Customer service can be kind of like a first date; screw it up badly enough, and you probably won’t get a second one. Not only that but in today’s world of Yelp reviews and (ugh) viral TikToks, if you piss off the wrong person, that one “date” can have some serious long-term repercussions. Excellent customer service is expected, and if you fall short, you (and the rest of the internet) are going to hear about it.
Now, we aren’t suggesting you need to bend to the whims and fancies of the entitled, perpetually unhappy, or fame-seeking nuisances who will always find something to bitch about. Nor are we saying you should approach customer service from a place of fear. Remember, your customers are your business's greatest asset; building and maintaining relationships should be a priority because you want to meet their needs, not because you’re afraid they’ll leave a nasty online review.
If you’re looking for ways to up...
Freelancing. Contract work. Solopreneurship. Whatever you call it, it’s on the rise. The old American dream is dead, and more and more people are turning to alternative solutions for economic stability. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 45% of the population has some sort of side hustle…and that number is expected to grow.
As perpetual champions for the small biz owner, we love these numbers. We think everyone should - and can - own some type of business. (We wrote a book about it, that’s how much we believe it.) From part-time side hustles to passive income streams, the possibilities are endless.
But with those possibilities come problems, and if you don’t treat your business for what it is…a business…those problems are really going to put a cramp in your journey to financial independence, particularly when it comes to finances.
With that in mind, here are five common problems entrepreneurs, solopreneurs,...
As a small business owner, you're constantly juggling multiple tasks and wearing multiple hats to keep your business running smoothly. With limited resources and time, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and neglect the bigger picture. However, taking the time to strategize and plan for the future is crucial for success.
Explore these five examples of how strategic planning can help our business.
It helps you clarify where you want to go:
Imagine taking a trip without a map, GPS, or destination. You’d probably end up wandering aimlessly and wasting time and resources. The same applies to your business. Without a clear strategy, you may make hasty decisions or get lost in the ever-changing market dynamics. Strategic planning helps you set clear goals, define your mission and vision, and identify the steps to get where you want to go.
It can help you maximize resources:
Small businesses often operate with limited...
As a small business owner, you're (hopefully) well aware of the typical liabilities that come with the territory (rent, employee salaries, taxes, and so on). However, a few lesser-known liabilities can catch you off guard if you're unprepared - potentially leading to financial loss or legal disputes. Check out these six lesser-known liabilities you should be aware of to ensure your business remains protected.
Cybersecurity Breaches: In today's digital world, cybersecurity breaches are becoming as common as - well, the common cold - and small businesses are not immune to them. Cyber attacks, such as ransomware, data breaches, or phishing attacks, can mean significant financial losses, damage to your reputation, and legal liabilities. Unfortunately, small businesses are often targeted because they are less likely to have robust cybersecurity measures in place. As a business owner, it's crucial to invest in cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, regular data...
There's a laundry list of attributes that sets successful business leaders and entrepreneurs apart from the rest. A strong work ethic. Visionary thinking. Unafraid to take risks. Resiliency. And let's be honest, a little bit of swagger or a dash of charisma never hurts, either.
But one of the most often overlooked - yet highly essential - characteristics is their ability to communicate timely and effectively. On episode 73 of The Liquid Lunch Project podcast, our guest, Brenden from Master Talk, pointed out that we often set goals for things like revenue, attracting more customers, or expanding operations, but very rarely do we pay attention to our ability (or lack thereof) to communicate. We treat it like a chore rather than a skill that needs to be practiced. But as your business scales, your communication skills must grow with it.
It's also important to keep in mind that good habits start at the top. Being routinely late for meetings, overlooking important...
What’s in a name? According to Willy Shakespeare, not a whole lot. But since we aren’t in the habit of taking business advice from Bards of yore, we feel pretty confident in expressing our profound disagreement with his sentiments - especially when it comes to selecting a name for your business.
For many people, the go-to move is to name their baby biz after themselves: Joe’s Plumbing. Trevor’s Gym. Cindy’s Dance Studio. They’re not particularly creative, but they get the job done. And who doesn’t want their name to be synonymous with success, right? However, as much as you might want to see your name in shining lights, putting your name on your business could cause problems down the road.
Before you slap your name on the front door, here are five things to consider before naming a business after yourself.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are essential for any business. They’re basically the “user manual” that outlines how processes and tasks should be carried out that (ideally) anyone can understand and implement. They might seem like a formality or a bunch of bureaucratic bung, but they can be incredibly beneficial for small businesses in several ways.
Consistency: When you have clear procedures for how tasks should be carried out, your employees understand your expectations. And even if you’re not on-site or supervising them directly, you can ensure they are working toward the same end goal and providing a consistent level of quality your customers have come to expect.
Productivity: By breaking down complex processes into smaller, more manageable steps, SOPs can make it easier for employees to carry out their tasks quickly and effectively. By streamlining operations, you will see increased productivity, faster turnaround times,...
The rise of the gig economy over the last several years has opened up a lot of doors, both for employees who are tired of being tied down to underpaying and unfulfilling 9-5 jobs, as well as the employers who enjoy access to a wide range of talented professionals they can outsource work to.
When done well, the arrangement benefits both parties.
When it’s not - well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
Small business owners often face the challenge of needing to get things done but not having the resources or personnel to do so. This is where the gig economy comes in. By tapping into the vast network of freelancers and independent contractors, small business owners can leverage the skills and expertise of professionals from various fields without hiring full-time employees. From graphic designers to web developers to social media experts, you can outsource nearly everything.
But not all freelancers are created equal. And not all of them are going to...
Most small business owners aim to scale operations and increase revenue and profitability. But getting from Point A to Point B…and then to Point C…and then Point to D…and then, well - you get the picture. (There are a lot of letters in the alphabet, and there are a lot of opportunities for a savvy small biz owner to grow.) However, making those jumps can be intimidating and overwhelming. That's why you need a strategic approach and a thorough understanding of the challenges that will be nipping at your heels along the way.
Here are five key strategies you can use to scale your operations.
Develop a growth strategy: You need an action plan outlining how your business intends to grow. Consider all areas that have room for improvement, like marketing, operations, finances, and sales. Then take those areas and create objectives, timelines, and metrics to measure success. Don't treat this like a wishlist or vision board. There's a time and place for...
Incorporating new technologies into your small business operations can be both a blessing and a curse. In theory, it should make our lives easier. In reality, it feels like the tech gods are playing a game of whack-a-mole with our sanity. It’s sort of like trying to teach an old dog new tricks, except the dog is your entire business, and the trick is just using a new software program. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you discover a whole new set of features you haven’t even touched yet. And don’t get us started on the never-ending updates and upgrades.
Tough though it may be, adapting to new technology is essential for small businesses to thrive in today’s world. We can’t stubbornly dig our heels in and expect to keep up with the competition.
If you’re feeling the pressure of bringing new tech into your business, but it’s got you feeling overwhelmed, here are four things...