Sunday, November 6, 2016

#1 Bestseller Nominated for Business Book of the Year

Leadership Expert Ravinder Tulsiani announced that his business book, 'Your Leadership EDGE: Mastering Management Skills for Today's Workforce', has been nominated for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year.

The book has already hit 3 bestseller lists on Amazon.

With the advent of new age, and a competitive landscape that's now global, it has become quite crucial for the business owners to rethink their approach of management. 'Your Leadership EDGE: Mastering Management Skills for Today's Workforce' is one of such highly inspirational books that, unveils the secrets of successful leadership in 21st century.

It is a must have for those who want to discover their core strengths and weaknesses as a business leader. Packed with practical step-by-step information and compelling content, it is a powerful new book that will help readers to unlock their leadership potential and become more aware of the key leadership qualities they need to become successful!

This book places an immense amount of importance on group morale and productivity in workforce that has proven to be the very foundation of successful leadership. Topics discussed on the book include countless proven strategies that will lead readers through a process of self discovery and analysis that allow them to assess their core strengths and weaknesses, and identify what kind of leaders they really are. Besides this, it guides readers through the process of becoming the kind of successful leader they always wanted to be.

Earlier in the year, the book was also nominated for ‘2015 Small Business Book Awards’ by Small Business Trends and has appeared in Goodreads ‘Top Ten Management Books’ list.
To buy the book or learn more about Ravinder Tulsiani, simply visit

About Ravinder Tulsiani
Ravinder Tulsiani is a Senior Learning Consultant with TRAINING EDGE with over 13 years experience in training and development. A Leadership Expert, Author and Speaker Tulsiani has appeared on several major media outlets including Bloomberg, CNN and Wall Street Journal. He is the author of numerous quality, business and self-help resources.

For details visit:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Top Entrepreneur Quotes

1. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.
2. "Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda, Jedi Master.
3. “To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” - Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook.
4. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” - Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.
5. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that's why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer.
6. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” - Jason Fried, founder of 37signal.
7. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” - Guy Kawasaki, founder of AllTop.
8. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
9. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." - Chinese proverb.
10. “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” - Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister.
11. “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
12. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.
13. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” - Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-1967).
14. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.
15. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
16. “Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” - Donald Trump, chairman of The Trump Organization, the Trump Plaza Associates, LLC.
17. “Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
18. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain, author.
19. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” - Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.
20. "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein, physicist.
21. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” - Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.
22. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
23. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” - Anthony Volodkin, founder of HypeMachine..
23. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - Walt Disney, co-founder of the Walt Disney Company.
24. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer.
25. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
26. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” - Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist.
27. “If you don't know what to do with your life, do something that saves lives. The world is full of of people in need, be the part of their life that fills that need.” - Sanjeev Saxena.
28. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius.
29. “I hate how many people think, “glass half-empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full. I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia.
30. “It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.
31. “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it and correct course along the way.”- Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week.
32. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” - Tom Kelley, Ideo partner.
33. “We are currently not planning on conquering the world.” - Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.
34. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.
35. "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills, opera singer.
36. “The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that's how long it's going to take, guys. - Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.
37. “When you cease to dream you cease to live” - Malcolm Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Magazine.
38. “Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.”- Noah Everett, founder Twitpic.
39. “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor, activist, humanitarian and Civil Rights leader.
40. "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." – Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
41. "I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." – Thomas Edison, inventor.
42. "Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice." – Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.
43. "In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create." – David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather.
44. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” - Mark Cuban, Chairman of AXS TV, Owner of Landmark Theaters.
45. "Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom." – General George Patton.
46. “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.
47. "Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will." – Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker.
48. “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.” —Paul Rand, graphic designer.
49. “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not trying.” – Jay Z, musician.
50. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. – Dr. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich.

Friday, May 6, 2011



DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer. Read it, edit it,
and re-write it for a shorter, money saving effective ad.
"Think small".

DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad. Use
these ideas.

Attention Interest Desire Action

DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes.

DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars.

DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims.

DO IDENTIFY your product.

DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct.

DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what
your are saying.

DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader.

DO NOT OVERPRICE your product.

DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar
offer with better response.

DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad,
salesletter or circular if possible. An excellent sales

DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications.
Record results. Code each ad.

DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product. Write for ad
rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates. Keep

your ad appears in the publication of your choice. Do not delay
in responding.

DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD. Do what other successful advertisers
are doing. Only with a slight twist, idea or offer.

DO RUN SEVERAL ADS worded differently. Keep records of results.

DON'T OVER ADVERTISE. It can be expensive. If you want to, do
it gradually.

Take time to find out what you need to know.

DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY. A thought will leave you as quickly as
it came. Always write down a good idea. NOW!

DON'T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification.

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but
use words to persuade, inform and sell your product.

DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME. Make it easy to pronounce and

DON'T FORGET THE M.E.D.I.C.S. Motivation. Enthusiasm. Desire.
Image. Creativity. Success!

DON'T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn't pull after a fair exposure,
try re-writing it. One or two different words may do the trick.

DON'T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous

DON'T FORGET, an ad that offers "FREE DETAILS" means writing a
sales letter or circular.


Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters
typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure.
Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time
involved in setting type. By minimizing the time needed to
create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down.
The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting

Know what you want the FIRST time around. Have a picture in
your mind. Trial and error can be costly. Don't have a
typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would
look better.

Reduce and eliminate author's corrections by thorough proofing
and re-proofing.

Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them
set at the same time.

Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding
font changes. The consistent look is better.

Give explicit instructions on marking up copy: type styles,
column widths/margins.

With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a
style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job
is done.

Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don't really need them.

Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone. You might end up paying
for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had
done your editing on proof sheets.

Get the layout finished and approved before having type set...
the same goes for copy, of course.

Avoid the use of "run-arounds" (reducing the width of the copy
to make room for a photo in the column, for example). If you do
use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares.

Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to
right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less
expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running
sideways on the page.

The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than
justified because it sets quicker, costing less time.

Don't depend on the typesetter to read your mind. Be specific.



Advertising isn't hard to do. You prepare an advertisement or write a
classified ad to sell your product or generate interest to send people more
information. But the way most people make mistakes is either by their
inability to write effective ad copy and by sending it to be published in
the wrong publication. Here are some pointers to follow:

Writing Effective Copy
Never try to sell anything costing more than $5 in a small display ad or a
classified ad. First of all, you don't have enough room to tell people
everything they need to know to entice them to order.

Instead, you need to employ the "Two-Step" method of advertising. Request
the reader to send you $1 or 4 first-class postage stamps for more
information. When they respond, you will send them a brochure, flyer, order
form and cover letter so they can place an order for the real product.

Now that pricing is out of the way lets talk about writing your ad copy.
The best way to learn how is to read the ads other people have written.
Don't copy them word-for-word, but use them as a guide to write your own ads.
Once you get the hang of it, you'll be writing effective ad copy just as well as the pros.

Advertising in the Right Publication. Although this may sound a little
silly and you think it is only common sense to know this - people will often
overlook this fact when choosing the publication they will be advertising in.
Instead, they will look for the lowest price for the amount of circulation
they receive. Unfortunately, this does not work out. Even though you need
to look for good deals that make it easy on your pocketbook, you will be
throwing money away if you don't pre-qualify the publication you choose.

One way of pre-qualifying the publication is to send for a sample copy.
Most publishers will send them to you free of charge for the asking. If you
don't know of any mail order publications, just write to Glenn Bridgeman,
PO Box 10150, Terra Bella CA 93270 or William Lee, Rt 1, Box 10790,
Madisonville TN 37354 and ask them to send you some. (Be sure to enclose
$1 or 4 first-class postage stamps in with your request to offset postage
costs.) If you tell them you are new to mail order and are interested in
publications to advertise in, you certainly will find the $1 you spent is
well worth the effort because both of these publishers are very reputable,
honest and helpful.

Study the publication to see what other people are advertising and how they
are advertising it. Contact some of the people who sell items similar to your
own with the hope of networking with them. You would be surprised how much
free publicity you can get just from corresponding, calling and networking
with others.

Once you locate a publication you want to advertise in, give it a try for
3 months. If you don't get any response or only a few orders, try another
publication. There are millions of them and eventually you will hit the right
target market that will be interested in what you have to sell.

Don't Stop With One Publication. Just because you locate the target market
of people who are interested in purchasing your product there is no reason
you can't advertise in more than one publication. In fact - if you don't,
your ad will become stale. If the same people continue to see your ad every
month they will probably get tired of looking at it. Besides, if they wanted
the product they would have ordered it by now. Don't tire them out! Alternate
different size ads and get rid of ones that don't work well.

