Treat Everyone as a Regular

Have you ever noticed the special attention restaurants give their regulars?  The employees spend more time talking to them, making sure their order is correct, and are generally a lot kinder to them.  Wouldn’t it be great if the employees treated everyone like that?  Imagine going to a store/restaurant/business for the very first time and someone treats you as if you were a regular already.  This will make you remember the place and want to go back!  Start using this tactic for your own business.

Act Like Everyone Will Be Back

Get to know your customers as if you are going to see them a few times a week for several years.  Be invested in them and learn about their lives; this will show them you care about them and not just their money.  Employees are so courteous to regulars because they know they are coming back, they’re someone they might as well get to know.  Don’t have the mind set of, “Oh, well!  I’ll never see them again anyway.”  The people you see only one time are not any less worthy of your kindness than the people you see everyday.

Your Kindness = Their Ego Boost

Most people go to the same businesses due to feeling comfortable there. So, if they have the feeling that you don’t care about them then why would they want to come back? Give them the feeling of warmth when in a favorite place​ ​-​ ​make your business one of their favorite places. Treat them great and give them a boost of confidence to continue coming back. Customers/clients will feed off your attitude and if you act closed, unwilling to welcome them then they will react the same way towards your business. Make sure to show ​genuine ​kindness ​or your gestures are at risk of seeming forced​.

The Perfect Small Office – Blue Ash Implements This

​Our staff comes from diverse backgrounds​ including roles in the service and hospitality industries. ​From that, we’ve carried over principles of customer service to our business here and truly ​enjoy cultivating relationships with our tenants.​ ​Anytime a new prospect comes for a tour, we get to know them as if they are about to be a tenant for the next 10 years. Everyone we meet and everyone we work with are just as important as the next, whether we see them again or not.

The best recipes for success all have a little extra love sprinkled into them.

Tax Tips for Business Owners

 

Tax season is upon us, and when you’re a business owner, you may feel like all odds are against you this time of year. You’ve got complicated forms to fill out, and missing receipts to track down. Yet, it is very common to overlook a handful of opportunities for small businesses to cut down tax bills. What will help you most is paying attention to IRS rules, remaining patient and being precise.

Yes, you pay tax on your business profits. But the good news is you can potentially reduce your taxable income by taking all the deductions you’re entitled to as business expenses.You should track every business expense and comb over them with your CPA at the end of the year to ensure you only take legitimate deductions, both to minimize your risk of audit and to have the documentation in place in case the IRS ever comes knocking.

Self-employment tax. Self-employment taxes are taxes paid to the Social Security Administration for Social Security and Medicare eligibility. If you’re an employee, you share the cost with your employer, with each of you paying a share of the FICA tax. If you’re self-employed, you pay both portions. Fortunately, you can deduct the portion of your self-employment tax equivalent to what an employer would pay on the front page of your tax return on line 27 as a deduction, or adjustment to income.

The Small Business Administration reported that 52 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are run from home. Still, many owners may be afraid to take a home office deduction, thinking it can be an audit red flag. This may have been true in the past, but there’s no evidence to show that it continues to be so. Generally, deductions for a home office are based on the percentage of your home devoted to business use. So, if you use a whole room or part of a room for conducting your business, you need to figure out the percentage of your home devoted to your business activities.

Car & truck-related expenses. You can deduct the cost of expenses related to a car or truck, including lease payments, so long as you use your vehicle exclusively for business. If you split the use of the vehicle for personal and business purposes, you can only deduct the portion attributable to business (for only $5/month the MILE IQ app allows you to easily log your trips as either business or personal).

If you ever find yourself in doubt about the deductibility of business expenses, ask yourself these two questions:

Is this for business use?

Is this expense necessary, helpful, and appropriate for your business?

The answer to both of those questions should be “yes” to claim an expense as a business-related tax deduction.

Knowing which expenses to claim as deductions are extremely important. The above listed are just a few examples.  Discuss your situation with your CPA or a tax advisor to make sure you have done all that is required to qualify for a specific deduction. For more information on issues impacting small businesses, check out Lori Boone from Accountants on the Go at The Perfect Small office in Mason!

 

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/deducting-business-expenses

Advice From Other Entrepreneurs

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Whenever starting a business it can be pretty difficult to know you are heading in the right direction.  You might feel lost at times and you’re not sure what you did is best.  It is good to take advice from others that have already been through where you are now.  They were you at one time so they have some pretty valuable wisdom, so take it to heart.

 

Tips and Advice From Other Entrepreneurs

– Becoming successful in business is more about your mentality, psychology and determination than it is about finding little tips, tricks, hacks and exploitation in the marketplace.

–Start today. The only true way to learn is by doing and you can’t afford to sit around waiting for funding, hoping someone else will come along to help you execute on your idea or complain that you don’t have the time. Making excuses won’t help you start a business and it sure as hell won’t help you create the lifestyle you want for yourself.

How you choose to manage your time and decide which opportunities to pursue will greatly impact your success when starting a business. Outsource everything you can, so that you can focus on doing what only you can do in your business.

–Never stop building meaningful relationships with customers and other people in your industry. Choosing to instead view competitors as potential partners and collaborators can positively impact your business in a big way.

Don’t start a business unless you’ll be doing something you truly love and are good at, or unless you can dedicate yourself to becoming that expert over the coming years.

Find more tips and advice from https://www.ryrob.com/start-business-advice/

 

Your Mistakes Can Help Others

You can learn a great deal from the advice above, but remember you will still make mistakes.  You have most likely heard this a million times in your life, but learn from your mistakes.  How do you think the advice listed came to be?  Those entrepreneurs made their own mistakes, learned from them, and shared their stories/tips/solutions to help small businesses owners.  Share your story with others and help them with their businesses.

