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Pinellas Park, Florida, United States
I founded Core Business Solutions with the goal of helping business owners improve operating results, add value, and recapture the energy and passion that was present when the business was new. We also have the expertise to assist start-up companies create the foundational structure needed to provide the best opportunity for the business to grow and prosper in uncertain economic times. Our goal is to help the business entrepreneur/owner, through mentoring and coaching, develop or enhance managerial skills while providing that independent and objective advice and expertise usually provided by a board of directors.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Customer Loyalty Ideas

As the Holiday Shopping Season has begun I thought it would be a good time to share some thoughts about Customer Loyalty. We all know that keeping one customer is so less expensive than acquiring a new customer. So here are some ideas to help you retain your current customers.

1.     Product Awareness. Know what your steady patrons purchase and keep these items in stock. Add other products and/or services that accompany or compliment the products that your regular customers buy regularly. And make sure that your staff understands everything they can about your products.

2.     Reliability. If you say a purchase will arrive on Wednesday, deliver it on Wednesday. Be reliable.  In fact I'd also suggest you  'under promise and over deliver' by actually delivering your customer's purchase on Tuesday. If something goes wrong, let customers know immediately and compensate them for their inconvenience.

3.     Be Flexible. Try to solve customer problems or complaints to the best of your ability. Excuses — such as "That's our policy" — will lose more customers then setting the store on fire.

4.     People over Technology. The harder it is for a customer to speak to a human being when he or she has a problem, the less likely it is that you will see that customer again.

5.     Know Their Names. Remember the theme song to the television show Cheers? [ Everybody Knows Your Name]   Get to know the names of regular customers or at least recognize their faces.
  1. Communicate. Whether it is an email newsletter, monthly flier, a reminder card for a tune up, or a holiday greeting card, reach out to your steady customers and do it often.
  2. Customer Service. Go the extra distance and meet customer needs. Train the staff to do the same. Customers remember being treated well. It's about customer satisfaction, that's what brings people back to you.
  3. Employee Loyalty. Loyalty works from the top down. If you are loyal to your employees, they will feel positively about their jobs and pass that loyalty along to your customers.
  4. Employee Training. Train employees in the manner that you want them to interact with customers. Empower employees to make decisions that benefit the customer.
  5. Customer Incentives. Give customers a reason to return to your business. For instance, because children outgrow shoes quickly, the owner of a children’s shoe store might offer a card that makes the tenth pair of shoes half price. Or install a customer loyalty or "VIP" program that rewards your customers or clients for repeat business. Likewise, a dentist may give a free cleaning to anyone who has seen him regularly for five years.
I recommend you review this list regularly to keep your business on track towards increasing your customers loyalty to your service or product.
In the next few weeks or so I'll post another article to help you work 'on' your business!
"Remember, to get your business to the top, you must get off your bottom."
Here's Wishing You A Happy and Prosperous Holiday Season.

Walt Morey,

Core Business Solutions

8712 40th Way North, Pinellas Park, Florida 33782

Tel: 727-647-8242


Practical Business Advice


Monday, October 15, 2012

4 Ways to Grow Your Business

This post will  review four fundamental ways to increase your company's revenues, net profit and overall value.

Be careful here…it’s easy to say "I'm already doing that," or "that won't work in MY business." When, in fact, in most cases you can-  1) do a better job doing what you're doing, and/or  2) creatively adapt the idea in your business

 Keep an open and creative mind, and get ready to learn some ideas to help improve your business and grow it to another level.

Here are four methods that could work for you:

1. Sell to and serve more people

I know this seems so obvious ‘get more customers’. But ... let’s break it down further and look into all the possible channels by which you can advertise and reach new customers. Print, internet, signs, trade shows, direct mail, social media and the list goes on.

If you're like most businesses, you're probably advertising in some places but not yet in others. I suggest you start testing lots of different marketing channels to find new ones that can work for you.
Begin with the one that stands out as the one most likely to pay off (getting the most qualified people to contact you per dollar spent).

Are you really using social media consistently? Have you stopped networking as much as you used to when your company was new? Have you considered door flyers? Don't knock these marketing channels unless you've really tried them to the best of your ability.

