Monthly Archives: September 2016

Business Networking isn't just at networking

Business Networking isn’t a group

Welcome back to Firecrackerology for Fall 2016.
Too often we think Business Networking only takes place in Business Groups.

Last summer; had written an article about how people don’t realize everyone has a business group.
Business Networking happens in daily life.

People go to work, school, leisure, places of faith, grocery store, visit those we know, read the paper etc.
“Leads” are all around us.

Few years ago, I was out for a leisure day. One person asked me something if I used a certain service. We’d driven past such a place & it prompted them to ask.

All of a sudden, one of the others out with us that day spoke up. They had been looking for such a service but had not known whom to ask or if it was even offered.

Later they mentioned getting this service to friends who had no idea as well and wanted to know more. Perhaps they might purchase as well.

One friend in business that I told this to laughed when told & said he thinks people who aren’t entrepreneurs network MORE than those of us who are entrepreneurs.

About two or so years ago had found a business card on the corkboard in the mailroom at home.
Had picked it up not knowing why & later when looking for something else found it amongst a box of cards.

Last Spring had been returning from meeting a Tech Trainee when on the pathway directly in front of home was a business card at my feet.

One business organization VYA belongs to had been looking for this exact service as a member for some time.
Upon contacting the company found out their office was nowhere near where I’d found their card.
They didn’t even know of this association until now.

Firecracker-ology Slogan ~Be UnProfessional and UnConventional ~

Customer Service Methods

Customer Service Methods apply to all types of businesses.

Without customers, no business can survive.

When you deal with the public face to face or over the phone; the customer service methods are applied so often that they become a part of daily life even outside work.

Those methods are How May I Help You, Please and Thank-you

In the fast food industry we were taught that the customer is always right and we must do what is required to make sure an order is completed to their satisfaction.

In retail; it was told to us that a Happy Customer is a REPEAT CUSTOMER & that they will bring friends.

Again, we were to do our job in order to create a happy experience for all customers.

This is not to say that customers are allowed to “walk all over you” as there are times when their requests can’t be fulfilled.

Many times they would be upset that door crasher items weren’t available and when explained that the stock had run out by being bought by the early shoppers they’d get upset.

Or other times if they wanted a price match from a store in the same shopping mall or plaza but the other store wouldn’t confirm prices over the phone and the customer had no flyer.

These are a few examples of situations out of our control when the customer was unhappy.
Often times when they could not be accommodated it was usually escalated to a manager.

The manager would try to deal with the situation as best as possible.

Sometimes it would go ok; other times not so well and the customer would leave angry.

You can’t win them all as the saying goes.

However, service must still be given with a smile regardless of the customers’ behaviour.

Testimonials for Business Services

For a regular job we need References and when it comes to entrepreneurs it’s called Testimonials.
It’s a way of showing our characteristics & work ethic to others.

Most times Testimonials happen naturally without thinking. It’s a way of verbal vouching.
Ever had a restaurant that you loved? Product that you can’t live without?
Those are testimonials too!

You are saying how much you enjoyed a particular product or service?

Those are all Testimonials and the Life blood of any business and what inspires us to buy anything or work with an individual.

Here’s a few examples.

There were business networking groups that others liked so much that they told others how much they enjoyed going to benefit their business and that they should go as well.

Or they suggested a product or service because it was useful or made their life easier.

In the summer of 2015 had run into a networking friend, we started talking & a particular product of use came up.
She mentioned how useful it had been to her family life. Hearing that it was useful for the purpose it served was what made my buying decision easier. That was HER Testimonial for the product.

Two weeks ago made a purchase that I hadn’t thought of before but one person in a business association that VYA belongs to had left a testimonial and then another had mentioned it to me verbally.

Well, hearing from two people had peaked my curiousity about this particular service.
Upon reaching out and contacting the service provider told them this & that I would be interested in a trial of their services as well since hearing these rave reviews.

They were happy to learn of the great feedback received about their business services and would be happy to have myself try their services when ready.

