How to be less available in your business

What I’m going to share with you may seem counter-intuitive to you and even impossible. You may say to yourself,  “Valeri, being less accessible to the outside world is crazy. I have clients who require my attention, prospects that may disappear if I don’t respond immediately, and people who just plain need me.”

I get it. I’ve been there and I work with many clients who initially have the same concerns.

Watch this video where I’ll share why you may want to shift the accessible 24/7 habit.

You may be in an industry that requires you to be accessible at all times. Your livelihood may depend on being the first to respond to prospects. Perhaps you’ve built a reputation as always being available. If this is you, then that is a deal you have made with your business. [Read more…]

20 love notes to your business

business love“Years ago I fell in love with you. The attraction was instant and intense. I could feel the passion rise inside me the minute I set eyes on you. In that instant I knew the inescapable truth: You complete me.

Does that capture the way you feel about your business? For me, it is true. My business is my passion. That’s not to say it’s easy. Like any relationship it has its ups and downs.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are some inspiring quotes to get you in the mood to love and appreciate your business. [Read more…]

5 powerful ways to show gratitude

GratitudeThanksgiving is a special holiday in North America. Historically, it commemorates the harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 where thanks was given for the bounty of crops.

Fast forward to present day. As a business owner, do you give thanks to those who support you and your business? Do you celebrate all that you have accomplished?

With the hectic pace of running your business, having time to reflect rarely happens, yet it is essential to your overall state of mind and ultimately your productivity.

So how do you create gratitude systems to ensure appreciation and giving thanks becomes a habit?

Here are 5 powerful ways to show gratitude in your business. [Read more…]

How to make your clients feel at home in your business

how to make your clients feel at homeThis past weekend was my Dad’s 99th birthday … yes, he was 70 when I was born! (wink, wink)

Because we were travelling from out-of-town to attend the celebration, we decided to rent a house.

We arrived and the house was lovely. It was out in the country, surrounded by trees and rolling hills. As we settled in, things took a turn for the worse. [Read more…]

intandem’s annual Gift Guide for your client who has everything

Back by popular demand is intandem’s Gift Guide: 12 great holiday gift ideas for your own wish list or to give to that special client or colleague who has everything.

This year’s list is packed with very cool ideas that I’m excited to share with you. Number 5 is my personal favourite!

[Read more…]

3 simple systems to improve your customer care

We love our customers written on a computer key

By creating and following the most basic processes you can create a level of customer care that shows your clients you value their business and are committed to providing them with the highest level of quality service. Not only will this give you repeat business and referrals, it will catapult you ahead of your competitors.

So where do you begin? Here are 3 ways you can get started right now: [Read more…]

3 ways to create a beautiful inner business

PaintingThere once was a boy named Steve. He was painting the fence around his house. When his dad came outside to inspect his work, he said, “Steve, you did a great job on the front side of the fence, but you didn’t do such a good job on the back side of the fence.”

Steve said, “Dad, that’s because no one will see the back side of the fence.”

To which his dad replied, “We will.”

Powerful message.

The Steve in this story is the late Steve Jobs. He took this philosophy of excellence and made it the cornerstone of Apple. He instructed his technicians to build a computer that was just as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside.

Why should your business be any different? [Read more…]

5 reasons why I’ll miss Tungle

Saying goodbye to a member of your team is tough. They’ve served you well. They were loyal, consistent, shared your workload and contributed to your success. When they leave, their absence is noticed.

That’s how I felt this week when Tungle, my online scheduling system, handed in its resignation. Unlike other team members, Tungle wasn’t moving on to greener pastures. As of December 3, 2012, Tungle would be dead. [Read more…]

How I wasted 140 minutes: the case for customer service systems

This is a story about wasted time. You know … those minutes you’ll never get back. And it’s wasted because nothing useful happens during those minutes, which quickly turn into hours. You probably didn’t even relax because you were so stressed you were wasting time.

Here’s my tale of woe

It began the moment I wanted to scan multiple pages with my new scanner. Easy right? That’s what I though too. It turned out, it wasn’t as straightforward as I would have expected. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new scanner, it’s just this little issue that I needed to figure out. How hard could it be? I was about to find out. [Read more…]

3 reasons why the customer is always right

About a thousand years ago, I worked in the linen department of a national retail department store. This was a part-time gig that paid for my education, my apartment and basically kept me afloat financially. As you can imagine, I was a very loyal employee.

So when the manager came up to me one day and asked if I could spend a couple of hours in Customer Service, I eagerly said yes.

Before I made my way over to the Customer Service counter, he said these wise words to me, “The only thing you need to know is the customer is always right.” Really? Was the customer always right or was this something we just say to make them feel empowered? I was about to find out. [Read more…]