Let’s Get Down To Business

March 23, 2012 by Jennifer Emge · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

The idea of starting a business is exciting, exhilarating, and extremely daunting.  Many of us have toyed with a business venture idea once in awhile and probably thought, “I bet that could work, but…”  It’s that “but” that’s get you.

Most companies are founded on entrepreneurial spirit, and a little business knowledge of course.  So, why don’t we all share some of this knowledge to the up-in-coming generation of future Steve Jobs?

Here is some advice and resources for those who have decided to pass on their expertise…

 

10 Tips for the First-Time Business Owners – http://bit.ly/GGS4d7

1 – Focus, Focus, Focus

2 – Know what you do.  Do what you know.

3 – Say it in 30 seconds or don’t say it at all.

4 – Know what you know, what you don’t know and who knows what you don’t.

5 – Act like a startup.

6 – Learn under fire.

7 – No one will give you money.

8 – Be healthy.

9 – Don’t fall victim to your own B.S.

10 – Know when to call it quits.

 

Young Entrepreneur Advice: 100 Things You Must Know! - http://bit.ly/GILXBw

Some key take-aways from this list include:

The one thing that I wish I would have known before going into business more, was my own strengths and how I use them on a daily basis. – Jason C. Raymer

Don’t work with your spouse. If you want to wreck a marriage, be together 24/7 with one person exerting power over the other. – Susan Schell

How much money would I make in the first couple years of operation.  Obviously, this answer would of told me to find a steady job and do this on the side until I really got it going 3-4 years later. – Marc Anderson

Less time spent on paid marketing/advertising efforts and more time screening and building strong partnerships with influential journalists, writers, editors and television producers. – Philip Farina

 

Marketing Advice from Steve Jobs - http://bit.ly/GONPZO

Let’s be realistic.  Without some sort of marketing, whether it’s social, traditional, or gorilla, it’s vital to a business’ success.  Obviously Steve Jobs knew this, and there’s much we can learn from him.

 

To all of you successful businessmen and women out there reading this – Do you have any advice, tips, or must-knows to pass along?

Customer Service: Get it together!

January 24, 2012 by Jennifer Emge · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you
always put the customer first, success will be yours.”

~Ray Kroc, McDonald’s Corporation

Our world continues to become more and more fast-paced, digital, automated, and globally connected.  It’s amazing how easily we can reach people living in a different country.  We can hold a teleconference with business partners in Japan.  We can Skype with a friend in Greece.  We can tweet back and forth with anyone and everyone from anywhere and everywhere.

But as we all tend to lean towards technology to handle much of our daily business, one important aspect gets kicked under the rug: good, old-fashioned customer service.

We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve had a problem, called some 1-800-number, listened to the typical recording of, “Press 1 for questions about… Press 2 for questions about…” and thought, “I have no idea, none of those options solve my problem.”  So you pick one and pray for the best!  Then, you go on this whole schpeel about what your concern is, only to hear 5 minutes later, “Oh, I think you need to talk to someone in a different department, hold on.” AHH!!

While you might have a great product that you imagine anyone would love to have, or provide a great service that anyone would want, that alone will not keep your business afloat.

I’ll give you an example…

When my husband and I first moved to Massachusetts, we were on the hunt for a guest bedroom set.  We wanted a simple black headboard for the bed to match the other black furniture in the room.  We went to a local furniture store – which was pretty empty of customers at the time – and were approached by a salesman.  We said we did not have any questions yet, and wanted some time to browse.  The salesman ignored us and continued to follow us around the store.  We told him we were looking for something in black, but that again, “we’ll let you know when we find something” and again, he ignored our request and followed us around the store pointing out every piece of furniture that was black (as though we couldn’t figure that out with our own eyes).  He led us to the children’s department (even though the bed was to be for adults, not children) and proceeded to tell us that one of the headboard colors was black when it was very clearly blue (and not anywhere close to black).  He ignored our requests to be left alone – first mistake.  If a customer prefers to browse and is not comfortable with someone in his/her face, leave them alone.  He insulted our capabilities to find what we were searching for by pointing to everything black in the store – second mistake.  Finally, he outright lied to us about the color of a piece of furniture in a desperate attempt at a sale – third and final mistake.

The store very well may have had what we wanted, but it didn’t matter.  The customer service was so frustrating and obnoxious, we left.  Had the man in the end presented us with the exact piece of furniture we wanted at an extremely low price, we still would have left.

This example may be more sales-related, but I think you get the message…

Lesson: You may have your product offering fine-tuned and in a top-notch state, but if your customer service is below satisfactory – forget it.  Throw aside everything you’ve been taught about bagging a sale, and pay attention to your customers.  They will tell you what they want, and the sale will follow.

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