Archive for Beyond the TEXT

Making the Connection

Understanding who your customers are and making a connection with them is a key to success – whether it is an educational institution or a local farmers market.

There are many web tools available today for individuals and small businesses alike to connect with others.

…from Facebook pages for promoting small businesses to Twitter for one-to-one and one-to-many communications to YouTube for developing commercials…

Web tools, such as these, provide opportunities for connections to be made, thus enabling relationship building on a one-to-one platform. How you connect with customers (both current and potential) and promote your small business is entirely up to you. However, one thing is certain – without you reaching out to them and beginning the conversation a relationship will cease to exist at a higher level.

One of the many benefits of building relationships with customers via web tools is word-of-mouth advertising. What better way to have a new customer, than for them to be referred by a current customer and to “like” your business, while spending time and money in your establishment.

If you would like to learn more about these web tools for your business, we can help you and your business build relationships for a prosperous future.

THE Plan

Do you have a plan for the coming year? No? Yes?

If yes, does your plan provide opportunities to be adaptable? No? Yes?

One of the KEYS to thriving as a small business is ADAPATABILITY – able to adjust oneself readily to different conditions.

“When the initial Cylon attack against the Twelve Colonies fails to achieve complete extermination of human life as planned, twin Number Ones (Cavils) embedded on Galactica and Caprica must improvise to destroy the human survivors.”

Battlestar Galactica – The plan

Now, I do not watch many movies, nor am I promoting “destroy the human survivors”, but I am familiar with Battlestar Galactica. The plan was a movie released in 2009, of which the storyline uses “improvise” – to make, provide, or arrange from whatever materials are readily available; Example: We improvised a dinner from yesterday’s leftovers.

What have you improvised within your business over the past year? Have you been adaptable to those changes in business conditions? …better yet, do YOU have a PLAN for the coming year?

Yes? – make sure your plan includes areas for adaptability. No? – maybe we can help you, not only with a plan, but also in being adaptable.

Ideas – WHERE do they come from?

Everywhere we go and everything we do starts with an idea. But…

Ideas, ideas, ideas.  Ever wonder where ideas come from? And how?

…how does an idea move into an action too?

“Surprisingly, little “Al” (Thomas Edison), who was the last of seven children in his family, did not learn to talk until he was almost four years of age.  Immediately thereafter, he began pleading with every adult he met to explain the workings of just about everything he encountered. If they said they didn’t know, he would look them straight in the eye with his deeply set and vibrant blue-green eyes and ask them “Why?””

(Excerpt http://www.thomasedison.com/biography.html )

Being observant of one’s surroundings and asking WHY – Why does that business operate that way? Why do they offer those items and services? Why…

Why was Sam Walton known to carry a pocket notepad? So that he could make note of everything he encountered throughout the day that he liked and wanted to try the idea out, and if it worked, implement it throughout his stores. Many of those ideas came from outside the “normal” retail environment.

Be like Walton and Edison – he did not invent the first electric light bulb, but instead invented the first commercially practical incandescent light – and begin observing your surroundings, asking why, and then moving those ideas into action within your business.

Changes

“I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me”

– David Bowie

That’s the intro to a song released in the early 1970s that reflects what a lot of businesses do or NOT do, as is the case for many unsuccessful ventures.

We (the students within my classes at Marshall University) speak about CHANGES constantly, regardless of the subject matter. WHY? ‘Cause those that remain the same are following a path – a path that was there before them and will (more than likely) be there after them too.

As a business owner, it is important to be blazing a path, so that customers know who you are and what you represent.

The last line of the song excerpt can be applied to business owners. HOW? Look at yourself as a business owner and your business through the customers’ eyes. For example, right now, stop what you are doing and look out a window – any window – what do you see? Has it changed since last month, since last week, since yesterday? In some way, shape or form, yes it has. Question is: “Does time pass you by, while your business remains the same, and customers become fewer and fewer, all due to a lack of changes?”