In celebration of National Small Business Week May 4-8, we’ll be bringing you some of our favorite tips for starting or building your own business. #DreamSmallBiz
Today, we invite you to stop the stupid stuff in your business. What exactly do we mean?
We are living in a world of change. Shift happens! Competition comes from all over the world, which means that many American businesses are in trouble.
Many decisions are being made that are contrary to both good business sense and building customer loyalty.
Most organizations’ marketing is usually an exercise in figuring out what to do to get current or potential customers to spend more dollars with them.
I’m suggesting that instead of thinking about what to do, figure out what to stop doing. In other words, stop doing the “stupid stuff.”
Not doing the stupid stuff means finding out what prevents customers from spending money with you, and making sure that particular action or reaction never happens again.
Here’s an example of what I call “stupid stuff.” Some airlines now want to charge customers who want to speak to a live agent. Some banks are doing this, too.
That’s stupid stuff in two ways. First, they’ve chosen to penalize customers who want to continue getting what they’ve always gotten — one-on-one attention. Worse, they’ve done it by saying they will charge more for this previously normal and customary level of service. How many customers will they lose because of this decision? I know of at least one.
There are more subtle, but no less damaging, stupid things businesses need to stop doing.
For example, many personal service businesses like hair salons, nail salons, spas, aestheticians, etc. are closed on Sundays and Mondays, at least in our neck of the woods. But Sundays are a prime day that most people would want/need to get that type of service done. Customers who work during the week only have Saturdays and Sundays to get their personal to-do list done. If that includes any kind of self-care, everyone has to cram it all into one day, which is a major inconvenience.
Some of the small boutique clothing and antique shops around here do that, too. In the process, they lose out on a whole day’s worth of lazy, wandering foot traffic as potential customers drink their lattes and meander around the neighborhood. If the shops were open, they’d wander into the shops and maybe buy stuff. But the shops are not open, so no wandering and no buying.
Now that’s “stupid stuff.”
So start stopping! Stop saying “No” to your customers and start saying “Yes.” Stop charging for services that should be free, and stop closing your door when it should be open.
Find out what exasperates, discourages, hassles or confuses your customers and STOP IT.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about one of the biggest detriments to the small businesses we’ve worked with over the years.
Learn more about Small Business Week at https://www.sba.gov/nsbw