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30 Years Into Six – The Journey Continues

It’s a long time coming.  But it’s finally here. Book number two 30 Years Into Six – “ A Marketers Journey Through The Small Business Jungle. Now available on Amazon, the 30yearsIntoSix.com website or Create Space.30 Years Into Six book by Author & Content Producer Dave Krygier - 30YearsIntoSix.com

What started this journey and changed the course of my life was a crushed hand with a broken finger on December 30, 2009. This is where God intervened and got my attention.

When I started this new journey I was searching and looking to reconnect in the online world. My experience one the years had all been in small business with occasionally dealing with large corporations. The corporate world never suited me, yet I spent 10 years as a contractor to an international company.

I created and started writing here on the Click and Mortar blog in February and slowly but surely the words started to flow onto the screen. In June of 2010 I came across Sean Mize, an Internet marketer who had specialized in articles for traffic, info products and coaching. Info products and coaching were intriguing since they enabled me to work virtually and on whenever I wanted to. Over the course of the next couple of years I learned so much from him including how to write articles, sales letters and all the components to building info products and coaching classes.

Later in 2010 I ran across Ken McCarthy of the System Seminar and attended his last big System meeting in early April 2011. This was an eye opener and game changer.

Over the years I have absorbed it all, took it all in, studied constantly, and began to test, research, and document on my blog and published articles. BTW – I still study, research and test to this day.

Combined with my experiences in the early years of the late 1980’s and 1990’s along with later years in the early to mid 2000’s, the content for the 30 Years Into Six book was flowing, even though I hadn’t decided to publish a written book yet.

My first book “Secrets of The Tiny Store,” written about 12 years of experience during the pre-Internet and early Internet years was published in 2014 as a digital e-book.

The 30years Into Six book was actually published in early 2016 as a digital ebook and then just recently we published the printed version available through Amazon and not the 30YearsIntoSix.com website.

I hope you enjoy the book and as always you can reach out to me here or on my production company website at DMK Productions.

Secrets of The Tiny Store Released!

A long, long time ago in a land that has now become overgrown with concrete highways and millions of people, there was a tiny store. And this tiny store was built upon a dream to have thine own business.

Thus this little store grew in sales, moved locations, tried to get bigger, but shrunk back to a much smaller retail and office foot print.

The tiny store was in existence for 18 years until it was sold. The ways and methods never shared in writing until recently.

Now you have the chance and opportunity to learn how the tiny store crushed it on the early days of the web. Plus you’ll discover how the store retained customers, grew referrals, tested it’s advertising and much, much more.

For the small business retailer or service-based business you will find some insights, tips and strategies that could help take your business to the next level.

Secrets of the Tiny Store ® Book by author Dave KrygierOr if you are happy and content with the business that you have right now, you can find out how to streamline, and cut down on your advertising budget.

The Secrets are Finally Revealed – and you can access them here: Secrets of The Tiny Store 

Oh – by the way – if you are just getting started in small business and want to avoid the pitfalls that most business run up against in their five years, this book has some interesting information that could save you $$$$$, lost revenues and frustrations.

Plus, there’s even something for the small business manager. So if this is you, and you’ve been tasked with running a business for someone else, like your spouse or partner, then get ready to dig in. You’ll find a few info nuggets and gems in the book, let alone what’s in the member’s area online.

Wait no longer my faithful reader, get your hands and eyes on a copy of Secrets of The Tiny Store and let your new journey begin.

Making the Decision to Change Your Life and Your Business

As the new year approaches people look to make the resolutions of all kinds. For some it is physical and this will be the year that he or she finally makes the necessary changes that really make a positive difference.

Making the decision to change your life and your business can be done anytime of the year, but most people make these kind of decisions right around the New Year.

I for one have so many resolutions, but one that I’ve already set into place is to be more consistent with adding updates, posts and articles to all my sites.

You’ll get no excuses here from me. 2015 was a crazy busy year and I let the writing and updating stay locked up in the office and my mind. Now I need to catch up over the next 6 months.

It’s one of those areas that I quite frankly decided to put a very high priority on. But since I’ve only had one other person write for me, and that was in 2010 for a couple of articles, it all falls on my shoulders to get it done.

One of the reasons for this is that all of the content that I post here on clickandmortarblog.com is coming straight from my head to the keyboard.

In the past I have created a master list for titles, but when I sit down to write, I write.

Now when it comes to making the decision to change your life and your business

My questions to you are as follows:

Is this going to be a banner year for you and your small business or just another year of the get buys?

What are you going to do different this coming year in order to make your goals and dreams a reality?

