Sandy Notebook

In the Trenches: The Importance of a Non-Working Vacation

Posted In PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS

I'm a big believer in the importance of vacations, and I've written about them a lot here (and here and here.) You get the point. But it seems to me that all too often, working vacations are considered acceptable for the hard-charging businessperson. I don't buy that at all. I suppose I should modify that [...]
workflow

In the Trenches: Fixing Our Workflow

Posted In MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING

Since the early days of Cranky Concierge, we've used email as our primary method for tracking and managing client interactions. As we've grown, it's become readily apparent that this is a very bad plan. For that reason, we spent the summer evaluating and implementing a ticket-tracking system. So far, it's been very good for us. As [...]
answer the phone

In the Trenches: Answering the Phone

Posted In TECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY

Maybe it's just the way my generation works, but I generally feel more comfortable doing business online than I do over the phone. With that bias, I assumed that we'd do most of our business online at Cranky Concierge as well. I even designed the business to function better that way, but I've come to [...]
closed sign

In the Trenches: How to Turn Customers Away

Posted In SALES

It's not often that we want to discourage someone from using our service at Cranky Concierge, but it does happen on occasion. The hard part is figuring out when to make that call and how to handle it once the decision has been made. Last week, we ended up in this exactly spot. We had [...]
Businsss people hiring

In the Trenches: Staffing with Growth in Mind

Posted In GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

Since I started Cranky Concierge five years ago, I've always been a staffing laggard. Recently, however, I've gone the other way. It's a little bit scary, but I knew it was the right thing to do. When I call myself a "staffing laggard," I mean that I wouldn't hire new staff until there was enough [...]
referral money

In the Trenches: Handling Referrals

Posted In BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Referrals have always been a big part of the our business model at Cranky Concierge. We've spent nearly nothing on paid marketing, so our growth has come primarily from my blog about the airline industry and via client referrals. While we see referrals as being absolutely integral, how we reward people for providing them is [...]
money questions

In the Trenches: Tracking Our Revenue Sources

Posted In REVENUE

I was talking to some friends a couple months ago, and they started asking me questions about Cranky Concierge. What types of customers made us the most money? And what services were our big sellers? I thought I had a decent handle on this since I've been running this business since the beginning, but when [...]
growth

In the Trenches: Evolving With Our Clients

Posted In MARKETING

Our business here at Cranky Concierge continues to grow, and that brings all sorts of challenges with it. But we have to remember that our clients continue to grow as well. That creates challenges for them, and in some cases, we can help them tremendously. The biggest "small business" client we have has been with [...]
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