Do you have a business plan? Is it stuck firmly in a drawer? Pushed firmly into that drawer the day you got the good news from the bank that they’d give you a loan never to see the light of day again? Or do you use it as an ever changing document to check that you are meeting your goals, to alter the goal posts as circumstances change and to make new plans?
Millie and I decided that we would share our knowledge with our readers from Day One. We’re not experts in sales or in social media or indeed, in marketing but we are walking the talk. We feel that this can be more helpful to other small business owners if they can see our experiences and relate to them rather than just reading what a business coach has to say.
I wrote about poor customer service last week – how it affects the customer and how it affects the business in both the short term and the long term. Then, I thought to myself, I should have been more positive rather than concentrating on the negative and I’m delighted to share really positive news with you today.
You know we consider Senator Feargal Quinn as one of our heroes, not just because he endorsed our book ‘The Cheese Mall: Key Marketing Skills for the Budding Entrepreneur‘ but because he holds key principles in marketing and sales so dear and he really practises what he preaches.
Last year, he helped the founder Brenda Farrell of ‘Towns of Excellence‘ launch her initiative. Designed to ensure that businesses or indeed, whole towns, embrace good customer service and embark on training and audits. A town can even be branded as a Town of Excellence in Customer Service – wouldn’t that be wonderful? Imagine if shoppers decided to go to a town, not just for its beautiful cathedrals and sightseeing, or its diversity of shops but for its excellent customer service. After what I experienced last week, I’d travel to ensure I received good customer service, would you?
Businesses would even receive stickers or signage to display in their offices/shops which show their commitment to customer service training. I think this is something that Millie and I must look into further and decide whether we will embark on it for our own Cheese Mall or try to encourage other shops to embark on it too. It certainly would be a new goal for our business plan.
And, by the way, if your business plan is languishing in a drawer, do pull it out and dust it off and have a read through. I bet there are goals and ideas there that you’ve totally forgotten about and if you need some help restarting your business plan, do check out our book where we go through the whole process with a painfree step by step and fun approach.