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The Lost Art of Making Change

change We don’t pay with cash too often, but one of our brother-in-laws does. A pet peeve of his is that people can’t (or don’t) make change properly anymore. You know, the way it used to be done. Starting with the amount of the sale and counting back the change up to the amount you gave them.

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It seems like retail clerks either count out how much you have coming back or they just dump the change in your hand. Couldn’t they at least hand us the bills and the change separately? Or have one of those cool machines that spits out the change automatically?

So making change seems to be a lost art. Which made us wonder … what does that say about us?

That we can’t do math?

Because that really is what change-making, the old-fashioned way, requires of us. We depend on computers today, so we don’t have to do the math ourselves.

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georgeMy first real at-risk business was a retail store. We’re going back over 20 years here. I hired a woman in her 50s as a clerk. She hated the new-fangled cash registers we had. But she was brilliant. She could figure out how much change the customer had coming back faster than the cash register!

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marylynnI wonder what percentage of retail clerks could do that today. Here’s another example – have you ever given a clerk the dollars plus some change so you get an even amount back? And they get confused about why you’re giving them extra money!

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Practice makes perfect

We found a fun game to practice your change making skills and we have a link to that site on our site today. You get to see the change accumulating in your little piggy bank every time you get an answer correct.

What counting back change properly says

We’re losing some of our skills while gaining others. That’s part of the evolutionary process, but we need to make sure we’re not losing something in the process.

As we talked about this, we realized that there is a very important reason to count back change the way it used to be done. It has far bigger implications than you might think.

But today, we suspect that many people don’t see the benefit of the custom and it’s a pretty important benefit. By counting back change properly, the customer is reassured that we’re giving them the correct amount of change back. It highlights our honesty and integrity.

So whether we use a computer or not, that’s the reason to do it – it builds trust.

That’s why we’re talking about this today. We have a zest for new technology and that’s good. We are on a quest to be more productive. That’s good. But we have to make sure that we’re not throwing out customs that build our relationships.

It’s one thing to lose a skill that can be done by a computer; it’s a totally different story if we stop doing something that enhances our relationship with people. So, here at Bigg Success, we’re reviewing our practices to make sure we aren’t neglecting actions that solidify our relationships with the people we depend on for our success.

Sometimes the old way of doing things is the right way to do them. Because we rarely distinguish ourselves by some bigg accomplishment. We set ourselves apart by things that seem insignificant. Bigg success often comes from little actions.

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we continue on this thread but twist it in a different direction. We’ll talk about making change count. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Build Your Brand By Promoting Others

helping_handsWe started Bigg Success about eight months ago. In that time, we’ve met some incredible people – listeners of our show, readers of our blog, and colleagues at conferences. One of the most amazing people we’ve met is Liz Strauss.

She’s known as the “queen of blogging.” She’s also the queen of conversation – her blog has more comments than just about any other blog. She’s also an SOB – her label for Successful and Outstanding Blog!

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A one-of-a-kind show that’s an incredible resource

Liz recently held a Blog Fair. Think of an auto show, where you have all these cool cars lined up. Liz decided to do this with blogs, allowing other people to promote their sites on her site.

It’s now a great resource for you online. Check out 260 blogs on one page. While you’re there, check out Bigg Success … we’re Entry 114. We learned about a lot of great sites that we didn’t know about before. 

Benefit by promoting others

Liz’s creativity got us thinking about the benefit of promoting others. It shows your customers that you care about more than money. georgeBefore I sold my other service businesses, we encouraged our customers to call us first, no matter what their problem was. In many cases, we didn’t perform the service they needed. However, they really appreciated that we helped them find someone good. It paid off in the long term.

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marylynn Here at Bigg Success, we try to do the same thing. We seek out professionals who are experts in their field. We invite them to be on our show to share insight and advice with you that we couldn’t do alone.

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We try to find people who know more than we do … and that’s not hard to do! Seriously, they may have a deeper understanding of a subject or know something peripheral to it.

The point is – when you promote others, you also promote yourself because you’re the hub.

Benefit by promoting with others

Sometimes the people you promote are your competition, but that can pay off too. There’s a concept that’s been practiced for years, but not really talked about openly. It’s been given the name “coopetition”.

Not long ago, we spoke with a man who owns a restaurant. In our town, we have a campus area with about 40,000 or so students. We also have a downtown with a vibrant nightlife. His restaurant sits in a little cluster of restaurants in between the two areas.