Maybe you’ve read all kinds of books and been to seminars? Have you put the info into use?

Maybe you’ve listened to audios and watched videos, yet you’re still frustrated and struggling? Do you need help from a mentor or friend to implement what you learned?

I too, like many, reflect and look forward to the New Year.

  1. The changes I must make in all areas of my life.
  2. The changes that must take place if I am to get to the various destinations I’ve set my mind on.

You see my friend – your small business is your baby and you must nurture it.

Because if you don’t, you’ll not like the results and maybe you’ve already experienced this. Whether you realize it or not, your company needs you to grow and to lead. This means change and sometimes pain.

As a small business owner or partner, change can be your friend.

So are you going to continue doing things the way you have done them?

Or are you going to change or remain stagnant this coming year?

I am encouraging you to make the change and go through the struggle, but don’t do it alone. Find a coach, mentor or mastermind group that will guide you through. It will be worth it.

More to come in the New Year.

Stay Tuned.

Dave Krygier
Publisher
Clickandmortarblog.com

Increase Sales in Your Small Business with Better Customer Service

This could be the year that you increase sales in your small business with better customer service but you need to know what not to do so in today’s post I decided to share some of my customer service experiences that may give you some insight.

This is part one in a series about how to increase sales in your small business.

During the past year I seemed to have run into a rash of customer service issues with products and services that I purchased. Call it what you may, when it rains it can sometimes pour, and it poured quite often in my neck of the woods in the areas of customer service and brand loyalty.

There’s an old adage – “You Get What You Pay for.” And personally I have found this to be so true when it comes to most commodity based items big or small.

Here are some real live examples, (with the names of the companies removed), that show what not to do and how companies are really blowing opportunities when it comes to customer service and increasing sales.

How to Lose Customers and Lower Sales

Above the Ground Pool – The top of the line pool itself is decent quality, but finding certain readily available replacement parts for this manufacturer’s pumps and filters is like pulling teeth from a cat after it gets out of the bathtub! Add to this the simple fact that service is non-existent even if you want to pay for it. So much for saving money and doing it myself. 🙁

Top Car Manufacturer – It’s not every day that one buys a new or used car and this last year we went through the process of buying a new vehicle from a local dealer versus over the Internet. The bottom line is that even though this automobile brand  has built a great brand based on quality vehicles, the car buying process is still the same and it sure doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.

It’s the same old bologna and issues with integrity. Too many different stories.

In the end, the vehicle we purchased from the local dealer is ok, but I must say the attention to certain details was lost along the way, the door edge guards are still not installed properly and my back will never be happy while in this vehicle.

Will we go back to this brand? Maybe – but it will be online and working every angle to save money.

Could better customer service have increased sales in this local business? For sure. I would have upgraded the vehicle and sang their praises. 

Now let’s take a look at a small consumer item.

Sunglasses Company – A search for Some Protection from the Sun.

I never knew that buying a pair of prescription name brand sunglasses was going to be such a chore! After searching high and low for a licensed retailer I decided to call the sunglasses company directly and left a message for their director of sales and marketing, who never bothered to return my call. So I called again and left a message for the person who oversaw the state I reside in, and finally received a return telephone call but with no results.

I was doing everything I could to buy from this company but they just didn’t care. To them I was only one customer looking for a pair of quality prescription sunglasses.

At the end of the day I ended up using a pair of existing non-prescription frames I owned and then purchased non-brand polarized lenses with mirror coating.

The local small business optical store lost the sale and a brand loyal customer. The manufacturer lost a long time loyal customer and any chance of my returning to their camp.

How to Increase Sales in Your Small Business

The bottom line…If you want to increase sales in your small business just provide good customer service along with returning phone calls and responding to emails. After all, it’s not that difficult to satisfy the average consumer, especially if he or she is in the market for your product, service or information.

– Be Professional and friendly

– Go the Extra Mile

– Ask Questions and Survey Your Customers

In the second part of this series on how to increase sales in your small business I’ll share the other side of the coin and what I consider great customer service from a veteran retailer who went above and beyond.

Stay tuned for more on this topic.

Dave Krygier
Publisher

Three of the Best Ways to Retain Customers and Increase Sales

In my previous post about how to increase sales I mentioned three customer service experiences that literally broke my relationship with these businesses. Today I will dig into three of the best ways to retain customers in your small business so you can increase sales.

 Although there are many more ways to keep customers in your wheel house, these three ways to retain customers will help improve sales if you continually work on them.

Now for a Really Great Customer Service story…

I purchased a piece of luggage from Jos A Bank in our local area under the guise that if anything ever happened to it they would replace it.

