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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 Effectiveness, Uncategorized

6 Business Transformation Questions

Have you ever discovered a new business tool or strategy and been tempted to rush in and implement it in your quest for business transformation? Sure you have. We’ve all been there. After all, it takes a lot less time to simply grab what others have already tried and tested and plug it into our own business model. One of our most popular posts was all about the tools we use at Breakthrough Coach. And while it’s wise to consider what works in other organizations and determine if those tools can fit into your own business, there’s a danger in doing it too quickly. You need to ask yourself some critical questions before you implement too much, too fast. And then, after you find success and see momentum, you need to go back and ask these same questions again. These six questions are adapted from The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni. (I highly recommend any of Lencioni’s books). And, if you ask these critical...

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