I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and getting ready for a prosperous and profitable New Year! The question you need to ask yourself is do you have a strategy for the New Year?

This is what I have observed are examples of strategies in the business world. Fast food chains across the country, will be slashing menu prices to revive flagging sales. Giant big box stores will continue to keep prices low, wooing customers but squeezing out suppliers and small businesses. Many small businesses will try to keep up by lowering their prices too!

However, small-scale franchisees and small businesses, who face rising costs and increased local competition, are far more concerned with store profits, electricity, gas, labor, paying royalties, credit card transaction fees, insurance, rent, leases, maintenance and regulations. Their paychecks come from whatever is left over. Reducing prices on products and services is not a great long term strategy.

Of course, an occasional sale, price cutting promotions or small discounts can be very effective, but most small businesses will never survive doing that very long. Price cutting and discounts can cut dangerously deep into any profit margins.

One of my restaurant clients, who owns and operates a food franchise, has had to deal with decreased margins caused by minimum wages rising, more fierce competition, and costs have risen dramatically for labor, utilities and rent. Certainly lowering prices is an option that may or may not necessarily help keep his lights on but what else can he do to keep customers. He asked me to help him come up with a better strategy.

My client, as in most small businesses, are faced with this challenge because they get so caught up with operations, hiring, sales, inventory, Facebook adds, etc. These are certainly important issues, but sometimes they forget about their existing customers or monitoring their present customer experience, to see if it displays an example that their staff cares or can they differentiate their business from the competition.  The result of sometimes focusing too much on the wrong things is the lack of sales from repeat business, or word of mouth referrals.

It is never too late to begin taking care of your existing customers or customers who have not done business with you in a while. Here are some tips and strategies that I helped my client focus on to get things rolling, increase sales and profits, more referrals and an increase in repeat business this past year. He had an amazing year!

  • Meet with your staff to map out the present customer experience and identify each touch point you have with a customer. Breakdown each one and evaluate to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Start small and improve the simple ones first such as cleanliness issues, rest rooms, phone greetings, appearance guidelines or staff engagement with customers.
  • Think of little extras you can give your customers either during or after the sale such as thank you discount coupons for their next visit, small sample products to try, small toys for children or pets, free car wash, free coffee or ice cream gift cards and the list can go on and on.
  • Make a list of your best customers and send them a small gift, hand written note, signed card by the entire staff telling them that they are missed or even a personal phone call. Don’t try to sell anything just let them know you appreciate their business.

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Are these part of your New Year business strategy? If not, make sure they are. You must think about how you can take great care of your customers because: “if you don’t take good care of your customers someone else will.”

Do you need any help with the following? I will be happy share some insight with you for FREE!

  • Evaluating your present customer experience to identify opportunities to create customer loyalty for life!
  • A “Strategic Work Session” with your team!
  • “One on One” personalized business coaching to help you move the bar!

Contact me today for your FREE Consultation or Discovery Call. It is simple, easy to do and will only take a few minutes of your valuable time. It just might be the BEST STRATEGY of the New Year to help you achieve the success, profits, repeat sales and an abundance of customers you want this year. Don’t wait! Again, it’s FREE and one of my strategies, in the New Year to thank you for being a loyal “Magic Minute” member. I promise you when we partner together, we will make your business more Magical today! I look forward to speaking with you!