General

Oct15

Delivering Customer Service in A Social Media World

Categories // General, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Owners

For a long time, a company’s commitment to outstanding customer service began and ended in its mission statement. The goal of the customer being number one in most companies is not translated into tactics for training the staff. This is all changing in a 24/7 connected world.

The truth is that customer service has become the key marketing weapon. In this new age of social media, traditional advertising has become all but meaningless while customer reviews, or “earned media,” take center stage in a customers’ buying decision. All businesses need to turn their attention to their customer service since it directly influences the online reputation a company has forever. This session teaches how to create an effective Customer Service Manifesto for any company so it can be implemented at every level of your organization.

The world is your competition. With no geographic boundaries, almost every product or service has become a commodity. Your only sustainable competitive advantage is customer loyalty through great service. If I can get what you sell anywhere, why should I put up with bad service?

With self service kiosks and websites, companies can now personalize the customer experience. Every company can now call you by name, remember what you purchased and recommend what you like. This expectation does not get lower anywhere we surf on the internet, each time we call your company or walk into your brick and mortar locations.

Reputation is forever. Your company’s biggest fear was that a disgruntled customer would tell seven people. A dissatisfied customer can now tell 7 million people on social media. Companies can no longer control the conversation about their brands through advertising.

Guest Blogger and Marketing Made Lean Guest Speaker: Barry Moltz

Feb27

Entrepreneurial Congressman says, “Start Now!”

Categories // General, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Owners

“There may not be a better time than now, to start,” shared Congressman Reed Ribble during last week’s small business round table hosted by Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center. Congressman Ribble enthusiastically shared his own experiences as a successful, serial, entrepreneur and small business owner. He’s owned three different businesses: a family-owned roofing company, partnership in a construction industry-related business and a recording company in Nashville. Congressman Ribble is passionate about small businesses and the jobs they create, stating to the intimate group, “most job creation comes from businesses of five years old or less.” 

Several people asked questions about small business issues regarding the Affordable Care Act, trademark law and accessing capital. Congressman Ribble was informative and respectful with his responses. He shared that the Affordable Care Act causes a lot of people concern and he and others are working with the President to address some of the challenges in the new law. His demeanor (even though he was fighting a bad case of bronchitis) was positive and compassionate. He shared he thinks people get too caught up with “demonizing ideas” brought forward to address today’s challenges. He believes to solve our challenges we need to listen to each other and work together.

As far as launching a small business and entrepreneurial firm Congressman Ribble said, “Today the opportunity is broad and bright. The American marketplace is full of pent-up demand.” We agree and are wondering, what do you think? Do you agree with Congressman Ribble? Do you think now is the right time to launch or grow your small business?

Feb21

Need talent? Offer benefits.

Categories // General, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Owners

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Cal Siegrist, an independent agent with The Insurance Center. He had decided we should meet after reading Sean Johnson’s, Insight on Business, September 2011 article, Stuck in Job Lock. In the article Sean describes the reality that many qualified, talented, people choose not to pursue entrepreneurship in some part, due, to the lack of affordable health insurance. Thanks to my meeting with Cal, I now understand there are affordable, creative, health insurance options available for small business owners and their employees. 

One such program is the 401 (hp) offered by The Insurance Center. The 401 (hp) functions as a complete standalone employee benefit program or as a supplement to an existing health benefits plan. It is affordable and flexible. While, I am not an insurance benefits expert, Cal is. He is also passionate and excited about helping small businesses and entrepreneurial firms compete. He can help you design a health insurance benefits package that will put you ahead of most small businesses when it comes to attracting talent. It doesn’t cost as much as you think to access health insurance for yourself and your employees and the peace-of-mind it provides is the best benefit of all.

Dec27

Wanted: Problem-Solvers

Categories // General

On January 4th the New North, Inc., Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee (NNSBE) will meet to discuss the work of the Committee for the foreseeable future, based on the findings of the newly created annual Index of Entrepreneurial Capacity and quarterly Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. NNSBE Council member, Bob O’Donnell, Director of the UW-Oshkosh Small Business Development Center will provide an overview and insight into these new tools and what the findings reveal about the New North region in terms of intellectual property creation, financing for entrepreneurs, the number of new start-ups, number of jobs created, etc. The annual Index of Entrepreneurial Capacity provides a framework for the scope of work the NNSBE Committee will tackle in the coming year.  The quarterly Index of Entrepreneurial Activity will provide insight to impact and activity. Jerry Murphy, New North, Inc. Executive Director, will lead a discussion about initial findings from these new tools and share New North, Inc.’s ideas around creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial and small business climate and the work of the NNSBE Committee. I am excited to be the Chair of the NNSBE Committee and look forward to building on the hard work of recent chair, Alex Kowalski and the excellent group of people he led. Going forward we want to build the NNSBE Committee membership and are looking for creative problem-solvers who are interested in the economic challenges we face and developing regional solutions that create new opportunities for many. If you are interested in becoming part of the solution, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone at 920.735.2594, I look forward to talking with you.

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