Well as life happens, this particular piece of luggage started to have some serious exterior issues with only 20 flights of service. So I brought it back and came to find out that Mr. Bank was no longer in the luggage business and they were in the process of merging with another mens clothing conglomerate.

Fortunately for me the man who sold me the bag was the manager and had some integrity. He went to bat for me and guess what…

He fixed part of the issue and also gave me a credit for $1000 that I could apply to anything in the store! Now that’s what I call customer service and taking care of the customer and going beyond. Considering the luggage cost less than $400, the repair plus the $1000 far exceeded the value that we paid.

Even though this company is not a small business their local store is run like one and they’ll receive my vote for great customer service and retain me as a customer for life.

This leads to what I believe are Three of the Best Ways to Retain Customers: 

A. Give Your Customers a Reason to Come Back to Your Business. Treat your customers like you treat your best friend and always have something to entice them to reenter your world.

B. Cross Train Your Sales and Customer Service Staff. This way you are never without someone in either department.

C. Find and Recruit People Who are Open and Willing to Learn Your Business. It seems that good, quality, trained retail sales and customer people are just becoming harder and harder to find these days. So when you find a really good quality individual, do what you can to support him or her and treat them like family.

Bonus – if you communicate openly with your staff about your expectations and goals, this can also be one of the best ways to retain customers, especially If you are building your business around a brand. This means that you have to make sure the people who work for you understand what brand loyalty is all about or it could mean their jobs and loss of income.

Make sense?

If not – let me know by forwarding me an email here at ClickandMortarblog.com and I’ll do my best to answer your question.

Until next time…

Dave Krygier
Publisher 

 

 

Best Ways to Market an Alternative Medicine Practice

In this article I’m going to share one of the best ways to market an alternative medicine practice or clinic. 

As a practicing alternative medicine professional you probably cry at the thought of spending money on traditional advertising, right? I mean spending your hard earned income on newspaper, magazine, TV and radio ads is about the last thing you want to do unless you like to see your name in lights!

And that’s where content marketing online comes into play and could be what catapults your business to the top of all the online local search results 

This may be one of the simplest things for an alternative medicine practitioner like yourself or it may seem like you’re getting a tooth pulled without any numbing medicine.

Best Ways to Market an Alternative Medicine Practice

Content marketing is one of the best ways that nutritional and alternative companies have attracted and connected with their target market. They have been doing this for decades. You already receive their physical and digital newsletters, mail and email that contains some of this valuable content. It comes from your suppliers, competitors and researchers. 

Due to all of this content available out on market today to alternative practitioners like yourself and the general public, you need to separate yourself from the crowd.

This way you can attract and connect with:

People who are looking for your kind of practice or clinic. 

People who want help and desire to get better and live more fulfilled lives without the need for toxic chemicals, drugs and foods that poison and weaken their bodies.

People who are searching for a new practitioner for their family or close relative. 

The bottom line: You can guess or you can test when it comes to marketing. Afterall, it’s your decision as to what you do with your practice/clinic and your money.

But I say, why waste money when you don’t have to? There are people who want what you have, yet have not connected with you at your practice or clinic.

You can spend money and not know what works when it comes to marketing or you can invest in one of the best ways to market an alternative medicine practice: quality content that connects you to people who actually want and desire your services.

Here are three ways you can connect with people who are buyers of services like the ones you currently offer:

  1. Publish quality written content with specific proof elements. 
  2. Create Original videos that attract and connect you with your target audience.
  3. Provide credible resources that your buyers can access.

But the key to really making content work in your favor is to have a content blueprint and outline that works as a a roadmap and guideline. Plus you need to create the quality content or have it created and distributed for you.

For more information about the best ways to market your alternative medicine practice, visit SBM and check out their content creation and marketing resources.

To your clinic’s success,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

The Business Owner that Could Have…Restaurant Tales Part 1

Many times over the past 28 years I have seen small business owners who have been so strong willed and independent that they continually struggle within their business only to create one big mess after another. And thus they leave a trail behind them and accumulation of misfires, mishaps, losses and frustration.

Frustrated Chef Image on Click and Mortar Blog
I am a Frustrated Chef posing as a Restaurant Owner…

Here’s a comment from the diary of one that has lived in the small business trenches for almost three decades… “While you serveth thy client bewareth of the cobwebs, spiders, rusty nails and cracked beams in the basement of marketing that may cometh back to make your work that much more difficult and frustrating ,” – as quoted by The Small Biz Mechanic.

