February 20, 2017

I read an article, recently that advised me to "get out of my comfort zone" if I wanted to grow.

It's not the first time I've heard that advice. It's also not the first time that I've thought "that's one of the silliest things I've ever heard".

The risk takers o...

January 19, 2017

ALWAYS Thinking About You... Probably Not

The beauty of being part of a system, in our case a franchise system, is the sharing.

When someone in one part of the brand has a win, they are willing to share it in the hopes that it can be a winner for you too.

Here is one...

August 25, 2016

Cash Gap is one of those things that trips up a lot of small businesses.

If there is anything but "payment up front" going on in your business you have a cash gap.

If you are selling to your customers on "terms" (eg payment in 30, 60 or 90 days) then you have a big cash...

June 30, 2016

There is not much, if anything, in the working life of a small business owner that doesn't fall into one of three areas - Time, Team and Money.

Last month we were talking about how businesses grow and suggesting that systems are a key part of that growth.

Systems are...

May 17, 2016


There are always interesting myths going around about promotional products. Instead of putting stock into these myths, at South Paw Canada, we want to go over a few of the most common ones we hear and why they aren’t true:

Myth #1: You can’t measure the ROI of your pro...

Your BEST Customer I am hoping that you have found some time to think about your customers. More specifically, your BEST CUSTOMER. You might have noticed that wasn't as easy as it sounds. It's human nature to notice first, the negatives and then can move past that to focus on the positives. Usually when I ask people to think about their BEST CUSTOMER, they think first about the exact opposite.... lowest common denominator, their worst customer. That pain in the butt customer who needs lots of attention, is demanding, never happy with what you do and doesn't buy much. Get past that person, we all have them and there is no way to make them go away and stay away.... at least no way that I know about. Find ways to tolerate them and manage them. But don't design your business to operate on wants and needs of the lowest common denominator. Think about their opposite number, YOUR BEST CUSTOMER. What do you need to do to shape your business to attract more of them? The first thing you have to be able to do is describe them. You can make that an enormously scientific, complicated and detailed process, using demographic information and all kinds of science. That is good approach for big business. The people who have the time, money and energy to take a break from the real world to study, assess, plan, plot and work in theory. There is a much simpler tactic, that you the small business owner, can and should employ. Think about the BEST CUSTOMER your business has now. Your favorite, the one you like to see coming through the door or on caller ID. Describe them and then look for more people like them. Here's some questions to help you notice who they are and what they look like – Company or Individual? If company - # of employees, Annual Sales, Specific equipment (eg 5 or more computers), What industry? If individual - Male or Female, Age, Income, Family or Single, Job Title (CEO, Dept Manager, Receptionist), likes, interests, hobbies? Do they want a product or service? Do they "group" (eg networking events, trade associations, same activities etc) or will you have to find and approach them individually (eg - consumers)? Are you selling a product/service that they use themselves. Or do they sell what they buy from you to someone else? When they buy, is it a large or small ticket? Do they buy often or seldom? Is their interaction with you a transaction or a relationship? Why you - good, fast, cheap? combination of? absence of? some other reason altogether? Are you bound by location and/or geography? The intent of the description, you create, is not to exclude clients or potential clients. In fact, you may well have a good customer now, that doesn’t fit your description. The point of this is to focus your marketing efforts on the people who were most likely to buy what I was selling now or in the future - "4 + 4". If you haven't done it already, you really do need to take the time to think through YOUR BEST CUSTOMER and write down a description of them. Then, you will be able to focus your attention on finding them AND focus the efforts of those who are willing to help you find them, with referrals. Once you have that done, you have completed Step #1 of the two steps to define YOUR BEST CUSTOMER. That's the easy one but Step #2 is the important one. How do your BEST CUSTOMERS think and what will most motivate them to do business with you vs your competition. What is it that your BEST CUSTOMER fears and dislikes and/or what is it that they want, need, expect and like. You need to know how they think so you can give them less of what stops them from doing business with you (concerns, fears, dislikes) and more of what will make them happy to do business with you (wants, needs, expectations, likes). Again, you can make this complex if you have extra time, money and energy or you can keep it simple and functional. If you are "hands on" in your business, I bet you already know how that best customer thinks. Because, you talk to them every time they do business with you. If that's the case, I still think you should take the time to jot some notes. That way, you are sure that you have thought this all the way through. Maybe even scripted parts of the dialogue you will have with them in the future. If you don't know..... It might be time to talk with the people you are doing business with. You can do it right there in your place of business.... or maybe even take a couple out for a cup of coffee to here what they value about doing business with you.

April 27, 2016

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