After reading this article on inc.com, I had to do a quick post as this is something that I have been asked about recently, and nothing tells the story better that this example.
I have been out and about networking a little bit more than normal over the last couple of weeks and I have noticed a bit of a common thread when I talk to people about WordPress (the CMS that we use for all of our clients at sennza). The majority of people who have heard of WordPress seem to react with the same answer: “But that’s just a blogging platform”. I want to put those rumours to bed in this post. I think this is a post that I might refer quite a lot of people to just so they can understand that WordPress IS a CMS (Content Management System)! Saying WordPress is only good for blogging is like saying Google are only good for searches!
I have worked at both great, and not so great companies. For me, one of the defining differences of a great company is their attitude to the training and the development of their staff.
When I was first given the opportunity to hire my own staff as a Sales Manager, I read somewhere that you either pay good money for good talent, or you choose to pay less but invest in your staff. For me I always chose to invest in my staff. This wasn’t because I was trying to be cheap (and this doesn’t work for every role, sometimes you need to hire for talent), I was creating a sales team and for me creating a culture was the number one priority. I felt the best way to do this was to start with off with a clean slate and train every one with great habbits.
Usability is something that each and every one of us occurs on a daily basis. We experience usability in both online and in the real world as well. Have a quick think about how many times you’ve thought things like this:
- “Which damn aisle has the pasta in it? Why don’t they have signs?”
- “Okay, so I left in a rush and forgot my GPS and my iPhone doesn’t have service here. Why haven’t I seen a sign for Timbucktoo in 30 kilometres?”
- “Why do I have to fill out this damn form again online for the third freaking time?!?! Give me a decent error message and at least remember what I’ve already typed in before so I can correct it!”
- “Uhhhh, so why doesn’t this train have a map so I can see how many stops there are before I need to get off. Hmm, I’ll just sit here in a mild state of anxiety until I hear my station called over the PA then I guess. Woot!”
Being a designer/developer I have to consider usability on a daily basis. Our company stands for simplicity so of course we have to think about usability as we develop products for our clients. That being said, sometimes a product is developed so rapidly that extra features can cramp usability when the good old “feature creep” tends to kick in when a client gets excited about the end product…but surely that’s a compliment to our work right?
Why companies insist on punishing their loyal customers that they depend on I’ll never understand. Whats more, they do it over and over and again and expect them to come back to them.
This vent is against so called “fees” that business like to use to punish their customers. The fees I want to focus on are the ‘late fees’ that are synonomus with the video rental industry. It is their bread and butter that they reply on and the extra income that comes from this is a large percentage of their revenues, yet they understand to some extent that customers will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying that extra $1 fine.
In all honesty, if your business is not getting the results you want, there is one thing you can do right now, without question, that will help your business in leaps and bounds.
Pick up the phone!
Talk to previous customers that you have done business with. Talk to your current customers. Talk to customers that enquired or stopped purchasing 3 ,6, 9 or even 12 months ago but chose not to go ahead. Whoever it may be, human contact can go a long way in helping you succeed.
I’ve been a student a few times in my life, so I understand what it’s like to be tight on cash. The first time was at uni doing a Bachelor of Microelectronic Engineering, the second time was at TAFE studying Applications Programming and the third time was at another uni doing a Bachelor of Accounting. Granted, during my stint studying Accounting I was working full time so money wasn’t an issue during that period of my life.
However, when you’re a full-time student you’re quite often struggling to make ends meet and I can understand and relate. I was talking to one of my friends on instant messenger the other day while she was at uni and she was having a bit of a rant about how she wished her lecturers would stop giving her documents in .doc and .docx (both Microsoft Office formats) and it got me thinking.
In the presentation Simon Sinek goes on to explain what it is that makes a truly inspiring leader different from everyone else. The main ‘premise’ he states is that most people in their every day lives start with the ‘what’ they do and use that to come about the ‘why’ they do it. Great leaders do this in reverse, the ‘what’ they do is simply a by product of what they believe.
For me this video really struck a chord as this is something that I think about everyday. The WHY.
I was going about my daily morning wake routine, which generally starts with a few barely audible groans as I wake up and use gravity to roll out of bed and stumble over to put the kettle on while I rub the sleep out of my eyes and attempt to recollect the evenings dreams. (I should mention that unfortunately, not enough of those dreams involve scantily clad Swedish vixens having pillow fights). After I’ve made my coffee I usually fire up the computer to read my RSS feeds in Google Reader, then see what inane ramblings my friends on the other side of the world have made on the “Zuckerberg Platform of World Domination”…err, I mean Facebook.
This morning one of my mates had a status update about her “managing to assemble some IKEA furniture after several hours” and it got me thinking.
During the week I was finishing up “Phase 2″ of one of our projects and realised that I hadn’t done some tweaks to speed up the clients site. So I thought it would be make a fun blog post to document the process I take and to note the speed improvements. Just remember that speed is a factor in Google’s rankings as I discussed in that blog post.