He couldn’t afford to advertise in the college newspaper. But what he could do is band together with his fellow restaurateurs and advertise their restaurants as a group. They promote bringing your date to one of their restaurants on the way to going downtown to enjoy the nightlife.

Suddenly, he saw a way to reach a whole new market – a market that was unattainable on his own. So sometimes the best way to build your brand is by promoting with others. 

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Help! I Need Somebody!

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Denise Griffitts. Denise is the founder and CEO of Your Virtual Assistant, a company that provides highly trained administrative professionals for support, technical and creative services for small businesses, start-up businesses, individuals, and online entrepreneurs.


Virtual assistants are in bigg demand

Denise talked about the growing demand for virtual assistants, who work for you from their home. They work within your processes and system. If you don’t have processes set up, they’ll even help you do that.

A virtual assistant can help you with just about anything that doesn’t require them to be on site. Denise’s niche is serving online entrepreneurs. She lets you take care of the front end of the business by partnering with you and handling the back end.

“A virtual assistant takes away all the minutiae from your day.”
Denise Griffitts

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Think about what you really need help doing. What’s causing your time seepage? By thinking about the minutiae that’s sapping your creativity and letting a virtual assistant take care of it, you’ll feel a sense of freedom and be able to move forward more quickly.

How affordable is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a contract employee. You don’t have to pay their taxes and Social Security. You also don’t have to pay for their office space or equipment.

Denise has a Rate Calculator on her blog. It allows you to calculate the difference between hiring someone in your office and hiring a virtual assistant. Denise says the savings are considerable.

Could you benefit from a virtual assistant?
Denise talked about her biggest client, who had a project she needed done within three weeks. This client had a concept and an announced date for completion. That was it!

In three weeks, Denise and her team helped her client produce a product. They created a CD, did the art for the CD, created audio, print work and art work. It was in her customer’s hands by the deadline!

As Denise says, “Most everybody these days could use a virtual assistant.”

Would you like to be a virtual assistant?
Denise is looking for people all of the time. If you have online experience and would like to earn some extra money, send Denise your resume to resumes@virtualassistantindustry.com.

Denise will review your resume. If that looks good, she’ll interview you. After that, she’ll assign you a project. If you perform well on that project, then she brings you on as a full virtual assistant.

So if you want to hire a virtual assistant or be a virtual assistant, check out Your Virtual Assistant!

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We Need Your Help!

Thank you so very, very much for taking time out of your day to look in, or listen in, on us. We can’t fully find the words to express how grateful we are that you give us a little bit of your most precious resource – your time. We promise that we will always try to give you something worthwhile in the five minutes or so you spend with us each day.

Why we started Bigg Success
We started Bigg Success to build a community of like-minded people. People who want to succeed bigg. Bigg goal-getters we call you. Fun-loving, positive thinking people who are usually happy, but never content. Looking to live your life your way and get to the next level of success.

We’re building a community that helps each other. We’re happy to volunteer our time to moderate – to be thought-starters – but we need your help. You see …

We don’t know you as well as we want to. And we don’t hear from you as much as we’d like to.

Now people in our business tell us that this is normal. But the Bigg Success community isn’t a group of normal people. It’s full of extraordinary people. Over-achievers. People who know they were born to do something bigg and are determined to do it.

People like you.

The most important thing we know.
We know a little about a lot of things and a lot about a few things. But here’s the most important thing we know …

All of us know more than any of us.

We also know that you’re a quiet group. We know you’re busy. That’s why we keep our content as short as possible while still delivering something to take away every day.

But here’s the thing …

We can’t make bigg success better without you. Without your participation.
We’re happy to bring you our content for free – we’re not asking for money. We’re asking you to give something more valuable – just a little bit more of your time.

Because bigg success can’t be a bigger success without you. Without your input. Without your wisdom. Because as the Chinese proverb says …

“A single conversation … with a wise person is worth a month's study of books”.

And you’re that wise person we want to have a conversation with!

So here’s how you can help …

Tell us how we can help you. Tell us what you want and need from us. Tell us the answers to these questions:

  • What do you like about Bigg Success?
  • What do you think we could improve upon?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • What would you like to see us do differently?
  • How can we help you get to the next level of success?

Here’s how to do it now …
Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. We know a lot of you have never left a comment anywhere before, but it’s as easy as typing up an e-mail once you’ve done it.

The easiest way to find our comment box is to click on the title of the article at the top of the page and then scroll down to the bottom where you’ll see “Leave a Reply”.

