How to survive running a small business.

Desk BirdIf you’re a small business owner then you are very well aware of many of the problems that you encounter on a day to day basis when trying to run a small business. It ain’t easy is it? Especially if you have employees cannot get pretty difficult. On top of that customers who are always right can make life less than pleasurable that times. Yes the small business owner has to contend with a lot more than the average Joe who works in the office knows about. If it was easy everybody would do it. But then the small business owner can also reap all of the rewards for his hard work is that of giving all of his hard work for somebody else to reap all of the rewards.

 

It’s most likely the 80/20 rule regarding good customers too bad customers it seems like about one-fifth of them tend to be kind of problematic maybe it’s one tenth.  But if you’re anything like me that small portion of hard to deal with customers really takes a lot of effort and time and makes running the business a lot more difficult. So are there any tricks to handling customers like this. I think the true answer is yes and no. Some people are just not going to be cooperative realistic or even have a heart. So with those you may just be better off cutting your ties with them and moving on to a different customer. I have had customers who are so demanding an unreasonable so as to call on a Sunday morning at 8 o’clock or Sunday evening at 9 o’clock thinking that I should be available to them for their service. Well I can tell you that no matter how much Continue reading →

Some Pictures to Lighten the Day

Going Out Of Business?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure these guys know whether they are coming or going, notice the sign in the window.

Tow Truck

“Hemtt iraq” by Original uploader was Ultratone85 at en.wikipedia Later version(s) were uploaded by Hohum at en.wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hemtt_iraq.jpg#/media/File:Hemtt_iraq.jpg

Speaking of towing, my friends at towchandler.com would be jealous!

And for all of us who work too hard

Anxiety

“Anxietyonwiki” by The undertow – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anxietyonwiki.jpg#/media/File:Anxietyonwiki.jpg

Pick up the phone

One of the most vital things for a small business, especially a service business, is to answer the telephone when people call and close the deal or service at that time. How many times have you picked up the phone to call the company or business only to have it not answered or go to voicemail? Clearly this will produce horrible results for a business that relies on phone traffic to generate money.

Pick Up The Phone

“DonAdams” by General Artists Corporation-GAC-management. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.(Original text : eBay item photo front photo back eBay itemphoto front). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DonAdams.jpg#/media/File:DonAdams.jpg

So it’s a real pleasure to actually find somebody on the other end of the phone who knows what’s what and how to act appropriately. It seems rare in my experience anymore. More often than not my efforts at communication are met with unsatisfactory results and a menu of options that get me to nowhere. When I find a really good company who is on their game my experience is much different than this. For instance this carpet cleaning company in Southern California has been just tremendous the times that I’ve dealt with them as well as when friends have dealt with them that I referred.

They are a small business like most.  But apparently they have figured out that for the best service it begins with the telephone call. Now I don’t know if it’s the man’s wife or daughter or a hired employee but whoever it is they collect the information after answering the phone call almost always on the first try.

This company has it together because when I call they know the right questions to ask so as to figure out what the best course of action is with their service. Now this is a carpet cleaning company and you would think that most carpet cleaning companies would have a general understanding of different carpet materials and rug construction or weaving. Well these people do because they ask specifically what we need and then offer many different choices as to what would be best in accomplishing what they believe we told them. For instance they asked whether was a polyester or nylon based carpet. To be honest I didn’t know the Continue reading →

Keeping Customers Happy, And Yourself Also

If you’re a business owner particularly a small business owner you probably have experienced how your client I tend to think that they may own you because they’re paying you some money. I guess in truth I should say more specifically some of the clients and customers think that they own you because they pay you some money. This can be a real problem! What is the best way to deal with this?

To be just straight forward and blunt sometimes the best thing to do about this is to let the customer go. For new business owners who may not have as much cash flow is they would like this can be a very difficult thing to do. But most small business owners who have been in the game for a while will tell you that their life improves when they get rid of “problem customers.”

It’s probably something like 1 in 5 are the category problem. It’s probably actually less than that in reality, which is a good thing because that gives me hope for humankind! But those if you can really make it difficult on a day to day basis. In today’s world were texting is such a popular form of communication it’s not uncommon for Continue reading →

Quoting is as Much Art as Science

Every small business owner is faced with the job of quoting his jobs. If he doesn’t have to do a quote to run his business then he likely has to negotiate with other businesses on pricing for his raw materials and things of that nature. So no matter how you look at it he’s involved with the coating process either on one side of the quote or the other. Businesses can be made to succeed or fail based on their ability to quote accurately.

 

There is definitely an art in quoting if you’re a small business owner dealing face to face with a customer. Most often in this scenario the customer or client is getting multiple quotes from different small businesses. This makes the quoting process a bit of an art as well as understanding exactly what the customer needs and quoting it accurately. Sometimes the customer may use a certain business owner based upon the owner’s demeanor and ability to communicate and fundamentally the trust that the customer has in him.

 

This makes it a necessary ability of the owner to garner the trust of their client. Everything matters. First impressions are extremely important in human interaction. Depending on what type of a business your in will dictate to some degree what kind of an image you want to present to the client upon first meeting or a quoting process. Perhaps you run a service industry of some kind and you have to Continue reading →

Use your credit card for your small business

A lot of cash runs through any small business on a daily basis. So what are some ways to take advantage of the fact that this is actually occurring? One way is to use a credit card that gives you points or some kind of rewards for everything you can and then reap the benefits of those every year. For instance Costco has an American Express, which is about to be done away with unfortunately, but it actually gives quite good rewards for its use. Costco is going to replace this American Express with either a Visa or MasterCard to the best of my understanding so not all is lost if you have one of these American Express Costco cards.

NYUGDPFinancialShareTherefore it makes sense to try to run as much of the cash expenditures and purchases for the business on this card to gain as many points as possible. It’s easy for a small local business to generate enough points that it’s a sizable reward at the end of the year. It could easily be enough to pay for a nice vacation for any company that’s buying a lot of materials on a daily basis including gas.

I know one local business owner that makes over two or $3,000 a year on his Continue reading →