• Home
  • About
  • Archives
  • Authors
  • Contact
  • Polls
  • Small Biz Interviews
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Guest Post: Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail, part eight: Cash Flow

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Cash flow

It’s odd: the purpose of starting, running or working for a Small Business is making money. Yet managing money is almost universally the one thing most neglected, ignored or feared by Small Business owners, operators or employees .

Quite often, you’ll hear some variation of the phrase “I’m not really in it for the money” – as if a focus on the financials is dishonorable or morally objectionable. But if you consider it for just a moment, that’s like a doctor sayingI’m not really in it to help people“. Whether you’re a Scrooge-like materialist or a post-modern hippy at heart, the purpose of starting, running or working for a business is profit.

Many people, regardless of their financial status, avoid dealing with their finances. Debt consolidation commercials fill the air, and stories of multi-million dollar celebrity bankruptcies have almost become cliche. But managing Small Business financials doesn’t require advanced calculus skills — just an understanding of basic accounting skills, and a strategic use of technology.

You have to manage your money — Small Business financial management is more than having a positive bank balance. Cash flow becomes critical when there is a delay between the money you’re owed (accounts receivable) and the money you owe (accounts payable). This is where many Small Businesses experience cash flow problems — they know they’ve got the money coming in, but they miscalculate and end up overdrawn.

That is, after all, why it’s called cash flow — it’s dynamic, and fluid. The informal running total many of us depend on to manage our personal finances doesn’t scale effectively, and bouncing a check to a distributor or supplier can affect your credit rating, or worse, the survival of Your Small Business.

Below is a short list of software & websites to help you manage Your Small Business financials:


Of course, technology is not a magic bullet. The best accounting program is useless if you don’tuse it. This is why I recommend starting by creating a Mint.com account.

Mint.com allows you to reverse-engineer your budget: you provide read-only access to your bank accounts and credit cards, and it automatically categorizes your deposits and expenses. After a few months, you have a graphical breakdown of your cash flow: once you see where your money goes, and what your spending patterns are, you can then properly manage Your Small Business budget going forward.

Mint.com is run by Intuit – the company behind QuickBooks, the de facto standard in bookkeeping software. If you have fewer than twenty active clients (so far), QuickBooks Simple Start Free Edition 2010 allows you to manage your billing and invoicing in the same format used by most accountants.

Using QuickBooks requires an understanding of basic accounting principles, which is why I’ve included one of the best introduction to accounting tutorials as the final link in the short list, Dave Marshall’s Bean Counter website.

The Bean Counter site has been online for eight years, and is the simplest introduction to basic accounting principles you’ll find without taking a course or buying a book. As with the software, it’s only useful if you actually use it.

Which is a choice only you can make. But your cash will flow, either way. The question is… in which direction?


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com


Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO, guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

#SmallBizChat Highlights – Tips on How to Make Your SmallBiz Website Look Trustworthy & Credible

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Tonight we were honored to have been the guest on the #SmallBizChat! We would like to thank everyone for participating and sharing their opinions  on the chat and would like to especially give a special thanks to Tai Goodwin and Melinda Emerson for providing us with this great opportunity. Hope you all enjoyed the chat and benefited from learning all about how to make your small business trustworthy online! To find out more information about online trust and the KikScore solution, check out our presentation regarding the topic by clicking the link below:

After reading about the importance of trust seals, we would like to offer you a 90 day free trial at KikScore. When signing up  with KikScore, use the promotional code SMALLBIZCHAT to start the free trial and publicly demonstrate your trust on your homepage!

Thanks again!

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Verisign vs. KikScore: An Overview of Online Trust Seals and How They Differ

Monday, June 27th, 2011

VS.

If you follow the KikScore blog, you are most likely well versed in the general subject of small businesses and online trust.  You most likely even have one or two pop culture references under your belt that relate to topics such as security and e-commerce.  I would go as far as to say that you probably know a good bit about trust seals.  But do you really understand the different features that are provided by different companies?  A little research could really make the difference for your small business.  Lucky for you, the research has already been done….in this blog post I’ll provide an overview comparison of the KikScore Trust Seal and the popular Verisign Trust Seal.

Let’s start with what we know.  Just to review: a trust seal is a type of validation for an online site that is provided as a service from a third-party business.  Current popular providers include: Trust Guard, BuySAFE, Verisign, Better Business Bureau, TRUSTe, and McAfee SECURE.  These companies typically provide services that range from bonding transactions to services that may aim to prevent hacking or identity theft,  scanning services for websites or display privacy policies for businesses.

For this post, I am going to use the Verisign Trust Seal in comparison with the KikScore trust seal.  The Verisign Trust Seal is the probably most wide publicized in the market today.  If you are a small business with an online presence, you probably have heard of Verisign.  So why KikScore?  Why would you need the KikScore Trust Seal if there are so many other companies out there who provide what look to be similar services?

ANSWER: KikScore provides services to small businesses that you will not find anywhere else and here is why.

  • Multi-Dimensional Approach to Demonstrating Trust for a Small Business.
    • The Verisign trust seal has its benefits.  It possesses an impressive methodology that screens sites for certain malware and enables online businesses to identify a subset of security issues, as well as provide solutions and support.  KikScore takes a different take on yje trust and information standpoint for small businesses and uses an approach to incorporate and consolidate key information about a business’ track record that a website visitor would like to know about such as: customer satisfaction, financial responsibility of the business, management information location of the business, customer service and return policies, website history and reliability.  This information is then compiled into format that is easily accessible to website visitors from the website of the small business owner.  KikScore then creates a unique trust score based on all of this information about a business and displays it on the small business website.  So while other seals scan a site, KikScore focuses on information and data about a small business and whether that small business has a record of reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Merchant Report Card.
    • All of the information compiled on a small business is then consolidated into an interactive and continually updating report card for that business.   Both the KikReport and the trust score are continually updated as more information becomes available.  This is a feature that cannot be found in companies such as Verisign and is unique to KikScore: the merchant report card evaluates and displays information about merchants and small businesses on areas such as reliability and trustworthiness so that customers can further evaluate the trustworthiness of a site.  The KikReport allows a small business to take information about itself and display it in one place to website visitors, leads and shoppers.
  • All-Inclusive and Customized Using the Small Business Brand & Reputation Not Someone Else’s.
    • Verisign heavily advertises the fact that they are an already well-established service.  In fact, the Verisign logo even shows up in search engine results, for example, Google.  While this is a nice feature, this approach relies solely on the Verisign name and reputation and ignores the small business’ reputation and their owners trackrecord and history.  KikScore provides a unique trust score to each of its clients and allows the small business to use its own reputation and track record of reliability through the KikReport to demonstrate trust to website visitors.  Also, the KikScore trust seal is not simply a trust seal – it provides actual information about the business, its history and reliability so website visitors can make their own informed decision about the trust and security of a small business.  Which brings me to my next point…
  • Transparency.
    • The KikReport includes website history, store locations, services provided, and customer testimonial.  All of this is in addition to the basic Trust Seal and Trust Score.  This creates a solution for small businesses that allows website owners to be more transparent and open about themselves to shoppers and website visitors.  There is such a wealth of information about a small business that they can use to convey a track record of reliability and trustworthiness, KikScore simply enables a small business to take this existing information about a company and makes it easily available to potential customers and website visitors at the point of purchase.
  • It’s A Dynamic 2-Way Street!
    • KikScore also helps small businesses further develop a relationship with its customers.  Merchants have the option of providing an informational  video on their own KikReport as a way to introduce themselves to website visitors.  Additionally, the trust seal facilitates  real time interactions for small businesses with their own customers through the feedback platform that is built into each small business KikReport.

