Peak SBC, LLC  

 


Peak Small Business Newsletter

June 29, 2003

Year 2003, Issue 21


In this issue:

Opening Remarks

Quote of the Week

Featured Resource -  CyberAtlas at Internet.com

Featured Article - Creating the New Utopia

Resources We Recommend

Unsubscribe Information


Opening Remarks

 

I hope all of you have had a profitable and safe week.  Welcome to our new subscribers!

 

For those interested in using NewsMon with our newsletters, the URL is:

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsmon.htm

 

The page is a little graphics intense, so give it a moment to load.

 

As usual, if you prefer to view this newsletter online, the URL is:

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletters/sbnl_jun2903.htm

 

Cary Christian

mailto:cary@peakconsultinginc.com

 


Quote of the Week

 

We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through the fabric of illusion.

- Ansel Adams

 


Featured Resource

 

 CyberAtlas at Internet.com

"The World's Leading Resource for Internet Trends & Internet Statistics"

 

The tag line says it all!  A good source for finding out what's going on online.

 

http://cyberatlas.internet.com/

 


Featured Article

 

Creating the New Utopia

by: Cary Christian
 

Let's imagine for a moment that our world was different in the following ways:

 

1.  When you meet someone new, they are more interested in what they can do for you than in what you can do for them.  Doing something for someone else is considered the highest level in the hierarchy of life.

 

2.  The overriding principle in life is spending everything you can get your hands on for the sole purpose of making other people's lives better.  Of course, everyone else is doing the same, so no one is ever in need of anything.  If someone is in need, people rush to be the first to eliminate that need.

 

3.  Corporations have a real corporate conscience.  Shareholders are more interested in how much the corporation does for the community than in profits.  After all, the corporation's contributions back into the community enriches the shareholders lives and, in accordance with item 2, any dividends distributed to the shareholders are just going to be given to someone else with a greater need anyway.

 

4.  There is no need for bloated governments.  Government is necessary only to function as a central means of providing and administering services to make everyone's life better.

 

5.  People are recognized for what they give and do for others, not by how much money they have amassed.

 

6.  You would not have to worry about security in any way, shape or form.  If someone hacked into your computer, it would be to fix it not trash it.  If someone gained access to your banking accounts, it would be to replenish them with cash, not take from them.

 

If you think about this for awhile, you'll recognize that most of the problems of daily life would disappear if the changes described above became reality.  Each of the six changes described are nothing more than an application of the "Golden Rule" so there is nothing really new there.  It's a blueprint for life that has existed for centuries.  Of course, given human nature it's a description of a utopian society that could never exist.

 

But there are people who live their individual lives in just such a manner.  They give to others until it hurts, yet they never seem to want for anything.  They will tell you that the more they give the more they get in return.  It becomes a never-ending circle in which they continually try to give away what they have but can never keep up with what's coming in.

 

So just what does all this have to do with business?

 

Okay, I'm not naive enough to tell you that you should forget about making profits and just run your business for the purpose of giving away everything you earn.  That only works if EVERYONE else is doing the same thing.  Not going to happen.  It's just that sometimes you need to think in extremes to find the appropriate middle ground.  So how can you apply some of these principles to make your business stronger?

 

People are naturally a little suspicious of businesses.  Especially online businesses.  The perception of businesses in general is that they are run by people who are greedy and care little for the welfare of their customers.

 

Employees often feel the same way about the companies they work for.  Their attitude is often grounded in their belief that the company has loyalty only for profits and none for them.  They are expendable and the moment it becomes more profitable to let them go than keep them around, they are gone. 

 

Fiascos like Enron, WorldCom, and a host of others in the last year or so have only served to heighten suspicion on the part of both customers and employees.

 

The lifeblood of any business is its reputation among its customers and its employees.  To survive and prosper, the business must strive to build its reputation with both groups of people.  This is where some of these "utopian" concepts come into play.

 

Employees

A good, motivated employee is worth his or her weight in gold to your business.  They are the face and the voice that customers and vendors see and hear.  Customers and vendors will develop their view of your company by what they observe in your employees.  It is important that they observe an individual who is professional, caring and willing to go the extra mile to serve them.  They will only observe this if the employee actually does care.

