Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Five Easy Ways to Kill Your Business

It amazes me that the zeal many business owners possessed even a decade ago has disappeared. Yes, it’s a tough economy and it seems that government rules and regulations make it difficult to make a profit. There are legitimate ways to reduce mandatory costs and fees, but that is better addressed in another article. Today is the day to talk about the five best ways to kill your storefront or online business. 

1.It’s not my job. Hmm- do the aisles need swept? Is there a misspelled word on the chalkboard listing of specials? As the owner, manager, shift supervisor, or any other lofty position in the company, you employ other people to do the work. Don’t bother lending a hand because that might make things better so your business succeeds.

2. Assume that knowledge and skills are learned through osmosis. Why encourage someone to take a course that might be helpful when you see no reason to learn it yourself? 

3. Customers can read; let them figure it out! What value is there in putting an accurate, easy to read description of a product or service you carry or do? If the manufacturer’s description is in miniscule words, a potential buyer should bring a magnifying glass if they want to read the particulars.

4. Publicly scream at employees if they leave their section to help a customer find an item. Be condescending to customers instead of helpful. A power trip is definitely a good way to encourage potential buyers and current help to quickly leave. They’ll spread the word about your business tactics, hastening the demise of your shop or service.

5. Offer incentives and then make them worthless. Promise your customers a new saucepan if they buy a certain amount of items.  When they present the coupon, point out the sign that says the offer is only good for the first 25 buyers. Be sure the coupons are mailed or posted online the day after they expire so the first 25 customers only have an expired coupon and get nothing, as well.

If your goal is to be successful, simply turn these five steps around. Hard work and treating others fairly are still great ways to survive in a questionable economy.

Does any of this sound familiar to you as a business owner, employee, volunteer, or consumer? How do you handle these situations if you encounter them?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nature Continues to Amaze Me

Human-designed works of wonder like SmartPhones and iPhones are impressive. I marvel at their ability to hold calendars, show my emails, and let me text someone thousands of miles away and know the message will be received within seconds of pressing SEND. Amazingly, those are just a few of the features!

Photo technology provides a way to record some of the most amazing displays of nature. The blood moon was amazing as it hovered in the sky the other night. Seeing it in person was a privilege given by the powers that be to all life in certain parts of the world. The view is different depending on where a person lives and what things get in the way, such as tall trees, sweeping mountains, and mighty buildings designed to meet the visions of architects.  

This sight of the moon as I looked out the back door in the early morning called to be memorized and revisited now and then. The impressive moon of October 7 2014 still had the power to inspire me in the early morning of October 8 as it clung to its place in the sky before the sun took its place in the heavens.  
Did you get to see this spectacular display? What natural or technical marvel impresses you at times?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Find the Silver Lining in Every Cloud

The list of things to do around the yard on Sunday afternoon sat on my desk and glared at me. I did my best to ignore the accusing vibes coming from the unchecked projects. A bank of huge dark rainclouds had moved into the area early that morning. Lightning started flashing, thunder crackling, and a torrent of rain poured relentlessly on the hard, parched earth.

I stood on the porch to take a picture of nature’s fury and watched a flash of lightning appear not quite a hundred yards away. Instantaneous thunder convinced me to forego further pictures and head back into the house. 

After reviewing the picture on the computer, I started thinking of alternate ways to accomplish some of the projects on my to-do list. I typically look for the silver lining of anything that throws me off course to avoid thinking negative thoughts. Finding something good about a situation beyond my control makes me feel better.

The roots on those tall weeds run deep. I had planned to cut the weeds back until the ground was loose enough to dig down and lift the roots out. The yard flooded with the water having just one direction to go – down. Tuesday morning there was little standing water in the yard and I was able to pull the huge weeds out and dispose of them.  Checkmark earned.

The small wooden table in the picture was scheduled for a trip to the dump. The rain reminded me how nice it was to have the kindling and small logs on the shelf when it snowed last year. I was able to have firewood close to the door that was ready to light for heating the house. I added some Gorilla glue between the loose shelf and the inside walls of the table to make it stand straight. It is ready to use again this year. Checkmark earned.

The yard swing was dirty because of a dust storm we had last week. The rain washed it clean for me. At the same time, the rain washed the truck. Two checkmarks earned.

Some of the other tasks will have to wait until things dry out, but I was delighted to accomplish what I could. 

How do you handle the monkey wrenches of life?