Remember: the more marketing campaigns you try, the more likely it is you'll find the one or two that you’re not using that are solid gold. And these many times these become long-term assets, generating you profits month-after-month, year-after-year.

2. Increase your average order size

How many times have you heard “you want fries and a drink with that?” Fast food companies have learned this one well. Have you? It’s called Cross Selling’.

Once someone has come into your store (or online property, or calls you) your goal is to maximize their total order amount. In doing so, you should simultaneously maximize your revenues and completely fulfill the needs of your customer.

The key is to not do it obnoxiously. For example, when you're in a restaurant and the waiter suggests entrees, appetizers and/or asks if you want dessert, it's not seen as being pushy, but it maximizes the restaurant's profits. Are you maximizing your profits?

Another example of this: you may have been calling to order something by phone like supplements and they suggest they can add an item in your package with no additional shipping charges.

You could add to your customers' order sizes by finding out what accessories or related items they might need, and have them available.

This can also be done Online. When you ‘checkout’ at Amazon.com a message will pop up saying "Those who bought X also liked  Y...". No wonder they have one of the highest conversion rates among online stores.

Over all industries,  cross selling generates 35% additional gross revenue and averages 18% more profits!

That’s serious money in anyone’s book.

 3. Increase your customer order frequency

How often do your customers need your product or service? Is it something totally out of your control, like a real estate client not needing to buy another house for several years?

But are there things within your control that can motivate customers to come in more often or purchase more often from you, like a restaurant inviting its customers in for specials on slow nights?

Loyalty and reward programs can help make this happen. For example, hair salons can provide a VIP Reward program where the 3rd or 4th or 5th visit provides you a deep discount on their services and many coffee shops will give you a card to punch each time you buy a coffee to get the 10th one free. If you have 7 of 10 punches already, you know you'll be a little more likely to choose that place over others to get your reward sooner.

Continuity income is another huge one. If you can offer any kind of product or service on a recurring, monthly basis...do it. Ever hear of the ‘Book of the Month Club? A winery or liquor store could offer a wine-of-the-month club. Bakeries can offer weekly batches of cookies to local businesses for team meetings.

The odds are that whatever you're offering, a certain percentage of people want it every month like clockwork and will pay accordingly for it.


4. Increase your monetization methods

Finally, look for your business' byproducts that might be of value to someone else.

Think about this: when sawmills and furniture manufacturers stopped throwing away the tons of sawdust accumulating on their floors, and began selling it to other businesses who could use it (such as for making "starter logs" for burning in your fireplace) they found new income streams.

Another interesting example is a group of real estate investors who built a brand around their vanity number, 1-800-NO-AGENT, offering homeowners a chance to sell their house to them at a discount instead of listing it and waiting.

They found they could sell the leads (those who responded but didn't' want to sell to them) to local real estate agents (who would contact them to see if they could represent them). Their company ended up generating nearly as much revenue from selling "dead" leads as it did from their core business of "flipping" houses!

I have a client whose main business generated literally tons of scrap lumber. He has turned what was once a $3,000 monthly dump bill into a $350,000 revenue stream by converting the scraps into landscape mulch which he sells by the truckload!

Doubling revenues just by thinking outside the box...that'll add value to your company.

Hopefully as you read through these value-adding methods, you were able to find things you can do right now to increase your revenues and profits. At a minimum, add one new idea to your To Do list to accomplish in the next 30 days. Go after that new additional income with a positive outlook and you'll start seeing the benefits!

 In the next few weeks or so I'll post another article to help you work 'on' your business!

"Remember, to get your business to the top, you must get off your bottom."

Walt Morey,

Core Business Solutions

8712 40th Way North, Pinellas Park, Florida 33782

Tel: 727-647-8242



Practical Business Advice


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Success is a Marathon

I recently ran across an article written by Harvey Mackay (author of 5 business best sellers) that I shared with a client and I think he makes some great points that all business owners should remind themsleves of frequently. Let me know what you think...

"Success is a Marathon"    by Harvey Mackay

The key to success is sometimes just the willingness to put one foot in front of the other one more time. Here's how I do it.

I have ten marathons under my belt, including four New York races and one Boston. When you are running a grueling race with thousands of people, for the most part it doesn't matter where in the pack you finish. What matters is simply that you finish. It's all about persistence.

