Tag Archive | small business

Playing Catch Up

In the days since we last chatted, I’ve had a few interesting experiences that I want to share with you and pass on a few lessons learned.

The Conference

A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference (whose name will be withheld because I don’t want to be a blogging bad-mouther) and walked away feeling underwhelmed and ripped off. You see, I paid full price for a ticket to this conference because it’s one I had attended in the past (under different management) and loved. Last time, I walked away feeling totally energized, inspired and buzzing. So, when I saw that it was back in town, I scooped up a ticket and sent the link to friends so they could do the same. Then, two days before the event, Twitter is blowing up with discounted tickets for sale. Like, really discounted tickets. Like 80% off what I had paid!

I try to keep it classy on this blog – but I was super pissed. I was a loyal customer who was attending this event and had recommended it to colleagues and now they were slashing prices on tickets days before the event and weeks after I purchased my non-refundable ticket. Not cool. 

As you can see, my nephew Davey is totally not impressed.

Lesson Learned: Don’t punish your loyal fans, no matter how desperate you’re getting. A better solution would have been to send an email to people who had already purchased tickets – like me – and offer them free tickets for friends or give full-price ticket payers VIP benefits. But, alas, they didn’t even provide me with lunch. Needless to say, I will not attend this event again next year.

Setting Intentions

The last few weeks have taught me some great lessons in setting intentions and taking action. The summer was a slow. I think everyone was too hot to think. Proposals were going unanswered, clients were taking vacations and we were all just kind of hot and bothered. But, businesses don’t take summer vacations and I had to shake things up. I set some goals and kicked my butt into planning, creating and following up.

Lesson Learned: It’s not my problem if no one else feels like working, I need to stay relevant and hustling. By being ready to jump and take action, I’ve landed some new clients and have grown with some existing ones. Plus, I’ve got an exciting new venture with my business partner Nailah Blades, which we’ve been working like crazy on all summer long. Don’t fall into the downtime trap – always be working toward your goals.

What lessons did you learn this summer? What things are you changing or making better? Did you have a good or bad experience that made you rethink things? Chat with me!

Getting Customer Feedback – Wednesday Quick Tip

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for a quick marketing tip! Today, we’re working on understanding our customer service and what our actual clients think makes us stand above the competition. As a small business owner, it can be easy to make assumptions about what we do best. But, our clients might have a totally unique perspective. Often, the services that I might overlook are the ones that clients appreciate most.

Finding out what services your target market desires (straight from them) means that you can better position yourself and your business for new clients. Bonus tip – ask someone who represents your ideal client, since you want to attract other people/businesses like them!

Working ON Your Business vs Working IN Your Business

Right now I’m sitting outside of Starbucks contemplating the meaning of life. Well, that might be slightly melodramatic. I’m actually just reflecting on how I spend my time each day and what portion of my workday is spent working on developing my business, what portion is spent working on client work and what portion is wasted. Honestly, I’d rather try to figure out the meaning of life (which, I’m pretty sure has something to do with the birth of Snooki’s baby, but we’ll get into that another time).

Here’s one thing I know for sure: my mornings are getting away from me! So, I’ve set the goal to take back my mornings from the grasps of my iPhone and turn them into productive, business development time.

  1. First step in this process – I need to wake up earlier. Not that intriguing to my over-indulgent sleep routine, but necessary for productivity.
  2. Next step – I need to have a morning routine that doesn’t involve checking my iPhone in bed. This is a rabbit hole of bad that finds me wasting some of the most potentially productive minutes of my day.
  3. Step three – Get back in the habit of a morning routine. Breakfast away from the desk. And treating my office like a place of business and not just another room in the house. No more tempting PJ email sessions.
  4. Last step – Take an hour before I open up shop to focus on my own business and marketing goals. The first hour I’m at my desk (before my clients start emailing me) should be dedicated to working on my own business. This is the perfect time to update my blog, connect with potential partners and work on my own marketing.

Every business is different. Some of us have clients to service, which cuts into the time we can spend focusing on our own business needs (while still maintaining work/life balance). Some of you are your brands. Marketing the brand is your business, so your routine will be different. But, now matter the structure of your company, it’s important to have some sort of routine.

What are your most productive times? When do you find time to work on your own business? I’d love to get some new ideas!

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