Welcome!

I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

Refer to older posts…

Blogging services

lessons

Business lessons from the gym

As long as you are willing to look, there are business lessons to be learned from many places. A local gym club has unfortunately provided numerous examples of how to alienate members.

image source: 123rf.com

So here are some of their mistakes that we can learn from:

  • send out quarterly invoices at seemingly random times and vary the means of delivery (snail mail or via staff to members)
  • never answer the phone and wait for at least 3 messages before returning any calls
  • ask for a deposit for the following year then question why members pay that much less in the first invoice of the year – either admit it is an extra fee or understand that a deposit is deducted from the main invoice
  • don’t answer emails
  • if you do answer emails (and it’s taken over two years for this to happen in our case) do not put your name at the end of the email, just use a signature with the club name and address
  • give out dates of major events (like the end of year performance) via wall posters 2 weeks beforehand – notices, emails and advance notice are overrated, surely?
  • claim to leave multiple messages, but not speak to member when at the club each week, as justification for not communicating important information. If nothing else, maybe it was worth checking if the correct phone number was being used (as no messages were ever received by us)

I have heard people praise the location and facilities but only ever criticise the organisation itself. It is a pity to see people travel further than necessary because they want a basic level of customer service.

Of course, that is the key lesson from all the mistakes above – provide customer service and make things easier for customers.

How much poor or mediocre service will you put up with? Are there situations where it bothers you more than others?

Saying no…

Did you know that you are allowed to say no sometimes? Even to new clients or a long standing client, it is acceptable for you to say no – politely of course!

It is a little silly, but I was reminded of this through the Rat in the Hat! Melissa Khalinsky often uses children’s TV shows to point out business lessons, and in one of her blog posts, she shows how Rat is quite the entrreperuner.

Melissa wrote “Don’t overextend yourself – this is something Rat does often in his quest to meet the needs of everyone on Cuddles Ave. Unfortunately Rat doesn’t know how to say no ” and I had to nod in agreement, both for Rat in a Hat (yes, I’ve watched him, too!) and for many business owners I know.

As a small business owner, it is hard to turn down a client – there’s that little fear that maybe this was the last work request you’d get for 6 months so how can you afford to not do this project? Or maybe it is a fear that saying no will make that person hate you and bad mouth you to other potential clients?

But let’s look at it the other way:

  • if you take on too much work, you will end up doing inferior work for a number of clients, thereby damaging your good reputation
  • if you continue doing too much, you will burn out and really not be able to earn anything for 6 months
  • if one client has found you and asked for a quote, it is likely others can also find you next week and next month
  • a well managed ‘no’ will leave the client feeling positive about you even if you couldn’t do their work – they may try you again another time, or at least tell others you acted professionally
  • do you really think your clients have the time and inclination to bad mouth you just because you couldn’t work for them?

I will cover the various reasons for saying no, and how to say no nicely in the next few blog posts. But for now, just take on the belief that you can say no and the world (or your business!) won’t end!