Good morning, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.
Can you believe it’s Monday again! Time flies! Today I am reviewing a book lent to me by a friend called The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart by Maxine Clark. This is the story of how Maxine built the Build-A-Bear Workshop business. The book has a lot of “bearisms” and talks about the different aspects of business, rather than just going through what happened at each step. I really enjoyed this book, it was easy to read, I got a few things out of it, plus I love reading about how other people have done it as it always gives me ideas and tips.
My favourite quotes from the book are below:
- To be happy and successful in business, you must do work you are passionate about
- Don’t focus on selling. Focus on connecting. People won’t buy unless they have an emotional connection with you and your products
- Tending to the little (big) things that others may overlook will help you to soar above the competition
- A good plan forces you to confront and address the opportunities and challenges facing your business
- You can’t expect someone else to do a job well unless you’re willing to do it yourself
- Everyone ought to look forward to Monday mornings
- The more fun people have, the harder they’ll work
- Experiment freely, and view every so-called mistake as one step closer to getting things right
- Current customers are your number-one source of potential new products
- Make it as easy and pleasant as possible for people to do business with you
- On occasion, allow yourself to think and act like a kid, regardless of how old you are
- Money spent wisely now will pay off for you in the future
- No matter what the temptations or outside pressures, stay focused on your primary customer group
- Your primary job is to make your customers feel special
- Among the required ingredients to make people feel special: quality products, attentive service, personalised communications, and involving them in product decisions
- If you don’t make a good first impression, customers are likely to take their business elsewhere
- Customers begin to experience your company even before stepping through the door
- The five pillars [of success] are price, convenience, product, customer service, and overall experience
- Every company must meet the threshold level for each of the five pillars in order to stay in business
- Maximise the customer experience by replacing the common with the extraordinary
- A brand is a lasting imprint you leave on the marketplace
- The most powerful advertising happens when one customer heaps praise on your company to another
- The best way to get people buzzing about your business it to show them they are important
- When creating buzz, tap into the notions of popularity and exclusivity
- To get through all of the loud marketing messages consumers are inundated with, your offering must be really special
- If you don’t have the exact product or service a customer wants, find other ways to meet their needs
This book is a good read if you are looking at starting a business, or want ideas from a business that has customer service at it’s heart. A lot of what Maxine talks about is general business practice, but it is written in an interesting way with examples from her business, which gives you an insight into how she runs her business. Maxine had a considerable amount of start-up capital for the Build-A-Bear Workshop, so by the sounds of it never really had to do the skimping and saving that small and/or new businesses do, which would have made it more interesting (or maybe I’m just jealous?). However what she has achieved with the brand has been massively successful and really tapped into consumers hearts.
Next week I will be reviewing a new book I bought yesterday called KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays by Joel Comm, I’m looking forward to reading it, so hopefully there will be lots and lots of tips in there!