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Why Small Organizations Mean Big Business

Why Small Organizations Mean Big Business

In the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, the sub-plot aside from the love angle is that the heroine (played by Meg Ryan) was forced out of business when the big-time bookstore owner (played by Tom Hanks) moved into town.

Meg’s character owned a quaint little bookstore which she inherited from her mother. Although the prices of her books were a little steep, she makes up for it in service. She packs the books in a specialized bag, and she knows all of her customers by name.

Tom’s character, on the other hand, moved into town to build a branch of a big chain-bookstore which offered discounted prices and a huge building, as compared to Meg’s little bookshop on one corner of the town’s streets.

In the end, Meg was forced out of business because her customers went to Tom’s monstrous bookshop.

Nowadays, this situation will not hold true anymore.

More and more small organizations are paving the way and giving big businesses a shot of their own medicine.

In the movie, the reason why Meg Ryan was forced out of business is because she cannot profit anymore. Her prices are steep as compared to the other big business’ discounted rates.

Her only edge is that she gives personal service, she knows her customers by name and she has a very small staff, about 2 or 3 employees.

As a small organization you may have these qualities as your edge to compete against the big sharks in business. Small businesses have big competition. This means that you need to know how to survive out there. No matter what nature of business you have, it is better to learn about the competition so that you will be able to survive.

Here are some tips on how you can hold your own against a big business:

1) Keep your business alive. When it seems as if your cash flow is in a downward slope, keep a tight rein on your budget. Do not spend on unnecessary business purchases and always balance your books. If you are one to buy on impulse or if you are the type to listen to those who sweet-talk you into purchasing “necessary” items, control yourself. Get a second and third opinion if possible, as these impulsive buys may lead to the end of your small organization.

2) Do not be afraid to seek professional help. The fall of most small businesses start with decisions on problems which are not carefully analyzed. Although you think that you already have a contingency plan, make sure that you have foreseen the results of a certain business decision. In the long run, it is better to seek professional help rather than embark on a plan that could start the downfall of your business.

3) Keep your books straight. The better option is for you to hire a professional outside accountant to figure the returns of your investment and handle the other financial aspects of your business.

4) Take advantage of every free business consultation whenever available. This does not just help widen your knowledge, but it will also give you an idea of how other businesses are run by small-scale owners.

5) Know exactly where your business is headed. In your day-to-day operations, make sure that you know where you want your company to be 5 or 10 years from now. Be always aware of the trends in the industry that you are in, practice good money management and learn how to recognize potential problems before they arise.

6) Learn how to market your small organization. Marketing is not about trying to sell your products and services to everyone. It is about knowing who to market your products to. In marketing, it is good to remember these fast facts:

Know about your customers.

Communicate with your customers.

Build a good and personalized relationship with your customers.

This will be a great edge for you to have against the bigger companies. They might offer discounted prices but it is harder for them to keep track of customers on a more personal basis. Do not stop the marketing process. As a small organization, you need to routinely review the markets that you need to pursue so that you can better reach out to your customers.

Remember, small organizations are big businesses these days so do not be afraid to work hard for the company that you have – no matter how small. If you work hard, make wise business decisions, learn how to market your small business and personalize your customer interaction, your small-scale business is sure to rise to the top.

Virtually Yours,
April

Customer Service – Consumer Dissatisfaction

Customer Service – Consumer Dissatisfaction

According to this article I read, a recent study shows that consumers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the service they are provided with from a variety of firms and are leaving the companies they deal with solely based on customer service. I have always felt that if you do not take care of your customers concerns competently and as quickly as possible, you take a huge chance of losing that customers loyalty and they WILL take their business to your competitor.

According to this survey, a staggering 51%  of consumers took their business elsewhere due to bad customer service.

One of the main complaints is having to contact customer service for the same complaint and not receiving a response. Your customer shouldn’t have to call on you for an answer to the same question more than once. If you don’t have the answer as soon as the question or concern is voiced, it’s okay to research and call the customer back ON THE SAME DAY. It’s unacceptable to leave a customer hanging until the next day without a response at all. If you don’t have an answer by the end of the business day, it’s imperative that you call your customer back to let them know you are still working on their issue and that you didn’t forget about them.

It’s all about making the customer feel important. You don’t always have to have the answer at the drop of a hat, but as long as your customer knows you are working toward a resolution, they will know they’re in good hands! And don’t forget to smile!

Read all about it here.

Share my blog with your co-workers and business associates. It may help them keep a long-standing customer.

Virtually Yours,

April

 

 

The Importance of Great Customer Service Skills

The Importance of Great Customer Service Skills

In my opinion, customer service is THE single most important aspect of running a successful business. Treating EVERY customer like they are the BEST customer is key. When dealing with your customer/client, imagine how YOU would like to be treated. Do you appreciate being addressed by name when you visit your bank or another establishment you visit frequently? It personalizes the interaction; makes you feel important and welcome, doesn’t it?

Part of great customer service is also presenting a smile. Whether in person or on the phone, a smile can be felt inside. Try looking in a mirror when you speak on the phone and SMILE! It most definitely can be heard in your voice.

This is an excellent article covering the best customer service skills. During my 15 years as a customer service rep, I can tell you that the skills and key points made in this article are right on the money for keeping your customers happy! I know you will benefit from the tips presented here, so please share with co-workers, friends, family AND business associates!

http://www.hdkeys.com/The_Importance_of_Good_Customer_Service

 

Virtually Yours,

April