Bad Review on your business or establishment?

Well Happy 2015,

It has been awhile since i last posted but I saw this review and I had to post it because it think it’s a great lesson. With todays social media and review sites everyone and I mean EVERYONE has a voice. When you get negative feed back the first thing you want to do is just ignore it or try to get it removed. Here is a better solution. RESPOND TO IT! Apologizing for mistakes that have been made is the best way to address a bad review. Lets face it, people are looking for good and bad reviews. How you respond is crucial to the perception of the public. Look at this post and how it played out.

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In this case other reviewers, understood the situation and voiced their opinion for what it was worth.



Why ad placement is important, even to small businesses

Every single day I begin to realize more and more things that make businesses a success and also things that make them fail. For those of you who read the paper version of the Sheboygan Press, you may have noticed this article in yesterdays paper. When I was browsing though it (mainly looking at ads) I came across an article that was about a rather large cocaine bust that happened in the Sheboygan area. The Article started on the main page and continued on the last page of section A in the Sheboygan Press. The people that were arrested with posession of the cocaine were family members of the Sheboygan based restaurant El Camino. Go figure the article published right next to a very large eye catching ad for the restaurant. Which leads me to my point of how important your ad placement is no matter what size business you have.

If you are just throwing money into your local newspaper, billboards, radio and tv, at least know when your ads are running, where they are running and what they are saying. This could be a PR Nightmare for a large company, which is why they hire full time marketing and PR people to manage content and know when and where it is running. In this case you have a great local mexican restaurant that just placed their ad on the same page that associated their business with one of the largest cocaine busts in county history. Not so great.

This leads me back to my point that business don’t fail because of the economy that we are in they fail because business owners don’t have a good grasp on the task at hand. “We are to busy to manage that” or “We don’t’ have time for that” is the start of a failing business. Even the little things like making sure your ad doesn’t run next to an article that associates your business with a large drug bust. You may have changed the perception of thousands of readers from a great restaurant to a place they may never step foot in again. It is just to bad that their account executive at the Sheboygan Press did not catch this!

Click Here To See Full Screen.

#CaanColor Campaign!

While I can’t take full credit for this one, it is a really cool promotion that we have going on at Caan Floral and Greenhouses.

While at wedding for 2 of my favorite people in the world, i came across a cool social media interaction they were doing for their wedding. You could take a picture at their wedding with Instagram and tag it with their hashtag and it would upload to a facebook album they had set up for the wedding. I then asked “that is really cool how do you do that?” After a brief conversation I realized it was a tool that i had already utilized, I just wasn’t creative enough to think of something like that. After seeing how cool it was to have many people interact with the wedding the green light went on and i thought DING DING DING how about we do this for Caan Floral and Greenhouses.

For the past few years we have been looking for our customers to send in photos of their plantings and creations. We have never really found a seamless way for them to send in their photos and help inspire others. Then came along our #CaanColor Campaign! It’s simple you just snap a picture of your creations with Instagram and use the hashtag #CaanColor and your garden creations will upload to our Facebook community for all of them to see. Our hopes are that people will get ideas and inspiration from these photos and then post what they have created!

Here is a link to the #CaanColor Photo Album on Facebook! Enjoy!

Share: 10 Leadership Practices to Stop Today – Inc.

This is a great article i found about management changes and practices. Often times as business managers we get so caught up in our everyday jobs and forget to stop and take a look at things we can do better. I could not agree more with the points made in this article and i hope that if you are a manager you take the time read through this and evaluate how these relate to you and your business.

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

Want your customers to come back? QCS.

QCS – Quality Customer Service. A term many big business chains and local retailers lose focus of very easily. When we think of the word Marketing i think people forget that customer service is the most important part of marketing. Marketing is often confused with advertising, people think putting an ad in the paper or a radio ad is a great marketing plan. WRONG Marketing is much more that but, advertising is part of a good marketing plan. We often loose focus of the things that are free and easy to implement that make a bigger impact than any advertisement ever will do.

What is your competitive advantage? If you answer: price, product or location you might be in trouble. If your price is what sets you from the rest it easy for your competitors to drop their price and be right in the same game as you and then you have NO advantage. Product- your have the best burger in town. What happens when a restaurant down the road opens up and has a better burger than you? You have NO competitive advantage anymore. Location – “we are the only gas station right on the lake so you can come gas up your boats.” Again what happens when someone else opens a gas station on the other side of the lake, You have NO competitive advantage.  Get my drift? Now say you create an EXPERIENCE, something so great that people will talk about it to all their friends and family and the people they will meet for the next 2 months, now that is a competitive advantage. In all scenarios above having your own unique experience is what really will draw people to your business again and again, and NO ONE can take that experience away from you. It all starts with your customer service. Times are different than they used to be if you don’t treat your customers great and give them a reason to come back they won’t come back because there are other business out there that are waiting to treat you customers better than you.

