Saturday, June 11, 2011

day 22

Business Lessons 101
6 ,7, & 8 in a continuing series

6. It's a Soap You're Selling not a Political Convention or Big Tent Religious Revival 
 Unless you're specifically in business to sell political gear deliberately offensive to one side or the other, exercise common sense and sensitivity.

River Girls Honolulu Cool Soap
 in Ginger, Coconut & Plumeria
 The autumn that Barack Obama became President, I decided to create a soap related to his historic run and win. Well, I could have called it How You Like Me Now Suckers?!... and described it as a riotous confetti of raspberry, blueberry and white vanilla bean.  But frankly, I was concerned that while delightful for the winning side, this could turn off my Republican customers. Instead, I created Honolulu Cool a ginger, plumeria and coconut soap to reflect the President's Hawaiian roots.

7. If You Have a Message, Make it Positive
 Take the opportunity to communicate what your values and principles are through good customer service, contributions to nonprofit organizations that serve your community and more responsible eco-friendly packaging. Each year, River Girls focuses on these three areas, including the selection of an agency for charitable donations, and an emphasis on supporting local and national suppliers.

8. Be Easy
How easy is it to buy from you? Is it arduous and cumbersome? Like trekking naked  to the Himalayas for a wild llama, harvesting and hand dying its wool, and crocheting a hooded poncho to trudge back home in? It's a seemingly simple question but one whose underlying precept is often violated. Make it easy for your customers. No one wants to purchase products from a seller who acts as though they're doing the buyer a favor by taking her hard earned money.

Ask yourself:
--Is my website navigable, or is it torturous to access?

--Do I answer my phone, or do I immediately let it go to voice mail? If it goes to voice mail, how long does it take me to respond live?

--How quickly and efficiently do I ship?

--Do I accept credit cards and checks in addition to cash? 

I once  found a perfect satin purple ribbon for my lavender soap. However, it took the seller three weeks  to send me two yards, and he did not accept American Express. I soon found another supplier able to deliver within a week. Guess who has my business now?

Good Night,

Copyright, Wanda Fleming 2011

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