Effective February 16, I’ll be writing this from a little further north… as I’ve been named the Executive Director of the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. While it’s very hard to leave my good friends at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and throughout Orlando, I’m excited about taking on this new challenge. I’m especially excited about meeting lots of students at SU from throughout the school who are interested in entrepreneurship as well as entrepreneurs from the Central New York area.
In the meantime, while I figure out where in the world we got all this stuff that we’re now taking to New York, you need to be thinking of ways to keep your business focused on the thing that’s most important to us…and that’s our customers. As entrepreneurs, customers are the king now and in this incredibly difficult economic environment, we need to be sure that our competitors aren’t stealing them from us. Take a look at all the ways that we touch our customers; from the parking lot to the website to what they hear when they call us and see how we can make it easier for our customers to deal with us. Sometimes we get so caught up in making sure our policies and procedures are in place, that we forget that sometimes people actually want to buy stuff from us. In order to be sure that we are handling customers the way we should, ask a couple of your friends who are not customers, to “shop” you and make an effort to get information on your products. Have them go all the way through the purchase process and then have them report back to you on what they experienced. Listen to them (without getting mad) and then take action to correct whatever problems they discovered.