Awards & Engraving

November '19

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Page 47 of 68

A&E NOVEMBER 2019 • 45 Sales & Marketing • Ambitions: set goals so you have something to look forward to every day. Make your goals both short and long term, maybe one month, five years, and 10 years. WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS DO I WANT? This question cannot be answered the same way it would have been answered 50 years ago or even 25 years ago. The main reason is that small business is not the same as it was then. Things have changed and will continue to change, so be prepared to adapt — it may happen rapidly. Adapt to your future and be prepared to make changes, add or delete products, listen to the requests of your clients, and stay ahead of the marketplace. Many years ago, when someone started a business, they often said the reason they wanted to get into business was because they liked people and wanted to provide a better life for their families. For those of you just starting, I suggest that you stay with and think about just what you want from your business. Those of us that have set out on the adventure of striking out on our own creating an independent small business should pat each other on the back. There is perhaps nothing that will give you as much self-satisfaction as that of being one who creates something that others desire enough to select over the competition. There are a few questions to ask yourself: • What kind of business do I need? • What will it take to fulfill my absolute needs yet keep me in a position to expand and grow for the future? • Is this going to really make me happy every day when I go to work? • Is my business a fun place to work with a real purpose that captures the accomplishments of the successful winners in life? It will be a long trip and will be important to feel a true satisfaction with your business as well as enjoy the profit that will provide for your family and sustain the future growth of your business. Your business must grow to be successful, because "business without growth will normally rot." Tip: Think about what is important to you. Many of you have said to me over the years that you wanted to make a decent living, provide for your family, and just be happy. Being happy is a state of mind! Several years ago, I heard a great speaker by the name of John Maxwell say that after he got married to his wife, she was asked after a few years, "Does John make you happy?" And she said, "No John doesn't make me happy… I make me happy!" Think about that for a while, because if you are looking for a thing or a business to make you happy, it most likely won't. It is up to you to make you happy with your attitude. Happiness is truly a personal thing for each of us. As a good friend of mine often says, that is why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream. We are all different and it is up to us to adjust our lives to make us happy. Think about your definition of personal happiness. HOW DO I PRICE PRODUCTS? • Price, quality, and service are perhaps the three most important factors that make and keep clients coming back. • Price attracts the prospect. • Quality is a must for maintaining the client. • Service, however, is the ultimate factor in attracting, maintaining, and holding on to the client for a long-term relationship year after year. Remember that repeat business is what sustains most small businesses. Let us take a moment to consider just how important price is to your formula for success. I suggest you first think about how important price is to you because in the open market, you are a client. Often when we look for a solution to a problem, we do well to think about how our lives relate to that problem. After all, each of us are members of the buying public and our thoughts and opinions are part of the system. Remember to be objective in your answers; sometimes that is difficult because we are so close to the problem. An example would be to think about two of the exact same car manufactured by the same company. If we bought the car based on price alone then it would be an easy decision, because they are the exact same car. But of course, many of us consider the reputation of the dealer and their service after the sale as being a hidden factor that is important and perhaps enough to tip the scales in that dealer's favor even if the price was higher. Does your business offer extras to help your clients make a positive decision on buying from you? If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-317-546-9000; e-mail me at; or write me at Stephen L. Capper A-1 Awards, Inc. 2500 North Ritter Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46218 A&E

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