Customer service is really pretty simple, right? Treat people the way you want to be treated. It's the golden rule in life and business. If you go over and beyond to assist a customer with an issue, or give them a little something extra when they aren't expecting it, you're more likely to make an impression that keeps them coming back for more.
What do your customers know about you? It could be more than you want them to know. Make sure your online presence is squeaky clean. Anyone can do a search using your email address, and if it's linked to other sites, they can see what you're up to. So, if you're using your business email address on personal sites, you might want to reconsider. Do a vanity search using online tools to see things from your customer's perspective, and make any necessary changes. (Manta)
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day - a day on, not a day off. King will be remembered as a man who tried to make a difference in the world. Leaving a mark, a footprint, in history. Why? Why did this man struggle and fight they way he did? Because King believed that EVERY human being should be working together as equals to make a difference and be seen as equals in the process. No matter the struggles, the trials and tribulations, King's dream, his goal, his why, was worth it and to this day, many are working to make sure it continues to be seen.
During the past six months working with my business coach, I had to dig deep and figure out my why. I've had my business for fourteen years and had to discover what I'm doing it for. I want to be the leader in providing my clients the opportunity to stand up to their competition, by giving them an image, a brand, that will express what they do and who they are. It is such a powerful mission that I will put up with the challenges and frustrations to fulfill that dream and I thank Dr. King, as one of my many mentors, for giving me the faith and strength to fulfill my goal.
So, it starts today. Ask yourself, what is your why?
Here's to remembering the dream!
Ever feel like an underdog in a world of behemoth box stores, corporate shenanigans and Trump-sized bank accounts? Don't. You've got a leg up because shopping local (whether it's for handmade mittens or hiring a plumber) is where it's at. By offering personalized service, flexible payment plans and customer service that goes above and beyond, you can give every competitor—regardless of size—a run for their money.
Oh to start anew! First impressions are everything. Your marketing material has a lot to say about your business. If it is executed poorly, you may lose a sale before you get the chance. Do you and your business a favor and spend the time and money it takes to get these top five items to the professional look they desperately need and get your business noticed.
1) Your company image - a logo
The number one tool that many businesses will refuse to take care of first - so just stop fighting it and get it done. You have competition out there. If you can't stand out among them, you've lost even before you even started. Your logo, your brand is needed before you create the materials below and just like the other materials, quality and professionalism should be your top priority. Also, make sure your voice is heard in the design. Your designer should ask you what you would like to see, not what you should have.
2) Your calling card - a well-designed business card
Think that something as small as a business card can't get your noticed, think again. The impression can go both ways. If you feel that a Inkjet printed or poorly laid out business card shows that professional side of your business, think again. Quality goes a long way. You must keep this in mind when creating your calling card.
A strong Home Page
3) A well-designed and focused website
Many thought the internet was just a fad. Well, it's not going anywhere and your potential clients will look to Google to find the services you offer. Will you be on that list? If your website is not updated or is not user-friendly, then that potential customer will look to your competitor down the street. You don't have to have everything - including the kitchen sink - to have your services come across, but have the following pages to start:
A strong Home Page
4) Professional letterhead and envelopes
Two items that are always overlooked are your letterhead and envelopes. Letterhead can be used for just about anything - from thank you letters to invoices, you can always have a professional presence. Once you have the letterhead, you'll need that attractive envelope to put it in. Make sure that your presentation stands out when your clients are sorting through the mail. Use full color and really make that envelope pop.
5) Leave them with a handout: Brochures and rack cards
You should always leave something behind during your networking. Brochures and rack cards are a great handout. A "mini-website" on paper, they can leave a potential client with more information about your company and what you have to offer. Most people will skim the content, so emphasize the sections you want potential customers to read. Also, a picture is worth a thousand words, so keep that in mind when choosing them for your design.
88% of people fail at meeting their New Year's Resolutions every year. Three reason for this problem are:
Not only does this apply personally, but also professionally. Have you found yourself making a big ol' list of design work and printing that you know you need to get done, but always found yourself never succeed? Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your goals for 2015.
Too Many Goals
When people try to memorize more information, their will power suffers. The more goals you make, the less likely you are to achieve them. Try focusing on your top three goals. You can always do more later, or add a new goal when the others are achieved.
The more precise you are with your goals, the more likely you are to succeed. Instead of saying “be healthier”, make a goal to eat more green vegetables at least 5 days a week. Or instead of saying "I need printing done", say "I need to order business cards by January 30th".
The Right Support System
In order for your goals to succeed, you must have the right support system. Lack of social support increases cortisol, heart rate, and anxiety, all weakening your ability to meet your goals. Seek support from family and friends and if you have friends who will not support you, use the new year to look for some new ones.
Negativity does not a successful goal make
When it comes to planning your goals, guilt and shame does not work. The worse you feel about yourself, the less self efficacy you have. Stay on the positive side when creating your goals and feel no shame about making a change.
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.