Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Desperate Times equal Desperate business?

I have learned over the years that attitude is everything. So what do you do after a year or more of slumping sales, a downward economy and a new kind of savvy coupon shopper? By shear determination we have hung on by our fingernails. Recently it was brought to my attention that our newsletters, flyers, mailers, and up to date info about our company are seemingly desperate! *GASP* Despite a positive attitude, and a jolly outlook that it would get better, the days have turned into months which has now turned into a year and so on. I have found myself worn out, jaded and out of ideas. Did I know that my newsletters, flyers and up to date info were on a downward spiral showing to the world that I was worn out and jaded? No. But they were mirroring my own personal feelings on a subconscious level without me realizing it.

With this new found "a-ha" I set out to make a change. Little did I know I would quickly fall right back into my pattern and head down desperate road. So what do you do after a year or more of slumping sales, a downward economy and a new kind of savvy coupon shopper? Hire a consultant. Get outside feedback. The chain of command or shall I say pattern will not change without some outside influence. It may be harsh, and you may not want to hear it, but if you don't you will end up in the downward spiral with no way out until desperation turns ugly.

You may say to yourself that you cannot afford a consultant. You may say you don't need one. Well I say you can't afford not to, and if you are reading this, like me, you need to get out of your desperate times.

Remember as individuals we mirror our surroundings. We are in an increasing environment of lack, less is more, and survival. Pay attention while you watch TV. Count the commercials that focus on saving more, get more for your money and roll back pricing. As business owners we mirror this mentality and in turn get desperate for that savvy coupon shopper that drains us, and allows us to get jaded and tired. A consultant can give you outside answers. They can step back and look from the outside in, without emotion and the "yea but" syndrome. We are personally invested in our business's. We don't want to be told that we are doing it wrong and we don't want to hear the ugly truths of our horrible reoccurring patterns down desperate vs prosperous road. Get a consultant.

I believe whole heartedly that an outside influence will change the way you look at your daily business, and the verbiage you use to sell it. Instead of 'yea but' and 'I cant because' you will learn to step back and say 'ok how' and 'I can with'. It will open your eyes to a whole different, and BETTER reality of business.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Social media solutions

So sorry for the lack of attention I have given this blog. I thought that my slacker friend Kristen would contribute, but she is apparently a lackey. Thats what happens when you give an associate a bottle of booze and a little quiet time.

I just returned from High Point market. What a treat. Very tiring but when there is free booze and sandwiches (can we say TWO of my favorite things) its hard not to make it into something 20 thousand more times special and enjoyable. Not to mention all the free pens, tape measures and slippers! Yes, I said SLIPPERS. When your feet hurt that bad, slippers are just the thing.

I went to several seminars and the trend in speeches was the increasing popularity in social media. Blogging, twitter, facebook, linked in, and many others. Even iTunes makes it easy for a user to create their own podcasts. How great is that? Well I really enjoyed all the tips and tricks, but I think the most valuable tip I learned was this:

1)Keeping up with social media as a business owner is very time consuming and difficult to keep up with on a regular business. Have your interns put together a list of topics for the next three months. Then all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

2)Another great tip. Have every person on your staff contribute to the company blog, tweets, and company facebook wall. It creates a personal connection with everyone around you and allows people to get to know who you really are and what makes you tick.

And don't panic if you don't have staff or interns to help you with these things. Create staff. Maybe your cat, or young child can be a contributor. Make it fun and light. Everyone finds comfort and giggles in something unexpected. And the best part is you will grow your following and company!!