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Are You Ready for January 2020?

13 Oct

Rig-For-Stormy-Weather

It’s coming. Many of us have been sensing it for months. Is it another recession? Is it a war, cyber, economic, or otherwise? Something is looming on the horizon and it is significant enough that many of us can feel it’s presence even now. Whatever it is, it is going to affect our global economy, how you and I do business on a day-to-day basis, and what we value.

So, what do we do? Is there anything we can do now to lessen the blow, shore-up our own business, and strengthen it for the long term? The answer is yes, and we can look to our recent past to get a good idea of what and how.

red aids ribbon in hand.

In the early 1980’s our world was confronted with the HIV Aid’s virus that has taken the precious lives of countless women, men, and children. It resulted in altering our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in our most personal relationships. We still fall in love. We still have intimate relationships with others, but we now take steps to protect ourselves and those we love from potential danger. We raised how we value honesty, integrity, and personal intimacy.

Twin Towers

September 11, 2001 the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were attacked. The ultimate result was that we recognized extremisms of all types as a demented evil, not a religious sect. We still travel and do business in various locations, but now we take steps to protect ourselves and those we love from potential danger. We have raised our value of national courage, personal and collective resilience, honesty, integrity, and peaceful spirituality.

So, how do we use these experiences to prepare for the as yet, unknown? In both cases, there were similar responses and we can apply them starting this moment in how we operate our business and how we communicate with our customers. Regardless if our business is a brick and mortar, home-based, online, or any combination, we can alter our business model in every way possible to give our customers a clear understanding that they are safe to do business with us. Let me give you a few very practical areas.

A I

Take A Step Away from AI and High Tech

In a world of hyper connectivity, we have never been more disconnected from each other. Regardless of what is coming, giving your customers opportunities to personally connect with you in real-time is invaluable. That also means you will need to step up your game in the customer service department, but that is a good idea anyway. If we are facing a cyber war attack, I would strongly recommend that you have hard copies of everything safely stored away.

The last Polar Bear

Environmentally Responsible

We may disagree on the cause, but I think we all can agree that something is happening with our planet and it is not good. Many major brands from around the world have repeated the economic rewards of increased revenue and customer loyalty from changing their business model, products and services to eco-friendly and animal cruelty free.

Fairtrade_Certification_Mark.svg

Fair Trade Relations

  Major fashion, beauty, and sports brands have been hit hard when their manufacturing horror stories where brought to light. Regardless of where you are in the world at this moment, if you can also identify local sources to you for at least part of your product and services, it could be a life saver to your business supplied and operating in time of crisis. It is also a great way to build your business locally.

Customers

What We Value

Whatever is coming mid-January, is going to impact our customers and how we do business significantly. Honesty and integrity must be what we do every day, not just what we say in our marketing. Our primary focus must not only to be profitable so that we can continue to grow and expand, but to empower our customers to resolve their most urgent need and to do so with our upmost integrity, honesty, and compassion. Let your customers know they are valued and protected when they do business with you.

Looking at your business model and making these changes now, will reflect integrity to your customer base. If you attempt to make these changes later, you may be perceived as an opportunist which will make your survival in an economic crisis that much harder.

If you have questions regarding your own business, please feel free to post them below or connect to send a private message. We are here to help. You can also find a vast array of help and guidance in your copy of Business Genesis.

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Business Genesis Front Cover

Relationships Vs Business During Crisis

17 Nov

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I have spent the last few days checking on each of my clients in France. Everyone seems to be okay, but quite shaken by the cowardly attacks on innocent lives in Paris.  After losing two friends here in 9/11 I understand their emotions.  It is for that reason that I am writing a very different type of post this week.  You see, sometimes you have to stop doing business with your clients so that you can just be a friend to someone who needs you in their darkest moments.

 

Paris tear 11-13-2015Now that the shock is passing the reality of what has just happened is starting to set in and fear is taking root.  If you have any clients or customers in any part of Europe right now I encourage you to reach out to each one on as personal level as you can.  Fear is such a crippling and destructive emotion and they are going to need your extra support to get through the next few days and weeks.  Most importantly let each one know that there is no doubt that you care about what they are going through and look for any way that you can help them, particularly on an emotional level.  Here are a few suggestions.

 

 

  1. If you were here in the USA during 9/11 or in another country that has been touched by terrorism briefly share your story and emphasize you understand what they are feeling because you have experienced it.

 

  1. If you have been fortunate enough not to have experienced a terrorist attack please be honest about it. Just the fact that you are reaching out to them without an agenda will let them know you care.

 

  1. This is NOT the time to pitch your product. This is the time to build your personal connection with your clients and to simply be a human being.  There will be time enough for business later.  Paris morns 11-13-2015

 

I hope you will follow up on this and if you have comments or any suggestions on how to comfort and support our Parisian and European friends please post it down below so that the rest of us can make good use of your insights.

7 Easy Steps To Creating A Great Offer

17 Jun
small business: happy owner of a stationery shop

7 Easy Steps To Creating A Great Offer

You have been working like crazy to build your business, doing all the right things, but you are still not generating the sales you need to make a comfortable living.  The reason may be that you haven’t yet perfected the art of a truly great offer.  It doesn’t matter if your business is online, home-based, or a traditional brick-n-mortar.  Creating a great offer will make all the difference and I am going to show you how using this simple framework and answering a few simple questions.