Leave your ad running as long as it brings in orders for you but also
advertise in 5, 10, 20 or 50 other publications also to generate a steady
stream of orders and to reach more people.

Key Your Ads. Many beginners in mail order never key their ads so they
know what publication people saw their ads in. In fact, I personally never
did this myself and ended up losing a lot of money. So please don't make the
same mistake I did. Keying your ads means that you place a code of some sort
in your address so that when people write and order something from you, you
immediately will know where they saw your ad. Keep a record of every name
and address of the publisher you send an advertisement to. Record the date
you sent the ad and the date you received a checking copy, proving that your
ad appeared. Also record the "code" you used so you can immediately identify
where it came from.

If your address is "123 Anytown St," it could become "123 Anytown St,
Suite A" for one publication and "Suite B" for another. The postman will
still deliver your mail to "123 Anytown St." Of course, if you live in an
apartment complex and there are apartment numbers you could turn "111 Johnson
Apt A" into "111 Johnson, Apt A-1" for one publication and "Apt A-2" for
another. Post office box addresses are also simple. Turn "PO Box 585" into
"PO Box 585, Dept A-1" for one publication and "Dept A-2" for another.

People will sometimes even change their name on the ad for keying purposes.
You might see the name "Harriet's Recipe Book" instead of Harriet Ranger.
Harriet might also use "Harriet's Cookbook" or even "Harriet's Solution to
Stress" on her ads relating to these products. Use your own imagination and
pretty soon, keying your ads will be a normal part of your life.
Be sure and keep track (on your Record Sheet) of how many responses you
receive from each publication. After 3 months, look over your Record Sheet
and get rid of the publications that didn't do well. You'll go broke if you
spend $10 per month advertising a 2-inch ad if you only receive $1 back in
orders. After awhile you'll be able to see where it pays you to advertise
your particular product and then you can send in larger ads to those
publications. Never stop using this method and you'll never stop getting
orders in your mailbox. It's a win-win situation for everybody!

Tabloids -vs- Adsheets. Another question about advertising that many people
have is whether its better to advertise in tabloids or adsheets. Many people
will sell you information on the best day to mail and the best time of the
year to advertise. They think they have it down to a science and will
convince you of their methods.
However, there is NO set rules that can be employed by everyone. That's
because there are a wide variety of ways to approach various products. If
you sell travel services and read a report that told you not to advertise
during the summer months, you'd go broke. The summer is the travel industry's
biggest money-making season!

Don't get hung up on specific statistics made by people who claim to be
expert researchers. There is no way to determine what is best for you than
to try it yourself and see what works. You are the person in control of your
business and you are where the buck stops. Take advantage of your authority
and try every angle you can think of until you determine what's best for your
company's product and/or service.

Tabloids are a fantastic advertising vehicle and adsheets are too. Sometimes
people feel a small 1" camera-ready ad gets lost in a tabloid filled with
100's of them. This may be true in some circumstances and not true in others.
Do you look at 1" ads in tabloids? Of course you do. You scan the pages and
your eye is always directed to one or two on the page that catches your eye.
Ask yourself "why" they caught your eye. Was it because the ad was placed in
a specific area on the page? Was it because of the headline or the word

Classifieds work well in tabloids and adsheets and sometimes they don't,
Look in the back of the Globe or Enquirer. Don't they have page after page
of classified ads? If nobody was reading them and responding to them, the
advertisers wouldn't be submitting advertising to the Globe or Enquirer for
them. So evidently, people DO read classified ads - even if there are 100's
of them. Test the waters and do what works the best for you.

Dispelling 8 Misconceptions of Organization

Dispelling 8 Misconceptions of Organization

Some people were born organized and then there are those of us who struggle with organizing every year at this time. It seems that it’s always at the end of the year when that little annoying bug begins nudging you to clear things up and start the new year organized.

Well, I’ve read just about everybody’s directions, books, and helpful hints about getting organized (in fact, I’m thinking of writing one myself), and I’ve got to tell you there are some misconceptions being fostered by every organizational guru. It will be my pleasure to give you the “skinny” on that in today’s column.