 

To make that employee care, you have to make them feel like they matter to you.  You may not be able to give them the highest salaries or provide them with the most expensive benefits, but you can provide them with a sense that you do care about their welfare.  Here are a few general ways you can accomplish this:

 

1.  Do everything in your power to pay your employees what their work is worth to your company.  Make them understand that as the company prospers, they will prosper.  This makes them a partner in profitability.  Likewise, if the company is not prospering, make sure you bear your share of that burden as well.  If you're paying them substandard wages yet driving a brand new Mercedes to work, you're going to instill resentment.  If you have to accept less personally to pay them what they're worth, do so.  You'll be building an asset that will pay you back ten-fold.

 

2.  Get them the the tools and training they need to do their job.  Nothing is more demoralizing than trying to do your best work, having heavy responsibilities, but feeling like you're trying to mine gold with tea spoons.

 

3.  If you can't afford the best of employee benefits, provide what you can and make the effort to introduce new inexpensive benefits every chance you get.  If you can't upgrade to the next best level of health insurance coverage just yet, provide them with some low cost term life insurance.  Liberalize your vacation policies by adding an extra day or two.  Let them purchase the products you sell at cost, or even below cost to add a little extra benefit.  Find ways to provide value without destroying the bottom line.  They're out there if you're creative enough.

 

4.  Most importantly, always show your employees that you are on their side.  Be as loyal to them as you want them to be to you.  Be there when they need you.  Stand up for them when they are challenged.

 

Customers

Customers are seeking one thing from you: a solution to a problem they have.  Your products provide those solutions.  However, unless you operate in a really small niche, you have plenty of competition from other companies selling solutions to those same problems.  How do you set yourself apart?

 

Customers want to receive value for the money they spend.  Value includes not only the product they purchase but the service you provide with the product.  You attract and keep customers by providing the best value for the dollar in terms of both product and service.

 

Value does NOT mean the cheapest price for the product.  In fact, you may be the most expensive option for purchasing the product.  But if the service you add makes it worth the extra money to purchase from you, they will.  How do you add such value?  Go back to the golden rule and our utopian society above.

 

1.  Every customer must feel like they are important to you.  This should be easy since each one IS so important to you.  The lifetime value of a customer is enormous so treat each one like the tremendous asset they are.  Your dealings with customers should be courteous and professional, of course, but you should train your employees to go that extra mile and help them with the problems they have.  Your employees should be able to discuss how the product can be used, which model of the product will work best given their specific needs, and what other products or services the customer might need to solve their problem. 

 

Of course, if your employees determine while talking with the customer that your product will not meet their needs, they need to tell them that also.  And take it a step further: train your employees to know where the customer can go to find the product they need, even if you have to send them to a competitor!  Remember, you have to care more about their needs than your own.

 

2.  Never make it difficult for a customer to return a product or obtain a refund.  Give them the same courteous, professional treatment you gave them when you made the sale.  Make the process easy and fast.  You did not have to wait for your money when you made the sale, so don't make them wait for the refund.  Use the refund process to build your relationship with this customer.  It's a perfect time to build trust.  If they see honesty in your dealings with them when you are the one shelling out the dough, they'll be far more likely to buy from you in the future.

 

3.  Give your customers value all year long.  Sign them up to receive notices of your special sales.  Include lots of specialized content on your website to teach them how to use your products.  Give them the opportunity to submit questions to you via your website and make sure they are answered promptly.  Develop as much interaction through as many communications mediums as you can.  Have customer loyalty sales!  Show them you care by allowing repetitive customers to get special deals once a year.

 

We'll likely never see a utopia where homeless people are replaced on the roadside by wealthy people who haven't been able to give away enough money carrying signs saying "Cash to anyone who needs it."  But we can create our own utopias within our individual businesses for the benefit of our employees and customers.  Like those who say they can never give more than they get, the rewards could be enormous.

 
Copyright 2003
 


Resources We Recommend

 

Our new, dynamic resource directory!  This directory will be growing constantly.  Check back frequently for updates. - http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/internet-resources.htm 

 


Unsubscribe Information

You are receiving this newsletter because you requested it on our website or through an advertising link on the Internet.  If you want to cancel your subscription to this newsletter, simply click the following link - unsubscribe@peakconsultinginc.com


 


(c) 2003, 2004, 2013 Peak SBC, LLC.  Copyrights on all articles and books remain with the author.

Contact Information - Phone: (305) 799-3404

Email: webmaster@peakconsultinginc.com