Archive for category Chill out!

Seasons Greetings

Wishing all our readers a very merry Christmas and a fantastic season ahead.

For those of you who have managed to get past the GFC blues and are on the home turn to solid profits, I hope Free Business Tips was at least a small part of that success!

Have a great time and keep safe!


Steve Gray

Bitter, grumpy annoyed… get over it!

I have been on about good customer service for years now, and while I recognise it can take a lot to make it happen, it’s a thing, which needs to happen.

In my more recent travels I have noticed bitter, grumpy and annoyed people operating businesses. It’s one thing to have grumpy staff, but quite another to see the operator of the business in this “state”. Seriously if you want to be in business and be a grouch stay out of site of the customers…

I guess it’s in part due to the Global Financial Crisis or at least compounded by it, to the point where people are wondering about where the next customer and cash is going to come from. Okay so you may not be able to do much about that, (especially if you have spent all your marketing budget already!) So you have to sit and wait… BUT if that can’t change, what about you?

To alter being a “grump” you may have to take a stance and force yourself to be happy. try a few of these.

  • Write a sign for yourself “Be Happy!” and put it where it can be seen by you and not the customer, make a bunch of them, put them up and act on them.
  • Make a list of things that make you happy and each day “do” something on that list somehow… and DON”T give me the line of “Oh I don’t have time…”
  • Get or make a CD of a bunch of funny things, jokes etc by comedians you really like and laugh at even though you have heard them a zillion times, play it on the way to the office, and LAUGH heartily!
  • Look up, yes it’s that simple, look up and try to not feel good, hard to do eh? Note how glum people tend to look down a lot, makes sense right…
  • Tell  your staff to tell you to smarten up… Go on I dare you to.
  • Make a list of the things getting you down, now write a bunch of ways to fix them, then act on it… go on do that now! Keep adding to the solutions list.
  • Take a five minute stroll, go out of the office or store, walk briskly and get the blood pumping.
  • De stress, mediate or do whatever thing helps you to de stress (without hurting others or things…)
  • Get an unreasonable friend, one who can hold you to your promises, and chat to them about ways to work around your challenges, share a few jokes etc.
  • Kick a footy, It won’t de stress everyone, but It might work for you, heck even going to a sports shop and buying one might break your routine enough, no cash? Borrow one off a kid in your street… hey imagine going door to do and asking “Does your kid have a footy I can borrow for an hour?” Heck that kid has probably been looking for a kick to kick friend for ages.
  • Go to an Art Gallery or five for a few minutes, I used to do this when driving around in a van all over the city, I would drop in to see contemporary art, (no cost!) and I knew where heaps of them where so I could get to one fast for a break in routine. Oh and turn your mobile off for the few minutes you are there. 😉 Seeing other people’s “views” on and about the “human condition” can be useful.
  • Put a picture of yourself up on the fridge at home and yell at yourself… Did you like that? Now think about the last time you yelled at someone, did that feel good? Perhaps for you, how about them? Get the point, it’s not good.
So make yourself a “grump free zone” and get out amongst the customers with a happy disposition and see if that impacts well on sales or even just staff morale.

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A few good ads… or a few good men?

In though times the tough get going!

The sprung leader…

Following on from the spring cleaning theme… is your leader leading the charge? did they “twig” to the change of season? did they come in the door with a renewed spring in their step? Well if the answer is no, maybe you should take the lead and remind them.

Get them focused – ask them to be flexible – give them support and watch them flourish (if not just run the show yourself and do your bit to make the Biz better.)

You see, often it’s the small stuff which happens that makes a difference, and people notice. In a retail setting, pull things off shelves and give the place a great wipe down. In the office, get in a tad earlier and clear out the “crusty” bits from around your area, in the lunch room, in the client areas… make a difference, do it for you and of course you are doing it for “them” the customers.

Reframing, renewing, refreshing it’s all good, so make the most of it.

It’s spring…

With spring just 11 days young, it’s time to clear out, clean out, seek out, innovate, create, get nasty with “stuff” and make way for fresh ideas, colours, thoughts and so on. Explore the ether, the space, the things I know little about (well to some degree).

It’s fine for me to feel this way but what about you? Does the onslaught of “Spring” give you that edge to want to do things, do more, be more, have more and so on? If so where do you start, is there a system you follow, or is it more of a I know the goal and to hell with how you get there?

Whatever way you decide to do things, make sure it’s going to work for you. Think big, explore and enjoy the results.

Wisdom comes in many forms…

Fast thinking and wisdom can work wonders, I saw this today and thought it’s well worth reproducing here, enjoy!

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, ‘Oh, oh! I’m in deep doo-doo now!’ Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap the old poodle exclaims loudly, ‘Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?’

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. ‘Whew!’ says the leopard, ‘That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!’

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, ‘Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, ‘What am I going to do now?’, but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says ‘Where’s that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!

The moral of this story….

Don’t mess with the old .. age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Knowledge and wisdom only come with age and experience.

I am in no way insinuating that any of you are old, perhaps some are just youthfully challenged!

Over time I have come to respect the wisdom of the more “mature” around us, and as I get older I hope I  can benefit more from my own wisdom and have the good sense to draw more on the wisdom of others.

In business it can seem like we know it all, (or we think we do) but the reality can be different. I guess the point being to know the difference and profit from it.

Don’t yell at me lets chat first…

Many of you know I have a business seminars listing service on another site, I have a bunch of events put in there as a service to the wider business community so people can find events in a “one stop shop” approach for aussie businesses.

I list only publicly available events and have done for about 6-12 months now.

This weekend I got a nasty note “take down our events off your website or we will take legal action”… whoa lets not get too pushy now. So I sent back a note, apologies for not asking permission but hey can we now have permission?

Short answer no… Okay so I pull the events off and send back an apology for creating hassles.

1. There is no need to shout (offering legal action straight up is a bit much in my view) I hear you okay…

2. If the guy had said, “Hey Steve, thanks but no thanks, please remove within 24 hrs as it upsets our measurement systems etc, hope you understand…” I would have been more than happy to do so. Now it just gives me a chance to write another blog entry on communicating.

Ok… so it’s not a big deal but why should he “shout”, when a “chat” would do it just as elegantly and effectively.

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