Do you know the saying "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"? Basically, it means it is better to have a small actual advantage than taking the chance of having a greater one.
Just down the road from me there is a little shopping centre. For the last two years there have been two vacant shops. The leasing terms and the rental are very high, small business owners turn away from renting the premises. My husband and I regularly discuss if it were us we would sooner have both shops leased for a lesser rent than leave them empty and not having any return.
Just this week, the little bird in the hand saying came to top of mind again. For months I had been searching for a venue to hold my seminars. I wanted a venue that the room was intimate but not too small, good lighting as I use a data projector and there needed to be catering. Well, I found what was the perfect venue for my seminars and hired the room for the day. I sent an email to the venue the next day letting them know how fabulous the room was, also how great their staff were. (I believe in sending through positive feedback as businesses rarely get compliments.) I decided I would also book the room again to use for my next seminar. On the return email I was informed the cost of the room had tripled. I was very surprised as you can imagine. The other part to this was that two of the participants had also considered that they would like to hire this room for their workshops.
Now I am not miffed with the venue as they have to make a profit also and their charges are their charges, that's life. It did make me think though, how many days will the room stand empty as the hiring costs have tripled? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush don't you think?
Has this saying ever rung true for you in your business? I would enjoy hearing your experience.
For the last few years I have worked from a home office which can be a lonely existence if you let it. Prior to this I was on the road and had minimul contact with work colleagues. Again a lonley existence. Before this I had worked in a busy corporate office where you were always surrounded by people you could bounce ideas off, socialise with and generally had a healthy level of contact.
After about 7 months of working from a home office I decided to create a network of people to help maintain my sanity, keep me informed and assist in maintaining some connection to outside business.
Each month I meet with two business owners for a morning coffee at a local cafe. At this get together we dicuss everything from technology, staffing issues, business, local events, you name it, we discuss it. It is amazing, discussing a small issue that can seem insurmountable while working away on your own, with some healthy input can produce a simple solution.
I also ensure that I attend one or two business networking functions every month or two. Attending the networking functions help to give you a fresh new look at your business, your office and your outlook. Most networking events have a guest speaker on the day, speakers can also give you the ability to view your world in a new light.
If you are a business owner and are feeling the same challenges I did I would love to hear from you. If you have created your own support network I would also be keen to hear how this has assisted you in your business.
Recently I was working with a client discussing different options for social media and also the business. Basically, this was a business coaching session. After lengthy discussion my client decided to add a button for Skype to their website. The thinking behind this was it makes it easier for potential clients to access the business with a FREE Skype to Skype call.
Personally, I love Skype, with my family and a lot of my friends living on the other side of Australia it is a great cost effective way of keeping in touch. The added bonus to all of this is I can get to see them with the webcam. I also use Skype for my business and do coaching over Skype for inter-state and overseas clients. For me Skype has been an invaluable tool for my business and personally.
Now back to my client. As I mentioned my client loaded a button onto the website and away they went. So they thought! A few days after the said buttons were loaded I decided to visit the website and make sure the button's were working for my client. Guess what? No answer! I then sent a message through hoping that would work, three days later there was no response. I have since tried several times to contact my client using Skype and no answer.
If you are going to use Skype for business it is imperative you are accessible to a user. There are cost effective ways of adding a voice mail service to your Skype account to ensure you don't miss any callls. Imagine if my calls were that of a potential new customer or client, how frustrating would it be.
As I mentioned I love Skype, I think it is such a great service. If you use it for business though, I recommend making sure you have a way of capturing your callls. Let's face it you have a voicemail service on your mobile phone and most businesses have an answering machine or service on their land line. Treat Skype with the same level of service it shows respect to your caller.
I would love to hear your comments on how you use Skype for your business or personally
My husband has a great saying 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail'. I love this saying because it is so true.
The one place I don't 'wing' it, is when I am on air on my radio program. I have on occasions and after listening to the replay I can certainly hear the differene in my shows. I always make sure I prepare ahead of time. I even prepare for little unexpected surprises.
If you are going to be interviewed on radio, TV or for a print article then I can not stipulate the importance of being prepared. It is imperative to be able to determine the preparation you will need to undertake to be able to execute professionalism and show your business and you in the best possible light.
I think the most important point to consider is confirming the date, time and the location of the interview.
I remember recently I had a guest planned for my radio program. The program runs from 9.00 am to 11.00am every Monday morning. My guest was scheduled in the studio to be interviewed directly after the 9.00 am news. At 9.30am when I could leave the panel and make a call I finally got through to her. For some reason she thought it was after the 11.00am news. Now my show doesn't go to air in that time slot, I don't know what went wrong at the guests end.
We agreed that she could make it and be interviewed after the 10.00am news. (I did 'wing' it for about 30 minutes I must admit). Anxiously I waited and finally my guest arrived at 10.47am. Now do you think I was happy? Uh huh, no way! I had promoted the guest, her business and how thrilled I was to have her on the show for the last few weeks.
Forgetting how frustrating it was for me, what did this person's clients think? What were the audience thinking? Did this instill a level of trust and confidence? I think not.
The morale of this story is..............failing to prepare is preparing to fail.......... If this is your big chance to promote you and your business do everything in your power to get it right, the first time as there may not be a next time.
By the way, the guest had a 10 minute quick interview and I have never invited her back on the show. What a fabulous opportunity her and her business missed, through failing to prepare.
I would love to hear your comments where you have failed to prepare but you have been able to recover with a great outcome.