These are very interesting times we are in personally, let alone if we are in business. To say the least they are unprecidented but in a time where everyone is in this together; . . What an OPPORTUNITY! Why not take care of business, get back to basics, both personally and professionally and take a quick assessment to get yourself positioned in the proper head and heart space. Remind yourself of why you do what you do, ingnite the passion, refine the fire, and thrive. Below are some free resources to help you on the path. #TogetherWeThrive #WeLoveSumner #ExperienceSumner #OpenInSumner
Let's face it change is difficult and challenging for most of us. However, with change comes opportunity, efficiencies, growth and perspective. We encourage you as you read through this page to have an open mind. You can always choose not embrace change and opportunity, but for just a minute or a day imagine the possibilities and the potential!
Remind yourself of the following things. . . Who you are? What you or your company is about? Why are you better than your competition? If you do not have a mission or vision statement, create one and filter your decisions through it!
Most of us have done a traditional SWOT which stands for Stregths, Weekness, Opportunities and Threats. Ask yourself the following questions about any area of your life or business. What's Right? What's Wrong? What's Broken? What's Missing?
We have all been given the same gift . . . 168 hours each and every week! Now what are we going to do with it? After some thought about your mission and asking yourself what's right, wrong, broken and missing. Spend some time evaluating where your time is being spent. Then reprioritize, make a plan and go for it!
Assess what makes you money? Look at profit margin. volume and really what the market bears today and what you anticipate in the future. Focus on what is going to make you money or grow your business and try to determine what is sideways energy.
Know who your demographic is and get to know them even better. What are their buying habits? What makes them tick? What do they like? What do they want more of? What kind of customer experience do they enjoy?
Do you have someone working or volunteering for you that represents who your customers are? Ask yourself the question . . . Do I speak my customers language? If not, do I have someone who works for me that does? I don't mean "English". I mean how to communicate with them, know their likes, dislikes and what is relevant. Embrace the diversity (in age, gender, race etc) as it fosters creativity and a different perspecitve.
Technology or the right person (friend or fellow colleague) with a fresh perspective can be your friend and help make you more efficient. Are there processes you are doing just because they have always be done, "That Way"? This is a tough one, but one that can be easily be resolved. It also can be exciting fine tuning and focusing on the passions of your business vs processes.
You set the tone of the culture of your business! From decor to values, from fun factor to the pace of work and especially how you respond to customers and staff. Everything you do will set the tone of how people "feel'" in your space! Make sure it represents what you want. Also know culture changes and it takes work and/or systems to guide it.
Set guidelines and a standard for you and your employees to follow. From how and what gets communicated, logos, overall look and level of excellence you will pursue. This is your brand, protect it, because it represents your business.
Its much easier to keep a customer than find a new one. What are you doing now that you used to do when you first opened? Or Here comes the Golden Rule . . .how would you like to be treated or rewarded for supporting locally? What is the benefit? Give your customers something or something on sale! Appreciate them and exceed expectations!
It has been said that "convenience trumps relationship". Don't let it! Fight for it. Make phone calls, know your neighbor, share with friends and family and don't know a stranger. Let everyone know that you meet on the street what you are are about and who you represent! Just like the day you first started your business. Be relational, tell stories, communicate and sha
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Do you have opportunities in your business for them to share organically? Fun photo opportunities, special events, great prices, anything that gets them excited that they will want to share with their friends. You are creating advocates for your business and it is great to start with friends and family.
Photos, Video, Print. Once you have a story you can decide how to share it! Have you redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Volunteered or partnered with other businesses or organizations on a project? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Do what sets you apart and most of the time, that is not status quo or what everyone else is doing. Dare to dream. Be creative and just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it shouldn't!
There are many places for customers, friends and family to leave reviews about your business. Monitor them and ask your advocates to help you! Try checking the following at a minimum Yelp, Google and Amazon.
Consider yourself a lifelong learner. If you get embarrassed about not knowing something, don't! We live in the information age and there is so much of it, there is no way we can all know everything. If you want to know, don't be shy? Ask Alexa, Siri, Google, YouTube, a friend or colleague. There are many tutorials and then some. It's about the journey not the destination, enjoy it.
STATISTICS SHOW . . . before someone sets foot in your door they have checked you out online.
How can you make a new customer or keep one you've had for years? Imagine your front door being your website. The following are very user friendly sites with templates, stock photos and assistance if needed. You can be up and running in a mattter of hours!
The following platforms communicate your story in different ways. Whether they share through 180 characters or less, photo or video or even going live. It's up to you which language you would like to speak. Many people are on multiple platforms, but it is ok to be on one and do it with excellence!
From getting organized, to project management, to connecting with others Office 365 is essential. Each of these help us to be efficient everyday. Microsoft Teams, Planner, Todo , Email, Calendar, Word and Excel.
In our area T-Mobile has great coverage. A Smartphone is the best tool you can own. Consider upgrading and take advantage or a promotion. They are very low cost will make your job easier.
Make sure you have good wifi. You can check your speed at www.fast.com. This will allow your cash register function, streaming, customers uploading with free wifi a solid experience. Xfinity has the best connection for us in Sumner.
If you would of ever asked me a few months ago if I would have been on Zoom multiple times a day (or even ever). The answer would have been no. Zoom is a wonderful tool that allows you to connect with employees, customers and family. There are many ways to incorporate it in to your business.
Laptop (Macbook), Ipad, Iphone or Apple Watch, It is all integrated and very user friendly. Consider setting yourself up with tools that are fully integrated, virus free with support.