Indie Business Radio Show Guest Shares Her R-R-R Success Plan
Today's guest on Indie Business Radio was Richelle Shaw, owner of Fresh Start Telephone Company and author of How to Build a Million-Dollar Business in Las Vegas. I met Richelle through my Twitter colleague @TynishaThompson. I am fascinated with Richelle, not only because she is a black woman entrepreneur like me, but also because her business is in the telecom industry, which is where I cut many of my business teeth as an attorney for pre-bankruptcy WorldCom.
I relate to Richelle on other levels, too especially since we are both moms. Richelle says that having a 3-year old daughter and a business means she asks for and receives help wherever she can find it. It doesn't hurt that grandma lives around the corner too! Richelle made me laugh with some of her stories, like how after she went bankrupt, she lived on the floor in her mom's house. Richelle is a long way from broke today and she shared a bit about her journey with listeners on today's show. The show stream and download will be ready in a few days, but in the meantime, here are Richelle's 3 R's of business success.
Richelle believes that if a business does not figure out how to retain customers, it cannot succeed. It's great to get new customers, she says, but you also have to retain the ones you have. This starts with initiating and nurturing a lasting and positive relationship with your target customers. The relationship must incorporate respect for them and their needs. Once your customers value the relationship you have with them, they will be more inclined to continue to do business with you.
Richelle recognizes that customers stray from time to time. They find someone new or just get busy and forget about you for a while. She says that just because a customer strays does not mean they are lost forever. You've got to stay in touch with them so you remain on their radar. Richelle talked about using a newsletter to do this. She always includes a section where she shares personally with readers. This keeps people engaged even when they are not customers, and makes her company an easy top choice when they are looking for a new service provider.
Richelle believes strongly in referral systems. Not the kind where you simply ask existing customers to refer new ones, but a system that provides some kind of systematic reward for customers who refer new customers. She says it does not have to be complicated, but it has to be easy to understand and implement. For example, for each new customer who says she was referred by a specific existing customer, give the referring customer a discount off of their next purchase. With technology these days that's not hard to do!
You will be able to stream and download the show as soon as Kevin The Editor finishes cleaning it up. In the meantime, you can get learn more about Richelle and get her book, How to Build a Million-Dollar Business in Las Vegas at her website.
Questions: What do you think of Richelle's 3 R's? Have you implemented a referral system that works for your business? Do you have or know of a bankruptcy to success story to further inspire us? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section here. Let's keep learning from each other!
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