Monthly Archives: May 2014

Do Your Clients Want The Bells & Whistles?

As business owners we are continually bombarded with a new technology or a new gadget or a new time-saving technique.  If you embrace all of those technologies and techniques and provide all of the bells and whistles, will you truly have time to serve your clients or will you be so involved in learning the newest and latest and greatest?

What are some of the items that may draw you away from providing excellent customer service? Do any of these?

  • You can spend your time on every social media platform there is and spread yourself too thin. Where are your clients truly gathering and where are they looking to have a conversation with you?
  • If you purchase the latest tech gadget or the newest productivity tool and spend countless hours learning it, are you any further ahead than you were when you were using a piece of technology that you’re comfortable with or a productivity tool that has actually helped you to be productive? Stick with your strengths.
  • If you’re a startup that’s operating on a shoestring, make the most of that shoe string until you have the budget to outsource some of the tasks that pull you away from your core competencies.

Do your clients want the bells and whistles or do they simply want great customer service?

The Art Of Negotiation

In working with our business clients we understand the fine art of negotiation and we work with them to hone that skill. Negotiating doesn’t mean that one of the parties gives up everything in order to reach an agreement. Successful negotiation means you strive to find a solution that serves all parties.  Go for a win-win outcome.

A successful outcome is the result of respectful understanding. As a business owner, chances are you are in an almost constant state of negotiation – whether with vendors, other business owners, business partners or employees – having all of the information at hand to make an informed decision is crucial. Negotiating with respect for the other’s needs and feelings should always be taken into consideration.

What tips do you have to successful negotiation skills? Was your last negotiation mutually satisfying?

Business Lessons Mom Taught Us

We recently celebrated Mother’s Day and this got us to thinking of the life lessons she taught us. Chances are, Mom was your first (and perhaps) best teacher.  As we matured and moved into adulthood and business ownership, there are some Mom-approved life lessons we can use in our businesses.

Here are some of the lessons we share:

  • Ask questions in a nonjudgmental and sincere manner.  Don’t focus on the perfect answer but instead on the information provided by the person you’re speaking with.
  • Be a good listener.  If you listen and are emotionally engaged, you will gain an understanding and likely come to a solution.
  • Did your mom have great maternal instincts? Did she always seem to know whether you were lying or you were hurting? Did she always find a way to keep you on track or get you back on track? Utilize her attention to detail in your business endeavors and chances are you will go far!

Are there lessons you learned at a young age that you still use today?

Work From Home Efficiency Tips

So many people have an office in their home now; it’s a major trend. You might work at home all the time or just occasionally. Either way, working effectively from home requires a specific skill set that may not apply to those who work in an office building.

Here are some of the tips we share with our clients to make working from home effective and efficient (as well as productive!)

  • If you think you’re going off to work, you will be productive. If you think you’re home for the day, your productivity will suffer.
  • Don’t work at the kitchen table or on the sofa.
  • Make certain you have set office hours. Just because you’re not punching a clock doesn’t mean you don’t have to choose office hours and stick with them. Pick what works for you.
  • Establish a productive routine while you’re in your office. Have a daily plan of action.
  • Avoid environmental distractions. Don’t leave the TV or talk radio on for noise. Close the blinds if your office looks out at the street.

To work efficiently and effectively from home you need to apply the same dedication you would use going to a “real” office.  If you work virtually or telecommute for an employer, you need to show you can remain productive even when you’re out of the office.