On this, the last day of 2008, I provide a list of ten tiny things that every small business owner should do in 2009—hopefully in early 2009. Don’t consider it a New Year’s resolution because there’s a whole psychology behind such things. Just do it.
1. Act like a prospective customer and call your company to see how the phone system and receptionist treat you.
2. See if your website has a “Contact Us” section. If it doesn’t, add one. Ensure that it has a street address.
3. Send your company an email asking for customer support and see if someone responds to it.
4. Answer customer support calls or emails (not the one you sent in) for a day.
5. Go out on a sales call with your salespeople and a service call with your service people.
6. Read the documentation or manual that your company provides. Extra credit: See if you can do this without reading glasses.
7. Pretend that you lost the documentation or manual that came with your product or service and try to find it on your website.
8. Register your product or service including finding and reading the serial number of your product. Extra credit: See if you can read your serial number without reading glasses. Extra extra credit: If you use a Captcha system for registration, see how many times it takes to get the word right.
9. Add a signature to your email. A “signature” is a block of text at the end of your emails that contain all your contact information. It saves your recipients the hassle of asking for your address and phone number or searching for them on your website.
10. Join Twitter and then search for your company name, your product, your competition’s name or product name, or market sector terms from your business. For example, let’s say you’re in the web design business. Extra credit: Use Twitter as a twool.
If these tasks are helpful, you would probably enjoy “The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption” and CustomerService.alltop. Kick butt in 2009!