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Category - Brand Leadership

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1
3 Rules to Keep Customers
2
WE are always right? Or keep questioning our old ways of thinking?
3
5 Key Social Media Policies
4
Change your business model with great care!
5
Client service starts in the car park

3 Rules to Keep Customers

Businesses, and business owners, go through a natural evolutionary cycle.

Often, small businesses are started by the young (or in my case, comparatively young!) full of excitement and enthusiasm. Small business owners start with an idea – sometimes it’s simply an idea that working for yourself has got to be better than working for the Man, more often it’s the idea of making or at least selling the better mousetrap.

At the start we jump at every opportunity to “find business”. We attend seminars and hand out business cards, we follow leads, we make friends with customers and develop relationships and referral bases. However in time, the energy spent finding business dissipates somewhat. Sometimes this comes from disappointment but more usually because running a business is genuinely hard and over time, as the business employs more and more staff, it’s natural that some of those duties to find new business start to fall on new staff.
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WE are always right? Or keep questioning our old ways of thinking?

For a brief moment women wearing burqas and niqabs were banned from sitting in the Australian Parliament’s public galleries. This was later changed as long as they revealed their faces for identification at security checkpoints.

In a show of protest three men wearing a Ku Klux Klan uniform, a motorcycle crash helmet and a niqab tried to enter the Parliament building. They were met by security outside who told them that the helmet and the KKK hat were not allowed inside whereas the person wearing the niqab would have to reveal their face but could then put the veil back on.

There followed a (mild) furore on social media about inequality and the overblown political correctness. People rallied around the cry that “we” shouldn’t bow to the powerful minority as “we” had our own standards.

However the social media commentators seem to have missed various points:-

1. They themselves had probably lived or visited overseas where local law meant that drug possession was punishable by death, that you couldn’t chew gum on the streets, that many other things we did not agree with was law, and we protested that “they” the majority should listen to “us”;

2. They recognised “our” team’s views and believed they were right but they did not recognise the “other” team’s views could possibly be right;

3. The burqa, hijab and niqab, along with saffron robes, and nuns’ habits are part of a particular religion’s accepted dress;

4. The KKK uniform is a recognisable uniform of hate and racism; and

5. A motorcycle crash helmet is a – hello – HELMET!

But what does this have to do with business?
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5 Key Social Media Policies

Social media is now huge part of everyday life. Social media can be used as a positive tool in the branding of your organisation or it could become the bane of your organisation’s credibility. It’s not only a Facebook page to share food photos with old school friends and post emoticons.

Even though they may have a social media advertising strategy, some organisations ban it internally, not allowing staff to access social media during work hours, even to the extent of blocking it on the organisation’s IT systems. Why not embrace it, show your staff trust and give them responsibility to use social media responsibly?

Why not create and use a corporate social media policy? What should this policy include to ensure that people are using social media responsibly? Here are the 5 key items to include.
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Change your business model with great care!

Businesses who decide to change the way they do business need to be careful of unintended consequences. They need to think of the effects to the customer first, but also to the not so obvious stakeholder groups.

For example businesses that generate significant business through referral networks need to be careful how any changes affect their referral base and not just their customers.

In some imagined country, the leading provider of accounting software to SME’s is a company called Record Your Amazing Business or Ryab. Knowing that SME’s made purchasing decisions about accounting software based on their accountants’ opinions, Ryab provided their software free to all public accounting firms. These firms could use multiple copies of the software on a single free license as long as they used it on their own entities – clients would have to buy their own licenses, and accountants even received commissions on these sales to clients.

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Client service starts in the car park

My Post Office box is at the back of the Post Office, and I need to drive around the back to their car park to access the box. Directly next to the Post Office car park are the car bays of an architectural practice, leading to their back door.

One morning, as I was parked in the Post Office car park, opening mail I had just retrieved from my Post Office box, I witnessed an incident that showed me that client service starts, not only at the back door, but out in the car park.
As I sat in my car opening mail, I noticed a well-dressed middle aged man smoking just outside the back door of the architectural practice. It was clearly a professional and well-branded practice as the corporate colours and logo were not only at the front, but also splashed all over the back walls and above the back door.

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