It’s amazing to think we’re already past the halfway point of 2010. Like many of you, I spent the Fourth of July weekend celebrating our Independence Day with family and friends. As I was out and about then, I couldn’t stop looking at the local gas station, dry cleaners and restaurants and wondering how those owners were doing at the moment. I never stop thinking about small business and how Verizon can help them.
Recently, I read a great line in an article about salesmanship lessons from Donald Trump – “Never do things for your customers and prospects in a small way. Make it big and important or don’t do it at all.”
Whether it’s a good or bad economy, small business owners never stops thinking of how they might approach their operation in a different way – whether that’s leveraging new technology, hiring a new employee, taking a product offering off the shelf, or whatever might be needed – owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain customers. According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor March 2010 report, approximately 64 percent of the owners surveyed say the recent economic conditions has caused them to make changes in their operations and management practices. That’s a large percentage rethinking their business.
Since it is the mid-year point, I thought now might be as good a time as ever to think about what you are (or are not) getting out of your current business services. Just like your car needs a tune-up every once in a while, it’s also what your business needs. I encourage you to review the services you have with your current provider to determine if you are using the best services to run the business.
Questions to ask yourself…did you hire someone recently? Are you seeing an increase in phone calls? Do you have a toll-free number for out-of-town customers? Do you host your own website? Are you considering expanding into a second office, store or restaurant? Is your credit card connected to a fast Internet connection or still on dial-up? Are your files backed up in a safe place? Do you even have backup storage capabilities?
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking every few months. However, it’s important to remember one vital fact. While small business owners need to be cost-conscious when selecting phone and Internet service, they should not base decisions solely on the cheapest package price. I urge you to research and uncover the right service provider that can offer more value-added services and support than just a low priced package.
Aside from the services aspect, I’d also encourage you to use this time to think about other new ideas to infuse into your small business. We’ve held some fantastic webinars with outside experts catering to new ways small business owners can go about their business plan. Whether it’s how to keep current customers loyal, how to effectively use social media and PR, or how you can secure credit in today’s market, we’ve got you covered!
I’ll share more tips and ideas in the weeks ahead, but I would love to hear your success stories. Share with me your best practices and tips, or tell me what your mid-year business resolutions. I look forward to hearing from you and we’ll keep discussing tips like these in the near future.
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