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Keep Your Employees Happy And Watch Your Profits Grow!

By Bigg Success Staff
03-07-08

Bigg On Small Business 

Here’s a concept that’s been around for over a decade now, but is still relatively unknown to many business owners. It was developed at Harvard Business School. There’s a great book on it by Harvard professors James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, and Leonard A. Schlesinger.

It’s called The Service Profit Chain. Here’s what it says in a nutshell:

Employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers create revenue growth. Revenue growth leads to profit growth. Reinvest a portion of those profits into things that will make your employees even more satisfied, and the chain never breaks.

Seek first to satisfy your employees
So if you want to increase your profits, find out what will make your employees happy!

Happy employees stick around longer. They know what they’re doing. They know your customers.

Bottom line – they’re golden!

They’re golden because it’s expensive to find and train new people. New people cost you money until they get through the learning curve.

They cost you money because your established employees have to help train them, so they aren’t as productive as they would be if they weren’t faced with that burden.

They’re golden because they know your customers’ likes and dislikes. They also know your customers personally. They have relationships with them, too. And we all do business with people we like.

So seek first to satisfy your employees.

3 things satisfied customers do

Satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. They do three things:

  • They buy more
  • They buy more often
  • They tell others

Now look at that list again – isn’t that a great way to increase sales?

You don’t have to spend a boat-load of money chasing new customers. You just have to focus on making your employees happy so they make your customers happy. If you do that, your sales will grow. If you just keep your costs under control, your profits will grow.

It can’t get much simpler than that!

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

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In A Bad Mood? 7 Ways To Get Over It Fast!

By Bigg Success Staff
03-04-08

Work Life Balance

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You won’t accomplish much when you’re in a bad mood. You may miss opportunities. You won’t feel good, no matter what happens.

Worst of all, you might harm relationships with an ill-fated comment or tone. Especially if you carry a bad mood from home to work or vice versa. Don’t let it happen!

Get over your bad mood fast with these seven solutions:

#1 – Change your motion to change your emotion.
If you want to be in a good mood, ACT like you’re in a good mood. Smile. Stand up straight. Reach out to people. Whatever a person in a bad mood would do – do the opposite! The next thing you know, you’ll be in a good mood!

#2 – Live in the moment.
Breathe in deeply. Notice the little things. Look at the beauty around you. Use all of your senses to take it in – the sights, the sounds, the smells, and more. Come to appreciate ALL of your experiences – the triumphs AND the tragedies, because 226 if you aren’t where you are, you’re no place! ]

# 3 – Work on a project that offers tangible results.
Many of us don’t immediately see the benefits of our work. So mix it up – work on something you enjoy that gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment. It could be as simple as an organizing project you’ve had in mind for awhile. Whatever it is, do something fun that allows you to escape, even if only mentally.

#4 – Escape to greatness.
If you’re still having trouble getting over your bad mood, find your first available opportunity and escape to a great work – a noted book, an award-winning movie, a great piece of music, or classic works of art. Try to get in the mind of the creator so you feel what he or she felt as the work was made.

#5 – Exercise.
Sometimes a rigorous workout will exorcise the bad mood demons. You’ll get that natural high that comes from physical activity. You’ll feel good because you did something good for yourself. Even if it’s just a short walk, get away for a few minutes to gain a new perspective.

#6 – Give unto others.
Take the focus off of yourself by helping someone else. It can be as simple as a quick phone call or an e-mail. It can be as elaborate as volunteering for your favorite cause. You’ll probably be reminded that your problems are miniscule compared to others.  

# 7 – Catch up with a friend.
Old friends have a way of lifting your spirits. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked with for awhile. If they live in your area, schedule coffee, tea, lunch or some other meet-up. If they’re far away, plan a phone call so you can have a two-way dialog.

What do you do to get over your bad moods? Share it with a Comment below!

 

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Does This Date Work For You?

By Bigg Success Staff
02-13-08

Work – Life Balance

mr_right_jpg Do you remember studying with friends in college? You met at the library, the coffee shop, or a favorite restaurant. You studied and talked and laughed. It was fun and productive at the same time.

Young people are starting businesses at a record rate, complete with all the pressures that go with it. The corporate world is more and more demanding.

It’s tough to have both a career and a social life. Or is it?

Welcome to the world of the “working date”.

And this need not just apply to singles. Get away with your significant other and still get some work done.

But it has to work for both of you. You can’t expect someone to “keep themselves busy” while you work. They need to buy into it; they have to have their own work to do.

That’s why a new test for compatible relationships is to find someone as career-oriented as you are. They will understand when you have to work. You can do the same when the roles are reversed.

So how do you make working dates work?

Make it clear upfront.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often broken. Make it clear when you’re setting it up that you have work to do. Explain why it’s so important for you to get this work done – you have a deadline, you’re a little behind, etc.

Let them opt out by offering a time when you can give them your full attention.

Establish the ground rules
You may have work that requires intense concentration. You need undisturbed time, but still want to be with your date. If they understand that, all is good. Plan for some breaks in your work – it’s good for you and the relationship if you get away from it, even for fifteen minutes. Other work may allow for interruptions.

Discuss your mutual needs so you get your work done and get on to the fun!

Set a time limit
You should reward yourself, and your date, for your discipline. Set a time when you will quit working. Then get your work done so you can socialize! Remember, all work and no play?

It should still be fun
Seems obvious, right? Apparently, it’s not. Think about the work you need to do. If it requires 100 percent of your attention, don’t make a date. Either you won’t have any fun on your date or you won’t get your work done because you’re distracted.

