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The Best of The West Awards Gala 2016

Last week’s Best of The West Awards Gala at Northern Quest in Airway Heights was a quite the outing. The room was pretty full, the crowd was responsive, and the overall atmosphere was upbeat.

It’s not very often that an awards ceremony comes along that I’m so involved in. From our small business viewpoint, it was a great success. SBM (SmallBizMechanix) took home the “Small Business of The Year” Award and we also had the opportunity to capture video of the event and operate the switcher and cameras.

Small Biz Mechanics Captures Video and Photos at the Best of The West Awards Gala 2016

From creating and producing the Member Moments, to working on the Biz to Biz Expo, we were busy the latter part of last year. Plus I ended up with a seat on the West Plains Chamber board on January 1st.

What a whirlwind – but worth every minute.

Stay tuned and I’ll be back with another update about the behind the scenes work.

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.

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

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.


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

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.

The future of small business marketing

The Future & Your Small Business

The future of small business marketingThe Future…

The year is 2018.

Where is your business? Underwater struggling to the surface to get some air?

Or is your business just above the surface on a sinking boat due to many cracks that haven’t been repaired and a failing engine that hasn’t been maintained?

Or maybe your business is on its last legs in the desert with no water or foodand a case of sunstroke.

Quite possibly your business may be thriving, but a sudden unforeseen catastrophe lands a blow on your doorstep, and this blow hits you where you are weakest.

In any one of the above scenarios, it’s readily apparent that your business is about to expire. Yes – the time has come and your business, your baby, your life’s work is about to breath it’s last and you just cannot believe it.

For all those years you worked so hard and did whatever it took, sacrificing day after day, week after week, month after month. To build and live your dream.

Rewind ( press the button on your DVD) and go to the present day. Your business is doing well, you’re trucking along on the freeway.

The future looks bright. You are having an increase in sales month after month, but there are signs on the road that you ignore and you almost run out of gas.

At the same time you also notice that the tires are pretty worn and there’s a squeaking sound when you press the brake pedal. Yet, you fill up your tank and keep on keeping’ on. After all, it’s only the tires and the squeak can be fixed, right?

Is this your attitude when it comes to marketing your business? Do you really know what you are doing or are you just guessing? Is it mud thrown up on the wall or a targeted focused series of campaigns?

Well, I’m sad to be the bearer of bad news today(late 2013)…

Many small business owners are like the ones I listed above; struggling for air, over exposure to the sun or just staying afloat. If this is you or someone you know, it may not be too late. There may still be time.

Where am I leading with all this Mr., Mrs. or Miss Small Business Owner?

Well – quite frankly it has to do with the web, email and mobile.

And the importance these three play in the future of your small business.

You see I lived through the first wave of the web and email and we embraced both of these channels for six years and successfully sold our small business in the fall of 2001. Today, two of the industries we were involved in are not in good shape. One has been decimated and the other is struggling on all fronts.

All because they didn’t adapt and change when they had the chance. Yes, they didn’t adapt and change, so many have gone by the wayside, many are hanging on by a thread and few are groping around in the dark.


Don’t be one of the thousands of small businesses that have to close their doors in the next five years. Do something now. Take action now and keep your business alive.

Make the changes and embrace the web, email and mobile, now – before it’s too late and you have to shut your doors forever. 🙁

To your continued small business success,

Dave Krygier

PS – If anything in this article got through to you and you’re thinking – “what do I do next…”  – Contact The Small Biz Mechanic by Clicking Here Now.



The Knight, The Wrench, and The Visionary

The following is based on a true story…

Once upon a time there was a thriving, growing, family run kingdom that had seen almost four decades of steady growth.

This kingdom was located in an eastern land with its castle a huge structure that housed hundreds of serfs, maids, pawns and servants but very few knights and soldiers.

The King of this enterprise was ‘The Visionary’, who had a vision and with this vision he carried forth with his Queen to fulfill his dreams.

Together they grew, expanded and enjoyed what most kingdoms never experience…

 A unique Brand Loyalty like none other of its time.

At the peak of this growth, ‘The Knight’ was brought in to tend to a far away western land where the pastures and forests were green and the merchants were primed to grow and expand. His land was vast, covering thousands of square miles, taking days and days to travel end to end.

For the most part he was left alone and rarely visited by the ‘Old Guard’ from the castle.

The Visionary Passes

Then one day ‘The Visionary’ passed on and was no longer around to fulfill his role as the leader. It truly was a sad, sad day as many of the loyal people respected and loved The Visionary.  He had a gentle spirit with the ability to capture the hearts and minds of his subjects.

So the reins were passed on to the Queen and Prince and at first it seemed as though all was well. The Knight was hopeful that all would stay as it was. After all, the area he oversaw was far from the castle and world of mini-fiefdoms. So he enjoyed a freedom that most never experienced.  

He even met with one of the other Knights and they both agreed that the peace and prosperity would most likely last another five seasons.

Even though he was starting to get restless, he went about his business tending to the merchants and making sure the castle received it’s due.

Then one day the faces started changing at the castle as one by one the ‘Old Guard’ left for greener pastures and lands more abundant. And greener pastures and lands they each did find. 

Many of the seasoned veterans departed only to leave huge gaps and holes on the chess board at the castle.

The Wrench Arrives

And soon thereafter the departure of these few, ‘The Wrench’ arrived at the castle only to bring with him uncertainty and many questions.

His was a history of battles won and battles lost. A history some would not want to repeat.

His real strategy was hidden from view and his tactics were sly and close quartered.

A temper he had, that was experienced by most, as his outbursts laid out those in his path.

Upon meeting ‘The Wrench’ for the first time, The Knight realized that his days were numbered. He was assuredly going to have to make changes if he was to survive. So changes he started to make and none too soon.

And then the day came upon the kingdom at its remote outpost. Knights, Maidens and Merchants from near and far gathered for the semi-annual festival where The Queen, The Prince, and The Wrench held court.

The Wrench started to show his true colors as part of his plan was revealed to all the Knights and Maidens. Unrest and tension grew as each met with The Wrench and realized what was happening.

The Knight had seen this day coming many seasons ago and he had prepared for this day; a day that many had not been prepared for.

To be continued…

Publisher’s note: This post, The Knight, The Wrench, and The Visionary, is based on true story and is copyrighted by the publisher, Dave Krygier and ClickandMortarblog.com. Any unauthorized duplication, replication, in part or its entirety will not be tolerated and the publisher will pursue legal action.