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27 11, 2010

Small Business Saturday: Make it Your Celebration

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00November 27th, 2010|Categories: Blog, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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The first annual Small Business Saturday, November 27, 2010.

Small businesses unite.

November 27th has been declared small business Saturday

“This is the start of a movement,” said Kenneth Chenault, CEO and Chairman of American Express since 2001. November 27th has been proclaimed Small Business Saturday.  “Small Business Saturday” is being spread on Facebook and Twitter with American Express extending an offer of $25.00 card credit to the first 100,00 who sign up to to use their American Express to make a purchase.

The “Small Business Saturday” initiative was launched this week on social networking websites to help participants spread the word about the impact of local spending.  According to advocacy group The 3/50 Project, $68 of every $100 spent in small businesses remains in the community.  It is also estimated by the federal government that 2/3rds of all new American jobs over the past two decades have been created by small businesses.  The idea behind shop locally and the 3/50 Project was spearheaded by Cynda  Baxter.   Check out her blog, Always Upward.

These days the Internet makes it a lot easier to start a movement, states  Nathan McGee,  in his blog about starting a movement.  The Harvard Business Review talks about creating movements, taking charge and learning how to lead.  Here’s a download-able pdf file, from Corporate Performance Resources, that talks about leadership and responsibility. With leadership, goes responsibility and a certain amount of stress. Leadership isn’t for everyone nor is the stress that can come with leadership.  Of course, there’s good stress and bad stress.  Making something happen is definitely good stress.

As “Small Business Saturday” approaches, make the most of it for your business.  Post “Support Small Business Saturday” on your Facebook. Twitter and blog about it.    Let’s turn it into something that makes consumers pay attention.   As small business owners, this is another opportunity for us to join in and promote our “smallness” and our “uniqueness”.  It also is an opportunity to show we’re united.

Does it work for the floor covering industry?  I spoke with Joan Cocuzzo of Flooring American in Franklin, MA .  She’s all for it!

“Anything that gets the customer out is a good thing.  In my 15 years of experience, I find that customers are buying electronics and toys after Thanksgiving and not flooring. Of course we will certainly be open on Saturday supporting “Small Business Saturday” and welcoming our customers,” says Joan.

What can you do?  Join up with your business neighbors and create a cross over promotion; they say two heads are better than one.  We know that two pocketbooks are better than one.

Celebrate your business; have a birthday party for your store!

Celebrate small businesses everywhere, help customers see that you’re proud to be a small business.

Don’t forget to have special coupons or give-a-ways for the day.

Plan for special demonstrations, gift cards, bands, give away poinsettia plants  or Christmas trees.

You’ve got plenty of help with the day; remember American Express is spearheading the event and the last I looked there were almost 900 people on Facebook  “liking”  the day.

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9 11, 2010

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00November 9th, 2010|Categories: Blog, Blogging, Building a Brand, Change, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Economy, fun, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Success|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |3 Comments

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Take a riskI hope this article is timely for you; it is for me.  For many of us the  economy is still moping along and we’re trying to figure out what to do next. Consumers are changing their buying habits, myself included. Friends are downsizing their lifestyles and examining their life choices. The recession may be over, but the landscape has changed.  In many ways it’s unfamiliar; at least it is to me.   I’m in a different place too. It’s not a bad place, it’s just a different place and different doesn’t always feel right–especially in the beginning.

Change is good. Well, change is interesting but it’s more interesting if it’s happening to you rather than me. In my case, I find when it’s time  for a change I put more hours in at the health club! Somehow I know it’s a safe place for my mind and my body. I feel less stressed after my workout and  feel I’ve done something good for me.

Each of us is building new roads, repairing our highways and hopefully avoiding serious pitfalls.  I’m convinced that sharing this journey with positive friends who have good intentions will make our journey more pleasant and safe. It’s time to re-cultivate your the garden and  get rid of the weeds that might be choking you from making new decisions. Sometimes, these weeds come in surprising forms–forms we call “friends.”

Just as I’m writing this article, I received this from Kevin Clancey a Realtor in Albany, New York from his Monday Morning Mojo:

The biggest obstacle to creating a wonderful life is self-limiting beliefs. A self-limiting belief is an idea you have that you are limited in some way, in terms of time, talent, intelligence, money, ability, or opportunity. Brian Tracy

At times we all have limiting beliefs, and there’s nothing to fear except fear itself and fear can be defined with the acronym “false evidence appearing real”. So, now what, where do you begin? It’s time for you to become your own coach, a good coach.

Speaking of coaches, one of my guests on Red Hot Customer Service Show was John Stahl from The Growth Coach of New York  serving business owners throughout the Northeast. John talks about limiting beliefs. Of course, beliefs simplify our lives but limiting beleifs dis-empower and hold us back. John talks about “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable” while making changes. If you’re talking about business challenges, Johns says the biggest challenge is between the ears of the business owner. I think this is a problem that many of us share.

Coach Vincent Lombardi once said that the difference between a good coach and a bad coach is the good coach always knew what the end would look like. If you don’t know where your want to go, how will you get there? If you get wherever “there” is, how will you know it’s the right place? In Warren Bennis’s book, “View from the Top“, he examines ninety leaders and found that one of key strategies was “attention through vision.”

What’s vision you ask? Vision can be a simple act or a thought; what do I really want out of life?

What makes me happy?

What are my dreams, my goals or my purpose? What would I like more of in my life?

I know I want more time at the lake.

Sometimes visions are statement for the future, a destination that you want to achieve. Last year I joined Toastmasters. I have competed in several events and recently joined the advanced Toastmasters Group. My goal is to continue to advance my speaking craft–I love speaking. The club gives me the opportunity to test new topics, get feedback and make changes. It’s a way to continually focus on something that’s important in my life.

Your vision may be simple. If you are invested in the outcome and feel ownership over your vision, then the happiness is in the journey– the appreciation of the uniqueness of the components it takes to get there.

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