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How to Create Raving Fans in your Small Business

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with Tom Jackobs, who has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years. He has started, purchased, closed, and sold businesses.  Tom’s successes and failures enable him to advise his clients on real-world situations to improve or start their businesses. For more info: SmallBizlady:  WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE RAVING FANS? Tom Jackobs:  The world is full of mediocre and “good” experience… even ‘great’ experiences.   Have you ever asked a friend how they enjoyed a certain restaurant and they responded, “Yeah, it was good”.  OUCH!   As small business owners we need to stand out from the crowd and be outstanding, we want people to talk about us voluntarily. SMALLBIZLADY:  THAT SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD TAKE A LOT OF PLANNING TO DO? Tom Jackobs:  Actually, it’s all about the little things, the details make the difference.  Like remembering a client’s birthday, or wedding anniversary, or sending flowers with a loved one passes away.   Several years ago, I was flying on my birthday (which wasn’t uncommon since I flew almost every week.  I was queued up waiting to board when my name was called over the loud speaker to the counter.  When I got to the counter the United agent handed me a card and said, “I understand it’s your birthday, happy birthday from all of us at United.”  When I boarded the plane the flight attendance all wished me a happy birthday as well… and gave me a few drinks to help me celebrate.   It took them an extra 5 minutes to do that, but I’ve been telling everyone about my experience with United for years now. SMALLBIZLADY:  HOW CAN WE MAKE THAT A SYSTEM IN OUR BUSINESS? Tom Jackobs:  And that is the key.  It can’t be just the business owner making a difference, it has to be everyone in the organization.   Ideally you set the culture and provide examples of “experiences” you expect your…

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