Thursday, March 28, 2013

3 Things Girl Scout Cookies Remind Me About My Small Business

It has been that time of year, cookies, cookies, everywhere!  Yes, I am referring to Girl Scout cookie time. This is the time of year when every grocery store, hardware store, favorite coffee shop and more has those happy girls selling their yummy cookies.

For the past two years I have participated with my daughter in her endeavors to sell cookies that her troop then gives to charity and helps them earn money for their local troop.  I love to see the kids energy and excitement and total openness when they sell and it reminded me of three simple but easy things about my own small business and maybe yours too.

Reminder #1 – They Want What I Have

There are people out there that really do want what we have. Whether it is a product or service when you have something great to offer there are most certainly people out there that need and want it.  Not everyone needed or wanted the Girl Scout cookies the girls were offering, but that was completely O.K. because there were plenty of people that did want them. The same is true about us.  If you offer a quality product or service, there are definitely customers that want it and need it.

Reminder #2 – Always Ask

I cannot tell you how many times someone walked by our cookie table looking like they were not interested at all up until the point they were asked, “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”  Not the best sales question on the planet, but still effective and what a great reminder to just ask.   If you don’t ask you won’t know.  It is super simple, but something I tend to forget.

Reminder #3 – Do The Math For Them

This is my favorite reminder, “ah ha” moment from this experience.  Once the girls got into the groove of asking, “Want to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” and someone interested approached the table, the next thing that typically happened  was they would get asked about how much it was for a box of cookies.  The Girl Scouts’ reply,  “It is $4.00 per box, or….5 boxes for $20”.  And I will tell you that based on what I experienced, at least 1 person out of 4 bought the 5 boxes.  Somehow even though the price was the same, the concept of doing the math for them, gave them the idea and it worked.  Similar to always asking, when you have a great product or service, give them choices, it helps move the decision along.

So those are the three “ah ha” reminders that hit me over the head, given to me by a group of eight year old girls no less. But hey, I'm fine with that.  Sometimes it is good to be reminded and given a reality check.  What do you think?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

6 Tips For Making Your Website More Mobile Friendly

These days it seems like everyone is mobile.  As part of our business it is common for us to get asked about ways to make a website mobile friendly.  There are a few different ways to go about this, but if you are looking for some quick tips here are a few to consider:

Tip #1.  
Be Simple.  A showy website is not going to reflect very well on a mobile device.  Stick with easy and simple designs that will translate well onto mobile platforms.

Tip #2.  
Be Innovative.  Uncover the type of platforms that are viewing your content.  Learn about any special coding or formatting that you can use for your content to make sure that it knows what type of device it is and optimizes for that device.  Some mobile devices are better than others in different ways.  Ask some of your current customers what they use so you can get a feel for what is most often used by your target market.

Tip #3.  
Be Your Customer – Consider exactly how your mobile customers and prospects will see your content.  Look for yourself on several types of mobile devices to make sure that you are placing your content in a way that reads nicely on the device.  You can’t know for sure without looking at it yourself.

Tip #4.  
Be Short.  Make your links on your site short and easy.  Typing on a mobile device can be challenging so be sure to make it short.  The last thing you want is someone visiting your site, hating it, and then never returning again.

Tip #5. 
Be Easy.  Keep your main information front and center where it is easy to see and read.  Place the newest information in the center to make sure that those that are reading on a mobile device viewers notice it right away.

Tip #6. 
Be Small.  Mobile devices are small.  Be sure to take that into consideration when you are developing your website content. Make the navigation simple and easy and think in terms of how much space is on a mobile device and make your content friendly for that.

Remember, your customers and your target market are all on their mobile devices, playing games, reading books, surfing the web and making purchases.  By making sure your site is mobile friendly you are giving potential clients and customers one more way to connect with you.  And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?