Welcome Back to Part II
If you missed Part One: How to Get a Handle on Your Side… GO BACK! You don’t want to miss the article in its entirety! It’s almost Q4 and the holidays are just around the corner. How are you ever going to manage your Side Piece? Hey – I’m watching you. GO BACK AND READ IT.
Let’s Hook Up
I couldn’t possibly let this series exist without offering you something special to take you to the next level so I have Two Tasty Treats for You! Hurry! You know your side piece is thirsty! I only have 10 production slots available and they go stale on 9/30/19! When you invest in your business, you are investing in your success.
- Take advantage of our $99 special! Save over $200 on an eye-catching video intro promoting your business. All of us at Melanie Grace Global Marketing are committed to helping your business succeed – no matter what size. Use promo code IM_IN when you contact us at 888.303.0338 ext. 232 or contact us here to let us know what you’d like to accomplish and we’ll respond promptly with full details. Take a quick look at an upgraded, recent client delivery that can also capture your prospects attention.
- Be sure to take advantage our our free, 30 minute, no strings attached business growth session. Call 888.303.0338, ext 232 or contact us. We’re here to help you succeed and make your purpose, products and passions, profitable!
Now, for the rest of us, here is a brief recap: La Maison du Café is our fictitious micro-business serving premium coffee, pastries and an enjoyable and memorable experience. Additionally, we have pushed it up a notch in the level of respect in which we treat it. After all, we want it to be successful, right? The following tips can be adjusted to fit your particular type of business.
- Name your micro-biz something interesting, appealing and desirable. Unless you are selling mushrooms, stay away from names like, “The Fungus Among Us” or “Dandy Ruff’s Flaky Pastry Shoppe.” Epic fails. Words create images. Make yours mouth-watering so people look forward to conducting business with you. For example, I opened this article with a stimulating visual image of a delicious cup of coffee! Right?? You’re welcome.
- Understand the three main things you are actually selling: “Product, Journey and Experience.”
- Clarify your primary product. Whatever it is, make sure its high quality. Don’t skimp. Everyone will know. Take on the “Compel them to come” approach and make it so good, prospects absolutely must have it!
- Clarify your secondary product: Side dishes, etc. Make sure they are fresh, visually appealing and served on a clean platter with clean utensils.
- Tertiary product: You are also selling your patrons an experience, so make a great first and lasting impression!
The Side Order We Didn’t Order
I was dining at a well-known, popular restaurant in Southern California known for it’s delicious desserts, great salads and huge portions. It was a lovely, bright summer afternoon shared with good friends and we were still basking in the beauty of an excellent Sunday morning service and the joy of being able to spend the day with a couple we hadn’t seen in years
The waiting list was long and it was finally our turn to be seated. We were hungry! Our appetizers arrived and we dove in! Half way through the well-seasoned, crunchy fries, our guest pulled something veerryyy unusual from our snack basket that didn’t have the normal, natural shape or form of a french fry. We began to peel it back to discover what “bonus item” had been delivered along with our meal. Grab your stomach, my friend. It. Was. A. Deep. Fried. Bandage.
I will say it over and over and over again until you put it in to practice. Become knowledgeable so you don’t accidentally make any one ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year 48 million people get sick from a food-borne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. Food poisoning can be deadly and the most vulnerable are small children and the elderly.
Every food handler, either in your home or in business should learn and implement these simple safe food handling techniques. An hour of your time to learn something critically important will provide you with a lifetime of value that you can share with others. You’ll be so glad you did!
Your Image Matters
Recently, I was watching comedian Sebastian Maniscalo and as usual, falling out of my chair from laughter! Here’s the scenario: There was a time when flying on a plane was special, roomy and enjoyable and people cared about their in-flight appearance. In this sketch, he was referencing the way so many people now arrive at the airport and observed that attire on flights now consists of pajamas, flip flops, booty shorts and other eyesores. To paraphrase, the jammie-wearing fashion offenders retort was, “Well, I’m comfortable.” Sebastian replied, “Well, you being comfortable makes me uncomfortable. When you are looking at the world, the world is looking back.”
Simply stated but profoundly true!
Your appearance conveys a message. Take a long, objective look at your appearance, your marketing materials, product packaging, displays, etc. Honestly answer these questions: In your current state, what message are you conveying? What message do you actually want to send to potential customers? You are offering something great!!! I completely understand… You are working so hard to succeed and we can help you! Your clothing, attitude and product should be in alignment with your incredible vision for success. You are going places!
Your side hustle is an actual business. Consequently, you will need a basic set of standards and policies. Rules of Engagement, so to speak. Set them high. If you don’t know how, don’t be embarrassed to contact us for help. Don’t settle for being just average and typical. Raise the bar. Yes, it will take extra effort but LeBron is not “LeBron” because he practices one hour a day, does what everyone else is doing or chooses the path of convenience. He works excessively hard and reaches out for help. Our executive staff at Melanie Grace Global Marketing can coach you towards excellence and success.
The Big Diss
BKA Mel’s 5 BeS-Laws for Diss-Traction. Just in case you’re not familiar with the term “Diss”, it’s a common colloquialism meaning to disrespect, criticize and dismiss. Adhering to any of these 5 BeS-Laws will ensure that you will be “dissed” by your potential customers and your brand will lose traction and credibility.
Law #1. Be Sour – A disposition as acidic as a lemon and as abrasive as sand paper tends to make people recoil. Here’s a good, old piece of wisdom worth implementing. “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”
Law #2. Be Snotty – The playing field is level. No one is better than anyone else so be kind to everyone – from the guttermost to the uttermost. Never underestimate those around you. Making negative, superficial judgments about people before you take the time to listen to their story, could cause you to lose out on the sale and the opportunity to expand your business. “Six degrees of separation” is real and the person you judge could be the “degree” you need to excel. We never know what or who a person may know so refrain from assumptions.
Law #3. Be Sickly – While sharing is caring in most instances, something you should refrain from sharing are germy, flu-y, cold-y cooties. It’s such a turn off and customers are more concerned about shielding themselves from your bacteria than caring about your product and paying attention to your elevator pitch.
Law #4. Be Sloppy – Your image matters. Wear clothes that are clean and ironed. Clean and polish your shoes. Please don’t show up, anywhere, all wrinkled, looking like you just rolled out of bed. You never know who you may run into or meet for the first time. While wrinkle sprays are handy, a good pressing of your clothes makes you look crisp, pulls your look together and shows that you will make that extra effort towards excellence in the small details.
For ladies in particular, your clothes really don’t need to be a visual road map to every curve, roll, crack, lump and bump on your body. For the most flattering fit, clothes should skim and not stick. For all, update your wardrobe with at least one piece of clothing or accessory each season to make you look “current”, that is also classic enough to take you into the next. It’s okay to improve your personal standard.
Law #5. Be Stinky – Be clean. Smell good in small amounts. Be self-generous when it comes to deo. Arrive on the scene “So Fresh and So Clean, Clean.” To my Young Bruh’s, please lighten up on the Axe ® as a spritz or two will do. To my Senior Fellows, it’s okay to add some new fragrances to your Pierre Cardin® collection. And for us women, well, we’re perfect! Just kidding. Ladies, moderation with make-up, perfumes, jewelry and attire will elevate your credibility. Everyone, please make sure that your hands and your nails, both the tops and underneath, are free from dyes, debris and dirt.
Tips to Take You to the Top
- Conduct yourself professionally. Be friendly and polite. Good manners still matter.
- The Look: Wear uniforms or match clothing colors. If you are able, brand your clothing. If that’s not in your budget, purchase aprons that are all the same color and have everyone on your team wear them along with a black shirt and slacks (modify as needed). The goal is cohesion in appearance.
- If you’re handling food, hair should be pulled back, tied up and away from the face. The American Academy of Dermatology says it’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day so let’s keep them all out of someone’s breakfast.