Knowing YOUR Customers

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One of the biggest mistakes a small business could make is to market to the wrong people.  You need to know your customers.  Why market to window shoppers that won’t utilize your services or product?  Your true customers need to have your time and attention, know who you are selling to and what they will want.  There is no sense to waste your energy trying to pull in people that don’t fit the demographic of your business.  Someone that sells hair brushes won’t have hardly any luck trying to get a group of bald individuals to buy the brushes.

Starting Out

Do some grassroots marketing and actually talk to the people you would have as customers.  Hear what they are looking for in a business like yours.  Their opinion is very useful and could tell you what a majority of people want to see.  After using what people have told you, they could see how you implemented their opinions and then they will trust your business more.  This could also cause long-lasting customer relationships.

Demographic

Who are you aiming for to have as your customers?  It is good to know the type of people that will most likely be using your product or service.  Think of your customers and describe them.  If a younger generation is your demographic then try using a younger look to your brand and make it seem energetic.  You could even try throwing slang words being used by that specific generation and keep them interested.  Know your customers and aim for them, not people that are not interested. Appeal to the interests of your customers so they will remember you and your business.  Learn each individual’s personality and use that to your advantage.  If your demographic is made up of mostly mothers then ask them about their children, parenting advice, or even a hobby of theirs.  Getting to know customers in this way will help continue those long-lasting relationships.

Being Versatile

If your demographic pertains to a large group of people and can’t be focused on a smaller group, then try making your marketing more versatile.  Cast a larger net and learn who it catches.  It’s okay not having a clear idea for your marketing, just keep an open mind.  “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  Get as many customers as you can and you can learn more about making your business successful.  The more people you bring in, the more you will figure out who will be making up the majority of your customers.

A Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations

Life is full of awkward and uncomfortable moments. We’ve all been in situations that require a rewind button. These situations can be difficult to navigate for all parties involved and can escalate, causing additional problems. This can be especially hard when you run a small business and are in close quarters with your co-workers daily. While we can’t avoid them altogether, confrontation does not have to be unpleasant for either party. It’s impossible to know the exact outcome of each conversation, but reaching mutual ground is always possible.

If you find yourself falling victim to a painful chitchat, I recommend trying these tips for turning the conversation around.

The option I tend to explore first is using phrases that defuse tough situations.

A few of my personal favorites are:

  • “What do you think about this?”
  • “That’s a valid concern.”
  • “I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
  • “That’s a really good question.”
  • “Is there something I can’t see.”
  • “What I’m hearing you say is …”

All of these phrases acknowledge you are listening without discrediting anyone’s feelings or beliefs. Overall, entering a conversation with a collaborative mindset, versus an accusatory one, will show that you are willing to work together to problem-solve and will likely yield better outcomes.

Another option is to switch the topic of conversation. If the person talking is rambling about an uncomfortable topic with no end in sight, you can simply shift the conversation. Something like, “Wait—before I forget, how is your son doing? I saw on Facebook he recently accepted a new job, how is he liking XYZ company?” This also gives them a chance to brag about something they are passionate about without going into extreme detail. The idea behind this method is to give the conversation momentum, so you aren’t stuck. Don’t look uncomfortable, don’t hesitate, and don’t worry! If you start leading the conversation in another direction, most people will follow you into the next topic.

If you like avoiding conflict, then the last option may be a bit more difficult. However, sometimes it is best to just be direct—and maybe it’s the only option to shut the conversation down. Your co-workers very likely don’t want to make you feel unsafe or uneasy, so if that’s the case, don’t be afraid to speak up in the moment. Plus, they’ll feel a lot better knowing where you stand now than finding out from gossip (or worse, HR) later.

 

There are many ways to approach difficult conversations that can minimize potential tension and creative productive communication — these are just a few. Although not all problems or conflicts need to be addressed directly, certain conversations should not be avoided solely because they may feel uncomfortable.  Additionally, it is also highly likely that we are overestimating just how uncomfortable the discussion will be, you may quickly realize that the situation isn’t as uncomfortable as you thought.

 

 

 

Asking For Reviews

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Having a small business requires you to constantly spread the word about what you do.  Search engines are tools you should definitely be taking advantage of to do this.  How do you keep your business from being lost in the vast amount of information on those search engines?  Reviews are a major component of the algorithm most search engines use to determine which sites, businesses, or information are the first to appear.  If you leave it up to clients and customers to just go give you a review without you asking for one then most of the time they won’t go out of their way to post one.  You need to ask for reviews or the only ones you will ever receive are the unwanted, negative comments from the few people that could have just been having a bad day.  This will not look good for the reputation of your business.

How do you ask for a review?

Simply just ask customers or clients that have used your services more than once.  This can be in person or through email.  Mention to them that they can write why they continue to use your services or how their experience is while working with you.  Anytime you have had a positive experience with a client or customer then most likely they would like to leave you a positive review.

Keep It Simple

Have a link ready to send to the individuals that you have asked to leave a review.  Google and Facebook make it rather simple to find the link associated to your business.  For Google you need to search your business, click the share button, and then you will see the link.  Facebook will require you to have a business page not a profile.  Once you have a business page all you have to do is share the link to that page.  The person leaving a review will simply have to click on “Reviews” and they can leave one there.

Responses Matter Too

When you start to have reviews rolling in, be sure to respond to them.  Google and Facebook both calculate how fast you respond and will add that into your algorithm of where you will be placed in searches.  Even a simple “Thanks for the review!”  will go a long way.

 

Want to leave CMC’s The Perfect Small Office – Blue Ash a review?   Follow the links below!

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