Communication technology has come a long way from the time Alexander Graham Bell made a first phone call to Watson. The rise of internet in the last 10 years has benefited communication technology by demanding an ever increasing need for speed. As a result, tasks that used to take 20 minutes to download in the early days of internet can now be accomplished in 2 seconds. Financial firms are putting more and more advanced technology to increase the speed of their trade execution even by few milliseconds. Communication companies have responded to this need by developing and deploying advanced technology.
If you walk into your local shopping centre, you will see exactly the same things as you would in any other shopping centre in the country – a number of large, brand name stores; some smaller, independently run shops; a sprawling food court stuffed to the brim with fast food restaurants.
Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, many of the larger retailers have been finding themselves strapped for cash, with many of them (HMV, GameStation, Woolworths and the like) either going bust completely or going into administration.
There is, however, an upside to this troubling situation – small businesses are coming back into fashion, experiencing their own renaissance and flourishing. Food carts are doing well and food kiosks are really taking off. Take advantage of this boom as soon as you can; here’s how to do it.
I am always on the lookout for lessons to be learned from my own experience as a customer. I believe small business owners can learn a lot about management and customer service by putting themselves in the shoes of customers. I was presented with such an opportunity when we visited Olive Garden restaurant in Auburn Hills, Michigan over the weekend. This was a special treat from my daughters on Father’s Day.
While I have always liked Olive Garden’s delicious food particularly the soups and salad my experience on this day left a lot to be desired from such a reputable national restaurant. Here is what happened:
Here is an interesting news story we came across this week – Domino’s is launching an advertising campaign in which they claimed that they will NOT allow customers to customize their artisan pizza. Customers cannot add any more toppings to the pizza recipe. Domino’s claims that they have painstakingly perfected their artisan pizza recipe over several months and they refuse to let customers mess with it.
On the face of it, this sounds a bit weird and even risky. How can you say NO to customers who are paying with their own money? They can demand whatever they want with their money. But when you think about it some more their advertising makes sense. In fact, we would argue that saying NO to customers may work brilliantly in their favor. Allow us to explain why it is necessary to say NO to customers once in a while.
Most small business owners do not give much thought to what types of customers they serve. They are happy to sell to anyone and everyone who walks into their business. This can be a mistake, and it can lead to either leaving money on the table or, even worse, not making money at all. When you take a careful look at your customers you are likely to find that some customers bring significant profit to your business, while others may not bring as much or even make you lose money on them. Why would you want to keep those later type of customers or at least treat both of them equally?
In the previous blog post we indicated that many types of small businesses have “standard” set of metrics that you can use as a starting point to determine the key metrics you should track for your small business. We discussed key metrics in the retail and restaurant business in the previous post. In this post we have shown the metrics for additional businesses – hotels / motels and service businesses.