Small Business Tips

The Corporation as a Psychopath - Not So Present In Small Business?

This article was prompted, as I arrived at Gold Coast airport this morning, skipping to Sydney to try to learn something, by the (new?) sign at the airport car park “Premium Parking”.

Premium Parking? $30 a day! First Class begins even before you board. Or some such crap.

I chose business coaching because I was sick of the corporate attitude - you’ve heard of the idea that the corporation is a psychopath? It has no soul nor conscience, it exists only to make money for its shareholders. 

This breeds, in the corporation and in its employees, an attitude that neglects the human aspects of business - caring about people, being responsible and having obligations to other people and to the environment and to community. The idea that people will pay extra (probably with their company credit card) for a special parking spot that lifts them above the ordinary plebs somehow is part of this rubbish isn’t it? Read More »

Ultimate Survival Guide to Designing and Marketing Your Business

Announcing our friend's monthly webinar in Murwillumbah - only of interest if you are near there!

Design and marketing for a small business.

It will be interesting. See flyer below for all the details.

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Stress and How To Handle It

It’s a rare person in small business who doesn’t feel stressed.

Let’s face it, as small business owners we have all the right ingredients to make us super-stressed. We’re more exposed to the reality of uncertainty. We have less predictability than someone who is employed. And we quite often don’t have the support of someone we can bounce ideas off or who will pick up the slack when we’re not ‘on’.

We’re not really built to be dealing with these stressors on a daily basis. We were designed in cave man days where almost nothing happened all the time. We mostly lolled about, dining on sumptuous local produce, and having hippy-commune style sex. We were only beset by the occasional sabre-tooth tiger attack or the more frequent stress of falling down after imbibing too much of the juice of fermented berries.  Read More »

Keep Customers Happy With Rewards

How many clients did you contact these past few weeks? It better be a lot, since we haven't been in touch for awhile!
Who doesn’t love presents? Or praise? Or some unexpected little treat? I know I do. Customers love these too.
I’ll give you a little scenario. your dog. What does he get everytime he does something good? A reward. A pat on the head. A doggy biscuit. Words of encouragement.  Read More »

What's your biggest frustration in business?

Last week I asked you what's your biggest frustration in business We've had a few good responses, but we are still collating data. That means we want more! I told you I'd reveal my top three this week.  I've been involved in (or told about) similar surveys before. Top were:

1. Getting more customers
2. Staff

Apparently by a long way.

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Biggest Frustration in Business

We thought it might be fun to do some comparing.  Read More »

You Can’t Keep Your Customers Happy If They Can’t Remember Who You Are

How did you go with your F*%k Up Repair Strategy? If you didn’t do it last week, you’d better do it now.

There’s this little thing in business psychology called ‘top-of-mind-awareness’. Basically, when you’re top-of-mind to your customers, you are the first person they think of when they need a service or business like yours. You’re at the top of their mind when they’re sorting through their memory banks.

This is a good thing if we want customers to keep coming back to us and to refer new business to us.

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Keeping Customers Happy - Even When You F*%k Up

Did you get personal with your customers last week? I hope you did!

Let’s face it, we all f*%k up sometimes. Surprisingly, a good f*%k up can be an opportunity to build trust and loyalty with your customers.

Let’s take a little lesson from love. If you’re anything like me, you can remember back to the last argument you had with your partner. If you’re lucky like me, you would have heard a genuine, heartfelt “sorry, how can I make it better” from your partner. If you’re anything like me you will always be right and should hear this a lot ;)

How quickly did a heartfelt apology and desire to rectify the problem make your anger fall away? It’s the same for your customers. If you f*%k up with your customers, apologise and try to fix it. Immediately. Even if you think they’re wrong. Bad news travels fast and if you piss off an already irate customer, that news will travel faster than all f*%k to a LOT of other potential customers.

Genuinely trying to fix the problem and taking a no excuses approach (“sorry, I f*%cked up” rather than “I f*%cked up because of…..”) will help your customer see you’re human (like them), you make mistakes (like them) and you know how to make everything better. They may remember your f*%k up but how you repair it will be foremost in their mind and will be the story they tell other people.

Think about how you handle customer complaints and how you handle your f*%k ups. What do you need to change about how you deal with it? Do you need to learn to swallow your pride? Do you need to respond to them faster?

Set a plan in place about how you will deal with them in future. Make sure your team is on board with your F*%k Up Repair Strategy. DO IT!

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
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Keep Your Customers Happy By Getting Personal

Did you set up your database last week? Told you I’d be checking on you!

To keep customers happy you need to know what they want. And you get to know what they want by getting to know who they are.

When was the last time you asked your customers for feedback on your service or business? If you have face-to-face contact, when was the last time you asked them about their lives and things they enjoy?

When you know more about your customer you have more opportunities to keep them happy. Whether it’s purely for marketing purposes – these customers buy this stuff only so I’ll only send marketing materials for those products rather than bug them with everything. Too much in-your-face contact can put people off.

When you know more about your customers on a personal level you can help them in ways that may be unrelated to your business but builds trust and gratitude, both of which release feel good chemicals in the brain. Giving more than customers expect is a great way to keep them loyal. Givers, rather than takers or matchers, are over-represented in the ‘successful’ category. Isn’t that the category you want to be in? Then be a ‘giver’ to your customers.

Can you find a way you can help your customer? Can you make an introduction that would help them with an issue they’re facing? Can you solve a problem they have? Can you recommend a resource that might be useful to them?

What one thing could you do this week to get to know your customers better? Think about it then DO IT!

Here are some ideas:

  • An email or survey asking for feedback on your business, what could be improved etc.
  • A quick call to a customer at the completion of a job with the aim of finding out how it went, what keeps them happy about your work, and what else might be helpful to them.

Ask these questions via your social media marketing.

One more thing – when you get feedback, make sure you act on it. Trust is everything in small business.

Jon Dale Read More »

How to keep customers happy

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