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GREAT PRIORITIES - a simple sample to consider...

My wife, and I went to a local Panda Express for dinner tonight. While eating at a table, a young man came in with a 6-year old girl. He let her pick out the things she wanted to eat, paid for the meals, and then took the table beside us. They chatted pleasantly as the food was opened for eating, and I leaned toward the young man and said, "Your dinner companion is adorable." (I don't usually say such things to strange men in a restaurant). He looked up at me, smiled and said, "It's our date night." Oh, if we can only do as well with setting priorities in this new year!

Wishes for a GREAT year from the Editors at SeriousSmallBusiness.com! We wish you the best in life and in business all year.

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Life Lessons From Golf

Life Lessons from Golf

95 Lessons About Life I Learned By Playing Golf

Fun and insightful tips on life and business from the editors of Serious Small Business Magazine.

I love to play golf, but I’m not very good at it, whereas my best friend was on his golf team in high school. It’s not fair to him, really. He pays...

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Important Business Lesson From Costco

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As a small business owner, it's smart to look at other businesses as you go through the normal course of your life of to see what you can learn from others about how to do (or not do) business.

Today's lesson comes from Costco. While they do a lot of things right, they had a rough day this year as I did my Sunday afternoon shopping, exploring the many delicious samples they offered (always part of the fun!).

I had specifically gone there to buy three new tires for my car, putting on one additional new tire I had stored in my garage as the fourth tire. The tire in my garage is one I had purchased from Goodyear sometime before.

The Costco employee told me that they would be happy to sell me three new tires, but they would not mount the fourth tire because they don't work on other people's tires. On this particular day, that policy cost them a sale as I went somewhere else to make my purchase. Was that policy worth what it cost them? (Making customers mad is seldom a good marketing ploy!)

I do love the hot dogs that Costco serves at their "cafe", so I purchased one for lunch while I was there. During the transaction, the clerk gave me $2.00 too much change. I, of course, returned the excess money because that was the right thing to do. (Employee training and strict systems for handling money go straight to the bottom line!)

Finally, as I fixed my hot dog, they were completely out of mustard. (Always take time to look at your business from the customer's point of view (POV). That's what repeat business is totally based on!)

While I love Costco for some things, and while they do most things well, this day they were a major disappointment to me. Avoid these mistakes in your own business and you will have happier (and more) customers.

Anytime you are in a business, notice what you like and don't like about what they are doing and what your customer experience is like. You'll learn what to emulate and what to avoid in your own business dealings. And don't forget to say thank you when you get a chance... we all need more appreciation, and it's a great gift to give someone!

 - Jerry Hignight, Chief Editor

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