Archive for February, 2011

WALK YOUR TALK, OR CUSTOMERS WALK OUT

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

What are you doing to attract and retain
loyal customers?

Feet and Arrows

Which Shall You Choose?

We’ve been talking a lot about the new economy, how consumers are driving a harder bargain and demanding more from existing vendors.   How do you avoid having competitors “on the cloud” leave you “in the dust?”

In the midst of all the confusion and information overload it’s easy to forget that our customers have been loyal because we’ve not only filled their order, but fulfilled our promise for quality, service and solutions that work.

What else are you doing to retain your good clients?   For most companies, lead generation and business development are keys to growth and profitability.  But even more important is keeping the customers you already have and getting them to buy more!

How often and in what ways do you say “thank you”?  What are you doing to find new solutions to the issues your clients face?

Branding has become a significant marketing concept.  But branding is much more than a clever tag line or a 30 second elevator speech.  Branding should say who you are as a company, what you stand for, what you can be counted on to deliver and why someone should develop a long-term business relationship with you.

Take an objective step back and look at your marketing materials, ad campaigns, and website and determine if your message is consistent and if it accurately reflects the company you are today.

Does your branding reflect the vision and values of the organization?  Do your employees know the importance of that branding message in how they interact with your customers?  Your branding promise and your unique selling proposition should be reflected in your day-to-day operation, from the way your receptionist answers the phone and directs the calls to the delivery of the product.

I recently went to purchase a computer from a store which advertises low prices and quality service, only to learn that if I wanted to get their advertised low price, I couldn’t buy it in the store, but had to go home and buy it online.  After some conversation, we determined that I could go online from one of their computers in the store and make my purchase and then walk up to the customer service counter with the receipt and pick up the product…. A good example of running your customer through the ringer before giving them the price you promised!

Now, more than ever before it’s vital to pay attention to every “stakeholder”; not only your shareholders, but everyone who has a “stake” in your business including employees, customers, vendors, and your community.

It’s a good reality check to invite a couple of business people and consumers who don’t currently work with you or your organization to review your marketing materials, ads and websites and tell you what they perceive, and where there are inconsistencies.  Ask some of your current customers to rate their experience with your company against what your branding statement promises.

In Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, author Verne Harnish says, “The brand promise is the key factor that sets you apart from all competitors…it is the starting point from which all other executive decisions are derived.”

In my newsletter this week I talked about Harnish’s 3 top concepts for business growth and success.   If you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s the link :

http://theinspiredbusiness.com/dont-lift-your-downhill-leg-a-business-lesson-from-my-dog..html

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/julia_manzerova/2757851927/sizes/m/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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Spirituality in Business as Clarity in Business

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Tom Zender

Tom Zender

By: Tom Zender

If there is one thing that almost everyone can agree upon when it comes to spirituality, no matter your religious background or beliefs, it’s that spirituality brings clarity. The words spirituality and purity have long been synonymous. Spirituality can help to alleviate the muddle that comes with stress, and relax our tendency to overcomplicate our environment. When we struggle in life, when we feel lost, it is clarity that we seek. Spirituality provides such clarity in many emotional, relationship, and further normative contexts. Yet spirituality also has the ability to bring clarity into unclear and frustrating business contexts.

The foundation of business is communications. Deals, bargains, and projects are the result of an interaction between people. As this is where all business starts and ends, it only seems natural that clarity should be sought. While the multiple steps that go beyond the initiation of a potential deal are in many cases interwoven with such complexity that few can understand them, the initial steps should always be clear and concise. Within those steps, one should be able to find the motivation of the parties and their goals to be transparent and easily understood. There are deals where this is not the case, but I would state now that such deals are usually instances of one party trying to maximize their gains from the interaction rather than ensuring the best deal for all involved.

Why is this a problem? Well, business is a long term enterprise. The old chestnut of watching who you step on while you are on the way up, because you never know where they’ll be on your way down, is as true today as it has always been. Nothing lasts forever. Therefore, you want to create as supportive a business environment as possible for yourself and your firm at all times. You want to make sure that the continuity of your success is guaranteed through the high potential of help being there when you need it one day. Not to mention the fact that if both firms are trying to maximize their gains with respect to the needs of the other, a better arrangement over time will likely be found – reaping future gains that cannot exist without a continued and trustful partnership.

Thus the best business is always spiritual in the sense that it is clear and honest. It allows parties to minimize the time needed to do their deal, so that both parties can concentrate on other deals as well. It allows parties to develop a stronger network, sensitive to shifts in the marketplace – whether the changes are technological, taste-based, or event driven. There is always a selfish part to business – you can’t just go out of business or take a substantial loss in order to help the other firm. But the existence of this fact, having it out in the open, is as spiritual an act as envisioning the future benefits of treating your partners fairly today. While there are a lot of people out there trying to link business and other parts of the world to our spiritual selves through obscure and abstract theories, this is a very basic way in which good business can be seen as spiritual in nature. Not to mention the fact that business and spirituality are both ways of structuring our search for the unknown conditions that await us aound the corner. Here too, the greater clarity we can retain for ourselves, the better.

