Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A taxi company that's gone the extra mile

Whatever business you are in you have to take extra care and pay more attention to both detail and your customers to be successful. I called at several shops yesterday and noticed the attitude in most was pretty aweful. In one shop I had to wait whilst the assistant finished a mobile phone call – and it obviously wasn’t a business call! In another the assistant didn’t look directly at me all the time I was buying from her. In one shop they didn’t have what I wanted but didn’t offer an alternative or said they could order one!

I did go to one shop where the staff were most helpful and did save me money but that was the exception. Do you give good service? If you don’t you will lose customers even if you are the cheapest like-for-like.

I was looking at the taxis lined up this morning and the drivers in particular. I don’t think I’d want to travel with many of them if my first impression is right! Take a look at your local taxi drivers and see if you agree.

When I go to Didcot in Oxfordshire I use a company called Pryors Taxis. All their drivers wear a grey suit, white shirt with company tie and black polished shoes. Sometimes they aren’t wearing a jacket but the driver’s tie is always pulled tight. They are polite and always help with luggage. They have always been on time but I understand that they give a guarantee that if they are late by more than 20 minutes they won’t charge the fare. I enjoy using their service. Shouldn’t all taxi firms act and dress like this rather than being scruffy. If I ran a taxi company I’d follow Pryors example as I know this would add value to the customers’ perception, give my drivers self-esteem and improve my branding. Think how you can improve your business without spending a fortune.

I‘ve noticed some local shop closures still. I don’t believe that the recession has bottled out so it’s really important to do three things:

· Keep marketing and selling. There’s no need to send much. What you do spend should give you a good return in the form of profit. Turnover alone means little. Keep improving your sales skills.
· Be innovative and look for new products and services. Try to sell extras to existing customers.
· Keep a careful control on cash. Cut back overheads where this doesn’t affect service. Keep tabs on outstanding accounts. Try to maintain a cash cash-flow – in other words try to get customers to pay on delivery or cut down on the length of credit. Don’t be afraid of losing customers, be afraid of losing cash. If you don’t know how each week has gone by the following Monday as far as turnover and profit goes: if you don’t compare with last week, last month and last year you’ll not know how you are doing.

This will not only help ride out the recession but also strengthen your business when boom-time comes.

Control your customers by using a customer management system. Try Ok! You’ll need to take some time setting it up but it is a good system. As you grow and it begins to prove it’s weight in gold you’ll have to pay a very small monthly fee but that’ll be some time away. Give it a try and see the difference.

If I can do anything to help you succeed then call me on 07976 364681.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Following on from being faceless within the Business, here's a short video I put together this morning. Seems that there is something wrong. Viddler just removed all my videos - can't see any reason - can't get a reply from them. I'll switch back to Youtube


Do you agree that you are the face of your business?

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On your bike!

I saw this on Andy Preston's blog first and had to copy it over. It is amazing and just shows what you can do.

What can you do that's amazing? I bet there is something. We are all better than everyone else at something.
Think about it.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

People buy from People

Face the facts. You can't afford to be faceless in business.
I've been looking at the "people" factor in business over the last few weeks and can really agree that "people buy from people".
And how people interact . . . .
or don't . . . .
When did you last even notice someone sweeping the street? Remember the face of the person who served you in a shop? Can visualise the attendant when you paid for fuel at a garage you don't call at?
Often it is irrelevant but sometimes it is because of the other attitude of the other person. Maybe they were talking to a colleague, perhaps they didn't give you any service.
On the other hand, if they took notice of you and were polite you are more likely to remember them. Why? In simple terms probably because next time you call you would like the same again. We all want others to talk to us, look after us and give us a little bit of personal attention. Next time you are out having a coffee just spend a few minutes watching how people are served. notice a difference between Tesco and Aldi. In Aldi the till staff always ask how you are in just that way that you don't mind it when they tell you they don't provide carrier bags.
And that personal touch goes deeper. Do you have staff out facing up to consumers? Do they wear a name badge? If not then try it our for a month. You'll find it does work. Make the names big enough for everyone to be able to comfortably read. Introduce a "lets smile at our more customers" campaign. If you smile at someone they'll usually smile back and suddenly both of you are relaxed.
And make your business personal too. Get your name on your website. Why not have a mini video of you welcoming people to the site and telling them you want to give them a good personal customer experience too. They'll see you and that makes all the difference. If you include your name they feel even better. I've just tried to speak with the manager of owner or a hotel to tell them about the Local Business Card but not even their e-mail address was on the site, just an impersonal form. When I tried to get their name I was stone walled and just gave up. An opportunity they might have appreciated and used for additional business . . or . . a prospective guest who just had a query but didn't want to speak to the receptionist.
Well. You won't believe this but as I write . . .
. . . . I've just had an e-mail that is very personal and begins "I am Michelle Furse and I am the new Sales and Marketing Officer for Afan FM. I have been brought into the station to increase both sales and awareness. I am very passionate about taking the station forward to the next level and want to form relationships with all local businesses.
I would also like to thank you in advance for reading this email.
Afan FM is a new style of radio station. We are Neath & Port Talbot's first and only dedicated radio station. We want to work with all local businesses throughout Neath & Port Talbot and find ways in which all residents of Neath & Port Talbot and both ourselves can benefit. . . . . . . • To establish a station for all people with a focus on young people aged 11-25
• To give a local entertainment, news & information service
• To provide training and experience opportunities to those interested in working in radio broadcasting, production and broadcast journalism. This gives avid media fans a first step to a new career
• To support, nurture and provide a promotional platform for local bands, DJs and artists
• To provide cost-effective advertising packages to all local businesses Afan FM is the radio station that is proud to be different because:
• No cheesy DJs – real people speaking in a real way!• No Hidden Agenda – we’re a not for profit company so we’re here to help make Neath & Port Talbot great!
• We pick the best music because it is the best music – not because our friends at the record company bought the last round.
• We’re 100% independent and impartial – we are honest to all! This is what makes us unique; we aim to provide high-quality programming whilst giving back to the local community Why choose Afan FM?Whether you want to create awareness for your business, generate footfall, increase website traffic or promote a product launch we can tailor an advertising package that can really separate your business from your competitors."
So I phoned and we had an interesting call that I feel might give us both some business.
If she hadn't mentioned her name in the e-mail probably wouldn't have called. So if you sfacetart getting personal - stop being faceless - and concentrate on being available then I promise you that your business will do better things.

