Business in decline? Start calling your customers back

Reaching out to wayward customers will reinvigorate your sales and allow you to do a lot of market research

Business in decline? Start calling your customers backGrant was on the ground yelling as I came around the corner at high speed on my mountain bike at dusk. He had flown off his bike instead of hitting a moose standing on the trail. I skidded to avoid him. I could still see two moose, a cow and her year-old calf, on the…

Five things retailers must do to survive

Those who can adapt will thrive

Five things retailers must do to surviveI once facilitated a meeting of a group of more than 100 retailers. Seventy per cent of them were either fearful or concerned about the future of their stores. And so they should be. Retailing is changing – you would have to be blind not to see that. When I started in retail in the…

Making work fun is not a frivolous pursuit

Fun doesn't mean goofing off. It means enjoying what you’re doing and laughing when things go wrong

Making work fun is not a frivolous pursuit‘Fun’ isn’t a word often spoken in the same sentence as ‘work.’ But Norm and I were driving down a backroad last week in the middle of nowhere when we used those words together. We had just come from a meeting where we were representing our clients in some negotiations and we had really enjoyed…

Be kind. Our staff is working as hard as they can

People who have worked in customer service jobs are now avoiding these positions at all costs

Be kind. Our staff is working as hard as they canIt should be good news. Canada now has the lowest unemployment rate ever. Certainly, a high unemployment rate is bad news. When the rate hits double digits with one in 10 out of work, the economy is in trouble and Canadian workers – and politicians – become fearful about getting and keeping a job. But…

How poor is your user experience on your apps and websites?

UX strives to make complex devices easy, from computing devices to cars, ATMs, airplanes and more

How poor is your user experience on your apps and websites?The importance of user experience (UX) has exploded in the era of ubiquitous personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Poor UX is a major reason apps and websites deliver disappointing business results. UX is the discipline that strives to make complex devices easy to use. Outside of computing devices, it applies to everyday objects, including cars,…

Having trouble keeping or hiring staff?

Increasing wages works to some extent. But retraining and being a better boss will do more

Having trouble keeping or hiring staff?There are many challenges to running a business, including getting capital, getting customers and meeting the competition. Add staffing to the list. Hiring workers used to be less difficult. Any vacancy announcement attracted many more applicants than employers were able to consider. But now, there are multiple vacancies for every able, willing and available worker.…

Reduce your customers’ risk to increase your sales

Building trust and consistency can improve your sales and increase your profits

Reduce your customers’ risk to increase your sales“If only our customers would buy more from us.” This resounding phrase is heard throughout many businesses as the demand for sales increases in order to offset rising costs. While we may wish to create more revenue by selling more, our customers are facing rising costs at the other end of the spectrum. They’re looking…

Are subcontractors hurting your brand?

Subcontractors represent your business. So they need to maintain your standards

Are subcontractors hurting your brand?Imagine paying to have someone bring a washing machine into your house and set it up and then having to fire them before the job is complete. This is exactly what happened to my friends last week after they bought a new washing machine from Home Depot. The wife decided that, as a treat for…

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitability

Getting more of your ideal customers is key

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitabilityJerry reached out to us because he wanted to get out of his business. The business, he said, was “too stressful,” and he “was tired of struggling.” During our discussions with Jerry, we discovered that while the business was doing several million dollars in sales, it was only marginally profitable. Jerry had to work extra…

Are you taking enough pride in your work?

Here are a number of ways to increase opportunities to feel pride

Are you taking enough pride in your work?I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon is a brilliant article by Austin Murphy in the December 2018 issue of The Atlantic. Murphy articulates his career journey as a result of being in an industry disrupted by technology. What really resonated for me about his story was his transformation…

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slip

When we don’t care about clients, we create a culture of complacency that infects our whole organization

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slipOne of my in-laws spent two hours on hold with an airline company last week after his travel agent had spent four hours on hold with the same company. When I asked him about the experience, he said he was happy he didn’t have to wait longer and said the person who answered the phone…

How your employees can build or destroy your brand

Employees play an integral part in the success or failure of a business

How your employees can build or destroy your brandWe were walking by the Vancouver airport recently and an employee was standing outside of the Plaza Premium Lounge greeting passersby and encouraging them to try the service. More akin to the credit card hawkers you typically find in an airport than a lounge greeter, this woman was engaging and aiming to please. If I…

A smile can change your future, and your business

Smiles release serotonin and dopamine in your brain, and that helps improve your mood

A smile can change your future, and your businessWhenever I give a presentation on the impact of body language in the workplace, I always include a section on the power of a smile. That’s because research shows that facial expressions send feedback from your face to your left frontal cortex, which in turn triggers the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine into…

These strategies will help make your business profitable

Could improve your performance by 10 per cent and double your profits

These strategies will help make your business profitableImagine slaving away for years in your own business only to find out that it isn’t worth anything. I regularly meet with business owners who ask me how much their business is worth and I have to tell them the disappointing news that it’s actually worth very little. The reason their business isn’t worth anything…
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