Cynthia Kay

Cynthia Kay is a passionate spokesperson for small business- speaking, teaching and coaching … all while running an award-winning company. Cynthia Kay and Company produces high-quality communications that are used on the national and international scene.

If you want to know about the major issues facing small business a new survey by the National Small Business Association makes it clear. The top two are ones that I know well; the cost of healthcare and the amount of time I spend just trying to figure out regulations.

This time of year many are focused on the holidays, giving gifts to special customers and rewarding employees for the past year. I would suggest that this is the time to put something else on your “list”- a gift to your company.  As we close out the year, here are some suggestions for things you should consider.

Research and Resources

This past week I had two very different interactions that caused me to think about how my business interacts with customers. The two customers have some common characteristics. They are both successful organizations with dedicated staffs and competent CEOs. But there are big differences in the way they work with outside resources. Customer #1 is open to new ideas. If we offer suggestions about how to improve a project they listen. If we advise against a course of action they weigh the advice. Admittedly, they don’t always take it but it is considered.

If you knew you were going to get a big influx of business would you be more likely to hire people. If you had a handle on where interest rates were headed might you think about getting a loan for new equipment? If you thought the economy was going to improve would you launch a new product line?

The owner of an insurance agency I know did an experiment. Sheila VanZile of Watermark Insurance printed business cards with two different titles: President and Queen. Over the course of time, she used both… and Queen won out. That title engaged people, helped start a conversation and gave them a glimpse of her fun personality. Her business is all about building relationships and being able to connect with customers to identify needs. She said those who were not amused at the title of Queen were actually not people she wanted as clients.

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