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Posted by in Business Coaching, Business Systems, Human Resources, Leadership, Uncategorized

What Would You Do? Workplace Policies

Over the past week a well known Ottawa company has been embroiled in controversy with some employees. The battle has made it to the local headlines and has caused debate around water coolers across the city. The issue is over tattoos and whether or not employees must keep them hidden from public view. The employees argue that it’s unfair to ask them to wear long-sleeved shirts during the hot summer weather. The company argues that their workplace policy clearly states that tattoos must be covered at all times and the employees agreed to do so when they were hired. It’s easy to argue both sides. In fact, when I ask entrepreneurs what they think, I hear support for both the company and the workers. Many business owners are at a loss as to how they would respond if faced with a similar issue. The conversation usually turns to workplace policies and how they should be implemented within a company’s culture. Do you have an employee manual? Does it clearly...

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Posted by in Business Effectiveness, Customer Service, Uncategorized

Take Your Customer Experience to New Levels with Handwritten Notes

Every business owner believes they have great customer service. In fact, I have never had a single owner tell me that their customer service is terrible! Good – even great – customer service simply isn’t enough anymore. Your customers expect to be treated well. If they’re not, they will do business with someone who does treat them right! So, how do you stand out from the crowd of great customer service? Eric, in his excellent post, The Ultimate Question That Could Transform Your Customer Service, suggests one great idea. I highly recommend you read that post if you haven’t done so already. Allow me to suggest another simple approach that can cause your customers to take notice of your service. Send them handwritten notes. Today, most communication takes place online. We email, text, Facebook, etc. When people do send mail, it’s usually a form letter typed out on a computer and addressed using a mail merge. Think about it. How often do you get a handwritten note in your mailbox? A handwritten...

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Posted by in Marketing, Sales, Uncategorized

Improve Sales with this Magic Question!

When Tyler launched his electronics business, he was full of excitement. He invested significant capital in the launch and it paid off. The first few months were quite busy and he saw much of his inventory clear off the shelves. He was excited about this early success and was looking forward to sales continuing on the upward trend! Then, reality hit. After the initial influx of business, sales began to slow. The summer months were a challenge as few people seemed to need his products. There were many days when he barely covered salaries, let alone the other expenses of being in retail. Tyler knew he needed to increase sales and so he began to read every book he could find on how to improve sales. He did web searches on topics like, “How do I sell?” and “How to make more money.” Nothing seemed to help. The mistake Tyler made is a common one among business owners. He asked the wrong question. The question he should have been asking was,...

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Posted by in Marketing

The #1 Ingredient to Effective Marketing

Pop quiz: What do you consider your top three challenges as a business owner? If you included marketing in your top three, congratulations… you’re normal! Finding a way to stand out from the crowd is one of the top challenges most business owners face. Although we know that effective marketing  is vital to success in business, more often than not our attempts are simply a shot in the dark. Most marketing falls short because we make it far too complicated. The best thing you could do is get back to the basics and simplify your marketing strategies. American writer, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Simplify, simplify!” Ralph Waldo Emerson later added, “One simplify would have sufficed.” Allow me to simplify creating an effective marketing message by suggesting what I believe is the number one ingredient. Focus is the Key to Effective Marketing. Before gathering your team together to brainstorm clever catch phrases that might go viral, you need to focus on who you want your marketing message to reach. In other...

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Posted by in Business Coaching, Business Effectiveness, Personal Effectiveness, Success, Vision

What’s Your Question?

Wouldn’t it be great to have all the answers? Imagine knowing everything there is to know about every subject. You’d be the life of every party, spouting out information whenever anyone asked anything. You’d also rule the business world with all your incredible knowledge about various business fundamentals. Yeah, it would be great. Or, would it? Socially, no one likes a know-it-all. Most people find it comical when someone acts like they have the answers to everything. The best example of a know-it-all would be Cliff Claven from the television series Cheers. (How’s this for feeling old? Cheers went off the air 20 years ago!) Cliff had an answer to every question… even if he made up most of them! In business, being a know-it-all can lead to irrelevancy. When you have all the answers, you end up doing things the same way you’ve always done them, even when those actions no longer work. The “business graveyard” is full of companies that were led by know-it-alls. True business innovation,...

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