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Can you recall the first word you said when you were a baby - probably not - but what about your own child's?  Probably was NO - maybe forceful even.  Said it without concern of hurting feelings or what the other party thought of us.  But fast forward to the here and now and as business owners we are very reluctant to utter that simple word.  Why is that? 

Sales of course.  We don't want to lose a sale so we will bend over backwards, jump through hoops and say sure we can do that even at our expense. I have seen many discussions of photo booth operators saying yes to charitable organizations in offering a DEEP discount or FREE booth at a festival, fundraiser, etc in hopes we will get some leads that will turn into future sales.  Or what about the operators that say yes to allowing your customer to use their own props or albums and ask your company to discount the booth for doing so then you still have to work with the album. 

Just starting out and you can't say no.  Nope, that is wrong.  If you just say yes like Jim Carrey in Yes Man, then you may find yourselves without a business in the very near future.  As a new business owner you may feel insecure in turning down anything and sometimes you say yes to the wrong opportunities. 

So when can we say no where it will benefit us in the long run.

As a business owner we wear many hats, especially if you have no partners, and sometimes your skill set should not be used in say accounting and taxes.  Or perhaps you have a website and your social media skills are not quite there yet.  Sometimes it may be best to say NO to yourself because you can't do everything the way it should be done.  There are ways to outsource some tasks that you either have no time, no skill, or no interest in doing.

You can say NO when you are feeling overwhelmed with new projects or rental gigs.  You too need some down time otherwise, you will find yourself burned out.  Overbooking may be healthy for the business but not for the business owners.  The last thing you want to do is be overworked and burned out of doing anything, having a bad attitude with a client or their guests or let little things fester to bigger problems simply because you need some down time.  After all, most of the gigs you handle are in your off hours and most of us are doing this as a 2nd or 3rd income, right?  Saying no from time to time gives you a break - short but well deserved I am sure.

Some clients are the wrong fit for your business and you must say NO.  This is a tough one when you are starting out as you don't want money walking out the door.  But, trust me on this one as some customers may not be a good fit for your personality.  They can be a major stress or frustration point and pleasing them may be difficult.  That type of customer can be the complaint on your site or social media referral listing, or maybe they short pay you or not pay you at all.  Be somewhat selective in your customer choice - if you get along with them and them with you, chances are the business relationship will be good for both of you.

Most of us are home based businesses whether they be full time, part time, or somewhere in between.  Working a second job will take you away from having time to handle things at home so learning to say NO to noncritical demands or items that can be assigned to other members of the family.  

Sometimes NO is the right answer - something to think about as a business owner especially if you are new to the title.

 

We were contacted by an advertising/promotions company, Warehouse Twenty One  in Cheyenne, