Category Archives: Uncategorized

Treating your website like your garage

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

As I drive through the subdivision where I live, almost all of the homes with garages have two cars parked in the driveway. When I first moved here 25 years ago, I thought that was a curious thing. Why have a garage if you are going to park your cars in the driveway?

packed-garageGarages are a lot like some websites, full of information you don’t know where to park. There is a temptation to treat websites as a place to put information you can’t fit into you brochure. Relatively speaking, you have unlimited space compared to a brochure, so why not create more tabs or pages to share the information.

Well, once the garage is full does anyone wade to the back to see what’s there? Not likely, unless of course it’s moving day.

Websites need to be dynamic, and include well-written content that is short, to the point and inspires action. Strong images to support the dialogue. No clutter.

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Save your business – don’t hire a snooty waiter

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Jan van der Hoop, a blogger at the Mississauga Board of Trade writes – your people – and not you or your product – will ultimately determine the fate of your business.

Jan writes about the rude treatment he received from a waiter at a French restaurant and wonders if owner of the restaurant is aware.

rude waiterHe had clearly invested heavily in his restaurant – the building, the kitchen, the team, promoting and building his business… only to have one guy’s indifference sully his hard-built reputation.

It is your employees’ standards, attitudes and values that ultimately determine how your customer will feel during and after they have done business with you.

And too often business owners don’t know the damage that is being done. Hire right. Spend time on their training so they fully understand that they are an ambassador for your business and your reputation.

As Jan points out, anything less amounts to “management malpractice”

Read Jan’s full post here


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Filed under Branding, Human Resources, Managing, Uncategorized

Never will you ever muck with your brand

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

iStock_000016561283SmallI said  the other day Knowing your customers is important. Knowing why they are your customer is even more so. And I have often said your brand is what your customers believe it is.

If your customers have come to rely on you for quality and service, resist the temptation to lower prices for short-term return. Once you set the bar lower, it’s difficult to lift it again.  It’s not a sustainable strategy.

So it comes back to building a brand that your customers want and cherish. Build on that reputation and don’t muck with it.


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Filed under Branding, Customer Service, Uncategorized

Who is your customer?

By Stephen Rhodes

stephen2I am surprised at times, about how little some business owners know about their customers.

Some they can actually name, but they aren’t sure why they buy. Some are regulars but little else is known about their buying habits. Some visit out of habit or convenience because that’s more important than britain-retailprice or service.

Imagine if we could sort them all into neat little piles. All those who come here for service to the left. If you are here because of price, head to the right. Quality? Follow me.

Knowing your customers is important. Knowing why they are your customer is even more so.

Ask them.



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Insanity is a root cause of business failures

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

A friend of mine reminded me recently that Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Yet we often  think that doing what we always do will yield better results. If you feel yourself descending into the abyss consider these few suggestions.

1.Is what you are doing to market and promote your business really working? Measure the return on your marketing investment. What works and what doesn’t? Don’t be afraid to change approaches, even midstream.

insanity2.  Survey, measure results What? Was number one a challenge because you don’t measure the success of your marketing  program.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need to understand what is working and what isn’t, so track sales related to a specific campaign and compare those results to the cost of running the campaign. If it costs more to run the campaign than …I think you get the idea.

3. Talk with your customers Don’t be afraid to talk with your customers, that would be face to face or even on a telephone.  Or use Social Media to create dialogue. Consider a blog. Share your expertise.  Talking to your customers is a good thing.

4. Find other experts in your industry You are not alone. There are experts everywhere online and you can subscribe to any number of blogs that could be useful to your business. Go to Google blog search ( ) and search for your areas of interest.

5. Check the pulse regularly Don’t wait until it is too late to discover your business is under-performing. Set out a plan and check monthly to ensure you are on target.  If you have three months of under-performance, you need to make a change. Be nimble, monitor your business and adjust accordingly.

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Filed under Managing, Marketing, social media, Uncategorized