Even the elite runners - those who make the 26.2-mile trek in a little over two hours - have to convince themselves to take the next stride. Imagine how a runner who is still at it after four or five hours feels! Then think about the rush that comes when the finish line is in sight.

The difference between those who finish and those who give up lies in the old axiom that successful people do those things that unsuccessful people don't like to do. Successful people have the determination, the will, the focus, the drive to complete the tough jobs - like running a marathon. Or launching a business.

You may recall the story about when I was starting out, and asked a colleague I respected how many calls he would make on a prospect before giving up. He told me: "It depends on which one of us dies first."

Keeping your eye on the prize is usually easier said than done. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of a long-term project. Here's how I stay motivated.

  • Focus on what you can accomplish rather than the obstacles that stand in front of you. Direct your energy toward achieving a goal, and tackle the problems with an emphasis on edging closer to a successful result.
  • When you identify a roadblock, develop a realistic plan to overcome it.
  • Work with your colleagues or employees to make it easy for them to say yes to your requests. Provide options so they can contribute to the best of their abilities.
  • Never ask them to do something that you wouldn't do yourself. That is the essence of leadership.
  • Be assertive without being aggressive. Set the direction and take responsibility for results.
  • To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up.

Persistence and determination are what keep us hammering away. I've known entrepreneurs who were not great salespeople, or didn't know how to code, or were not particularly charismatic leaders. But I don't know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination.

When you have a dream that you can't let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. But remember: Real dreams take work, They take patience, and sometimes they require you to dig down very deep. Be sure you're willing to do that.

Mackay's Moral: Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can.

 In the next few weeks I'll post another article to help you work 'on' your business!
"Remember, to get your business to the top, you must get off your bottom."
Walt Morey,

Core Business Solutions Inc.,

8712 40th Way North, Pinellas Park, Florida 33782

Tel: 727-647-8242



Practical Business Advice
Friday, January 6, 2012

How Important Is Strategy In Your Business?

On a scale of one to ten, having a good  strategy rates about a fifteen!

No matter what kind of business you have -- whether you sell products or a service, as the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, then you're really planning to fail."

Creating a strategy can mean the difference between you working 60 to 80 hours a week all year long -- and then breaking even, or worse, losing money. On the other hand, many successful entrepreneurs who have a strategy work fewer hours and make piles of money -- and they usually attribute their success to having a strategic plan and following it.

So what is strategic business management? Very simply, it's the process of defining the goals and
objectives for your business, creating an action plan so you can reach them and then following the plan.

How do you create a strategic plan for your business?

1. First, know what your vision for your company is. If there were no barriers, nothing stopping you from taking your company as far as you could – what would that look like?

2. Next, what are your company's core operating values? What are its guiding principles? In other words, why are you in business and how do you do business?

3. Now create a 3 to 5 year plan. Your long-term plan is based on the broad objectives that will help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be.

4. Develop a plan for this year. These are the specific objectives you plan to accomplish this year that will lead you closer to your long-term goals. Remember to be "SMART" when setting your annual goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-oriented). Include a list of the barriers that are
stopping you from getting where you want to go. Figure out what resources you've already got, and what resources you need to get you past those barriers. And then create an action plan that clearly lays out how you will achieve your goals. Involve key employees with this part of the planning process.

5. Create a set of milestones or benchmarks. This is very important, so that you can measure your progress.

6. Share the plan with your employees, and anyone else who will be involved in the process. Your annual strategy is the roadmap that will make sure everyone ends up at the same destination - but to be effective, everyone needs the same map!

7. Put the plan into action. Now that you have the roadmap, it's time to begin the journey.

8. Check your progress. Just like any trip, you need to check the map every now and then; to be sure you're still on the right road. If something isn't working, the sooner you figure it out and make the necessary adjustments, the sooner you'll be back on track.

9. Follow the same cycle next year. (Dream, Plan, Act, Check).

Creating a business strategy and following it will ensure that you enjoy the journey as much as getting to your final destination.

In the next few weeks I'll post another article to help you work 'on' your business!

"Remember, to get your business to the top, you have to get off your bottom."

Walt Morey,

Core Business Solutions Inc.,

8712 40th Way North, Pinellas Park, Florida 33782

Tel: 727-647-8242



Practical Business Advice

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