  1. What are they going to get?

What is it that your customers are going to get from you?  What is the product or service you are offering and most importantly, what will be your customer’s results or experience after buying and using it?  What problem will your product or service solve or urgent need will it meet and how will that make your customer’s life better?

  1. How are they going to get it?

How are they going to receive your product or service?  Are you going to ship it?  Do they come into your store?  Is it immediately downloadable? Do they need to make an appointment?

  1. What are they going to pay?

Simply put, what is the price for your products or services?

  1. How are they going to pay it?

What payment methods do you accept? Do you offer an optional 3 month easy-pay option?  Is it a monthly membership fee? Can they place their order on your website? Do you offer free shipping with in-store pick-up?

  1. Urgency and Scarcity.

Having a stated a limited product availability or time that your offer will be available creates a sense of urgency and helps motivate your customer to make their purchase.  You must follow through and end your offer as stated or it will critically damage your credibility and your customers trust in you.

  1. Risk reversal.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a time limit? Do you cover return shipping?  Is there a product or service warranty?

  1. Bonuses!

Bonuses are another great way to create risk reversal.  You see, nearly every product or service generate the need for an additional product or service.  Sometimes they even create a new problem for your customer.  Bonuses are a wonderful way to resolve your customer’s hesitations to making a purchase by giving them an additional solution as your gift.  It shows that you have really been thinking about your customers experience with your product or service and you want to make sure it is a great one.

Speaking of bonuses, I would like to offer you one extra gem to close your offer with and that is this.  Paint a vivid picture of how your customer’s life will be after purchasing and using your product or service.  What results they will achieve and how it will benefit their daily life.  This is where you want to make your customer actually feel the results. Remember, the vast majority of decisions to buy are driven by emotion, not price.

I hope you have found this week’s post helpful and you use it in your own business.  If you need more help I have created a new video series that answers the questions I am asked the most frequently and I walk you through each solution with simple, easy to implement steps.  This is absolutely free as my gift to you and I hope you enjoy them.  Just click on the image below and enjoy!

SBA Campaign Offer 1

How Important Having a Customer Centered Business Is To Your Bottom-line

16 Apr

happy-customerOver the last few weeks we have been talking about the importance of great customer service and how it can positively impact your business and your bottom-line. Well… disaster struck our house this last week and I was able to personally experience the best example of exceptional customer service I have seen in a long time.

 
I will spare you all the unpleasant details, but suffice it to say, we had a plumbing issue in our bathroom that we were not able to resolve ourselves and we ended up calling Roto-Rooter. Of course this would happen on a Sunday so I was expecting to have to pay extra.
Fortunately for me Roto-Rooter has a customer-centric business policy and understood that disasters don’t observe the calendar or the clock and did not charge extra just because of the day of the week we needed them the most urgently.

 
My first contact with Roto-Rooter was their website that had their service number in big red numbers right at the top of the page where it was easy to find. The woman on the other end of the line was very courteous, but also seemed genuinely sympathetic and understanding to my personal situation and the anxiety I was going through at that moment. She promised to have a technician to my home during a certain time period that day and that I would receive a phone call 30 minutes in advance of their arrival.

 
True to her word, everything happened just as she said, but then things took another unexpected turn. The gentleman who actually showed up at my door was exactly that, a gentleman, in every sense of the word. The professionalism, the exceptional quality of work, his graciousness and good manners, and the professional respect Farhad showed to me was unlike anything I had experienced in quite a long time and if you are a woman you know exactly what I mean.

 
As he began his work to resolve our issue things went from bad to worse quickly. He discovered that there was water damage that had apparently been going on for a while resulting in structural damage to my home. Not what I wanted to hear. It also seemed that there was a secondary issue that would require hiring another contractor and digging up our front lawn and removing most of the drive way to replace some pipes. By this time all I can think of is a bill that started out as a few hundred dollars was suddenly exploding into the thousands and Farhad seemed to understand that.

 
He arranged to have a camera crew come and run a camera through our system to find out exactly how bad the damage was and specifically where it was, thereby reducing the amount of additional damage and expense necessary to the front of my property. Most importantly, Farhad arranged to have this done at no additional charge to me.

 
As you might of guessed, I had just gone from being a satisfied customer to a raging fan as I saw my bill start to come back down. But he wasn’t done. He left my bathroom clean and in good working order. Farhad took a few moments to freshen-up outside at his van before going over my bill with me, which so far was still the same few hundred dollars it started out as. Then as a way of introducing me to a new product and to prevent any more potential issues and expense, Farhad left me with a gallon bottle of Roto-Rooter’s Pipe Shield as a gift.

 
In this one day I experienced each of the key customer service points that you and I have been discussing over the last few weeks. I cannot emphasize enough how important having a customer centered business model is to your business and your bottom-line. If you haven’t had a chance yet to go through my free video series “How to Get More Customers and Grow Your Business” I highly recommend you do now. Each of the videos walks you through how to implement each of the key steps, how it will benefit your business, and it is my gift to you. However, it’s only going to be available for a little while longer because I have a new series coming in just a couple of weeks. So take advantage of them while you still can! Just click the image below to get started!

 

Offer 8