall experience was expensive and lousy.   Occasionally (and only if we are feeling a bit bitchy maybe) we’ll complain to the manager, but typically we pay our bills in silence…and the next time we meet our friends for dinner we choose one of the other 55 restaurants within that two-mile radius.  When the competition is many, it’s easier to move on to a new provider than to get in a tizzy about the current one.  Life is stressful enough… who needs the conflict?  OUCH.  This doesn’t just hurt a business; it can kill it. What if you aren’t running a restaurant?  With some businesses it’s not quite as transparent.  A good manager or maître de will pick up on the customers sputtering under their breath, moving the food around with their forks in little piles on the plate, uneaten.  If you are a Realtor, a computer programmer, a service-oriented business however… well, how do you even know?   Maybe it’s time to do a little self-evaluation. Do you ask if your customers are happy? Even longstanding clients will appreciate the effort in a quick follow up phone call asking if they are satisfied.  If you are too busy to call then email… or have your assistant make the call.  How you communicate isn’t important, but...

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