Verisign as a company has a reputation for generally providing a reliable and useful service to its clients.  But, if you are a small business who already subscribes to the Verisign service, you might want to consider adding the KikScore Trust Seal and Score to your website.  Another option to consider is the KikScore Service Seal: a product that is targeted towards businesses and websites who do not sell physical products online.  People who run service businesses such as bloggers, contractors, plumbers, lawyers, and movers can use the KikScore Service Seal, which is a confidence badge tailored specifically towards these types of companies.  The Service Seal is unique to KikScore; this type of seal cannot be found anywhere else in the market.

KikScore provides online businesses with the opportunity to extend their approach to online trust and security through greater transparency which ultimately should help a small business become more accessible and successful by clearly and convincingly demonstrating their trustworthiness!  Check us out and for more information about KikScore here are some recent articles about the KikScore trust building service for small business: Dealing with Shopping Cart Abandonment, Customers Unsure They Can Trust Your Business? Consider Trust Seal Provider KikScore and this article on A New Wave of Online Trust Scores.

Disclaimer: Product names, logos, and services are the property of their respective trademark holders.

Photo Credits: http://verisign.com, http://kikscore.com

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail, part five: Employees

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Employees

Many Small Businesses are “solopreneurs“, so this post won’t apply to them… now. Hopefully, many of these one-person enterprises will expand, and gain staff members or working partners. But there are those Small Business which have employees: managing them well can determine the difference between success and failure.

Your employees are the face of your business – usually the first people your customers and clients will have contact with. To most of them, your employees ARE your companyHow well your employees understand the mission and focus of your business, and whether these employees treat your clients with courtesy and respectshapes the reputation and public image of the company and brand you work hard to establish.

Just as you should never take you clients for granted, you cannot afford to overlook the importance of training and managing your employees. Treat them like mere “workers”, and they will only be in it for the paycheckunconcerned with the effect they have on your clients who, without exaggeration, ARE your business. You must treat your employees as the partners they are – enroll them in the dream, the long-term goal, and not just the short-term pay-off.

It has been well established that people will take a job that pays less if they feel they will be treated more respectfullyincluded in the decision-making and provided greater challenges and opportunity to prove themselves. They’ll actually work harder and longer if they feel they have a stake in the ultimate outcome.

Think about it: How many times have you dealt with the rude bank teller, the argumentative customer service representative or the condescending auto mechanic?  Is this the type of person you want to be the face of your business? An employee treated as a mere “worker bee” is likely to be frustrated and spend each day watching the clock, feeling miserable and unappreciated. It costs you nothing to treat your employees with respect, courtesy and interest.

Satisfied employees are your ultimate promoters – their enthusiasm will be infectious and have a powerful impact on your customers, face-to-face, over the phone and even in email communication. An involved employee instinctively understands the value of quality customer care, and won’t have to be constantly reminded to follow up and follow through.

The return on investing in your employees will be have a measurable effect on your bottom line, your customers’ satisfaction and client retention. By contrast, a dismissive attitude of “my way, or the highway” is the surest way to guarantee that both your employees and your clients take you up on your offer… to take their time and money elsewhere.


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com


Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO, guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Sealing the Deal (Part II of II): Earning Reputation

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

As I discussed in Part I of this post, service seals are a great way to help ensure your business’ legitimacy through your non-ecommerce website. However, while I have explained how service seals are helpful, I have yet to explain how your business can utilize and benefit from KikScore’s particular service seal.

Show ’em Who’s Boss

Ever lost business to a bigger company in your industry? It’s not unlikely that many (if not all) of us have at some point. To be honest, increasing website visitors and getting more clients is about more than just proving that you’re trustworthy; it’s about providing great service and showing others that you can compete with the “big dogs.” Every business, regardless of size, has its edge. Maybe your business is made of highly reputable people with past experience in the field. Maybe your customer base is more loyal than those of bigger businesses. Whatever the perk, it’s essential that potential and current customers know it.

