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In the Trenches: Should We Have a Tipping Policy?

Posted In EMPLOYEES

I can count on one hand the number of times a client has wanted to tip one of our concierges, yet it’s happened twice in the past week. We don’t have a formal tipping policy, and I’m wondering if I should consider implementing one. Of course, we would never ask clients to tip — or [...]
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In the Trenches: Choosing Our Tone With Unhappy Customers

Posted In MARKETING

It’s tough — if not impossible — to please every single person every single time, so it’s pretty much inevitable that all small-business owners will have to deal with unhappy customers at some point. I’ve come to accept this fact, even though it bothers me tremendously. But what I still have trouble with is finding [...]
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In the Trenches: A Background Check Post-Mortem

Posted In EMPLOYEES

A little over a month ago, I wrote about my struggle to find the right way to do a background check on a new employee. Now that I’ve successfully completed one, I thought I’d share what I learned during the experience. First, I should say that this was one of the most stressful things I’ve [...]
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In the Trenches: Taking a Baby Break

Posted In EMPLOYEES

As a small-business owner, it’s one thing to prepare for a vacation — and a whole different thing to plan for a baby on the way. Due dates are far less certain than vacation dates, especially weeks or months in advance — and that’s what I’m facing this week. My wife could have our second child [...]
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In the Trenches: A Get-Together Post-Mortem

Posted In EMPLOYEES

It’s been a couple of weeks since we had our annual Cranky Concierge staff meeting, which means I can now look back to judge its effectiveness. Because everyone works remotely in the company, I like to bring some of our core people together once a year for a few days to bond and to think [...]
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In the Trenches: Crisis Mode

Posted In MARKETING

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Asiana Airlines crash landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on July 6. Although the news didn’t affect many small businesses, it had a huge impact on ours, as well as others in the travel industry. You see, anytime there’s a crisis at a major world airport, it’s [...]
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In the Trenches: Setting the Agenda

Posted In EMPLOYEES

In May, I started talking about getting Cranky Concierge’s staff together for an annual meeting, and this week we’re doing just that. Although not everyone in the organization could make it, most of us have descended upon Long Beach, Calif., to talk about the business. The hardest part for me has been setting the agenda. [...]
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In the Trenches: The Complexity of Background Checks

Posted In EMPLOYEES

I thought the hard part of hiring a new employee would be finding the right person. After all, now that I have a couple of full-timers on staff, I have a better sense of the kind of help I need. After an earnest search, I found a great match for the company and was ready [...]
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