Where do emotions factor in?
Day to day, I work with entrepreneurs starting, working on, or expanding their business. These are hard-working people with great products and services and willing to put in hours and hours to succeed. You could not work with a better group of people.
They have passion, vision, and a strong spirit. Remembering back years ago when a local businessman told me that people who own storefront businesses are strong, independent people. I realized how much customers walking into their businesses is almost like walking into their homes. Their businesses are open to the public. But they represent the heart and soul of the owners.
The holidays are approaching. I arrived home tonight and sat down with some catalogs. It’s been a long time since I have ordered from a catalog. But I do shop online. So I must make the lists.
The catalog that caught my eye is Lou Malnati’s “Tastes of Chicago”. Happen to love Chicago and have a son and his family living there. We are heading back soon for a swim meet at the University of Chicago. Going back to the big city which I am getting very familiar!
As I started looking through this catalog for possible gifts, I was struck first by the prices and then the realization of what people will pay to “experience” Chicago from afar. You can buy the “Chicago Style Hot Dog Kit” which includes ten hot dogs, 10 poppy-seed buns, with all the “Chicago” trimmings including 8 oz. of mustard, 6 oz. of relish, 6 oz. of sport pepper and celery salt. The price is $59.99. Add two pizzas and the price is $84.99. My suggestion, choose the add ons and include the pizzas.
So, what are they selling? Reconnecting to the favorite city? I think so! Experiencing the unique taste of the true Chicago flavor? Yes! And reminding someone of precious memories. Definitely!
What emotions do your customers feel through visiting and experiencing your business?
Hard to compete with the Malnati Family and Lou Malnati who produced “Chicagoland’s best pizza”.
In my reading, I hear a common message….it isn’t what you say to people but how you make people feel. How does your business make people feel. Imagine some business owners are cringing right about now. But the truth is that success depends on feelings…feelings of value, confidence, caring, assurance, and so much more. Not easy to do but Lou Malnati and his family have succeeded.
Remember that as a business owner! People are not indebted to shop at your business – they need to connect with you. Your responsibility is to explain the value and understand the emotions.
There are people in my life that I would gladly send hot dogs and pay $59.99. If it brings joy, and makes the holidays fun….I am all in!
For information on Lou Malnati’s Tastes of Chicago visit www.tastesofchicago.com or call 1-800-568-8646.
Blog written by Nancy Johnson, MI-SBTDC Livingston County Satellite Director. To contact Nancy, call 810-227-5086. To visit the MI-SBTDC Statewide website, go to www.misbtdc.org.
Will I have enough customers?
The MI-SBTDC Livingston County Satellite office runs Starting a Business Workshops every few weeks to help those interested know all that is involved in starting what they want to become a profitable business.
Two things I know about starting a business! There are many ways to go about it, and there are more opinions about what to do. You must discover what works for you.
The general traits I see with successful business owners that make them successful are energy, passion, mission, desire to learn, and bull-dog determination.
A statement I do hear often from those who have worked on a business for a year is that leading a business is the hardest thing they have ever done in my life. The reason for this is the immense competition and options that your potential customers have to choose who, where, and how they do business. It has never been as competitive as it is today.
Our Starting a Business Workshop is made up of 6 components:
- Self Assessment and Identifying the Business Idea
- Start-up Cost Analysis
- Beginning Steps to a Business Plan
- Developing a Management Team
- Start-up Checklist
The business of business is creating customers. The profit of a company measures how effectively that is done.
Join us on November 20th for the next Starting a Business Workshop being held at Frontal Lobe Coworkinging in downtown Howell. Frontal Lobe is a new and trendy place for people to work and run their businesses. Frontal Lobe Coworking is a shared office environment with amenities and meeting rooms. Monthly memberships are available by calling Fabrizio Tarara at (517) 618-9506.
Location:Frontal Lobe Coworking 110 E. Grand River Howell, Mi 48843 Date: November 20, 2013 Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm No cost for this event RSVP: Nancy Johnson at 810-227-5086 or online through the MI-SBTDC Livingston County Blog. Reservations are required. This workshop will close at 15 attendees.
To register online, click here.For more information about the MI-SBTDC Training Events statewide, go to www.misbtdc.org/events.
When I do so much imperfectly???
Yesterday, I spoke at The Entrepreneur’s Forum at Cleary University as part of their Founder’s Week celebration. The day was focused around “Success” and my part was the success of our MI-SBTDC business planning programs that have run since 2010. Read more…
Why take time to plan?
1. You don’t know what you don’t know! Really!
2. Need to learn how to test the feasibility of a business. Read more…
Good business relationships? Do you have them?
Sam Theis worked for Ernst & Young for 10+ years before he decided to hang out his shingle and open a small business in 2011. Going on your own has its challenges. Being an employee for a top accounting firm Read more…
What’s the Difference???
Many people want financing for their small business. But they don’t understand the difference and preparation needed before making an appointment at the bank for a commercial loan. Preparation makes the difference!
What is of interest to banks?
Surround Yourself with the Right People!
What don’t you know? Maybe it is for survival but it seems to me that we often think we know more than what we do! And it is not comfortable to be challenged. When someone does challenge us, do we dismiss it right away? Or do we defend ourselves? Do we get angry? Or do we take it in to think it through? Give it some time to let the Read more…
Connecting to Your Library!
Libraries have changed from my early memories! The old jokes about librarians shushing people, focusing on etiquette to not interrupt anyone, and a place to just go to borrow a book are all part of the past!! Libraries play a significant role in our communities through entertainment, workshops, online services, and so much more. I urge you to visit their websites through links provided at the end of this blog! Read more…
A few are born to be an entrepreneur.
Steve Gronow, owner of Chestnut Home Builders, visited the MI-SBTDC Livingston County Venture Plan program this week. Steve, who has generously donated his time to the MI-SBTDC as a coach, speaker, and panelist since 2010, came in ready for me to “fire” questions at him sharing his approach and experiences. Read more…
Persuasion tops the list for success!
Starting or growing a business? Focused on growing your entrepreneurial skills? Understanding common traits of experienced entrepreneurs provides direction in personal development for the new entrepreneur. Read more…
Gaining Perspective on our Own Lives
Self-awareness is an important component of being successful in building a career or building a business. Understanding strengths and weaknesses is a priority in our coaching clients at all stages of their business but is often passed over too quickly. It is hard to help someone unless they are willing to go deeper in their understanding.
Why is this so important?
- We tend to focus all our efforts on what we “like” to do.
- We don’t have an accurate view of “our” total picture or see ourselves as others see us.
- Successful people “own” or “claim” their strengths. Many of us sell ourselves short!
What does a SWOT Analysis for your personal strategy look like?
When do you work on this? When your mind starts swirling. Instead of letting thoughts full of emotion get the best of you, take some time to focus on what you can do to deal with your challenges. Don’t focus on the shortcomings of others. Get a more accurate view of yourself.
Lastly, remember this version is for you. You can choose to share it with someone else or choose not to share. For me, it helped to prioritize what I need to focus on instead of a random approach drawing me either to what I find interesting or responding to the latest challenge or crisis.
This blog was written by Nancy Johnson, MI-SBTDC Livingston County Satellite Director. For more information about the MI-SBTDC, go to www.misbtdc.org. For information focused on Livingston County, go to www.livingstonsbtdc.org.