Here are the 8 misconceptions that we can throw out:

1. Handle paper once. This is not only impossible, but in most cases it’s unrealistic. Instead of handling paper once, get in the habit of doing something with each piece of paper to move it forward. If you get some information about an upcoming seminar/trade show, for example, decide if you’ll attend or not. If you’re to attend then note the date on your calendar and sign up. If not, then toss the information immediately. If you want to wait to sign up, then make a note in your planner to respond well before the deadline and file the paper in your “to-do” file.
2. Always keep papers stored out of sight: Some of us work better when their desk is clear, whereas others feel stifled if they aren’t surrounded by stacks of paper. If you’re an “out of sight – out of mind” type, keep papers you use often nearby in files or stacking bins. They’ll be accessible, yet not clutter your desk. When working on a project, spread out the papers related to it, and when you’re done put them away together in one place.
3. Everyone should be organized to the same degree. Different people work differently. Don’t feel that you have to work the same as someone else. Find a comfortable level of being organized, and make the necessary changes to maintain that level. I usually draw that line when I’m looking for something and can’t find it; that’s when I know things need to get reorganized.
4. Soon we’ll be a “paperless” society. Don’t you believe it. Experts have been saying that for years, and we won’t be paperless for a long time. It’s not technology that’s the problem, it is human nature that’s the culprit. We’re creatures of habit and used to seeing things in print rather than on a computer screen. The younger generation is now being trained on computers at an early age, so when they join the workforce, the “paperless” society will have a better chance of becoming a reality.
5. One planning system should fit everyone. When used correctly, daily planners are an ideal way to stay organized. Keep in mind, however, they are designed by a few for many users. When buying a planner, whether paper-based or electronic, determine what you want it to do and choose a system accordingly. If you can’t find one to suit your system, design your own based on your individual needs.
6. You have to be born organized to be organized. We learn both good and bad habits at an early age. It’s possible to change any bad habit, including disorganization. Youngsters raised in an organized environment sometimes rebel as adults by being disorganized. The opposite is also true, but neither is carved in stone and behavior can be modified.
7. You MUST use a “to-do” list. Planning day-to-day is not realistic for everyone. Someone may do the same task every week, but others find their plans changing daily. Consider your particular need, then plan by the day or the week.
8. Being organized means being a perfectionist. A perfectionist may spend time on insignificant details while disregarding the big picture. When others complete a project quickly and on time, the perfectionist continues to work until the project is perfect. A perfectionist becomes more effective when he/she lowers his/her standards slightly and concentrates on ways to increase productivity.

Misinformation, when taken seriously, can hinder you from doing what you want. The next time you hear one of those “Organizational Gurus” espousing one of the above misconceptions, consider its value and work to develop your own style of organizing.

When Did Customer Service Breakup?

When Did Customer Service Breakup?

We’ve all had friends in our circle who were known as “Mary & John”, and when “John” split “Mary” was alone. Mary was the “odd” number at the dinner party and we were all concerned about her. Well, today it seems that the union of Customer & Service have had a breakup. Service has split and Customer is on his/her own.

Today, let me tell you a story that many of you will find humorous but is all too common. I can tell you this without fear of our local editor getting sued because it’s about me, but business owners take note that you don’t fit the profile of company “X”.

Four weeks ago I decided that I needed another green recycling can from my trash pickup company. We’ll call them Brown Keg Trash Pickup, an anonymous company in the interest of avoiding litigation. I called their Customer Service number, and as an environmentally conscious citizen requested my extra recycle can. The cheerful voice on the other end of the line chirped, “Of course, we’ll have one delivered in 48 hours.” After giving her all the pertinent location information, I hung up the phone with the satisfied feeling of a good citizen.

I arrived home about 5 p.m. the next day and I was happy to see another green can at the mouth of my driveway. When I looked again, I noticed that I had another green can – but it was without a lid. I quickly dialed my cheerful telephone voice at Brown Keg Company thanking her graciously for the rapid service and then told her about the missing lid. Just as cheerfully as the first time, she told me to leave it at the end of my driveway after my usual trash pickup and they would replace the entire unit since they didn’t have extra lids. I agreed, and after hanging up the phone I pondered their plight of having lidless cans but no extra lids. I conjured up all sorts of scenarios that explained where all the lids to the lidless cans went, and sympathized with their predicament.

