Whether it’s in life or business, it’s the lessons we learn along the way that make us.
In life, I have kept on learning lessons – some I have learnt from and others I have ignored only to find that I should have learned my lesson the first time.
Ok, I have had enough! It is the fourth time this month that I have had to spend more than 30 minutes on hold because my message bank keeps reverting to an automated message that has nothing to do with my business.
When is enough, enough?
How many times should someone have to ring a company to tell them that they are not providing an adequate service? Why is my phone doing this? It hasn’t happened before and ironically this has only happened since my Blackberry was taken to a service centre for 7 weeks to be repaired when I was told it would be 2.
It gets worse. I only know this, when a client takes the time to tell me that there is no message bank on my phone. How many calls have I missed?
7 weeks for a Blackberry repair that was purely the fault of the phone, with no replacement phone and a number of Optus representatives lying about when I would receive my phone back. I was told that I was in fact getting a new phone from Canada and that is why it would take an additional 2 weeks, only to receive my old phone 3 weeks later. Unbelievable!
Never will I have a contract with Optus again. They should be bending over backwards to fix the situation and yet, they have their Indian Call Centres answering the phones and have no regard for customers whatsoever.
Optus… not a ‘YES’ company, but a ‘I DON’T CARE’ company.
I have lived for quite a few years in a building that is full of sports stars, business leaders and semi famous faces.
One of the penthouses is owned by Lleyton and Bec Hewitt and quite often when they are in town, I see them in the lifts or in the car park as do many of the other residents.
They and their extended family are very polite, often chatty and seem to be fairly well rounded given their circumstances. They use the facilities with all the other people in the building and are pretty much left alone most of the time.
I always marvel at the fact that I rarely see Lleyton without a tennis racket or training apparel in his arms and typically, no matter what time of day I go in and out of the building, I see their car leaving or arriving presumably from some form of training.
It’s of course, Australian Open season and their visibility is at an all time high in Melbourne.
Yesterday, as I was leaving my building just before midday, I saw Bec Hewitt driving out in her Black ML500 4-wheel drive Mercedes. With her window down, her hair and makeup absolutely perfect, I began to think about how hard life must be for this beautiful young lady.
Here I was with no makeup, my sweat pants on and an old daggy shirt that wasn’t in the best condition after a run in the park. I am quite comfortable in this attire and could bump into anyone without thinking twice about how I look. As I get older, I am far more comfortable in how I look and as long as I can dress up when I have to, I am pretty much fine with dressing down.
Then you have Bec. Now it is mid morning and here she is, hair and makeup perfectly done – for what? To do the shopping? To catch up with girlfriends?
No, for a photo opportunity. As I picked up the Daily Telegraph (Syd) and the Herald Sun today, there she was… front page news! Lleyton’s family outing to watch his warm up for the Australian Open.
Looking after brand Hewitt must be a very tough job and looking your best for every photo opportunity obviously is paying off. I don’t recall seeing a bad photo of Bec ever and fortunately she doesn’t look like many of those young things with bee stung lips and botox. If she has either of these things, she obviously has a very good surgeon! Her fresh face is really quite stunning and girl-next-door-ish.
Brands are funny things. You can’t ever let your guard down not even in your own time. Each entrepreneur and employee of an organisation are all part of the overall picture a brand gives. Brand ambassadors are as important as the work that a company does, but often are forgotten when companies are thinking about their brands performance.
Whether it is at work or socialising, re-inforcing your brand and position in the market is a 24/7 job and every single person who works for you holds that same responsibility.
On Friday I was at a very trendy bar/restaurant in Prahran and within an extended group of people that I was socialising with was a sales rep for a liquor company. She was delightful. Her personality as you would expect was full of life and excitement. I remember thinking to myself how apt it was that she was in this particular field of work.
Then, she did something that made me cringe. I can’t say what, because it isn’t right to put this type of thing in a blog, but it did make me reflect her actions with that of the brands she represents. They are good quality brands. The best. Yet, this little part of me thought less of the brands because of her actions. When I decided to leave and let the young ones enjoy the night the way that they do, I thought about the impact my staff have on my brand in their own social time. I see a pep talk coming up at 8.30am Monday morning!
The impact people have on their brands cannot be disregarded. Think about when someone gets bad publicity – instantly you resonate this with the brand they represent.
Likewise, when someone keeps on getting good publicity, their brands get more kudos and we tend to have a better affinity with it.
How do entrepreneurs protect their brands on weekends? The answer isn’t simple. The best you can do is hire people that depict the values of your brand and that come naturally in doing so.
Educate your employees on the after hours branding no-nos. Explain to them examples of bad and good after hours branding.
Whilst you can’t control what people do outside of the work place, you certainly can educate and promote better behaviours.
How many times have you thought – could have, should have, would have – and did nothing about it?
Unless you are one very highly motivated person that can read minds and forsee the future, you would have at some time in your life, said these things to yourself or to others. Sometimes quietly, sometimes out loud.
I often think to myself, that I could have done something, but didn’t for valid reasons or because I simply couldn’t be bothered.
Like the time I was offered big dollars for my business. I could have taken it and been living in the South of France, but instead, I chose to continue my journey and see where it was going to lead me.
My ’should have’ is over 10 years ago, I came up with this brilliant idea to have clear plastic, zip up cases for luggage that you can quickly put on before you check in your luggage or before you put it through the security checks. They would be branded with Louis Vuitton, Samsonite or whatever brand your case is, but it would protect it.
The number of times I go through the airport security scanners and my bags come out scratched, marked and damaged is ridiculous. I am now not travelling with designer luggage for this very reason.
It would be a purchase of $39.95, just like buying fries with your burger. A bloody good idea if you ask me, and I should have done it, but I didn’t and now, the moment of passion and enthusiasm has gone.
My ‘would have’ is all to do with experiencing other cultures. I would have loved to live in Europe throughout my twenties but didn’t because I was scared of the unknown, not into taking risks and worried that I would not have the career I always dreamt of and am now having.
When it comes to business, think about what you could have, should have or would have done to build your brand and haven’t. Does it still have merit? Would it help your business? Does it have the ability to bring in sales? Can you find ways to make it happen?
Have a board in your office that says:
Could have: ….
Should have: ….
Would have: ….
And review it from time to time. Don’t miss opportunities that can aid your success.
Mellissah Smith from Marketing Eye
It’s a lonely existence out there for an entrepreneur, particularly one that owns a business all by themselves without a business partner to share their highs and lows. There is nothing like sharing information with someone who is there living and breathing the same things you are.
When I started my first business, I had a business partner and it worked quite well. She wasn’t very good at marketing because her background was in sales, so to make the partnership work she worked in administration and I taught her some basic marketing and public relations skills to help me out when I needed her to.
Today, one of my most treasured team leaders returned from his summer vacation to announce his engagement to a beautiful, young Doctor from his home village.
Over the past few years, he has travelled back home every year and his parents have organised meetings with prospective wives.
Only this year something was different. He met a young lady that he thought would be his perfect life partner.