KikScore’s service seal aims to highlight what makes your business stand out through several factors, such as:

  • Financial and public records
  • Security
  • Visitor Traffic
  • And more

Let’s face it, you’re stronger than you think. Isn’t it time to let your business show it? Through our service seal, we intend to help you fight that good fight and highlight any aspects of your business that website visitors want to know.

Power to the People, Power to You

At this point, it definitely goes without saying that KikScore’s service seal focuses on proving to potential customers that your business can be trusted. The data that goes into creating your business’ unique service seal can say a lot, but why stop there? After all, referrals are the best way to get more business. That’s where our service seal’s feedback platform comes in handy.

Your service seal will not only be a place to show off your business’ information; it will also be an open environment in which previous and current customers can discuss their experiences of working with you. By doing this, website visitors can see a testimonial page that is ever-expanding. One happy customer’s praise goes pretty far, but the feedback platform is there to do wonders.

KikScore’s service seal is thorough for one reason: educated people make educated decisions. If you can prove both your business’ trustworthiness as well as its competitive advantage(s), you won’t have trouble earning your reputation.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail, part four: Clients

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Clients

Every Small Business owner, operator or employee should be aware that it costs much more to acquire a new client than retain existing ones.  But old or new, client management is essential to your Small Business economic health.

A key reason Small Businesses fail is that they fail to appreciate the distinction between clients and customers, or they take their clients for granted, chasing after the sale but never following up after the payment clears. Yet there are a few simple, low-cost activities that can help you turn customers into clients, and find new business with your existing clientele, such as:

  1. An informative, interactive website
  2. Customer satisfaction surveys
  3. Email campaigns (and autoresponders)
  4. Cross-promotions and value-add upselling
  5. Favored client discounts
  6. Client loyalty cards, coupons or programs


Business is about relationships – court your clients like a romance.  Remember: there is much more to client management than the sale. Otherwise, it’s just a customer relationship. A well-established brick and mortar shop can survive on “one and done” customer relationships; a service business, a startup or an online venture must attempt to capture clients – those people (or companies) that will do business with you on an ongoing basis.

Clients will support your business, well beyond spending their money with you once, and moving on to your competition (usually, without notice). To cultivate such a connection, you must get to know your clients’ needs. Examine your financial records, invoices and communications to determine:

  1. Who your best clients are
  2. How much business they do with you, on average
  3. What goods or services they purchase most
  4. What related goods or services might appeal to them.


Customer service“, even though we’re really talking about clients, is one of the single most important overlooked practices of Small Businesses. We’re not just talking about handling complaints, and correcting the occasional error in order fulfillment. This is about developing lasting relationships that can make the difference between prosperity and bankruptcy.

These relationships BEGIN with the sale, but do not end there. If, for you, a successful purchase is the end of your active concern… that may be why your client retention rates are lower than they could be.   Just as your relationships with family, friends and loved ones can go cold from neglect, you must put a sincere effort into nurturing your client relationships.

Find new ways to relate to them, but be careful of crossing into the “spam zone“.   You want them to appreciate the constant contact, not dread and avoid each new phone call or email. Focus on the value you add to their lives and businesses; it’s okay if this takes some time and effort.

What have you got to lose — except opportunity, revenue… and clients


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com


Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO, guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

Related articles

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Sealing the Deal (Part I of II): Ensuring Legitimacy

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

You Know You’re Not a Thief, But Do They?

By nature, people are cautious about who they associate with. As if this wasn’t enough, people become even more wary of others when in an online setting due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. Many people can be very extroverted in online settings such as Facebook and Twitter, but what about when they want to find a trustworthy business? This issue can make the seemingly simple task of promoting oneself very complicated. However, looking at this through the customer’s point-of-view, can we really blame them for being skeptical? Of course not. No one wants to do business with a complete stranger.

