Website URL: http://www.scottdford.com
As a small business owner it's easy to get that "Same stuff, Different Day" feeling: Every day you face the same frustrations, same roadblocks, same employee headaches, same problems with vendors and suppliers and, yes, even customers.
And before you know it you're in a rut.
How do you get re-energized and refocused? It's not easy but it can be done. While you can't change what you do - you still have to deal with employees and students and suppliers - you can change your approach.
Here are six ways:
A lady at my church is 72. She uses her iPhone for shopping.
While she's unlikely to sign up for membership, still - do I need to say more about how important it is that your studio's website is mobile friendly?
Fortunately it's fairly easy. You don't need to develop an app or spend thousands on programming and site redesign.
Just take care of a few basics:
Great customer relationships: Hard to establish, easy to ruin - especially when you say the wrong things.
Here are eight things you should never say to students and customers (even if you would secretly love to):
1. "No." I once heard a CEO say, "Never tell a customer no. Always say, 'Yes, we can. Here's what that will cost.'" If you absolutely can't provide a certain product or service, you can't, but often you can't simply because you don't want to. Price unusual requests accordingly: If youc an make a decent profit, why not? If a student wants an individual session every Sunday night, and the price is right, why not? Making a profit is why you're in business.
Most small business owners back into their sales budgets. They estimate total sales, subtract fixed and variable costs, and grudgingly decide based on whatever is left what they can afford to spend on advertising and sales.
That's why sales budgets are often based on, "Well...that's all I can afford."
That's also a mistake. You should almost always spend more to acquire new students than you think...especially if you can land the right students.
The key to growing your business is to approach customer acquisition costs like you would any other business investment. Don't treat sales costs like a line item to tweak so your overall expense budget "works." Treat sales costs as an investment intended to generate a reasonable short-term return and a significant long-term return.
Looking for some surprising and effective ways to improve your website?
Go to the carousel at the top of the Yahoo! home page and check out the headlines under the thumbnails. Here's a recent sample:
- "Dangers of debit card use"
- "Beyonce's very revealing dress"
- "Bad golf shot saves man's life"
- "Real reason for weight gain"
- "ATM receipt with incredible sum"
- "Middle-class jobs going away"
- "Secrets of a housekeeper"
Are those headlines breathless and over-hyped. Definitely. By pop star standards, the dress Beyonce was wearing is pretty tame. The fact that people gain weight because they eat more meals and snacks each day is hardly an incredible revelation.
But most people still click the thumbnails. It's almost like we can't help ourselves.
Here are five ways to use Yahoo headline strategies - and what they say about us as consumers of information and of products and services - to improve your website and better engage your customers:
Social media explosion generates an overwhelming flow of information. Fortunately, most of it you can choose to ignore...except what other people are saying about your studio: That you should never choose to ignore.
To make it easier, there are simple tools you can use to monitor social media and keep track of what people say about your studio, your competitors, the industry itself, or any other topic you want to follow.
Here are some tools that work fairly well:
Business networking sounds great in principle but typically falls short in practice, especially if your goal is to do more than fill up your business card file.
Take me, for example. People who contact me hoping to "network" are often really saying, "Hey, I want you to do something for me." So I'm admittedly cynical.
Then I experienced business networking done well. Here's the story:
What is the key to small business success? Is it plenty of capital, a comprehensive business plan, a solid market analysis, or great employees?
While each of the above is definitely important it is not the most inportant asset to an entrepreneur. So what is you ask?
The answer is irrational optimism.
Academy owners and small business owners in general wear lots of hats. Too many some of the time, and that's why outsourcing certain tasks can be very appealing. Outsourcing is great - until it's not.
How do I know? A friend of mine just outsourced himself out of business. Not out of work and into more free time, but out of business entirely.
Your business is a reflection of you. Before you can put your best face forward, though, you have to get your head straight.
Here are eight things academy owners - and entrepreneurs in general - should never say to themselves: