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In the Trenches: Team vs. Individual Customer Service

Posted In EMPLOYEES

In the early days of Cranky Concierge, I personally handled all client requests for flight-planning assistance. As the company grew, we shifted to a team-based approach, so we could provide faster service. However, I’ve begun to wonder whether this is truly the best way to handle booking travel. Let me explain. Ever since we started having [...]
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In the Trenches: Fighting Employee Burnout

Posted In EMPLOYEES

This winter has been a brutally nasty one for much of the United States. For an air travel-assistance service like ours, inclement weather is actually a good thing — because it brings us business — but it also creates some real challenges. I’m currently wondering, for example, how best to combat employee fatigue. We’re used [...]
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In the Trenches: Cash vs. Accrual Accounting

Posted In BOOKKEEPING

Like most small businesses, we use the cash accounting method to keep our books. Why? Because it’s easy. But there are downsides to it, which has me wondering whether we should consider switching to accrual accounting. What’s the difference? The cash accounting method is very straightforward: When cash comes in the door, we record it as [...]
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In the Trenches: Analyzing Our Revenue Sources

Posted In REVENUE

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how 2014 would be the year for Cranky Concierge to grow revenue without increasing costs. If that was an easy task, I’d be sitting on a beach right now. Instead, I’ve been busy digging into our business data to come up with a plan. I could default [...]
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In the Trenches: Rethinking Our Pricing Model

Posted In SALES

Maybe it’s my background setting fares for airlines, but I find myself frequently thinking about our pricing strategy at Cranky Concierge. Although our flat-fee model has served us well so far, I've been wondering whether it will continue to make sense going forward. The big question: Should we charge per person in addition to (or instead of) per direction and [...]
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In the Trenches: Using My Business’s Blog Carefully

Posted In MARKETING

Since Cranky Concierge began in 2009, I have done very little paid advertising, mostly because I don’t think we need it. Instead, I’ve focused on using the self-built tools that I have at my disposal, particularly my blog, The Cranky Flier. Early on, I tried some targeted Google AdWords buys, but I quickly backed off. The [...]
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In the Trenches: Reviewing 2013, Planning for 2014

Posted In BUSINESS PLANNING

The year 2013 is in the books and, as always, I've looked back to see how we did. Was it a good year? Indeed it was! But the results have set a challenge for us in 2014: This is the year we focus on revenue growth while keeping costs under control. It took me a couple [...]
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In the Trenches: How to Sell Ourselves

Posted In BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

If you live under a nicely heated rock (or in Southern California, as I do), you may not know that the U.S. has experienced a ton of severe weather so far this year. With it came a lot of disrupted flights. That meant we were busy at Cranky Concierge, to put it mildly. But, in [...]
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