3 December 2013

Hi everyone,

This marks a new start by me, to blog weekly and write a newsletter once a month. I am also launching my rebuilt website which should be viewable today. My website link is www.markcollinsnzltd.co.nz. I want to carry on improving my communication with you so I would appreciate all feed back on this letter, my website or anything that would help you.

Food Safety

Food safety has to be the topic of the month, with the recent Melbourne Cup food poisoning still fresh on our minds. I know this is only going to become a bigger part of our food industry, and there will be on going consequences of the New Food Legislation as it goes through parliament (likely with in the next 12 months or so) I will be writing more educational pieces and practical advice on this over the months ahead.

For now, something that every food business should ask themselves,

“How do we know the food we sell is safe?”

Whilst I don’t want to be known as a specialist food safety advisor, it is integral to everything we do in any food business!! Your customers take it for granted that you will deliver safe food, but if you ever let them down, they will punish you by telling everyone before going elsewhere and they will never forget

  • Unique Selling Points (USP)

Those of you that I work with on a one on one or retainer basis know how strongly I believe in continually developing your point of difference. I recently read a blog by Seth Godin, encouraging people to challenge them selves and their business by asking, “What do I give my customers that is worth them talking about?”

In it self an excellent, Question and given that according to the latest American Express diners survey, 87% of all customers surveyed reference word of mouth for their eating out destination?

This video is wild! Probably unpractical but incredibly thought provoking and why not consider something this far outside the square? At the moment we have many brilliant special effects technicians in NZ that are currently in an industry searching for new opportunities.

This is a must watch at 2.24 minutes:

  • Overlooked “Opportunities”

Every business has under used resources and assets. Opportunities are often right under our noses.

Experiment, listen, watch, appreciate, be personal with your staff and customers. Continually entice your customers to try new things with you, ask their opinions. Send them new products, show them new stuff that you are working on and always be on the look out for things they need that you could provide. A couple of quick examples:

  • Restaurants: your dining room or bar area may be a great place to do off-site training, run meetings etc. for other businesses in your immediate area. If you are just open in the evenings, market your space as available for other uses – make the price attractive! Give them hospitality included and give them a GST receipt that is fully tax deductible – the product line could read: Training Facilities.
  • Food service operations: promote other services, dry cleaning etc and clip the ticket, not only does it generate new money, make your café a hub but it also makes your contribution to your client significantly greater.
  • Food manufacturers and food suppliers: create new products, identify problems your clients face and solve them with your service: provide a food costing template, better food safety process or a guarantee, reduce waste with better shelf life, educate them on things they can do with your product to make a better margin and/or improve service with confirmation of delivery time and day.
  • Delivering “Excellent Customer Experiences”

This is a 2.27 minute video about a piece of new beverage service technology that was on the Letterman Show.

What I am trying to show you here, is how David Letterman featured this young fellow’s new invention and had a lot of fun with his viewers. There is a never-ending resource of great things you can do to give your customers something special, or different! Excellent Customer Experiences fit very well with my earlier challenge for you to give your customers something to talk about: the resources for great word of mouth advertising! You could also read a book called Positively Outrageous Service by T Scott Gross.

  • Diminishing Sales?

In the 1890s, the UK produced three-quarters of all new ships built in the world. In 1950, it was still the world’s foremost ship manufacturer. Even in 1977, 100 ships were launched. Last year, the UK produced only two ships. (The Observer)

Your world is continually changing, products and services are commoditized, peoples needs and wants, can change quickly, last year’s successfulproducts and services don’t necessarily qualify as starters even just a year later.

We all should read this book, at least once! “Who moved my Cheese” by Spenser Johnson. It is quite large print, with less than 100 small pages.

Until next month (when I have a small gift for you)

I have suggested a few books and other references if you want more inspiration and ideas but if you want me to help you knock out a plan or get started give me a call now on 0275 340860. I don’t charge until I have identified how I can help.

I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter, ideally you have been inspired and had a laugh or two. Wishing you a busy and profitable December.

Mark Collins

My Gift to you
Thinking Differently- over 100 idea starters

I have just released my first E book and for your interest I have gifted you the link to access your very own copy - pass it on to your friends!!!
Simply click on the image to access your copy now!

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Mark Collins