Archive for May 2013

The 4 questions you need to answer to attract your perfect client

“The purpose of a business is to create a customer”
- Peter Drucker -

A few years ago, when I just opened my little venture, I had one really annoying client, you know the type, the one who come in, ask questions, ask to try some of the products, ask some more questions, ask to try some of the hot chocolate and at the end of his visit, he may purchase just one piece of chocolate (on a lucky day) and leave the store.

“It’s not fair” I told Athena, she looked at me, half entertained and half questioning.
“I know, I know, I should be happy having any client, I can provide sweetness to all, but I know that there are better clients out there, why is he coming all the time, why is he not buying anything, why doesn’t he respect my time and my business products?”.

Athena looked at me, put her hand on my shaky hand and said “Liz, every business owner gets the clients they deserve”.

That’s exactly what I needed to hear, yea right! I looked at Athena, I was really upset and said “I do everything to make my business unique. My chocolate is from the finest ingredients, no water you know, real milk, no powder. It’s not fair”. Read more

Business Success – No Backup Plan

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”
- Thomas A. Edison -

I was thinking a lot about setting my business values and business success. Charlie and I were talking about it quite a bit in the past few weeks, I want you to think about your business values, and I have a challenge for you. If these business values were to transform to a physical object, what would it be? Interesting right? We tend to think about values as big words like honesty, transparency, outstanding service and many more. But I find it much easier to imagine physical object (like chocolate :-)). If you could take all your business values and represent them as physical objects, what would it be?

It took me awhile to work on it, so I am going to give you 2 weeks to think about it. Promise me you’ll do it! It’s very important, and I promise to tell you why, but first you need to do this exercise. What physical object represent your business values?

I had a very busy week this week, it’s now almost the weekend, Charlie stopped by a few hours ago for our weekly talk and strategy meeting. We were talking about keys to business success. We had a long chat about broadening the competitive advantage of my business and as we came up with some tactical tasks, Charlie stood up, raised his hot chocolate cup and said “one key to business success is having no backup plan of what to do if it fails”. Read more

Staying true to your business values

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values”
- Ayn Rand -

One of the key business decisions every one of us is facing with, is the decision to define, set and enforce our business values. Of course we need to set our business values, Liz, we know that already, it’s such a simple decision.

I was surprised to realize that not many business owners had clearly defined their business values, not many business owners think it’s even necessary to have business values, and to find out that many more believe business values have no impact on their business success or failure.

Even when I find businesses which have written business values, usually these values are buried in some HR manual or maybe on the kitchen board, they are not being practiced and lived by day to day. They are not part of the business yard sticks of success. How many of your employees can explain your business values? How many believe in them? Read more

Letting Go

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on”
- Havelock Ellis -

It’s Sunday morning, it’s going to be a beautiful day. It’s now 7 am. The house is still quiet. My store will not open until 10 am, so I have some time to think. I just reread my latest post about negotiation. I think I missed an important part. It’s the part of letting go. I have 30 minutes before Ashley will wake up and my dear hubby will wake up too. The day will start then. But now I want to write about letting go.

As I was reading my last post, I felt good. The negotiation ended successfully, everyone was happy. But is it always like that? Can we really always end up with a win-win ending? In the past, I wanted to believe I can always achieve it, but reality proved otherwise. And it’s not just in negotiation, it’s even in my life, I often think I can control everything, I can control my life, my business, what my daughter will say, what my husband will think, what he will buy me for my birthday (hint, it’s coming soon love). But I can’t. Admitting I can’t control everything and that sometimes I just need to let go were big steps in my business ventures and my life’s happiness. Read more