Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What are your "Gotta-Haves" in Business?

It's Trade Show season for Consumer Products (Gift/Home Decor/Toys). Everyone has been working hard on presenting their best image, their best products and getting as many orders as possible to make a good start to the new year. No matter who you are or what role you play at the Show; Buyer, Merchandiser, Manufacturer, Distributor, or Sales Rep, there is only one question on your lips; "What's your Gotta-Have item?"

"Gotta-Have" is the thing that is new, the thing that sets your company apart from the rest. It is the product that everyone will clamor for, buy like ice cream novelties on a hot summer day! Gotta-Have is also what sets you apart, the thing that makes you different and special. It can be a unique item (remember Wine Charms were all the rage beginning in 2001), a culture (like Nordstrom's legendary customer service), or just a way of doing business that sets a standard and makes others take notice. "Gotta-Have" can also be a standard practice in business. In other words, a service goal that you just won't compromise.

So, what's your "Gotta-Have"? What's your non-negotiable in business? Do you have a standard or base line in running your business?

Here are my Top 3 "Gotta-Haves" in running business:
#1: Answer The Phone! Don't just let the answering machine be your secretary. Customers are calling you! They don't want to leave a message and play phone tag for 2 days. Maintain your hours of operation, and let your customers talk to a human. If return a call you must, do it when you said you would. Nothing is more happily surprising than to have a business call returned promptly! Remember: Time Kills Deals!

#2: Spelling! Proper spelling and grammar use on the internet shows attention to detail and builds upon your good reputation. You might possess a Ph.D., but your marketing materials will demote you to a G.E.D if you're relying heavily on spell-check. Sure, type-o's are easy to make, but uncorrected, they will destroy brand credibility. Take the time to proof-read. Ask a co-worker or friend to review your content before publishing on the internet or in print. After all, are you going to hire someone who can't use the English language effectively and correctly in their own marketing materials? Probably not.

#3: Sell what's available today (SWAT)! This is a Nordstrom adage, but true no matter what business you have. What have you done today that you can market today? What products do you have in stock to sell NOW? Promoting success and accomplishments of recent achievements will spur more success in the short run. Selling future possibilities doesn't sell anything. Make money today and sell what you've got to sell!

These all seem like easy enough ideas, but it would surprise you to find how many folks overlook these simple principles to build their businesses success. It surprised me! Please pass these ideas along. After all, success builds more success!

1 comment:

  1. Love your new blog Kate! I am sure you will have great success as you have so many great ideas! Good Luck. Keep Blogging.

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