Category Archives: Business Challenge

A message from Richard Cooper – Is Social Media destroying your business?

 Social Media is bad for your business?

I personally believe that Social Media, used properly can be and IS extremely powerful for a business.

There are a number of businesses who claim to be Social Media “Gurus” and many businesses will use them.  Other businesses don’t see the point.  I’m one of the middle people.  I greatly see and benefit from the value of social media.  I work with businesses who support my strategy, however there are certain tasks I keep “in – house”.   Why am I sharing this?

Well this week I saw a comment on a Facebook page that has done damage to their business. The sad thing is, they probably don’t realise it.

Virtual Office - Steps for Succes

A friend of my contact put a comment on their wall enquiring about some work they needed doing.  In my book if someone is going public with a desire to do business from you, it’s a massive buying signal.

Instead of taking the conversation off line to negotiate – the response I (and probably the 600+ friends this person has on Facebook) saw was along the lines of.

“Yes that’s fine, if I can be bothered to contact you, and if you can wait until I’m ready, it’s your call”

It wasn’t this word for word; it actually came across a little sharper.  This is, however, how I read it. I wonder how their other contacts saw it.

I met up with one of these contacts a couple of days later and interestingly enough the comment came up in conversation.  Shockingly he had decided after that comment to no longer do business with this person.   He said he never wanted to be treated like that!

Is this hasty or is this the way that real-time business has now become?  I would strongly suggest that how we portray ourselves online – especially on sites such as Facebook where personal meets professional.

Do they have any idea?  Should I tell them?  Are they a business person and do they have ANY idea the damage they have done?

My top tips for this week are based on social media.

1)      Stay professional, as the saying goes “Face it, don’t Facebook it”.  Even with friends and family, the words you write stay forever.

2)      Remember how you write something, is not necessarily how it will be seen by others.

3)      Never EVER underestimate how a “bad moment” could turn your business on its head.

 

Whether there was history behind this relationship, or an “in joke”, business has been lost.  Think about how YOU want to be seen.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – virtual office visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

 

 

A Festive message from Richard Cooper

Putting up the lights?

How are your Christmas plans coming along?   Have you put up your lights yet?   The man in this picture isn’t actually putting up his but taking them down.  And it was in the last couple of weeks.

Someone doesn’t like them!   This is a market town in Norfolk about 20 miles from the city of Norwich.    Read HERE  for the full article.

I’m not entirely sure what to say on this one really.   Being in the centre of London, our lights go up every year with tens of thousands of people coming along to get into the spirit of Christmas.  We’re on Regent Street just off Oxford Street so it is a different world in some respects.

However I really think that the principles are the same .   We live in a multi- faceted, multicultural society so not everyone celebrates Christmas or wants to.  However does this mean that we should stop those who do?

Did Mark Bunning – the business owner asked to remove the lights go out of his way to annoy his fellow businesses?  I very much doubt it.   Did those who complain about a local business owner taking his own time (at his own cost) to put up lights and cheer up his town, think for one minute that  he did it because he has the community at heart,  or was it just easier to criticise?

I was chatting to a couple of my clients about this and one of them sadly lost her mum over Christmas.  What were her  thoughts?  Here’s what she said:

“ When my mum passed away and we went to the solicitors, to sort out probate, it was a time of joy and happiness for most families.  Of course I didn’t want to be involved but at the time, honestly, if there had been naked dancers in the windows or real reindeer flying around I wouldn’t have noticed.  I was grieving . I wouldn’t begrudge anyone Christmas cheer and never did”.

So think about this over the festive season.  What can you do to make life easier for your business neighbours.  How can you HELP them and do you really know your clients.

And as for these lights….  Why would anyone knock a business person trying to do good.  Whether it was right or wrong – at least the thought and effort were there.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary.

Follow us @holdeverything1

A message from Richard Cooper – Virtual office visionary

ON YER BIKE PT 1

What do you do when you want a challenge?

Well this year I cycled to Paris with my good friend Bern Gilbey and returned the same way but as part of a 42 strong team of riders to raise money for Crohn’s research.

Bern & I started from Radlett in Hertfordshire (near St Albans) cycled to Newhaven and then got the evening ferry to Dieppe. A few hours additional sleep and we set off early to Paris.

We then rode back from Paris as a team of 42 riders in aid of “Guts in Motion”.   I personally raised £3.5k , however collectively all riders raised over £100k.  My personal journey was a 380 mile round trip.

Why on earth did I do it?  Firstly I wanted a challenge and this was a fantastic one.  However the other big challenge was that I had never ridden a bicycle until last year. Yes, in 2011 I bought my first ever bike and in July 2011 completed Paris to London cycle ride with no experience of this kind of event.

I’m not the type of person to do things by halves, and I knew that if I was going to do this then I was going to do it properly.  No half hearted attempt and an hours cycling here and there.  It was all or nothing.  So that’s what I did.

Having seen a dear friend of mine suffer with Crohn’s Disease and the effect it had on their quality of life – this cycle ride was something which I was determined to do.   It’s this attitude that I carry with me everywhere.  It’s who I am and I feel a massive factor into why my business enjoys the success that it does.

Always remember that your personal values will determine the type of business owner that you are. Do you set yourself challenges? What can you do that sets you apart from the rest and makes you stand out?

In Pt 2  I will be sharing my challenge for 2013.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow us @holdeverything1