Here are some insights, updates, a contest and a BIG LAUGH to help keep your mind growing.
Let’s start with Insights:
First, this isn’t so much an insight as my desire to have an insight: I don’t understand why our CPA won’t let us write off our pet expenses on our taxes? They’re part of the company, they’re definitely an expense item, they’re like very hairy interns with great personalities, and they stay in the office when I fly to speak at a conference, just like my office desk and bookcase.
Someone, help me understand.
Second: Here’s our company cat, Sunny, and her response to me writing this newsletter. Formerly a feral cat, she’s made herself at home on my desk.
Third, if you think that a Convention and Visitors Bureau that helps attract visitors and tourists to a community can’t benefit from one of my Destination workshops, just read the article that was written on the workshop I conducted in Norman, Oklahoma for the VisitNorman team, the city’s Destination Marketing Organization. Click here to read it
The Most Disturbing Business Question
I’ve come to realize that one of the toughest, most disturbing questions I can ever ask business owners is this: “What parts of your business are average or below average, compared to your competitors?”
Every business owner can answer this. Fast. Every single one of them. Owners naturally evaluate what parts of their businesses are the same or below average every single waking minute of every day so when you ask them, it’s right there, at the top of their consciousness.
And if you’re an owner who is unsure of your average or most lacking parts of your business, just ask 10 customers. They’ll tell you. If they’re regular customers, they see the same below-average components you do. By the way, most customers who know you won’t want to hurt your feelings or get into a discussion about it, but they know. Oh, they know!
A Contest for You!
I’m going to award one of my nifty “Hamster Escaping his Wheel” post-it note desk packs (you can see one in the foreground of the Sunny the cat photo link on Instagram, link above), to five (5) newsletter readers. Just email me at [email protected] and tell me what’s average or below average in your business, and I’ll pick five (5) winners with the most honest assessments and send you prize. Be sure to send me your mailing address, too.
Smartest Coffee Shop: Is Your Business as Smart?
My wife recently tried a new coffee shop and signed up for their loyalty program with their app. Immediately after her very first purchase, the store emailed her a certificate for a free cup of coffee, any size.
This shop is brilliant! Peg made one purchase and she received an immediate reward, unlike some coffee shops that ask you to make ten purchases and get your card punched ten times and then, you get a free drink.
Giving a free incentive away early to a new customer helps create a repeat customer more quickly, and that’s really what a business wants, isn’t it? You want to train a customer to come back, again and again, and in the process, spend as little on marketing as you can to get them to return.
Honestly, the fundamental challenge of any business is to turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer for as little as possible, and the largest hurdle to this is between the first visit and the potential second visit.
This coffee shop understands that, and frontloads the incentive after visit #1, not after visit #10, so what happens is: Peg gets more coffee. For free! Plus, like every other consumer, Peg was expecting that she’d have to visit a bunch of times before she got anything free (because every other coffee shop makes you visit ten times and get ten punches), but with this coffee shop and their “give it away early” technique, she’s totally caught off guard and surprised.
Surprising customers with unexpected goodness creates great repeat customers!
Write that down.
I don’t come up with this stuff too often.
Look at it another way. This early incentive also gave this coffee shop the chance to lure her back, if her first visit was a poor one!
Think about how your loyalty/customer reward program works. Think about how you’re turning a one-timer into a full-time repeat customer. Front loading great surprises for first time customers into your loyalty program is one of those high impact, low effort activities that you need to move up to the top of your to-do list.
Upcoming Opportunities and Deadlines
Our final virtual (via Zoom) Destination Train-the-Trainer class of 2022 happens in 3 weeks on September 13-15. This is the class you must attend if you want to become a certified Facilitator of my Destination Creation Course, (my condensed version of my Destination process) where you can start offering this class in your own community or for your association.
Our registration deadline is Tuesday, September 6 at 12:00 noon Mountain time if you want to be in this training class. Click here to learn more: DestinationCreationCourse.com
One more thing that we’re VERY EXCITED ABOUT ANNOUNCING!
The Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) is adding the Destination Creation Course to their small business trainings and three (3) members of their team have become certified Facilitators.
As one of our newest Facilitators said in the article, when business owners take the Destination Creation Course: “You’re creating a sustainable and successful small business and helping the community as a whole.”
Click here to learn why the GLCAP agency that consults with businesses in a 7-state region is praising and using our Course in their entrepreneurial programs. Link is:
Open to the Public Destination Workshops/Conferences in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, and Virginia
In the coming 3 months, I’ll be speaking in the following communities and at these conferences (many of which are Main Street downtowns). If you want more information about that presentation, just click on the link.
Wednesday, September 28, Pontiac, Michigan, sponsored by Main Street Pontiac: https://mainstreetpontiac.org
Monday, October 3, Livingston County, New York, sponsored by Livingston County Economic Development and the Livingston Downtown Partnership: https://www.growlivco.com/ and https://www.growlivco.com/downtown
Monday, October 17, Ripon, Wisconsin, sponsored by Ripon Main Street: https://www.riponmainst.com
Tuesday, November 13-15, Norfolk, Virginia, at the VA1 Virginia Governor’s Tourism Summit: https://va1tourismsummit.org
If you haven’t seen the Chewy commercial with Ralph and Georgio, it’s become my favorite Summer laugh, mostly because Ralph reminds me of our Bernese Mountain dog. See for yourself here:
Let me hear your questions and successes by emailing [email protected]