Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Mistakes in Small Business PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Vaspers the Grate Presents: "Big Mistakes in Small Business" on Blog Talk Radio. 16 minutes in duration.

Many businesses are shocked at declining sales, but what are they changing in the business to increase sales? Notice I asked "what are they changing in the business" rather than "what are they doing to increase sales".

Don't put your focus, or the blame, on the customer, the industry trends, the economy, or the President. Focus on what you as CEO, Owner, or Manager need to change about how you do and think about your business.

Reliance on discounts and sales events is no substitute for a solid business plan, superior customer relations, and great marketing.

Sell more products by educating customers, training and inspiring and rewarding employees, and helping customers make wise product choices. Shouting sales messages, instead of sharing expertise, is a quick way to alienate shoppers. You'll sell more, and get more word of mouth promotion, when you educate and interact with customers.

If customers are coming in as frequently, and aren't spending as much money as they used to, you must be able to absorb the decline as you search for a consumer group that is spending money on something related to your business, and try to appeal to that group.

Even in depressions, there are some people spending money on something.

If you sell something that is manufactured, perhaps you should start also selling products that enable the customer to make it themselves. You could sell tools and how-to books, for example.

Customer service is usually the best way to zoom ahead of your competitors. A truly friendly, non-pushy, helpful, fun environment is hard to maintain, so if you can do it, you'll improve sales and customer loyalty.

Ask employees what needs to be done, or what should be stopped. Find out more exactly, and with deeper insight, what consumers want now, and what they will want in the future.

Are you stuck in the past, while your customers are in the present, and your industry is speeding toward the future? If so, you're in a nightmare time warp, and you probably won't survive it.

Train everyone all the time. Give them assigned online research, reading, and test them on what they learned. Have a daily morning pep talk, where you get all your employees on fire for a focused goal for that day or week. Inspire, don't just hire and toss them into the quagmire.

You must personally learn new technology, not just delegate it to others. That way you'll be able to more accurately evaluate what you need, what it should cost, and what it should do in terms of business goals.

Just because you can't measure the impact of something, that doesn't mean you don't need it. Good will is an elusive and fragile substance. Building good relationships with employees and customers means mingling with them a lot more.

There is no excuse for having an Achilles heel. The less you personally know about technology, the easier you will be for con artists to scam. And you will be scammed. How can you avoid it, if you know nothing about the technology?

NEW MANTRA: "No Eventual Miracle. Only Continual Improvement."

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

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