Ok – enough of the commentary, let’s be honest and look at the basics:

1. Some owners are great at sales.

2. Others are great at operations.

3. Some owners are great at finance.

4. While others are great at customer service.

5. Some are even great at marketing, although this seems to be a rarity, especially in this current time of transition to the web.

So with that said – Let us Face the Facts right now!

You are not great at everything. It’s a simple fact and you need to face it and acknowledge it. Pure and simple. Plus once you peal back the layers and come to the realization that you’re not ‘super business man’ or ‘super business woman’, maybe you’ll have an honest sit down with your partner, spouse and/or staff and come to grips with these facts. If you don’t, then you’ll find yourself burning out and becoming less motivated to stay engaged in your enterprise.

Being in small business is tough enough these days without being your own worst enemy. How do I know this? Because I’ve battled it for many years and I see it in many of the privately owned small restaurants that take my money in exchange for good to great food and mediocre service.

I mean how tough can it be for a small café or bistro to put out great food and great service? Well it’s obviously a real challenge for many a small business owner because the Food Network has multiple shows running that are thriving on the mishaps and negligence going on in restaurant land.

I for one experience the ups and downs of these mom and pop café shops as I travel throughout the US and Canada, and it’s amazing to see how an owner and sometimes even a manager can be absent and no where to be seen during the lunch hour.

Great food will go a long way because word of mouth will bring people out of the woodwork, but if service is lackluster then the same word of mouth can put a damper on sales like a rainstorm at an outdoor wedding.

The bottom line…

Whether you own or manage a restaurant or some other kind of small business, work in your strength areas and leave the rest of it to other people who are good to great at the rest. And surround yourself with great people who are great at what they do.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

How to Create Good Habits

Back around the year 1990 I was first introduced to the writings of Og Mandino, Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill, Robert Schuller, Norman Vincent Peale and Frank Bettger. There were so many others who still line my personal library today but of all the authors, Mandino has been the one who really stuck with me as his character Simon would share and bring hope. Og had a way with words that I rarely see with authors today.

The titles of his books are simple, yet meaningful. From the Greatest Secret in the World and The Twelfth Angel to The Greatest Salesman in the World, The Gift of Acabar and The Greatest Miracle in the World, Og Mandino will go down in my book as one of the best authors on the topic of success.

The Greatest Miracle in the World

Why this topic and why today?

Well as the year starts to creep by, day-by-day and week-by-week, people tend to slip back into their old habits and ways, leaving new habits on the side of the trail or road, to die and wither along with others just like them. And thus their life goes on and all of the old habits continue to stay rooted and firmly planted. Some old habits may be great. Others need to be kicked out and replaced.

So I figured it best to write about how to create good habits and the example I share today is of myself and the ole habit of exercise.

Last October I happened to step on the scale while I traveling back East and low and behold I was 15 lbs. higher than what I called overweight. In a nutshell I had packed on 35 pounds, looked terrible and was quite ashamed of what I had done to my body.

So three of us made a friendly bet and agreed to lose at least 15 pounds within 120 days, and with the money on the table I got to work and finally changed my habits the next day.

Did it happen overnight? No.

Did I have to work at it? Yes – on a daily basis. But once I got going, I was determined to lose more than the 15 pounds and eventually drop over 30 pounds.

Has it been hard? Yes it has, but it’s also great to see the weight drop.

And I’m still working at it and on it since now it’s a daily habit.

The bottom line…

Learn how to create good habits by studying and applying what great authors like Og Mandino did. Because your habits will make you or break you ad you’ll most likely need help along the way. Business or Personal it makes no difference.

And this is one of the lessons I learned from Og Mandino -Get rid of old habits and create new, good ones.

So it’s not too late for you. No matter how much you have attempted and failed.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get a move on by forming new, good habits.

Business or Personal it makes no difference. Whether you need to change your work schedule to fit in exercise or maybe watch less TV, you can carve the time out of the same 24 hours that we all have.

So get started today or even tomorrow, but delay no longer as this year will pass you by so fast your head will spin. And if you need some encouragement, pick up an Og Mandino book or drop me a line and we’ll connect.

To Your New (Good) Habits,

Dave Krygier
Publisher 

 

BNI – A Proven Small Business Success Secret

As a proven small business success secret, BNI has definitely been worth the time and effort put forth over the last 11 months. In my previous article about BNI, Business Development Strategies – The BNI Way, I was still new to the Downtown Biz Links chapter, getting my feet wet and forging alliances.BNI Referral Networking

And this early part of the journey proved to me that not all BNI chapters are the same. In 2012 I set out to find a local chapter to see what it was all about. The first chapter I visited in didn’t work out, so I didn’t join. Five months later I looked into another chapter and determined that if I was going to give it a go that this one would be the one to test. And so test I have. Here’s the back-story.

