What Your Small Business Can Learn From The Doctor
Most doctors never distinguish the difference between customers and patients. That's why they have waiting rooms instead of reception areas.
Walk into most any doctor's office and you'll see numerous chairs -- typically full of people waiting to see the doctor -- and signs that tell you what you can't do or must do (e.g., you must wait 3 days for a referral, you must present co-pay before seeing the doctor).
On top of that, doctors have the best gatekeeper's in the world -- not to keep salespeople away, but to keep the patients (customers) at bay.
What other business could not only survive but thrive by conducting themselves the way many doctor's offices do? Not many if any at all. You certainly couldn't keep my clients waiting outside your business for an hour when they have an appointment -- you'd be out of business!
So what can your small business learn from this?
- If you have a reception area, make sure your clients or customers are made to feel like they are important to your business. This area should match the look and feel of what your company values.
- It's a good thing to have policies and procedures, but don't post it on signs all around your office for the world to see.
- Make sure the first person your customers find when they visit your office is the "Creator of Great First Impressions," not the gatekeeper.
Denise O'Berry helps small business owners take action to grow their business. Find out more at http://www.smallbusinessmatters.com
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.
Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned From My Nametag
So there I was ? sitting in the audience of an on-campus seminar. Surrounding me sat hundreds of fellow students; each of us wearing one of those little, handwritten, adhesive nametags. When the event was over, we all filed toward the exit. I approached the door and noticed a small trashcan filled to the brim with ripped up, used nametags.
But Weve Always Done It This Way
Sacred cows take a long time to die. We get comfortable in the way we do things and lose sight of how they could be improved. Here's an interesting story.
Successful Small Businesses Use PR
It's obvious when a small business has accepted the fact that its most important outside audiences need lots of care and feeding. They do something about it.
Restaurant Operators - What Skills do you Need
A tongue-in-cheek look at the skills required to operate a restaurant but?on he whole they come pretty close to the truth.
Getting Behind in Your Work? You Need a Virtual Assistant!
If you don't know what a Virtual Assistant (or VA) is, don't worry. I only came across the term myself about a year ago. It seemed like a high-tech occupation that I would know little about until I stumbled across some information and found out that I was a Virtual Assistant! Not only that, I realized that small businesses were missing out on the opportunity to improve their efficiency by neglecting the vast talent so easily available online.
How Is the LEGAL SYSTEM Dishing Out JUSTICE in Your Town?
Thankfully, most of us will never find out. That is a GOOD thing! However, if YOU are a small business owner it's something worth knowing before one day you get kicked in the back-side.
Get In Touch With Your Competition!
We all know that competition is an ugly word but competitors are a fact of life in business. If your business can't compete with other businesses, don't start it. You have to have some type of an edge.
Dispute Resolution; Competing With Other Franchisees
If you are in a franchise and have a territory dispute with another franchisee you need to prevent a lawsuit use dispute resolution techniques to resolve the dispute. Competing with other franchisees is a subject that franchisors would prefer not to need to talk about. This is a real problem for some types of franchises. For instance mobile service businesses and home based franchises.
Deciding Which State To Incorporate Your Small Business In
Once you've decided to incorporate your small business the next step is deciding which state to incorporate in. A common misconception is that businesses must incorporate in their state of operation. You can, in fact, incorporate in any one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia regardless of where your business currently operates.
Do You Want Your Own Fully Programmable ERP? - Part 3
Continuing from the second article:
Three Small Business Secrets to Getting More Billable Time
As small business owners we're in business to make money doing what we love. And that means we need enough billable hours to cover our expenses, our payroll, upgrades in skills and technology, and profit. But if stay in business for any length of time, you eventually reach the point where you just don't have more hours in the day to give to your business. After all, you have a personal life too. (If you don't have a personal life, you really need to work on that.) So, if you've maxed out on the hours you have available to build your business, how can you get more billable hours?
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.
13 Steps to Protect Yourself from Your Bank
The success of your business is critically dependent on how well you negotiate and manage your financial partners. Banks, investors, credit cards and financial services companies work for you. Therefore, you need to be sure you are working together, understand the plans of each and have the best idea of what and how things will happen when times get tough.
Finance Your Small Business: So Much Money, So Little Time
$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded yesterday. $51.4 million funded the day before.
A Key to Success: Be Consistent
Over the years I heard the best way to learn something is toto teach it. Well, this week's topic, practicing consistentbehavior, is definitely something I need to learn and practicemore effectively.
Small Does Not Mean Invisible!
Running a business on the net these days can be like looking up into a clear night sky; it can leave you feeling very small and insignificant.
Mobile Car Washes and Shoe Policies
Mobile carwashing is hard work, it is tough on the your body and it pays to have athletic type shoes that do not get wet easily. Sometimes rapid pace car washing in parking lots can be a lot like playing basketball, except you are on a slippery and uneven surface. Here is some advice after 27 years in the business of twisted ankles and soggy socks.
Cabinet Refacing Business Opportunities
With all the cabinet refacing business opportunities out there, you could have a home based business that grows in this expanding industry. You've wanted your own kitchen updated, or talked to friends and family who have put out thousands of dollars remodeling theirs. It is an industry that will expand continuously, as homes are getting older and people want a new modern look.
Self Serve Car Washes in the United States
In the 2003 Auto Laundry News Survey it was determined that only 10% of the Coin-op Car Washes had a web site. So if you are doing lots of individual research on car washes that are self serve, do not expect to find a lot of data on the Internet. Owners of coin-op car washes say that only 76% have internet access. The average population is 64% in the US. Not much better, so this low tech sector of the Industry seems to remain un Tech. Only 15% of coin-ops surveyed took credit cards for tokens, machines or even concession machines. Of which 17% only claimed to have concession machines, which most feel are 1/3 of their income if they had them. Only 4% had drinking water fountains. 13% had added an in bay automatic in the last five years. 51% had more than one location.
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