Well, 3 days went by and there sat my poor, green, lidless can at my driveway’s mouth and a replacement never arrived. Feeling empathy for this green plastic waif, I returned it to the side of it’s brother that had a lid. I called my cheerful Customer Service voice again, and reiterated the plight of my poor lidless can and after a chuckle she assured me a complete unit would be forthcoming. I found it necessary to make use of my lidless friend, and put it out the next pickup day filled to the brim. Fortunately, it wasn’t windy and all the contents remained inside it. That was 2 weeks ago, and life being what it is other more important tasks have occupied me until this morning when facing another pickup day I thought of my lidless friend.

Once more I picked up the phone and called my trash pickup company, and this time I listened to a litany of choices of buttons I could punch and chose my cheerful Customer Service button again. I was transferred, listened to a brief melody when there was a “click” and I expected my cheerful voice to chirp “hello”. The next thing I heard was another click, silence, and then the dreaded dial tone that means you’ve been disconnected. Not being one of the “fainthearted”, I simply redialed my number. Again there was the litany of button choices, my choice and the music, and just when I began to feel that all was right with the world I heard – “click”, “dial tone” and nothing.

This was not the morning for the phone to be playing games with me, so I made one more determined effort and REDIALED! “NASA, we have lift-off !” I once more heard the litany of button choices, but this time I outfoxed that monotonous voice and punched “0”. I asked for the Manager of Customer Service, I was given her name and was transferred. What greeted my eager ear was, “You’ve reached the voicemail of ……., please leave your name and number and she’ll return your call.”

So here we sit - my lidless, green can and I facing another pick-up day. This eager-to-serve plastic green waif must bravely face another dutiful day half-clothed.

You must admit that is an amusing story, and one that far too many of us have lived through, but what a sad commentary it is about our business community. Doesn’t it make you wonder if our language has changed so drastically that what we interpret “Customer Service” to mean - is not what today’s business owners mean. It makes me wonder when the marriage of Customer and Service broke-up, leaving us all the lonely ones.

Entrepreneurs and business owners take note! If you’re going to have a number for your customers to access your Customer Service, please follow these rules.
 Have the phone manned by an employee that can hear thunder and see lightening.
 Give that employee training in helping the caller and not shuffling the problem to another desk.
 Have an overseer, who can also hear thunder and see lightening, check that all incoming complaints were handled appropriately.

After learning how to find your customers and what they want; after getting them committed to doing business with YOU; and after wooing them to keep them as your customers – WHY WOULD YOU LET “SERVICE” DIVORCE “CUSTOMER?”
If your customers aren’t getting the service they require from you – your competitor will be only too happy to help them!

Prepare Crisis Control

Prepare Crisis Control

A personal crisis doesn’t have to spell disaster for your business if you’re prepared. Every business occasionally endures a crisis, but what happens when your dilemma isn’t falling profits but personal.

Because we have no idea what type of personal crisis may await us – an ugly divorce, debilitating disease, or ailing parent/child/spouse, we must be prepared. Just as you plan for advertising and promotions, you must plan for life’s surprises.

Paul Krasinski, founder of Lion Strategy Advisors, New York, suggests finding somebody NOW who can take over your responsibility and carry on for at least 20 days. He/she needs to be someone who can communicate well with staff and command respect, and may or may not be the person you feel closest to in the company.

Once a personal crisis hits, Krasinski recommends “full disclosure” to your employees. This avoids the feeling of being hit by a bomb, and that business will go on as usual. In case you think this doesn’t work, let me give you a case history.

Dana Weidaw, 28 and president of her own PR firm had only been in business 1 year when she tested “full disclosure” with her employees. She was diagnosed with an aneurysm which required a surgeon to drill through her skull. She had just landed her first major client and was publicizing a major hockey arena. If all didn’t go well with the project, this client could turn out to be her last.

Before missing 7 days of work, Weidaw prepped her full-time employee, another agency she was working with, and her client by sharing the nitty-gritty details of her crisis. She assured them everything would run according to plans and smoothly in her absence, and found that everybody was willing to work around her crisis. Weidaw found that, by nature, people are very sympathetic.

A word of caution though, you need to know when to talk. During and after a crisis – full disclosure is great. If you’re “contingency” planning though, it might be prudent not to advertise that if your personal life goes in the tanker good old Gary or Suzy will be in charge. Your employees may needlessly dwell on why they weren’t picked to run the show instead of them. Above all, you don’t want to cause widespread distress or distract your staff from day-to-day operation.

Just as surely as you plan for financial allocations for your business, always have a crisis plan in place. This may need adjustments from year to year as staff leaves and are replaced, so when planning for each year’s business needs include your crisis plan.