After gaining experience by rehabbing their own furniture, Nicole Genz and her husband Brandt started Rescued Furnishings, using social media to grow. Walking away from the stability of full-time work was a risk, but "we get to be together as a family and bring our dogs to work every day," Genz said.
Understanding and delivering superior customer service gives your business an edge. Adam Butler of Jiffy Junk shares seven factors to consider, including being prompt and clear when communicating and knowing when to say "no" to a request.
Companies should be intentional about improving the customer experience, which begins with a detailed strategy and measurable objectives, writes Maria Geokezas. Make sure that sales and marketing employees understand their roles in improving the customer experience, as well as how specific actions relate to outcomes within the customer journey.
Reflecting on the emotions you'll experience on your entrepreneurial journey, business coach Jim Rohrbach outlines how to maintain control. It's important to align your schedule with your goals and focus on daily improvement of business skills.
Jani-King franchisee Monique Scott-Spaulding says business owners should invest in their employees, especially in the beginning. "Your staff represents you, so you want to cultivate a culture of people that know their value and understand the value of your customer," she says.
Now is a good time to consider government contracting, given that there is "a lot of opportunity in the federal space," says Walter Barnes, president of PM Consulting Group. In this interview, Barnes discusses trends in the industry and obstacles that you may encounter.
Companies can get a taste of how customers feel about them by experiencing customer service responses and interacting directly with customers, writes Amanda Forshew. "If you can't physically get out and see customers, get your insight team to organize regular ethnographic video journaling so you can get under the skin of what it's like to be a customer," she writes.
US businesses are concerned heightened trade tensions between the US and China could become a drag on the economy, according to the Federal Reserve Beige Book. "Specifically, several contacts indicated a downshift in demand growth if there is ... not a resolution to the trade dispute with China, although a few were optimistic that an agreement would be reached and benefit the U.S. long term," the report says.
The minimum wage in Connecticut will reach $15 per hour by 2023 under a new state law, while minimum-wage legislation has stalled in New Hampshire and Vermont. Other state-level legislative developments include Maryland following Maine in banning polystyrene foam cups and containers with a law that will take effect in the summer of 2020.