Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From AZ--how some small biz people are coping

Donovan Wilson, AZ Republic, Chandler section, Aug 17, 2011, talks about a small auto repair company in this bedroom community of Phoenix. The “spiraling” economy, as he puts it, had wreaked havoc on the little company.

In 2008 the shop had 49 business accounts. Within three months, it lost 20. By the end of 2008, it had 12 left.

They went out an networked—combed the business community for business.

Those who shake hands with people do better, the owner concluded. The company head hooked up with local schools—then boys and girls clubs. They helped the schools by providing coupon books for fundraising for the clubs. The $25 booklets have put $30,000 into the club coffers and brought business into the shop, which is now in the black.

Another company—heating and cooling—big out here in the desert--homed in on customer service, rather than branching out into other products and services.

That would be good—when those a/c people come over, they often try to upsell you into something. I hate that. A repairman or annual checkup tech who said, "Everything looks good, I did this or that, we are here anytime you need us" would be welcome.

A commercial office cleaning company diversified, though. They added pressure washing, tile maintenance, upholstery cleaning and other services. They also let customers bring rugs over—which some prefer.

So think, people! Go big? Go smaller? Go different?

Personally, I am adding short health tipsheets—let me cut through the clutter and see what’s what for you. Check out:

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