Thursday, July 19, 2007

Moms, Summer, Kids and Business

What do all of those words have in common? For me it is a bit of chaos. I must be honest, I find Summer to be a difficult time to maintain, let alone build a business. I find myself juggling meetings and running kids to camp. I find the mind shifts getting harder and harder to make. Maybe its an age thing, I don't know, but I know from September to May, I feel much more present in all of my worlds than I do during the Summer. I might be the only one experiencing this, but if not take heart, you are not alone.

So what can be done. Well as you know hind sight is 20/20. As I reflect on my year and start to plan next year I have developed an outline of a plan. For me I will need to focus generating the bulk of my revenue from Mid-September to May. I will plan events and trainings during those times. I will schedule R&D (Research and Development) of new products and trainings during the Summer. I can do that on vacation or during those moments when I am waiting to pick up or drop off. I will plan limited meeting for the Summer and know that I am set.

I don't mind the pain I feel now knowing I have a plan for next year. You see I have chosen to learn my lessons and to hopefully not repeat history.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It pays to know your customers

I just finished working with a client who owns a small fireworks tent business. He is basically in business two weeks a year and some planning the rest of the year.

One of the things he does is ask people to sign his mailing list. In the town he is set up in that is a daunting task. People are very private and don't want to get on a list. He typically gets about 10 to 15 people per year to sign up. Each year he adds to his list and sends out a letter a few weeks before he sets up his tent. In his letter, he lets his customers know when he will be set up and makes a limited time offer. This year he sent out 22 letters. Of the 22 letters 2 were returned because of bad addresses. Of the 20 remaining, 11 were returned. That is an amazing statistic. What is more amazing is how excited the people where that he was coming back and how they looked forward to coming to his tent. They all made substantial purchases and felt welcomed.

The main comment my client heard was how nice it was that he personalized the letters. The key was the letter was short and sweet, one paragraph long. Then he hand wrote a note to each one, mentioning something he noticed about them. They knew he paid attention to them. One simple letter that probably took him an hour to write, generated lots of good will and revenue.