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Success is a Package Deal – Part 2  
Thanks, Abigail…I’ve been waiting for Park 2!Untapped Golden GeeseMany business owners make the mistake of making a sale or providing a service for a client, and then let the client fall by the wayside while they seek new business opportunities. I’ve spent a decade trying, unsuccessfully, to find a business that could never repeat a sale or service to the same client, or their family and friends. Starting now, keep a list of everyone who touches your business. Collect names, email addresses, physical mailing addresses, and phone numbers. If you can still find prior customers, ask them for the same information. This information is essential for keeping in touch with your clients. Today, letting your clients know you are still in business is important. Also, this list is vital to let your clients know how you can help them resolve new business or personal challenges. Supplier or SupporterIt’s human nature to want the very best value, every time we make a purchase. Many businesses measure cost strictly by the initial price tag on the “widget.” Toyota, right or wrong, has become a textbook case for the perils of focusing only on cost.Too often, business owners or their staff believe they are the best experts to create their product or service. They specify what they want in a “widget” that is needed to make their product, and then put that spec out to bid. That does not mean it’s really the optimal widget for your application or that it incorporates the latest technological innovation.Generally, your suppliers will be the experts on their products or services. Take the time to meet with your suppliers. This relationship requires your personal focus, rather than leaving it strictly in the hands of your design or purchasing teams. Help your suppliers understand your business vision.For example: For a moving company, is your vision simply to transport goods from point A to point B? Maybe your vision is to provide the owners of those goods with a worry-free relocation, on schedule, of their carefully packaged products. The clarity of your vision makes a tremendous difference in how your supplier can support your business.Ideally, the supplier who “gets” your vision will seek out creative solutions to enable you to meet your goals. They can also become some of your best referral partners when they understand your commitment to your customers. Pragmatic ManagementThe March Vanity Fair magazine had an article that would have been the norm several decades ago. It was about Goldman Sachs and their 21st-century expectations for the “company spouse,” including accepting that the father would be away on business when his children were born. That belief in “everything for the company” was much more common until recent years. With the definition of “family” becoming so broad and diverse in the past few decades, employers have learned to focus only on the warm body sitting across the interview table. Experienced employers know that problems outside the office definitely impact productivity and morale in the office. Absenteeism, poor focus, illness, and disengaged employees can all result from problems outside the office. Many external issues can be supported by programs that are of little-to-no cost to the employer, yet will yield huge rewards with happy, healthy, and focused employees.Many employers can neither afford nor wish to pay for more than the most minimal benefits. It is still possible, and highly practical, to offer optional programs the employees pay for with payroll deductions to provide them cash in a medical emergency, to help protect them from identity theft and restoring their good name when it does occur, or provide basic mental health counseling. All these offers support your staff and can be enormously valuable to keep your business running smoothly.Ask your network for ideas on how to help your employees at minimal cost to the business. The help is out there; it’s your job as a business owner to find it.© 2010 Straight Edge News   All Rights Reserved.Abigail Dougherty, PCC, is the founder of Straight Edge Solutions, a Professional Certified Coach, Business Process expert, and Motivational Speaker. To read additional articles by Abigail and learn more about her work, please visit her website, StraightEdgeSolutions.com or contact Abigail at Abigail@StraightEdgeSolutions.com