Marketing

The Tyranny of The Bad Customer

“The customer is always right,” or at least that’s what most business owners profess to their employees. We post it for all to see. “Customer satisfaction is job one.” “Our boss is the customer.” The most important person in our …
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Ready...Set...Exit! Part I

For the last six years I’ve been writing and speaking around the country to business owners about the coming tsunami of retiring Baby Boomer business owners. My e-book “Beating the Boomer Bust” details the  statistics (For a free download, go here …
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Customer Service Starts with "Hello."

When asked what differentiates their businesses from giant competitors, most owners will describe their relationship with customers. “We give better service.” “Our employees know our customers by name.” “We treat people as individuals.” What constitutes excellent service differs by industry …
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Size Means Nothing on the Web

A small manufacturer hires a local web development firm, and spends six months reworking his website. He agonizes over every word of the copy. He writes up product descriptions, detailing materials and tolerances. He adds page after page to the …
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Small Business and Social Media II

Last week’s column generated lots of comments, and probably requires some follow up. First, the army of social media fanatics that go ballistic at any hint that SM isn’t the be-all, end-all and answer-from-above for every marketing need on the planet …
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Should Small Business Owners Embrace Social Media?

I order a package of vacuum cleaner bags online. The site cheerfully requests “Like us on Facebook!” Kobe Bryant announces that in order to help the Lakers, he won’t tweet during playoff games. A friend tells me that he is the …
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Does Technology Help or Threaten Small Businesses?

A small computer service company wants to sell Microsoft software licenses to its customers. They send an employee to become certified in licensing. (Microsoft offers some 600 variants.). As soon as they purchase a license, however, Microsoft begins soliciting that customer …
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Giving Referrals: Fire and Forget?

We all appreciate getting referrals. There is a feeling of gratification in knowing that someone thinks enough of your work to send a friend or associate your way. Referrals are usually the life’s blood of most small businesses. When I …
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Can You Build Your Business in Half the Time?

I had an unusual coincidence happen last week. Speaking to prospective new members of The Alternative Board (TAB), I wound up with three CPAs in the same meeting. They were from three different smaller firms, and all three identified their current …
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Trimming the Customer Tree

Anyone who has shopped for a live Christmas tree knows the drill. They have some on display, but none look exactly like what you want. You start looking through the trees that are still bundled up. If one looks promising, …
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