Plan another time.

EVERY date shouldn’t be a working date

You can’t build a career or a relationship if you never get away from work. If you always have work that HAS to be done, you have too much work! If you never want to just be with someone, without the distractions of work, either you’re not that interested in them or you have an issue with intimacy. You’ll have to figure that one out!

Like many people, you may find that blending your professional and personal life is the best way to keep it all in balance. Make a date that works! 

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

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

Recently, the Better Business Bureau released the results their first Trust in Business Index. They found that trust in business is down and cite contributing factors such as:

  • toy recalls
  • the sub-prime mortgage crisis
  • ethical lapses in leadership
  • declining customer service

All of these things affect a company’s reputation. Stephen Covey, in his great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about “emotional bank accounts”. When we do good things, deposits are made into our emotional bank account; when we do bad things, withdrawals are made.

Trust is built as we make more deposits. Relationships are built on trust. According to BBB, the single biggest factor in earning customer trust is honesty, closely followed by dependability.

Today, we’ll look at three things that you can do to increase your customers’ trust.

  • Under-promise, then over-deliver
  • Unfortunately, we usually see the opposite. In most cases, the intentions are good. However, good intentions don’t build relationships. Good actions do. One of the keys here is to manage expectations to make sure you don’t over commit.

    On the show, George talked about a customer who wanted him to commit to something he didn’t he could do. After much prodding, he told the customer that he could lie to her now, and make her happy. But she would probably be disappointed later.

    Or she could accept what he’s saying, and be happy when he was able to do it. He asked which one she preferred. She understood.

    Tell me now and it’s an explanation. Tell me later and it’s an excuse. Customers accept explanations; nobody likes excuses. Once you have set the proper expectations, you can work to exceed them. That’s where it gets fun!

  • Follow-through
  • This is closely related to the first point, but it’s so important that we thought it deserved to be separate. Say what you’ll do, and then do what you say. We’re all so busy these days; it’s easy to make promises that we don’t keep. Don’t be one of those people! Follow-through.

    Develop a personal system that tracks your promises so you rarely “drop the ball”.

    During the show, George talked a friend who’s in sales. When he called prospects, they often told him to call back some time later. He developed a system to notify him when he should call them back. Then he called them!

    George liked this idea. He started testing sales people by agreeing to a follow-up date. A very small percentage actually did it! If someone won’t live up to their promises before they sell you something, how do you think they’ll do afterwards?

    Follow-through won’t always make you money, but it always builds trust.

  • Address the needs of your customer first, then worry about your needs.
  • On the show, Mary-Lynn talked about her sister, who recently saw some fraudulent activity on her credit card. When she called the credit card company, they tried to sell her another credit card and additional services on her current credit card.

    She explained that she didn’t care about that right now; she was stressed out that someone was using her credit card. The service representative just kept pitching her on other services.

    It’s hard to understand why anyone would design a process that way. If someone comes to you with a need, you won’t get anywhere until that need is addressed.

 

How do you build trust with your customers?
As a customer, what do you wish businesses would do?
Leave us a comment.

 

Going back to the survey, we talked about honesty and dependability, which finished first and second in building trust. In case you’re wondering, here are the next three:

#3 – safe products
#4 – value
#5 – price

There’s one more thing that we found interesting from this survey:

67% of the respondents would rather patronize a small business than a large one.

That’s good news for all you small business owners. You have an edge – consumers trust you more! And now may be a good time to start that business you’ve been dreaming about. Check out 117 10 Signs That You’re Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business].

Our Bigg Quote today comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”

Remember that your customers will last if they feel like you put them first. Your honesty and dependability leads to their loyalty.

Next time, we’ll talk about the marshmallow test. Can you resist sweet temptations? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Take the Work Out of Networking

By Bigg Success Staff
01-07-08

Career Builders

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All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, right? What if you approached networking more as play … and less as work? Two excellent posts on networking recently caught our attention:

Networking Rx by Barbara Safani, writing for Career Hub.

Do You Make These Networking Mistakes in Your Job Search? by Liz Lynch, The Stealth Networker.

Safani’s post builds on Lynch’s, which was inspired by an article in The Wall Street Journal by Joann Lublin, entitled How to Network Without Sabotaging Your Own Job Hunt. Now that we’ve given everyone the credit they deserve, let’s get back to netplaying … oops … we mean networking!

Don’t start networking when you need something. It’s too late.
There’s an old saying about borrowing money – bankers are happy to give you money so long as you can prove you don’t need it. Can’t the same thing be said about networking?

It’s claimed that animals smell fear. Humans “smell” insincerity. When you badly need something, like a job, you may unconsciously put off a bad vibe. So everything you say and do communicates your weakness. Desperation never sells.

Networking should be fun!
Don’t dread networking – it should be fun, because people like to have fun. Embrace that and have fun with them while you get to know them. That’s all networking is, right?

Make it a part of your daily life. Everywhere you go, everything you do, is an opportunity to meet people. Go out to meet people and have some fun doing so. Doesn’t seem so bad then, does it?

Remember that you’re talking to a human being.
That person you just met has feelings. They have insecurities. They’re proud of their accomplishments. They have interests. Get to know them, genuinely. Sometimes you’ll hit it off … sometimes you won’t.

Treat each person you meet as a real, flesh-and-blood human being, rather than a cog in your machine. Focus on building relationships, without worrying about whether it’s going to help you or not. You may not find what you’re looking for right now, but then again … you never know!

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

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