If can help you become a better communicator call or text me on 07976 364681

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bang that Drum!

Drumming up business is an old expression meaning go out and find some new customers.

Did you know it originated in the Wild West. When a travelling salesman arrived in a one-horse town he'd park up his chuck wagon and walk up and down the main and only road banging a drum to draw attention to himself. He'd shout out his message and draw a crowd to his wagon where he'd then sell off the back.

We should be doing the same. Not shouting and actually banging a drum, although this might work, but showing our face to potential customers or prospects. Getting that message about and if we can use modern technology, great. Add in a little light humour and away we go. The following videos were taken in seconds, straight off, one take. Not perfect but perfectly good to put your message across.

Why don't you sign up to become a Merchant, make a mini movie and send it to me. I'll put it up on the site. Don't feel confident? Don't like appearing on film? Think you make a lousy picture ? So do we all: we all think that about ourselves. What makes you different. I challenge you to make something short about your offer on the site. Make it funny. Be original but most of all just do it.

Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. You must do everything necessary to get in front of new people who might buy from you. Some ideas are targetted whilst others are scatter-gun. Use a mix.

Most of all do basics like foot canvassing or telephone selling. Remember you are building up knowledge and relationships, not usually selling, unless you have a bag of cleaning products, and you need to keep your eyes and ears open and shut your mouth. Just open your mouth to ask questions and breath. Most of all take action. You won't get business sitting on a chair in the office thinking and planning mid-morning. If you need to use time planning and thinking get there an hour earlier than usual.

And another simple way to drum up new business is to sign up to the Local Business Card. Don't even think about it - just click here and transform your sales results - it takes one step to start a successful journey.

If can do anything to help you be successful call me.


Mike Leahy

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Get it FREE. Here and Now

Good News!
Here is an exciting new FREE OFFER . FREE card and Merchant service until end of December.

So that we can grow fast and you can benefit immediately we are looking to populate the site.
Register now for a FREE card, valid until the end of the year. You can check out that there are real deals there: that you will save money or get something extra. All you need to do is go to the site and register. There is no need to go onto the Paypal account.

And in addition the first 50 businesses that register to become Merchants will be put on the website, in the Directory for FREE. This is a real give-away. That will give you chance to see the marketing opportunities we are giving you without you having to spend a penny.

Lets repeat that:
Register now and get a card FREE that will be valid until after Christmas.

So go to the site:

Your card will be sent out by post within no more than 48 hours. We'll try same day!

Become a Merchant for FREE until after Christmas. This will give you the chance
to know it works for you and to take advantage of the run up to the end of the year - Xmas and the beginning of the Sales.

So go to the site:

We'll send out your window sticker or drop it in to you. There is also a widget for your website with a link to us, some general information and any help you want to talk to us about.

So don't hesitate, do it now. Register and get either a FREE card or FREE Merchant account.
So what happens then?
The website will show all orders and the fortnightly e-newsletter will be packed with offers, either regualr to remind you, new merchants and special short offers. Just look up what you want, go out and save or get that little extra.
I believe that the card will be a valuable resource and save you real money, not just now but when the economy evens out. This will be the card that will make a real difference.
Get on the website and sign up. Your welcome pack will be posted straight out.