Sunday, 19 December 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

Nothing much to say really other than have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!  I hope everything you wished for comes true.  And if it doesn't just enjoy what you've got!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Good Relationships

We all know the value of good relationships in our personal lives, but it's just as important in business to get on with people.

There's an old saying that people buy from people.  That's something I firmly believe.  Have you ever bought something that cost a bit more because you didn't like the person selling the cheaper one?  I have.  It's probably cost me a fortune over the years.  OK so I wouldn't spend an extra £100 on a fridge because I didn't like the Saturday boy in Dixons.  But I definitely would pay extra to have a photographer I liked.

I work hard to build and maintain good relationships with all of my customers, suppliers and colleagues.  It's absolutely essential to pay suppliers on time (obviously) but getting on with them goes along way as well.  You never know what you might be offered just by being nice.  'Oh go on then.  As it's you.'

I also have good relationships with my customers.  If I see them around town I always have a couple of minutes for a chat.  And every one of my customers is treated as my most important.  Whether a portrait sitting or a wedding you will always get a truly personal service.  And it's the little extras that make all the difference.  For instance (and don't tell anyone...) all of my wedding couples get 12 home made cup cakes with their wedding album, iced to match the colour scheme of the wedding!  That always seems to go down well...

Even those who aren't customers or suppliers get a good amount of my time.  It's important not to dismiss people as 'not interested' and move on.  You never know what they'll need in the future or who they know.  People are much more likely to recommend you to their friends if they like you as a person.  Even if they've never used you themselves.

In summary, in the words of Bill and Ted - Be excellent to each other!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Every Snow Cloud...

There's a lot in the news at the moment about the 'chaos' caused by the snow.  The media like to use words like 'disaster' and 'disruption' and 'snow batters UK' and 'grinds to a halt'.  But there is a positive side to it all.

Yes, hospitals are struggling for staff and people can't get the medical help they need, which is obviously very serious and not to be made fun of.  Yes, airports are shut meaning thousands can't get away (and let's not get into the insurance companies blaming an 'act of god').  Businesses are no doubt losing out.  I know I've lost around £400 worth of business this week due to people not being able to get to me.  Although hopefully the Christmas Market will be rescheduled and my lost customers will re-book.  But let's have a look at the positives.

A while ago I wrote about turning a crisis into an opportunity.  Community spirit hasn't been big business lately, but this morning a neighbour I haven't spoken to since we moved in lent me a shovel so I could dig out my wife's car.  I heard from a friend of mine this morning that his whole street helped dig each others cars out!  That can't be sniffed at.

And the schools are shut as well.  Teachers get an extra few days holiday (not that they're short of them...) and kids have time off at a time when their parents can't get to work.  What better time is there to wrap up warm and get out in the open?  There are loads of parks around just begging to have a snowman built on them with good hills perfect for sledging.  Or go out and do it in your garden.  My nephew built a fort to shield him from his friends' snowballs!

I couldn't get my Skoda Igloo out yesterday so I walked to Tesco.  As did loads of other people.  Brilliant excuse to get a bit of exercise!  At a time when massive proportions of the population are the size of a snowman it can't hurt...

And let's not forget how pretty everything looks in the snow.  The perfect time for a photographer!