- Ethics: Act fairly and with integrity. Keep your word. Don’t deprive people from what is theirs and don’t renege on your promises. No one is perfect and if you make a mistake, genuinely apologize and actively attempt to fix what you’ve damaged, if at all possible. Also, let go of offenses. Don’t let negative situations take up residence in your mind and emotions, especially because they are not paying rent. You can’t change what has occurred but you can move forward a bit wiser and more shrewdly than before. Consider it a valuable learning experience.
- Be respectful: Maintain a respectful attitude towards others, even when you are feeling stressed. Don’t lash out or disrespect anyone. Speak in a manner that can be understood and refrain from profanity. Manage. Your. Mouth.
- Depending on your environment, refrain from discussing politics, religion, scandals or topics that are controversial. Focus on the things you agree on, like how absolutely fantastic your product is and how it will benefit your prospect and improve their lives.
- Practice Servant Leadership: Take intentional steps to develop and mentor your team and understand your staff, clients’ and customers’ needs. Progression to leadership and authority is second to your commitment to serve. Care.
- Play well with others: There will be times when you need to work with people you may not necessarily like. Keep reminding yourself and staff of the desired outcome which is to solve problems, sell your product and acquire and develop repeat customers. There are no individual kingdoms to build and no room for big egos. Lions do not pay attention to cackling hyena’s. What I’ve noticed as a career professional, with over 35 years of experience, is that people with large egos, who also need constant nurturing and validation, tend to be the biggest drain on company resources (both human, financial and technical) and the most controlling and damaging of saboteurs. They create the biggest bottlenecks when it comes to productivity because they have failed to develop their inner selves and rely on the Company to validate their sense of worth at the expense of true collaboration. They are not true team players because their primary focus is on the exaltation of self and not the larger vision of the initiatives that you are trying to accomplish. Address the issue directly and if necessary, invite them to work elsewhere. Your micro-business is tender and vulnerable and the underhanded negativity this type of person brings to their area of responsibility will leak out and corrupt the rest of the personnel in your organization. People who work well with others will increase the value of those around them as well as the value of your organization.
- Is the customer always right? No. They are not. While early in my career it was drilled into one employee handbook after another that the customer could do no wrong, I personally no longer ascribe to the practice of allowing a customer to speak and treat me or my staff with disrespect just to make a sale. Defending your own integrity without being a doormat or highly confrontational can co-exist with mutual respect. Expect and prepare for the times when you;ll have to train customers to behave in a respectful manner. You can provide excellent customer service and earn their respect without sacrificing your own. Don’t become a martyr for your merchandise.
- Not all business is good business. I have turned down business from potential clients who are argumentative, disrespectful or impossible to please – even when our organization could have used the extra infusion of cash. What this type of client would actually cost us in terms of time and stress was not a fair exchange for rates of compensation. And go figure. We are still here. And you will be too. Sometimes taking a perceived loss is actually a significant gain. But pick your battles carefully. With skillful navigation, you can sharpen your communications to potentially turn your frenemy into an actual friend and alliance over time.
- Work the room. Intentionally greet every guest you encounter, whether or not they make a purchase. Introduce yourself and ask them their name. Ask if you can help them in any way. Ask them what they do for a living. Make brief small talk. Make it about them, not you. Tell them you appreciate their business and invite them to visit again.
- Show kindness. We live in a very tension-filled world. You never know what is happening in a person’s life, what their struggles are, how their health may be or if they have suffered a tragic loss. Yet, they have chosen to have an encounter with you – even in the smallest of measures. Here is your opportunity to be positively relevant, even if it’s just for a moment. You are selling a product and an experience. Your smile, patience, word of encouragement or even a lame joke may change the trajectory of their day. Think and act beyond the moment. When you share light and life with others, it will surely be returned to you.
I hope this segment has been helpful to you and thanks for reading! Your feedback and comments below would be appreciated. Always remember that although your “side hustle” may be emerging, with careful and thoughtful planning and creativity, you can turn the perception of your micro-business from an after-thought to a customer’s actual necessity.
On another note, I believe full transparency is in order. I must admit I have some really juicy confessions to share. Tune in next time for our third and final segment in this series and I will openly reveal them to you. Stay in touch.
See you at the top!
♛ Melanie Grace
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