We all know about the people who think it is great fun to break into other people’s space – their email, their data, their website and so on. Most of us think it won’t happen to us.
In fact it is happening to you. Probably every day. You might just be unaware of it.
I have set my site up to record who attempts to login, and then tell me. Every day there is at least one attempt to login as ‘Admin’ or the site URL as the login id. When I see the notification I permanently ban that IP address.
The point is: if you have a ‘standard’ name for any of your login ids then you are playing Russian Roulette with your website. It is in your own best interest to change that now.
What is the most effective way to generate higher profits? In 1844 Charles Dickens wrote about a scheme very much like a Ponzi Scheme, in 1987 the movie Wall Street warned of doing things the wrong way and in 2013 the movie Wolf of Wall Street demonstrated that these aren’t just stories, this is what happens in real life.
These stories are relevant because first they tell us that it has been generally accepted since at least the early 1900’s that long term profits are not generated by inappropriate business practice, either illegal or just antisocial in nature.
You prefer to buy from people who you know, like and trust. So do your customers. So why do some people still persist in acting against their customer’s best interests?
One reason may be that the salesperson is attempting to maximise their profits, and some jurisdictions require Company Directors to maximise the profit of the company. Surely that’s all good?
It may be until you take actually think about it. Which gives you the biggest overall profit – ripping a client off once or maybe twice at the highest possible profit margin, and in the process driving them away so that they find someone else to do business with or maybe settling for 75% of that profit and keeping that customer for four or five years? Even at half of the original profit you make more money by working with your customer base.
The real point is that we know the right way to treat customers and treating them that way delivers what both of you want: they get good value and you get solid long term profits. Treating your customers so they naturally want to buy from you gives you time to improve your business so that even more people want to buy from you and the existing customer base is even more certain you are the right person to do business with. What would an ever-increasing number of return customers do for your profit margin?
And isn’t making a profit the idea behind being in business?
Make your customers (and potential customers) find a special item around town or in your store
This is a classic trick that was highly successful in the 1960s that involved a highly publicised search for an item. Variations are still used today, usually as promotional stunts by radio stations on outside broadcasts but still valuable.
I remember my father taking me to a Trade Fair when I was 9 years old. It was in a huge 3 story building that covered most of the city block and had hundreds of trade stalls set up. Thousands of people everywhere (or so it seemed to a 9 year old).
The local radio station was there on an outdoor broadcast and regularly announced that if you could find the toy monkey you can win a prize (brought to you by xyz company).
Yes, I remember the idea very well because I won a prize. No, I didn’t see the toy monkey but my father did and he `accidentally’ bumped me into a corner where I had no choice but to see the cleverly hidden toy.
So, put a map on your website that shows a general area in town that you have hidden an item or if you have a large store area, hide a small but unusual item in amongst your shelves.
Just make sure that the hidden item is inexpensive and requires it to be handed in to receive a much more valuable prize, otherwise it may just go home in someone’s pocket. When the prize is claimed then you can give them back the hidden item as well (with your logo on it).
No, you are not being generous. It is because the item found by the winner is usually something that ends up being displayed at home by the winner. It makes for a conversation piece after the event, sometimes for years after. There is a story to be told – it includes you/your business and we know that people love to tell a story.
Remember to whip up the interest in the media.
You could also consider a joint treasure hunt with a few other businesses with complimentary products/services. This works well for towns with a small mall of shops etc. Of course media exposure within a joint venture is always more cost effective for everyone.
If you have any other ideas like this, leave a comment and share it with others…