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Many years ago, I took over a business with mammoth collection problems: almost all of its customers had open accounts and paid their bills ten to sixty days late (except those who didn’t pay at all).
We quickly instituted a number of corrective measures, including tighter credit controls and policies, interest charges, a sequence of past-due notices, and collection calls.
However, we also instituted a positive strategy. We started sending hand-signed thank you notes for prompt payment to anybody who did pay on time…those who were almost on time…and even late payers who responded to a past-due notice.
Guess what happened? Those customers who received thank you notes became better paying customers.
I know a Doctor who started a procedure of giving fresh, long-stemmed red roses to his women patients who showed up for their appointment on time, or paid their bills on time, or referred another patient.
I love to do business with small businesses — in-store, online, for myself, for others, for pleasure, for work — it doesn’t matter to me. I love to find great products and services made by entrepreneurs who are trying to change the world. And I love to help small business owners because they aren’t flying around in corporate jets and lunching with investment bankers.
That being said, here are 10 ways that small businesses become more successful by enchanting their customers.
1. Put likable, competent and passionate people on the front line. I prefer to interact with employees who smile, know what they’re talking about, and love what they sell. However, companies often put the lowest- paid, least-experienced employees behind the counter or at the front desk and hope for the best. This doesn’t make sense. Ask yourself this question: Is the first impression of my business a good one? Because if it’s a bad one, it may also be the last one.
by Adam Toren
Sick of working on your business when you’re not at your 9 to 5? I bet you are. Though you would likely love to quit your day job to focus on your business fulltime, the question of ‘when’ is often puzzling to young entrepreneurs. After all, if you leave prematurely, you may run out of cash quicker than you might think. And let’s not forget about that precious health insurance that you’d be giving up if you quit.
Still, your end goal won’t always be elusive. Here are five considerations that will help you make the right decision at the right time:
Your responsibilities. Are you single with a simple, cheap lifestyle? If so, you’re better equipped to take more chances and leave your full-time work earlier. And if push comes to shove, you might be able to move back in with Mom and Dad or sell your car if you have to.
“Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English,’ ‘Welsh,’ or ‘French.’ The word ‘Nigerian’ is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria and those who do not.” [From Path to Nigerian Freedom by Obafemi Awolowo]
NIGERIA officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria or foundly called Naija by it’s people is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South; a very small minority practice traditional religion. Since 2002 there have been a spate of clashes, particularly in the North of the country, between government forces and the Islamists Boko Haram, militant jihadists who seek to establish sharia law.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BCE. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century. The British colonised Nigeria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, setting up administrative structures and law while recognizing traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent again in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independence. Military governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. Its oil reserves have brought great revenues to the country. It is listed among the “Next Eleven” economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.