Making a name for yourself needs to be wholly proactive and with advice from experts, you can go from a face in the crowd to facing the crowd with distinction.
People are talking about you. We are typically told to ignore it and not let others’ opinions influence what we want to do in life. It isn’t bad advice for social circles, but the exception to this rule is stark when it comes to entrepreneurial gain. If you own a business, you should not only know people are talking about you, but that they are taking notes and posting about you, too. If that’s scary, chances are you may not give your performance the 5-star review it could have, but it is not too late to light up the review board with positive reviews.
First, you must realize people are talking about you and then, realize that what they say costs you money. Then, you must acknowledge that you are in greater command of what they say than you may realize, which is a fantastic advantage is.
Are you looking for help in building a 5-star business reputation? Here are valuable tips from 5 leading entrepreneurs in the modern printing industry, Minuteman Press:
- Todd Duckworth is a 40-year veteran Minuteman Press franchise owner and he indicates the need make calculating choices about your focus if you want respect and growth: “Our business thrives on the personal service that we provide to our customers and good customer service is what is expected from our staff.” One of the things Todd learned early on is this: “Price, Quality or Customer Service – pick two because you can’t have all three. If you concentrate on price only, the lowest price, then the quality or service usually is not that good. People will pay more for quality and service, especially if it affects their product and delivery to their customer.”
- Samantha and Brad Wagner are second-generation Minuteman Press franchise owners in Crystal Lake, IL. Sam advises particular care to match clients’ needs, as simply coming close to the mark will not add stars to your review: “My approach to customer service is my slogan I use at networking events: ‘Your success is our success,’ meaning I want to make sure the product that our clients are purchasing from us not only meets our high standards of quality and are completed in a timely manner, but match the application. For example, we wouldn’t sell a heating and air conditioning repair man a run of the mill label when the label is going to be used outside in the elements, we would advise the client that weatherproof is their best option. Or encouraging clients to have the paper match the occasion, is 20lb bond paper really representing your corporate presentation? We will do physical samples on different stock, so our customers can feel the difference.”
- Sedrick Tydus in Oakland, CA has more than 150 5-star reviews on Google and nearly 100 on Yelp, a direct credit to his Minuteman Press franchise in Oakland, CA. He knows that it takes a concentrated effort towards excellence to attain such a reputation status: “People call and tell me they read my reviews, so working to keep our 5-star rating is what we do. I have a lot to live up to, so if you are a new customer, you will get the same service you read about in our excellent reviews. I like being genuine so when people read these reviews they get to know exactly what we provide. I have a unique brand of service delivered by all of the staff. There are no indifferent negative people here; and if I see that, I correct it. I do not let anything lead to a negative review.”
- Jim Little’s experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner in Burlington, WI gave him an enviable reputation through the practice of putting the “personal” into business to business services. Minuteman Press International augmented the B2B industry through a system that incorporates the kind of authenticity Jim brings to everyone: “Creating personal relationships in the B2B market is a must. Otherwise you are no better than what can be found on the internet. Establishing a relationship allows you to better know and meet your customers’ specific needs and allows LOCAL business to support LOCAL business is so important to our success.”
- In Seekonk, MA, Minuteman Press owner Marc Frechette, decided to keep close enough ties with each loyal client that changes of staff are no surprise and his relationships continue strongly with each new contact person: “Some of my longest-term clients still employ the first people I came into contact with many years ago and that is wonderful. But changes happen and in time, you may not be dealing with that first contact person, but maintaining your relationship with the client is of huge importance to your business. I do it with service, so if I know my contact is leaving, I get in front of the new person as soon as I can to sit down and show what we have done and what we are planning to do to help them further. A lot of the time, new employees need to know who we are and how we can make their jobs easier.”
“If they ask how to do something, I tell them, ‘I want to do it in a way to make your job easier. It is about you, not me.’” – Marc Frechette, owner Minuteman Press of Seekonk, MA
Ultimately, if you are business owner, it is good that people are talking about you. It is a chance to build that 5-star reputation that is valuable because it represents elite service. Minuteman Press Houston Area Manager Rich Panowitz sums it up, saying, “It all starts and ends with great customer service. Whether it’s answering the phone or greeting a customer for the first time, you should do it with a smile on your face. Take an interest in what your customer is talking about and offer solutions. Then follow through by doing what you say you’re going to do. Then, follow up! Do what you told the customer you were going to do. Following these three steps will build a five star business.”