For more on this topic read God Goes to Work written by Tom Zender and available online and at bookstore everywhere. This timely book explains how successful individuals and firms are changing the way they do business by accessing and utilizing a vast reservoir of untapped energy. Learn why Spirituality is the basis for success and the most important asset you have in elevating you and your business to a new level of performance.

www.TomZender.com

TOM ZENDER is President Emeritus of Unity that serves over three million people of all faiths worldwide. He is a recognized spiritual leader and corporate executive with decades of success, who has held management positions at General Electric and Honeywell, and was a Senior VP in NYSE and NASDAQ listed corporations. His corporate board experience includes NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.

Reprinted with permission. This article is presented unedited as an opportunity for you, our readers, to gain a deeper perspective of the authors we admire.

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The Spiritual Age of Business

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

God Goes to work book coverThe world is changing at a rapid pace. The kinds of businesses that are succeeding today, quite frankly, may have never made it past the development phase in prior decades. Behemoths that have dominated centuries of economic interaction are now on life support. Too many people are simply blaming this on a combination of mediocre government policy and a few corporate bad apples. But to understand that the world economy is run by some of the smartest people on earth, and then blame the whole thing on rudimentary assumptions about issues those at the top knew like the back of their hand, is disingenuous.

The true issue behind the potential collapse of the global system is a change in the fundamentals of commerce. An influx of information and a change in the way the majority of businesspeople look at the world around them has caused a major paradigm shift. And it is a shift towards a more natural, profitable way of doing business. However, it is also a shift that will seriously damage all economic institutions that refuse to adapt.

We are moving into an age of business where only flexible companies that focus on their human assets, allowing the people within the firm to drive the success of the business instead of placing them in synthetic and restrictive roles, will come out ahead. This is being proven all across the modern economy, where the best places to work find healthy profit margins and the corrupt companies that once found it easy to out-compete their rivals are facing the imprisonment of their chief executives.

The best way of enhancing the human factor of your business, is to come to an understanding of the great paradigm shift that is taking place in the business community. It is a shift towards the most organic, most fluent kind of interaction between people: a more natural kind of transaction. The first thing that brought people together in order to construct something together, to create something positive, was our belief in something more than ourselves. Faith, belief, spirituality, whatever you want to call it – the main driving factor within it was the creation of more prosperous communities.

Yet while the ancient Greeks may have feared not being spiritual would bring the wrath of the gods down upon their heads, today there is a more scientific approach being undertaken in introducing spirituality back into our wealth building. Today, we have the ability to realize that spirituality brings out the best in each of us individually and allows those contributions to amalgamate in such a form that the peak of human potential is reached. Instead of being spiritual in order to avoid the judgment of God, we are spiritual in order to reap the benefits of putting the good of the world ahead of ourselves.

This is the business tool of the future – creating more efficient, trustworthy, and caring networks of people in the business of raising their collective standards of living. Whether or not this translates into a global feeling of good will is yet to be seen, but it has already translated into a higher calibre business style that is stealing the hearts and minds of consumers away from oldschool corporate monoliths. And this is just the beginning of a very long, very permanent, process going on all around us here in 2010 and beyond.

For more on this topic read God Goes to Work written by Tom Zender and available online and at bookstore everywhere. This timely book explains how successful individuals and firms are changing the way they do business by accessing and utilizing a vast reservoir of untapped energy.
Learn why Spirituality is the basis for success and the most important asset you have in elevating you and your business to a new level of performance.

www.TomZender.com

TOM ZENDER is President Emeritus of Unity that serves over three million people of all faiths
worldwide. He is a recognized spiritual leader and corporate executive with decades of success,
who has held management positions at General Electric and Honeywell, and was a Senior VP in
NYSE and NASDAQ listed corporations. His corporate board experience includes NASDAQ
and Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.

Reprinted with permission. This article is presented unedited as an opportunity for you, our readers, to gain a deeper perspective of the authors we admire. You can purchase a copy of his book by clicking on the cover image above.

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The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship Virtual Seminar

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

As we move into the month of February we are so very happy to announce our new Multi Week Virtual Seminar “The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship” Many of you may remember our 8 week blog series on this topic last fall and you can read up on the concept in our archives.

Let’s get started with a quick video…Enjoy.

Here are the links for more information.

Visit our website for detailed information and registration instructions.

Visit our Facebook Page and please give us a “Like”

Or the Facebook Event Page.

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