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  • December 15, 2014 Image preview

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the connection between good customer service and the reduction of shoplifting in a retail store setting. Today I want to continue the discussion of customer service with tips any business can use, especially as we enter the time when many renew commitment to their business through New Year’s resolutions.

    Make your customers feel welcome. It sounds simple and it should be routine to make your customers feel welcome, but some businesses have challenges with this. Making your customers feel welcome fulfills a basic human need and it is important at every point of contact, whether it is in person, on the phone, or with email and other electronic communication. It sets the stage for everything to come with the customer relationship. This needs to be in place in order to be perceived as having good customer service. Hiring good employees who are naturally friendly and helpful at every point is a good start at insuring this is in place. In addition, reinforce to employees on a regular basis how important it is to make every customer always feel welcome. Remember to model the behavior you want your employees to imitate. When we as customers encounter a business that makes us feel welcome, we cannot help but walk away with a good feeling.

  • December 08, 2014 Image preview

    To many small business owners, this is a crazy time of year.  You are pushing projects across the finish line.  Completing performance reviews with employees.  Finalizing plans and budgets for next year.  Oh, and the holidays are coming to bring even more chaos onto your over-scheduled calendar.  Some companies are not running what is called a “lifestyle business.”  They are running businesses that are being milked by owners, partners or a few leaders in order to take lots of cash and cool perks for the few.

    Most small business owners are committed to growing their businesses.  They want to create jobs for lots of people.  They are working on leaving a legacy of significance and pouring everything they have into making their business a success.  The big mistake successful small business owners must avoid is working so hard there is little time or energy to enjoy what they have achieved.  This risk is amplified during the holidays when the pressure of business can be greater than at any other time of the year.  There are opportunities outside of business hours that are more plentiful than ever and time seems to be in shorter supply than usual.  Let’s look at ways in which to make your holiday season a little less stressful and more enjoyable.

  • November 30, 2014 Image preview

    SAN ANGELO, Texas - The holiday retail selling season is here, an important time of year for most retailers. A significant portion of their annual sales and profits will occur during this time.

    So how do retailers ensure they are making the most profits?

    For one, they can review two aspects of retail business that might seem unrelated: shoplifting and customer service.

    Actually the two go hand in hand to create a profitable holiday selling season.

    For retailers, shoplifting increases during the holiday selling season because shoplifters sense there is plenty of merchandise and plenty of customers, which makes it difficult for store employees to properly monitor the merchandise.

    Shoplifting is a part of overall inventory shrinkage, which is the amount of inventory lost due to shoplifting, employee theft and paperwork errors.

  • November 24, 2014 Image preview

    Small Business Saturday is THIS Saturday, November 29th.  Started as an effort to focus on locally owned businesses, this day falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  First observed on November 27, 2010, Small Business Saturday was conceived and promoted by American Express.  AMEX supported the initial launch by purchasing advertising inventory on Facebook and then passing the opportunity to advertise on to their small merchant account holders.

    Now in its fourth year, the event has taken on a grass roots demeanor and encourages shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses which are small and local.  Even marketing firms have jumped on board to promote this Saturday event.

    Rhonda Abrams, USA Today columnist and best-selling small business author, uses the word “localism” to define not only this particular day, but a shopping culture. “Localism – a movement that encourages citizens to shop at local, independent small businesses.”

  • November 16, 2014 Image preview

    Crowdfunding seems to be a new and unknown term in the world of business today. In reality, crowdfunding dates back to 1885 when Joseph Pulitzer launched a campaign in the newspaper, The New York World, to raise funds to build a base for the Statue of Liberty. By collecting mere pocket change from various individuals in all walks of life, they were able to fund the project with the support of the masses.

    Crowdfunding has come a long way since the initial project. There are now two types of crowdfunding campaigns: The first is crowdfunding for equity, which just recently became approved in the state of Texas and allows participation for most Texans, not just accredited investors. The other is crowdfunding for rewards, which is the most popular because anyone can participate in rewards-based crowdfunding. Below is a brief discussion of crowdfunding for rewards.

 


 

Business Tips Archive

The most current Business Tips article is available on the San Angelo Standard Times online newspaper The following Business Tips articles are provided for you in an Adobe PDF format.