Common small business mistakes have become a regular series here! This week, we’ve got another local example you can learn from.
The pizza place is closed??!
Tried to call for pizza the other day, but the phone just rang and rang. Not too unusual for them. I decided to run down and just pick up a pizza. Then I figured it out. They’re closed! One side of the sign announced a closing date the day before, and the other said reopening in mid summer. Was I the only one who didn’t know? No, the next three people I told were also surprised. Now that is an example of how not to keep your customers in the know.
Keep your customers informed
Here are my top suggestions on letting customers know.
- Get a customer perspective. Realize that your customers may love you, but they don’t live and breathe your business. You have to tell them, repeatedly, before they may get the message.
- Use multiple media. For the pizza place, an ad in the paper, a banner on site, the sign going up more than a day or two before, flyers on pizza boxes, etc., would all have been appropriate ways to get the word out. Get creative.
- Don’t overlook the low-tech. A simple answering machine set to announce would have saved me and many other customers a fruitless trip to the pizza joint.
- Repeat your message, repeat your message, repeat your message. Seriously.
Do you have examples?
You can use real world examples, real small businesses. Write it up, take a picture, or shoot a short video. Take care not to embarrass the offenders. Key point: include suggestions on how to do it right.
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.