Friday, August 6, 2010

Focusing my Focus

Hello Dear Readers,

It has been a very long time since my last post.
(Yes, I'm making up for it by this long post, but I want to explain my plan to you.)

The last 7 months or so have been spent learning all kinds of interesting marketing things and taking care of family stuff. For example, we moved, we gained more family members (two ornery cats adopted from the humane society), we are working on some miscellaneous but important health issues, and we consolidated a HUGE storage unit with our household and now we literally have our "stuff" together.

I'm now on intimate terms with Craig's List. Anyone want a Magic Tricks kit? $5.

Did I mention I've been learning? Oh, and how. I can't wait to share some interesting things with you.

In addition to all of this, I've decided to narrow the focus of this blog. You see, my husband is a Chef and not only am I very familiar with the ins and outs of the restaurant industry, but I have seen the back-office view of many many restaurants. Some were very successful, some should have been, some were sad excuses for a reason to get out of bed in the morning. We watched as those ultimately failed.

I met my hubby when I was a Concierge at a large hotel. If you're not familiar with what a Concierge is, this is the person (usually at the fancier hotels) who helps you choose a restaurant, among other things. My daily work interaction with restaurants, entertainment venues, car rental agencies, shoe stores, costume rental shops (for a hotel VIP who wanted 20 gorilla suits in 45 minutes) showed me a lot about the back end of marketing and a lot about what simple things were the most effective for thriving businesses.

Being a Concierge sparked my love for marketing.

I'm the kind of person who naturally can tell you what's good and what's bad about how a business interacts with its customers (and I'm not shy with my opinion.) Since I had a firsthand look at most all of the restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I saw what worked and what didn't in terms of their marketing plan.

Over the years I've continued to observe the various methods used by restaurants and other small businesses and owner-operated venues. Some methods are examples of brilliant and effective marketing, while others are cheesy, desperate attempts to attract customers. Some don't seem to do any marketing, with predictable results. Of course, most people who start their own business do it because they are experts in their line of business, not because they are experts at marketing.

In this blog, you'll start to see a little less info about how you can fine tune the marketing of your website/blog/online store, and more about how you can attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more. I'll offer tips and suggestions that are simple to do. I'll keep my camera in my purse so I can show you real examples of what works and what doesn't... and then I'll explain why. You'll find useful and practical information if you have a storefront in town or an online store.

Because of my unique background with restaurants and marketing, I am anxious to focus on this niche. You will likely find that a lot of my marketing information leans toward the Food & Beverage industry. You can still modify my restaurant advice and tips to fit your own business.

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas on how to market your own business, please ask. I can post a handful of ideas for your situation. If you would like more specific information, or don't want your question/answers posted for everyone to read, I'm happy to work with you one on one and help you figure out what to do. 

Meanwhile, thank you for sticking with me through the last seven months while I took care of other things. If you are just discovering this blog, welcome! Be sure to subscribe or follow me so you don't miss out on tips, comments, or suggestions that will make a big difference for your business. 

Pam Hawk

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