Not Just Any Business Is Personal

first_imgI’ve decided that we need to spend more time here focusing on the smart businesses and what they do, in hopes of making more Flathead businesses fall in the smart column.It hit me while motoring from Memphis to Mom’s place after hearing yet another ad for Angie’s List.We “need” things like Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau (which I think has little to do with better business) and to a lesser extent, the US Consumer Protection Agency, partly because we are lazy consumers.Consumer laziness compels us to return to a business even though we were treated poorly the last time we went there. Consumers are going to do what they’re going to do, collectively. Individually, of course, each of us can do something about it via word of mouth.ResponsibilityBusinesses have a lot of responsibility here as well, and not just the ones treating consumers poorly.Why do businesses that routinely treat their customers poorly manage to stay open?I blame your business. And myself.It doesn’t matter what economic level, what market position, or what part of the world your business is in. This isn’t about businesses focused on serving value-seeking customers vs. those focused on serving affluent customers.It’s about customers on every rung of the economic ladder, how you take care of them and how you educate them.The responsibility of a good business doesn’t stop there. Not even close.ObligationA good business is obligated to communicate why they are either the only logical solution (or on the “short list” of logical solutions).“We’ll beat any price.” doesn’t do that. In fact, it usually takes everything else off the table, saying “We believe nothing is more important than price.” That might be true in a few situations, but in reality, people make one or two cent buying decisions every day.Do you know what drives them?A good business is obligated to find a way, even in commodity markets, to get their clientele to cross the street in their direction and pay two cents more. Most importantly, these customers are glad they did so and will be happy to again.Likewise, a good business is obligated to do whatever is necessary to make it as easy as possible for their clients to tell others about the insanely good (or maybe just consistently good) experience they have with that business.Talk is cheap, until they talk about youWhy does Angie’s List have to exist in order to get someone’s testimonial for your business online?To expand that beyond AL (I’m not picking on them – I happen to like their service), why do people have to search the internet to find out word-of-mouth info about you? It’s great that the info is there, but you should be leading the charge (strategically, not smarmily – yes, I made up that word) to let people know who thinks you hung the moon.It’s your responsibility to first do good business and then make sure others find out what your clientele experienced. Doesn’t matter whether they find out via Twitter, Facebook, at the grocery store, after church or at a kid’s ballgame.What haven’t you done to get that information on your site? In your store?What haven’t you done to personalize your business to the point that people can’t help but tell their friends about you?If you can identify those things, why haven’t you done them?Why is that?Are you really willing to sit there and let people cross the street to the other guy to save a penny or two, knowing full well the experience they will have?The treatment they get from a competitor reflects on you because you’re in the same business. Do you take that personally?You should. I wonder what you’ll do about it.Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him via email at mriffey at flatheadbeacon.com. Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

Will rising student debt lead to a ‘lost generation’ of solicitors?

first_imgLawyers unite on 3 July to join the Pride London Parade, celebrating and promoting diversity in the profession. It is just 15 years since the Law Society added sexual orientation to its code of practice in respect of discrimination, which illustrates just how contemporary the diversity debate remains in so many of its strands – and how much progress has been made in recent times. Other developments in this sphere are less encouraging. Trainee debt is soaring; 35% have debts of over £15,000 and 55% of more than £10,000. And this is before the government lifts the tuition fee cap, which could treble these figures. Would you have gone to university in the certain knowledge you would graduate owing £50,000? Research published this week by the Sutton Trust Educational Charity showed that a big rise in tuition fees is likely to lead to a dramatic fall in the number of teenagers aspiring to go to university – with those from poorer backgrounds most likely to abandon hope of getting a degree. Staff and students at more than 70 colleges and universities demonstrated against funding cuts, warning of a ‘lost generation’ of learners. As the years pass, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability are likely to diminish in importance as determinants of access to a career (and success within it). That’s a good thing, of course. But in a US-style market for higher education, how much money your parents have got is going to become much more important. Is it time for a graduate tax?last_img read more

‘Zombieland’ stars back for sequel

first_imgPhoto by Robert Marquardt/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — After nearly a decade, Zombieland stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin are reuniting for the sequel, Zombieland 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 2009 horror comedy road movie followed four strangers that meet on the road during a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak. The sequel will reportedly find the group contending with newer, more evolved zombies, as well as new human survivors, as they deal with their own shaky relationships.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Another young driver wins first feature at Off Road

first_imgBy Randy PospishilNORFOLK, Neb. (Aug. 8) – A week after Gage Koch, a junior at Norfolk Catholic High School, won his first feature in the Hobby Stock division at Off Road Speedway, Joey Haase – who will be en­tering his junior year at Winside High School this fall – earned his first win in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division Saturday night.The two have crossed paths on a racetrack before as competitors for two seasons in the now-defunct junior hornet class at Riviera Raceway a few years ago.Haase won the division title in their first year of racing, while Koch won the second year.Haase took advantage of his outside second row starting position along with the race’s second caution and restart to obtain the lead, then held off pursuer Justin Addison for the final 13 laps of the 18-lap race.“These last few weeks I’ve had a lot of bad luck. We went through two transmissions in the last two nights and seven DNFs,” Haase said. “It’s been a bad year for us, so to get this win is really awesome.”Addison was second and Troy Bruns finished third.TeJay Mielke took the front spot from Cameron Wilkinson with four laps remaining and built a secure lead en route to the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win. Wilkinson fought off Tiffany Bittner and Nate DeSive for second.After just a three-car field a week ago, due to drivers having family obligations–and an agreement among those three drivers not to include last week’s race results in the points race–10 cars took the track on Saturday night in the IMCA Stock Cars “A” feature.Shawn Primrose out-raced Jason Wilkinson and Chad Bruns to the checkered flag for the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car win.Lance Mielke got to the front midway through the 12-lap race and sped away from the pack for his third local Mach-1 Sport Compact victory this season.last_img read more