According to this alarming statistic, “90% of the users would leave your website within 5 minutes if they won’t find any kind of trust seal – especially if your business is unknown and new.” No business begins with popularity and definitely not with legitimacy. However, this issue of trust doesn’t mean game over. Instead, it is simply a break in communication that must be connected. To mend this break, those in new businesses must understand this: Although customers may be unnecessarily worried that your business can’t be trusted, you don’t necessarily have the credibility to refute such a claim. Because of this unfortunate fact, new businesses must make it a top priority to show customers that they are making safe and appropriate choices when paying for your products and services. This has brought about the need for online trust seals.

Why Use a Service Seal?

We all need help sometimes, and growing a business is no exception. That’s why a concept known as a service seal has quickly become so popular. Service seals, which function as trust seals for non-ecommerce websites, are useful because they show customers that a business has been impartially evaluated and deemed reliable by a third party.

We all enjoy seeing billboards that advertise various products and services, but many times we need more than a catchy slogan or an inspiring picture. When a business agrees to put a service seal on its website, it is making a powerful statement that says, “We have nothing to hide.” Such a statement provides assurance to customers and makes them feel safe. In fact, we have found that 86% of customers feel safer using a website that features a trust seal or similar mark of authenticity than one that doesn’t. Where establishing legitimacy through online networks has become a serious problem, many people have come to see service seals as a new and innovative solution. What do you think? What, if any, experience have you had in dealing with service seals and the websites that use them?

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Top Ten Reasons Why Small Business Fail, part three: Marketing

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Marketing

A handful of business cards and a no-frills website are no longer a sufficient Small Business marketing strategy.

The word “marketing” typically brings to mind expensive media campaignsbillboards and the services of highly-paid advertising firms. Clearly many Small Businesses have neither the time nor the resources (money, personnel, expertise) to take this approach to marketing, but that doesn’t let them off the hook.

Many Small Business owners and operators either have prepared a business plan, or know that they should. But many are completely unaware of the the need to prepare a marketing plan. New clients won’t find you just because you want their business, and even existing customers and clients would benefit from an understanding of your full range of goods or services, and a constant reminder that they are available.

Small Business entrepreneurs and “solopreneurs” are quite busy, especially in today’s economy. It’s easy to consider a marketing strategy a “nice-to-have”, rather than a “need-to-have” element of doing business. But consider this: why do well-known, successful corporations spend millions of dollars each year on marketing? Even though we are already familiar with the coffee shops, fast food restaurants and supermarkets we do business with, they still expend a lot of energy reminding us of their brands, their offerings and the overall “feel” of their products and establishments.

Marketing is not advertising, although advertising is a component. Advertising is about what goods or services you offerprice and availability. According to Wikipedia, “Marketing is used to identify the customer, to satisfy the customer, and to keep the customer.” While Small Businesses may not have the budgets of large corporations, they have a greater need to focus on acquiring new customers, and retaining existing ones.

McDonald’s or Walmart can survive a considerable decrease in clientele (not that they would enjoy it). For a Small Business, losing even a few clients can spell disaster. Since they don’t enjoy the regional or national visibility of major firms, they cannot depend on product or brand recognition that brings in customers at random.

Look to as many free or low-cost resources as possible to promote your business and market your offerings. Social media, such as twitterFacebookLinkedIn and such are not just for kids: they can provide a range of exposure once available only via television or radio advertisements. Low-cost “real world” techniques, such as focused flyer distributionbulletin boards and well-designed business cards are not to be overlooked.

Email marketing sites such as ConstantContact.com and  MailChimp.com are a hidden treasure: MailChimp allows you to create mailing lists of up to 2,000 addresses, and send up to 6,000 messages each month. With templates, autoresponders and video tutorials available, it’s a secret weapon I recommend as an indispensable Small Business marketing resource.

You still need a strategy, which requires more detail than can be provided in a blog post. These tips, however, can help point you in the right direction:

  1. Determine the focus of your offering
  2. Identify the value proposition to the customer
  3. Maintain a consistent message
  4. Develop a memorable catchphrase or tagline

Remember: marketing is about the impression you make in the mind of the existing or potential client or customer. Business is about relationships – marketing is the conversation.


