Awards & Engraving

March '20

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Ready for More? T he buzz I hear on trade show floors, in the classrooms of seminars I've delivered, and on the awards and engraving industry blogs and forums online is that the end of the last decade was pretty sweet business-wise. Consumers are spending money on custom gifts and promotional and recognition items. There's been a renaissance of sorts in the affordable technology available to the A&E shop owner. Revenues and profits are up substantially. Business owners and their employees alike are making a good living and the future seems to be as rosy. So, maybe it's a good time to think about growing the business. Unfortunately, you cannot simply wake up one day and decide to move into a larger commercial space, try your hand at owning and operating an unfamiliar, technologically advanced piece of equip- ment, or introduce a new product line outright. Growth and expansion require careful research and planning, especially in this whirlwind economy. There are a number of appropriate ques- tions a business owner ought to ponder when he/she thinks it's time to grow or move. The decision to extend the scope of your business must be a result of thoughtful analysis, including the financial, logistical, and even your emotional readiness to shake things up. What follows is just a primer on the subject of taking your business to the next level. Ready? Let's go... WHAT DO YOUR CUSTOMERS THINK? In today's hyper-competitive market- place, businesses can ill afford to ignore cus- tomer input — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Soliciting and gathering customer feed- back can lead to better business decisions, greater revenues and profit margins, and foster buyer delight and loyalty. Yet, a low percentage of awards and engraving business owners give a second thought about listening to the Voice of the Customer (VoC). Fortunately, it takes only a few simple steps to derive the greatest business value — connectivity with your clientele — via a well-developed survey, careful interpretation, and the courage to offer what your competi- tion isn't able, isn't willing, or doesn't think to do. A successful VoC program begins with establishing goals and objectives for the initiative that enhance the company's purpose, brand, and vision. There are at least two websites that offer online survey platforms: Survey Methods Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Georgia-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing, and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas in his seminars on business management excellence at past NBM SHOWS. He is available to small- to mid-sized companies striving for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at vince@ypbt.com or visit his company website, www.ypbt.com. By Vince DiCecco A new decade brings dreams of greater sales, production, and profit 20 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2020

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