Small Business Marketing Book Review – People and Your Business

What if somebody told you one critical key to business success was to practice the principle of the Golden Rule in your business? The idea seems to somehow run counter to so much of what we’ve been taught about business, doesn’t it? Yet, what if that same source convinced you through case-study after case-study that application of the Golden Rule in business actually leads to success?

Let us introduce Frederick Reichheld and his book The Loyalty Effect. While not a small business marketer, but rather an expert business consultant, what Reichheld teaches us about loyalty is worthwhile reading for any small business owner or manager.

Did we say “worthwhile”? Scratch that; pencil in the phrase “urgently essential”, instead. This book is that vital to a small company.

The Loyalty Effect focuses on three groups of people critical to business success: Customers, Employees, and Investors. For most small business, the investor is the owner, so for our brief review in this article we will focus on Customers and Employees.

Reichheld is a definite advocate of customer retention. He convincingly demonstrates time and again that small percentage increases in customer retention have huge impacts on profits. This read will be a just-right fit for those of you having problems focusing on the right customers. If you will take the time to trudge through this book, and really understand most of its principles (we found Chapter 8 to be the toughest) then not only will the marketing of your business improve, but so will your profits.

Isn’t that the reason for all this focus on marketing, anyway?

And Reichheld really opened our eyes to how important employees are in retaining customers. If a company treats their employees right, those employees become more efficient and productive in their daily tasks. Profits go up, retention increases.

Reichheld stresses again and again that a company’s prime mission needs to be creating customer value. Most of you in small business realize this, but it’s reaffirming to see hard-and-fast facts to back up what many of us intuitively know. Customers don’t come to a small business looking to boost our profits; they arrive seeking value. If we consistently create value, profit will come.

Another key point for small business owners is the importance of leadership. If you need to go down to the bookstore and browse through The Loyalty Effect before you buy it, flip over to page 246. Reichheld has studied several large and successful businesses, and concludes here that most of them had leaders with an “intuitive grasp” of how important loyalty is. This is critical for business success, regardless of business size. While not written to be a rah-rah inspirational book, Reichheld’s arguments and his examination of the role strong leaders play in forming great companies reinforces just how important to the bottom line it is for a small business owner to be a good leader.

So much of Reichheld’s book seemed familiar; akin to common sense…after we read it. Treat employees well and they’ll perform well for you; we’ll that’s pretty basic, now isn’t it? But we tend to forget, we tend to think we need to cut corners or just “improve efficiency” and that’ll lead to greater profits. In the short term it very well may, but Reichheld argues effectively that in the long run it’s only by creating value for our customer that we build profitable businesses.

Remember, People is the third element–along with Brand and Package–of any small business marketing success story. Taking a week or so and reading Frederick Reichheld over lunch or before lights out at night is a great way to hone your “people productivity”.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks

A Work At Home Business Solution For Success

Many people want to work at home and make a lot of money online. So what is the solution to working at home and building a business that brings in enough money to make the effort worthwhile? The work at home business solution for success is threefold: having the right attitude, a simple and clear business plan to follow, and then analysis and refinement.

To begin with, having the right attitude is vital before embarking upon any other step in the work at home business solution for success. The right attitude is important for two reasons: it is necessary to force you to act and to keep you focused. Just getting started is the most difficult problem people struggle with when trying to implement a work at home business solution for success.

It may sound trivial, but it really is the major reason for failure. You must take action and execute your plans; you will never be perfectly prepared so do not wait for the perfect moment. Take action and learn from your successes and mistakes for the next round.

Secondly, the right attitude is necessary to keep your focused on your work at home business solution for success. Too many people believe they should diversify their projects to increase their income. That behavior will never get you where you want to be. Build a plan and stick with it until the very end. Only when it is an utter and complete failure or a success that you have automated to the point where the business runs itself should you move on to another project.

Organizing a business plan may be the easiest part of the work at home business solution process for most people, contrary to popular belief. Opportunities are everywhere, and I could personally provide you with hundreds of simple plans to follow. This step just requires a week or two of online study and research, and then you better be sure to execute, execute, execute.

Finally, the work at home business solution to success ends when you have your business up and running and are able to analyze the things that are working and that aren’t, in order to remove the needless parts. Mindless tasks that take up a lot of your time, such as answering customer emails, can be passed on to an outsourcing firm to free up your time. Eventually you should reach a point where you are spending less than 10 hours a week on a work at home business solution that generates a consistent stream of income.

And then you can move on to another project, or travel the world!

Reasons To Use An SMS Online Service For Your Business

As the owner of a business saving money is crucial in these current economic times if you want to see yours thrive. One way that this can be achieved is of course through using a SMS online service.

Many businesses (large and small) today are using such services as it enables them to send and receive messages to anyone anywhere in the world. When someone chooses to use these services they are supplied with not only their own personal account but also one for their business. When it comes to sending out messages they are able either to send out just one to a particular individual or they can send out the same one to several different people or businesses if they wish.

The number of businesses that now use an SMS online service has substantially grown in recent years. Not only do they use them for being able to network with other businesses and their customers but also with their own employees and all for a lot less money.

So what reasons can we provide you with to use such a service for your business? Below we take a look at just some of the reasons for using an SMS online service.

Reason 1 – Easy To Use & Affordable

The great thing about using a service such as this is that you won’t have to worry about installing any type of software on to your computer. You simply sign up to the service you want. Once your account is set up you can now start adding contacts to your address book and then begin send messages to any of them.

Along with you not being charged for setting up your account, you won’t be charged any fees to maintain it or implement it. However they will charge you a fee for sending the messages but this is considerably less than what you would be charged by your mobile phone service provider to send one in the conventional manner.

Most of these SMS online services will require payment on a monthly basis, but they will provide you with a complete breakdown of who messages where sent to and when. However if you want you may want to consider using a service where they offer pre-purchase packs so you know exactly how much you have to spend that month on such communications.

Reason 2 – Keep Track Of What You Are Sending Out

When you use an SMS online service they will provide you with a status report regarding the delivery of any messages you send through them. So you will not only be able to ensure that exactly the right people have received the message but also you will know exactly when it was received. In most cases as you work your way through these reports you will notice that the message was sent and received by the recipients in a matter of seconds.

Furthermore when you use an SMS online service they actually keep hold of any messages sent for a period of 45 days after sent. So you can actually look back at what was sent in any given month.

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