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com



Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO,  guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail, part one: Procrastination

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Procrastination

You’re only as good as your wordMissing deadlines, arriving late for meetings, forgetting to follow up or follow through – these are all symptoms of procrastination, and key factors of Small Business failure.

As a Small Business owner, operator or employee, you cannot afford to slide down procrastination’s slippery slope. Since word of mouth is the most effective low cost marketing strategy (and a rich source of revenue and referrals), you must be perceived as someone who:

  1. Keeps their word
  2. Honors their commitments
  3. Values their customers’ and clients’ time


You may be familiar with the expression “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. Here is its procrastination-related corrolary: “If you fail to show, you show to fail“. Free yourself of the voice in your head, which is telling you some variation of the following: “I work for myself, therefore:

  1. Noone is the boss of me
  2. I set my own schedule
  3. My time is my own
  4. Why must they nag me – I’ll get it done (eventually)”


The phrase “it’s only time” is a complete falsehood: time, to a great extent, is all there is. As an independent entrepreneur, or as an employee, you either bill for time directly, or the time required to perform your task (or make your goods) is a major factor in your compensationTime is, in many ways, your most valuable asset.

Timeliness is also an aspect of quality, which is a perception in the client’s or customer’s (or employer’s) mind, NOT an objective quality of the work performed or goods created. As a computer service professional, a hard-won lesson is that the job isn’t done until the client perceives it as done. I could have fixed it weeks ago, but if I wait for weeks to tell the client, only at that moment is it done as far as they’re concerned.

And let’s face it — the person paying for the job, not the one performing it, is the one who must be satisfied. Don’t take too long to understand that, if you want to stay in business…


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com



Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO,  guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com


Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark
 
 

Archive for the ‘Customer Support’ Category

The Magic Behind the Thin Mints: What We Can Learn from the Business of Girl Scout Cookies

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

It’s a familiar scene: a group of elementary-aged little girls set up a card table in front of the local Giant with every intention of guilting you into buying a box (or three) of Tagalongs or Samoas.  Okay, we might as well admit to ourselves that we wanted those cookies anyways.  But what is it about those Girl Scout cookies that keep us coming back for more?  What may seem like a couple of innocent girls selling door to door is actually a hugely successful $700 million cookie empire.

Here are some simple tips for applying the strategies behind Girl Scout cookies to your own businesses:

  1. Make your brand recognizable and familiar. There are hundreds of thousands of independent Girl Scout troops across the nation.  Yet, customers know exactly what to expect when they open a box of Girl Scout cookies.  The packaging, the pricing, and ultimately, the quality of all Girl Scout cookies are uniform across the nation.
  2. Keep up with the times. The organization has recently unveiled the Girl Scout cookie app for the iPhone.  An organization that is so historic gets bonus points for embracing a society where customers automatically assume that “There’s an app for that.”  The Cookie Finder app makes it easy to locate places where customers can purchase Girl Scout cookies.  Which brings me to my next point….
  3. It’s all about the convenience. Even though concerns for the safety of young children have slowly eradicated a door-to-door selling culture, people don’t typically have to look too hard for another box of thin mints.  Girl Scout cookies still tend to find you, whether it’s at a local grocery store, or through an order form at a Girl Scout parent’s office.
  4. …Except for when it’s not convenient at all. Girl Scout cookies are not available in stores.  Nor are they available all year round.  The only place to buy them is directly from a Girl Scout (or her parent, when he or she inevitably brings that form into the office).  When customers know that they can’t just stop by the store for another box, they will inevitably start stocking up for the year.
  5. Appeal to the goodwill and emotions of the public. The Girl Scouts of America is an organization that is widely recognized for its part in empowering girls across the country.  The mission statement cites goals to build girls of “courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”  People are more likely to support a business that they believe is doing good deeds.  Of course, there’s also the fact that sometimes it’s just hard to refuse that little girl.  And that might just be the Girl Scouts’ greatest advantage.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark