Your Small Business Suggestion Box
A suggestion box is a really good idea for your business. It can help you get valuable feedback from your customers -- feedback that they don't normally think to share with you. Whether your business is a brick and mortar location or purely virtual, it's important to hear from your customers. Here are some tips for success.
- The suggestion box should be in a location where it is easy to see and contain plenty of pads and pencils to make it easy for your customers to contribute their opinions. The same thing applies to your virtual business. Just place a link in a prominent place on your website and call it your suggestion box.
- Sales personnel should be trained to prompt customers at the check out. For your virtual business, direct customers to a suggestion box at sale completion or via an autoresponder after the sale.
- Offer an incentive (monthly drawing or free gift) to customers who do take the time to provide their feedback.
Make sure that your intentions are to use the feedback from your customers to add to your product offerings or improve your business. Feedback for feedback's sake is a waste of everyone's time.
Denise O'Berry helps small business owners take action to grow their business. Find out more at http://www.smallbusinessmatters.com
Franchising Industry Burdened in Over Regulation
There were only an estimated 1800 active franchisors in this country at the end of 2002, that number down from 6000 in a single decade. It is not hard from this effort to increase regulations to see why. I believe the Federal Trade Commission's franchising expenditures should be cut by the same rate of decline after all they caused it. Why is the Federal Trade Commission favoring one business model over another, actually the franchising model lowers prices to consumers through economies of scale, efficiency of operations and competition. Any and all increased regulation over the franchising business model is a clear sign that the Federal Trade Commission is titling the field for the larger corporate box store and by doing so is hurting our country, decreasing competition in the market place and decreases choices for forward advancement of every citizen who wants to have a fulfilled life and a meaningful job. Shame on you, FTC; what an insidious consequence of this rule-making group at the Federal Trade Commission? Such a small group gets to decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of American workers and the destiny's of thousands of America's future bright star entrepreneurs and innovators. If this whole process is not evil, then I cannot even imagine what is?
FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule
Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then asked for comments on modifications of the franchise rule. There has been no real significant changes since the 1970's, but lots of opinions and case law along the way. All these complications of rules and the rules proposed today by the Federal Trade Commission do not help franchisors remain efficient or franchisees sell more pizza, hamburgers or donuts.
The Misconceptions of the Value Of Disclosures in Franchising
Disclosure laws in franchising are suppose to help the consumer. They don't. The FTC, which over sees franchising has in fact created a rule, which makes 5 lb. Disclosure documents for franchise buyers, which is so huge that no one ever reads it. I know when I personally meet a franchise buyer whose application form is approved and hand them a UFOC, Uniform Franchise Offering Circular with attachments and watch their jaw drop and then their hand drop when they clutch it in their hands (due to the weight of the 155 to 200 pages), I see a blank look. I apologize every time for my unreasonable government and the US legal system for the rules.
Is Your Business Property Safe and Secure?
Security Professionals provide the products and services necessary to create a safe and secure workplace for you and your employees. Products such as lever hardware, panic and exit devices, desk locks and high security key control systems, as well as security boxes and safes, can help you protect your business and property. In addition, electronic access control systems can be designed to restrict access to the building or business complex in order to increase security and control.
Small Business Health Check-Up
If your home business is not performing the way you hoped for, rather than stay away at night...use this simple list to check-up on possible reasons why your business is under performing.
An observation while returning home from a seminar: Getting away from the everyday allows room for analysis and new thoughts. Stimulation while away from the everyday energizes analytical and concept ional thinking.
Perfecting Your Pitch
Why should you describe your business to others in 5 to 10 seconds?
Power Tools for Business
How do we keep track of our business deals?
Is This The Way Its Always Been Done?
Let's face it, we all tend to get stuck in doing things 'the way they've always been done', and creating products, or services, in a similarly conservative mode.
Franchisor Prospect Checklist Sample Form
Due to the over regulation in the Franchising Industry and the litigation it is important to keep impeccable records. From the first phone call, email to the signing of the franchise agreement everything should be documented. Below is a checklist we created for our franchise company and one I wish you would consider when creating your own. I recommend you copy this article and then modify it to fit your business model.
Direct Mail - For Small Businesses
We hear a lot of talk about junk mail nowadays. Many peoplewill tell you that they dump it straight in the trash. Butwhy do you think so many organisations send out so calledjunk mail - because it works!
Boat Cleaning Business Case Study: Entrepreneurship 101
How do marine type businesses start? Have you ever thought of turning a hobby into a business? Let me tell you a story of how I got into the Boat Detailing Business when I started our in the car cleaning business which grew into a franchise system. So often we read in business books to study markets and develop business plans when in reality it does not exactly work that way. Let me tell you a story of how sometimes the entrepreneur just falls into opportunity.
Build Your Small Business by Building Relationships
-- The One Pager Shortcut Series --
Real World Accounting for Small Business Owners
If you're like me, you love accounting. It's so fascinating and such an ingenious system. Don't you just think that Double Entry Accounting is the most beautiful creation of all humankind?
Making Direct Mail Work for Small Businesses
If you own a small business, then you know the value of affordable and effective marketing. Unfortunately, many traditional and online advertising methods are becoming quite expensive. This article will explain direct mail guidelines and methods.
Mobile Pressure Washing and City Contracts
Many mobile pressure-washing companies turn to government contacts to make money. It is very easy to acquire such municipal contracts for cleaning, as the government needs some cleaning up. The cities generally have a fiscal year starting in June, so you want to check on the available contracts around the end of March to see what is coming up, which departments will have budget monies available and also go and visit the local department heads to see what is needed. Believe me even local cities waste money and you may as well get some. If this bothers you, then make the money and donate some to a candidate who promises to trim some of the fat next year.
Smart PR Tactics for Small Businesses
Small businesses need Public Relations, possibly more than large corporations, to put them on the map. If you consider that time is money, however, you may find that handling your own public relations is a daunting task and not necessarily worth the monetary savings. Here are some ideas of how to get the best bang for your PR buck by thoughtful outsourcing:
The Business Autopsy: A Fact Of Life
Last week we discussed the importance of performing an autopsy on a dead business. No, I haven't been watching too many of those wonderfully graphic, TV forensic investigation shows. The reason I recommend you do a business autopsy is to uncover the exact reasons why the business died. This is valuable information that can not only heal feelings of personal failure, but also better prepare you for the pitfalls of business should you ever take the plunge again.
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
Wichita KS; Anything is Possible in Wichita Business
Just when the entire state was kissing Wichita goodbye, economically speaking, they turn around their economy like a hammer-head stall. The BTK is caught and has gone away and the Aircraft Industry has decided to stay. Last year 40% of all the aircraft in the world were made in Wichita and instead of losing market share they are gaining ground on the other aerospace manufacturing cities in the United States and around the world.
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