As an offline marketer who converted to the online world in 1995 and then again in 2010(more on this in a future article), I knew the potential for the web and email was tremendous, and BNI could be one of the channels to allow us to connect with our target market of small business owners.

This journey was propelled after a talk with one of my mentors in August of 2010 as he recommended that I find offline ways to connect with small business owners looking to market their businesses online.

Now I must add that it would have paid to join BNI just to get to know the Regional Executive Director, Barb Olson, as her warmth, caring and knowledge of BNI, let alone people, has made the experience that much better.

Without Barb I believe I might have passed altogether and not gotten involved. So her being available both live and electronically has made this journey that much more enjoyable. Her experience and intuitiveness have proven to me that when it comes to networking groups, she is a rare find.

With all that said, I’m not sure that I would have continued with BNI if it wasn’t for her. So after many years of visiting other networking groups, chambers, and associations, I determined that BNI was going to be where I invested my time and energy.

The whole ‘Givers Gain’ philosophy has been one that I had to experience first hand to believe. After all, one can participate and be seen but not give and refer.

Over the last year BNI has proven to be a good source of referrals and fertile ground for budding relationships. Although it did not go as fast as I thought it would, several of these relationships have turned out to be very fruitful and a few others are starting to show signs of blossom.

The bottom line…

In this case, ‘A Proven Small Business Success Secret’ is not really a secret at all. It’s finding the right fit and then committing the time and effort on a weekly basis.

Is BNI for every small business and organization? No.

Is it going to work for you and your business?

Only you will know and time will tell. Go research, visit and test.

In closing for today…

As the New Year is just starting to pick up steam, I can see how BNI will have a positive impact on SBM’s growth and also how I can further connect and refer to people both inside and outside of our chapter.

More to come so stay tuned.

Dave Krygier
Publisher

 

 

 

How To Connect To Small Businesses

The Small Business Connection – Are you missing this?

The Small Business Connection - How To Connect To Small Businesses Are you missing the small business connection and don’t even know it?

Maybe sales are declining or starting to wobble yet the corporate exec’s still don’t want to listen.

I used to bang my head against the wall dealing with corporate exec’s who would try to fit us into their boxed mold of marketing, promotions and outdated sales strategies.

What does a corporate manager know about running a small business if he’s never worked in one? Yet do the muckety mucks send their people into the field to see what goes on in their customer’s business? Maybe the field sales guy or gal, but that’s their job!

I have experienced and truly believe that there is a disconnect in Corporate America today where companies owned by public and private stock holders are not in tune with their small business customer. They think they know, but they don’t know. Not a clue!

They think they got it all figured out, yet they grope around in the dark like everything’s hunky dory and business will grow. Hey Frank – sales were up 10% this last month – Yahoo!

It’s so funny how corporate executives and their managers can run around playing business games while their customer, Mr. or Mrs. Small Biz Owner struggles to increase sales and maintain profitability with revenue models that have not changed in years.

You see my loyal reader, the small business owner doesn’t care if their vendor’s sales numbers are off. What they want to know is this – what is that vendor or supplier going to do today to help them in their business.

And this is where the small business connection comes in.

The bottom line is that running and operating a small business is a lot different than working at a corporation. It’s like comparing a cruise ship to a 21’ speed boat.

And this leads me to my whole reason for writing this article today. I can honestly tell you that the three best Field Sales Executives I ever worked with understood this whole concept of small business.

Greg came from a big corporation but had worked with small businesses for years.

Dave worked at a big corporation but had run a small company and so he understood what we had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Doug worked for small and large manufacturers but had also worked in a small business for over 15 years.

All three had really good people skills and were great at connecting with us.

Of the 50 or so manufacturers and suppliers we dealt with, these three were at the top when it came to sales and working with us in the trenches.

Sooooo…

If you happen to be reading this and you come from the corporate landscape or are looking to increase your sales with small business clients, here are a few suggestions for you to consider:

1. Connect and find out what really makes a small business.

2. Read up and study books about Small Business & Entrepreneurialism.

3. Learn what makes the small business owner tick and click.

4. Become interested in the small businesses you work with on a daily basis.

5. Research, Research, Research – bring added value to the small business. And once you start to digest this information, take action and make a difference.

To your continued success,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

PS – If you’re currently in a retail or service based business then head on over to Secrets of The Tiny Store to find out what we really did.