Surveys for Business Feedback

Surveys – Market Research

Being a Virtual Assistant company with many services & staff of varied skillset we can offer much.
Such as Surveys.

Often called Opinion Polling; it is Market Research for your business.

Market Research Surveys are often known for consumer products or government services.
They can also be used to evaluate and receive feedback for your business or service.

Your surveys can be multiple choice, one answer from the list and even include a comments box.
People can choose to leave their contact details if they want further follow up or not all if they want to remain anonymous.

The survey link can be published to the web and share online, it can be posted on your website, sent thru your email newsletter for feedback or you can email the form link to people.

Once completed; the feedback form collects information and analyzes the results into a bar graph or pie chart.

If you want to input the results yourself, then you can make a chart manually from the results.

Many times after a workshop, conference or when businesses are looking for feedback they will ask those who attended or purchased.

Setting up a survey link makes the data collected anonymous. Many times there’s feedback we want to give without saying who were are. Unrelated example: Nobody leaves their name on what goes into the complaints box.

We can help you set up a survey with skipping patterns for questions that don’t apply to that person & help you analyze the results into a graph or chart.

Market Research is actually a field I’m quite experienced in.

Getting Ahead Productivity

When it comes to productivity; getting ahead whenever possible is the way to go.
This past week in Canada & USA we’d just come back from a long weekend signifying end of the summer season.

Now Labour Day has always been a Non-Working day as places I’d worked at were usually closed.
Once we become Entrepreneurs that which we are used to in a regular job no longer applies.
Some said they’d be working quietly uninterrupted while others were taking the holiday Monday off.

Our office was closed for one day earlier in the week and then the entire long weekend Friday straight thru to re-opening Tuesday morning.

How is that possible? Quite easily; by getting ahead.

Tasks for both clients as well as ourselves were done & scheduled in advance.

Just took working a bit extra the days leading up to it.
End result was ensuring worry free time away.

Quick check-ins took about five minutes a day.

It was such a good feeling of accomplishment to enjoy the worry free time.

So, it’s become our new productivity practice with our office staff.

From now on as a general office rule; things will be done ahead of schedule.

If your life is anything like mine; Life happens & you’re needed for personal emergencies or have to decline leisure gathering invitations.

Getting ahead means no scrambling to get everything done & no arriving late, leaving super early or even hiding away to get work done.

I didn’t take enough time off when VYA first started & don’t take time for myself often enough until now.

Few years ago stopped being a slave to non-urgent work requests on weekends & as of this past May; slowly returned to less geek tendencies.

That extra 10 minutes to get ahead helped us create one small step towards further increasing efficiency.

Fall Season News

Fall Season News from VYA

Happy Labour Day Canada (Labor Day U.S.A.)
It’s a long weekend for us. That brings the last day of summer and as tomorrow it’s back to school for the kids and back to work for the adults. We have some Fall Season News here at VYA.

We’re ready to return back to work refreshed (even if time off is never as long as we’d like). *Smile*

First off we are increasing our level of customer service to serve you better. Not that our customer service was ever rated as bad; but we all can improve to make our valued clients happier. That doesn’t mean longer hours it means better service during our current operating hours.

Affiliate Program – Our Affiliate Program has returned. Anyone is able to register for an account and get their own customized link to send out about our Virtual Administrative Company & services.

Small modification this time around. In lieu of “money”; we shall offer credit for services or another token of appreciation from our contact base of valued service providers.

Giving Back – We highly believe in not only supporting community but our fellow entrepreneur as well.
Everybody was a struggling start-up once; in need of a helping hand of Professional friendship to guide them.
No one does it alone as a client once said to us. We all had help at one point.

Return to Business Networking – Spending the summer working outside brought our fellow entrepreneurs from all over.

Last week saw the start of return to regular business networking with a visit to BNI. After almost 4 yr hiatus; it’s time! That was a goal set for September 1st.

Our Blog – Regular articles will start again next week with our web shows returning on the 29th.

That’s All Folks of our Fall Season News! Happy long weekend!