Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top 5 Dangers to Your Business in 2008

  1. The Quietest 90%
Who are the Quietest 90? They are the largest percentage of people who do not answer your surveys, the people that leave without complaining or complimenting, those that compliment but really weren't happy, and many others. Really the quietest 90 aren't the LOUDEST 10%! The Loudest 10% make all the noise and get all the response, but typically are not the people you service, the employees you want to keep or the friends that are truly your "bff."

2.It worked last year
Well If I'm not the first person to tell you, 2008 is not 2007. We have noticed the Stock market slow down, the housing market slow down, the price for gas go up again, the price for food rise. How do we stay on our toes, how do we not get caught on our heels? Well first of all don't get the "Chicken Little" syndrome that many columnist like to get around now. Keep your head low, target your customers, especially repeat customers. While you might not be aiming to get twenty new customers aim to get one to two new and LOYAL customers, because what has worked in the past years, will not work this year. Already with the advertisement of a tax incentive I would really be interested in finding out how many people will spend the entirety of it. They might be calling for a "recession" but keep your head low and your customers loyal.

3.Keeping Quality Employees
Keeping Quality Employees should ALWAYS be a top priority. In 2008 this is a very good idea with the worries of our economic slow down we will find our complacent employees "hanging in there" while out key and top employees will always have opportunity elsewhere. You goal with this should be in recognizing who these employees are and how to reward them, without blowing your budget. There are many ideas that we can discuss in a later BLOG. But start thinking about your employees this year!

4.Saving Money
Cutting costs is VERY important this year. According to the Consumer Price Index
in 2007 the "adjusted 12 months ending December 2007" Consumer Energy increased a whopping 17.4% while Food increased 4.9%. This is scary to look at. The primary things that we need to survive are food and energy. Those are reasons to save, now where do you cut the already tight budget. Look at your copy and supplies program typically they run together. Many employees tend to abuse these areas and purchase the "Best" pens on the market or print personal information on the copier or printer. Look at your ink usage and block certain copiers and printers to specific personnel. Your inkjet will cost more to operate than your black and white copier. Also take a look at what your companies policy is on birthdays, does someone buy a cake and then get reimbursed for it? I'm not telling you to be the grinch who stole birthdays, but put a different perspective on it. If it's your birthday you buy what you want, no reimbursements. If you don't want to celebrate like I've seenmany employees feel that way, you don't buy anything. Of course turning off lights in the right areas will also help, as well as installing energy efficient bulbs, which brings us to the last topic.

5.Spending Money in the Right Place
You will always need to spend money to make money! This year promise to spend it in the right places, energy conservation, employees and loyal customers. First buy the right bulbs for your lamps, upfront they'll cost you, but in the end it will pay off. Also if you own the building your business is in update your windows and insulate correctly, tune up your A/C and heating. With employees take care of them because they will take care of you. It only takes $5 to buy someone a pizza, or about $40 to pay for a tank of gas. If my employer did that for me you're darn right I'd tell my parents and my friends, but more specifically my parents because they have more time to talk to more people! $40 could get you a new loyal employee and more importantly a new customer. Customers like to know that the employees are taken care of, so getting the most loyal customer really does include getting the most loyal employee. With getting the most loyal customer I'm not telling you to give your product away, but look at what opportunities you can take to do the opposite of the large cable providers. It seems that they spend money to get new customers, I wonder if they realize that every two years I switch my provider to the cheapest provider!

Hope this helps you have a happy, healthy and Prosperous 2008

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