I want to share this story with you from Bob and Susan Negan of Whizbang Training. (Sidenote if you want really great marketing tips subscribe to their e-mails and or get out and see them.

Our oldest son, now 13, has grown about 4 inches in the last six months. And he’s been begging for some new shorts that actually fit before the weather gets  hot here in Michigan.Being a teenager, he had clear ideas about where he wanted to shop – that mall store that carries lots of stylish basics and rhymes with The MAP. So we headed to the mall, dragging his 11 year old brother along.In short order the two of them had quite a pile of summer t’s and shorts on the counter. Their haul added up to a pretty good chunk of change, so when the sales associate offered 30% off if I opened a store credit card I went for it – even though I have resisted that offer for many, many years.

So far, so good.

I was happy. My kids were happy. The store had to be happy – big sale PLUS a new charge card customer.

And then…

Two of the items had to be sent from another store because the store we were in was out of the right sizes. While I was on the phone giving my shipping address it happened.

“That will be an extra $6 for shipping.”

REALLY? I was standing right in their store (not on the Internet, not shopping via catalog), they were out of the product, I was purchasing hundreds of dollars of other stuff, had opened a credit card, and they were charging me extra to buy those two items?

I was &#%$#&ed off.

It wasn’t the six bucks. It was the principle of the thing.

When I pressed the guy on the phone about the shipping charge he said:

  • “Gas prices have gone up, so we’ve had to start charging for shipping.”
    What about the gas I had to burn driving in to their store? Did my gas somehow miraculously cost less than theirs?and…
  • “When you spend enough on your credit card you’ll be at the Silver Level and you’ll get all your shipping for free!” Not what a brand new card holder wants to hear.

Bottom line: neither the guy on the phone nor the gal I was working with in the store did the right thing and waived my measly $6 shipping fee.

I don’t think they could. It was “the policy.”

And so, for a very tiny fee, a good customer – previously very happy about spending hundreds of dollars – left mad.And in no hurry to shop there again. And certainly in no hurry to use that store credit card again.I have lots of shopping to do for myself in the near future (and my clothes cost lots more than my kid’s clothes!) but their store and their associated brands are now very low on my list.

Penny wise (they got that $6 shipping!) and pound foolish (my future purchases will be going somewhere else.)

So what’s the moral of the story? What does this mean for you?

  1. Take a moment to stop and think about policies, procedures, anything in your business that might be penny wise and pound foolish. Are there things that you are doing to save a penny that might be &#%$#&ing off your good customers and costing you sales down the road?
  2. If you do have restrictive policies in place, at least make sure your staff has the authority to waive those policies in the right situation. Train them and empower them!
Independent retailers have a real advantage over huge chains when it comes to stuff like this. LOVE your customers. The money will follow.

A Little T.O.M.A. in the Recall Election.


So if you really know who i am you know i really don’t care for politics. It is good for a nice heated debate here and there with the guy sitting next to you at the bar. Instead i would rather talk about the marketing and advertising dollar that have been spent durring this unique Wisconsin recall election.


Last week while traveling for a little weekend getaway it struck me that there are Scott Walker signs EVERYWHERE in this state. It started to make me think to myself, who is he even running against. I am not stupid, I personally know that he is running against Milwaukee Mayer Tom Barrett. Barrett doesn’t have signs out supporting his campaign like Walker does. Someone said to me well Justin of course he does not he didn’t raise nearly as much money as Walker did. Agreed, point made, BUT… there is alway a but. There are ALOT of recall Walker signs out there. I think that these signs are working in the favor of Walker, but really when they support Barrett. When you drive by and you see 2 words RECALL and WALKER it builds awareness for the Walker name, similar to the McDonalds billboard we drive by frequently so the next time you are hungry you start to think about that image you seen on the bill board. My point in this whole brainstorm is that it is very interesting angle that the Barrett campaign too in promoting the recall instead of putting the Barrett name in front of people on keeping it on peoples minds. I guess we will see how it all plays out Tuesday, June 5th.


These ones are just for a good laugh…..