You’ll notice that a name and e-mail are required. You can just use your first name or even a fake name. You can use your real e-mail address or even a fake one.  Either way, your e-mail address is NOT made public. Nor do we use it in any way or share it with anybody. This requirement just protects us from those dreaded spammers.

… and in the future.
And then, keep sharing your comments on future posts …

  • Tell us you agree or disagree … we like to hear both. Just tell us why.
  • Tell us what we missed … you’ve had experiences we haven’t had. We want to learn from you too and so does the rest of the Bigg Success community.
  • If you don’t know something, or we didn’t make it clear … ask a question.
  • If you have an answer to someone else’s question … share it with all of us.

Everyone wins.
Let’s all learn from each other so we all reach our potential. There’s no scarcity of bigg success at Bigg Success. Everyone can benefit. Everyone can win.

And yes …

RSS subscribers, iTunes subscribers, and Zune subscribers …

… we work hard to deliver our content where you want it, but we’re talking to you, too! We want to hear from all of you!

Here’s what’s in it for you …
By getting involved in the conversation, we can choose future topics and design future posts that help you with what you need help with. Content that fits your wants and needs so you get to the next level of success in your life.

We thank you so much for reading, or listening, to this post. We look forward to getting to know you better. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, Unless …

By Bigg Success Staff
07-03-08


Bigg Success in Business

burger

The University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities. Among other notable accomplishments, it is home to a large number of Nobel laureates, many who won their prize by advancing economic theory.

One of those theories is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a price. Or does it?

Free lunch for Nobel laureates

There’s a story about a small restaurant near the campus of the University of Chicago. In the window was a sign that read, “Free lunch for Nobel Prize winners.”

So, it turns out, the same people that postulated that there is no free lunch were able to get a free lunch!

Now this story may be folklore. We couldn’t confirm it. If you know of this restaurant, we’d love to hear from you. But real or not, it still illustrates the point we’re about to make.

Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

If the story is true, one would be tempted to say that there is. After all, these Nobel Prize winners ate without any cost, right?

But it still cost the restaurant owner money for the ingredients that went into the lunch and to prepare and serve the food. So, while the Nobel laureates didn’t pay anything for the lunch, it still wasn’t free.

Costs with benefits

The restaurant owner paid for it. Why would a restaurant owner do that?

For a benefit. Having Nobel laureates frequent his restaurant, which made other people interested in eating at his restaurant. And it got people talking!

For a very small cost. 

Is there something you can do that won’t cost you much, but will get people talking? Use a portion of your marketing budget to influence the influencers. Sure it costs you a little, but the benefits can be significant!

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Success in Your Own Business Requires a Good Pit Crew

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Your Mutual Admiration Society

By Bigg Success Staff
06-26-08

Personal Branding

linked_hands 

As part of building your personal brand, take special notice of the people who are thrilled with you and your performance. Of these people, who really impresses you?

Maybe they always go above and beyond the call of duty. Perhaps they follow through on time, every time.

Form a mutual admiration society!

Not to sit around and tell each other how great you all are, but to help each other by promoting one another.

It’s one thing if you tell someone how good you are. It’s quite another if someone else toots your horn. So toot back!

It has to be genuine. You have to believe in each other. You have to know each other well enough to know that whatever you’re saying will be backed up. But once you reach that level of comfort, go for it!

All of you benefit when you speak on each other’s behalf!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08

Bigg Success in Business

bullseye 

When times get tough, businesses often cut their marketing budgets. This may not be the best move you can make, but it may be necessary. If you need to cut back, there are ways to do it without destroying your future prospects.

Here are five ways to get the biggest bang for your buck during a recession.

Current customers

It’s much less expensive to market to your current customers than to find new ones. So share the savings with your customers! Find a way to save them money and they’ll be more likely to buy from you, even in tough times.

Contacts

Step up your networking efforts. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll find someone who needs what you sell. You may spend less money on marketing during a recession. Make up for that by investing more time in your marketing endeavors.

Referrals

The best way to get referrals is to ask for them! Ask your current customers for people they know who would benefit from what you offer. You may even offer an incentive to them for doing it. And don’t forget to work your contacts for referrals as well.

Customers like your customers

If you can identify people who share the characteristics of your current customers, you can target them efficiently. Check with your mailing service. They should be able to compare your customer base to their databases to find these prospects. This will also help you later with all your marketing efforts.

Counter-cyclical segments
Some products or services do better in a recession. Identify the areas of your business that are likely to gain more attention during tough times. Use those areas as a way to keep people buying from you and to gain new customers. Invest in what’s going to bring in dollars now.

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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