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In the Trenches: Time to Hire Again

Posted In EMPLOYEES

I’ve made the decision: It’s time to hire another employee for the business. I’m looking for a “travel architect,” as I like to describe our concierges, who can book flights during the afternoons. How did I come to this conclusion? First off, I’m unhappy with our afternoon response times. Kevin starts at 6 a.m. in [...]
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In the Trenches: Looking for New Opportunities

Posted In EMPLOYEES

Right after we make a big change, my brain shifts from execution to innovation mode. Things were pretty hectic last week as we worked to pull everything together for the introduction of priority flight monitoring and our website revamp. But once it all went live, I immediately began to think ... what’s next? Of course, [...]
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In the Trenches: Expanding Our Hours

Posted In MARKETING

I’ve written about Cranky Concierge’s struggle with business hours before. One reader asked the obvious question that emerged from the discussion: “So, Brett, how far down the line do you see your business being ‘open’ 24/7?” In other words, when will we just forget about business hours entirely and be a round-the-clock operation? I don’t [...]
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In the Trenches: Creating Value With Price Increases

Posted In MARKETING

Back in January, I wrote about our challenge in dealing with last-minute sign-ups for flight monitoring, especially when they came in right before a major weather event. Readers who commented on my post were supportive of us charging more, but I still hated the idea of increasing our rate without providing something in return. That’s [...]
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In the Trenches: When Email Lags

Posted In EMPLOYEES

Our business relies on very fast interactions between travelers and concierges. If plans change or something goes wrong, or even if a client just has a simple question, we need to know immediately. We rely on receiving email as soon as it’s sent, so we can attack the problem. Lately, however, we’ve been having trouble [...]
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In the Trenches: Prioritizing Tasks, Getting Paid

Posted In EMPLOYEES

I had a rude awakening earlier this week when I stumbled upon our commissions list. Some of our income comes from the commissions we receive from hotels, rental cars, and other services we book for our clients. This list revealed that more than a hundred commissions from last year have yet to be paid. Naturally, [...]
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In the Trenches: How Big Should We Grow?

Posted In MARKETING

The general consensus among business owners seems to be that growth is great. If you have more demand for what you offer, you should grow. That way, you can create more jobs, help more people, and ultimately make more money. So, it seems strange that I find myself asking how much growth is too much. [...]
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In the Trenches: Serving Different Types of Customers

Posted In MARKETING

When I first started my travel concierge business, people asked me who my typical target client was. At the time, I thought I knew who would flock to the service, but it turns out I was wrong. It’s not that I had the wrong group pegged; it’s that the group was much broader than I [...]
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