Keeping Customers and Bringing in New Ones

Starting a business is an exciting thing. It is born out of passion or a dream which may have taken some time to begin as one prepares resources to build it.

Some research or survey may have been done first to ensure how viable the business is. After all, profit is also expected when one goes into business.

Now, it does not always follow that quality goods or services would equal to profit. One needs to remember that it is people who will avail of the goods or services that a business provides. If no one comes to patronize those services or goods, there is really no profit to talk about. So how do we ensure then our customers keep coming, and that we also continue to get new ones?

Customer is King. Quality services and goods do matter. But we must not forget that certain group of people in the equation – the customer or client who patronizes those services or products.

Unfortunately, some business owners seem to forget the key role of their customers as time goes on. Some even disregard customer feedback, even if it is obvious that such a feedback will help improve the business.

If you own a business or about to open one, I think you will agree with me that you desire its longevity. And for that to happen we need to care about our customers.

Journey with Customers. I think we need to have the perspective that we will be dealing with customers on a long-term basis. It’s not a one-shot deal. Our aim is to build a relationship with them, understand what their needs or goals are in relation to our products or services that they use. And so, we care about what they truly need. In other words, we give importance to customer onboarding. And this is meant to start even before they start paying for our goods or services.

Define What Success Looks Like. What do you mean when you say you want a successful business? How would you define customer success? Would you agree with what Lincoln Murphy said: “Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company”. When we don’t take time to define what success in our business looks like or what customer success is to us, how would we know then that our business is a success? Surely, we do not define success in terms of profit only.

Learn from Others. There are so many resources that one can access now to help grow one’s business. If you do not have a strong business background, you can learn from others, even collaborate with them. If you face the challenge of customer adoption, retention or expansion, you do not have to do this alone. Consider seeking help from others who have gone ahead of you in their business journey. Learn from them, consider being mentored. And when you have gone ahead in your own business journey, take time to also help and even mentor others.

Perhaps this year is a year of change for you in your business. Or perhaps you are just about to embark on something new, a new business endeavor. Wishing you all the best in your undertakings this year!

Morning Song

The month of March is referred to as Women’s month. And before we say good bye to this month, I would like to share here a beautiful poem by one of my favorite poets, the late Sylvia Plath.

The poem is about a mother and a child. It is a piece that mirrors the author’s experience of giving birth to and taking care of one of her children. It is an experience shared by women across different cultures and generations, whether they were the biological mother of a child or they took on a motherly role.

Morning Song
by Sylvia Plath

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
 
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
 
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
 
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
 
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square
 
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

Pursuing a Legal Career Despite Challenges

Pursuing a legal career, as lawyers would even tell us, is not an easy one.

Some would go further to say that it is even more challenging for women. Women face unique challenges that men may not need face at all. For instance, women may have to choose between a successful legal career and having a good marriage and raising children. We also hear and read about issues of promotion and pay disparity when they work in some law firms.

It needs to be noted as well that pursuing a legal career requires years of study and preparation, passing the bar exams and finally establishing one’s name as a lawyer. But it seems like that in the end, one major challenge one must hurdle is the reality that perhaps there are just too many lawyers out there.

Too Many Lawyers? Statistics from the American Bar Association point out that in the US, there are now about 1.3 million lawyers! And about 35, 000 new lawyers enter the workforce yearly!

A deeper research would also reveal that some countries in the world also share a similar scenario.

Well, given that there may be that many lawyers and yet you still want to pursue a legal career, what could you do to be able to practice a successful and meaningful one?

Choose the Road Less Travelled. A little bit of research may show you that though there may be that many lawyers in the whole nation, not all states or cities in the end are created equal. Not all states (or provinces) and cities have as many lawyers as those of others. Perhaps you can consider relocation there? Or you can choose to be based where it is easy for you to travel by road or by air to these neighboring areas where you can provide legal services to clients.

Fear Not a Marketing Connection. We have a brave new world. In the past, word of mouth and placing a small ad of a lawyer’s services on the newspaper may work, but it may not be true anymore today. This may not be enough for you to be known among the many lawyers out there. This can be the time to consider engaging a marketing firm specifically aimed to help lawyers. It can be the right time to connect with one such as the Lawyers of Distinction.

Consider Specialization. In an article, Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson was quoted: ”if I had it to do over again, I’d …. specialize. It’s hard to do in a small rural state, but the law is becoming so complex that in most areas, you’d be well served to pick an area you enjoy and learn everything you can about it and specialize in it.”

What Nelson said makes sense. Having a specialization can bring you joy and a level of expertise, and in the end, it can also help you serve better your clients. Potential clients will also be able to find you easily based on your specialization, which they can access online via the Lawyers of Distinction site.

Just because there are challenges in pursuing a legal career (or any career for that matter), it does not mean that there is no way forward beyond that challenge.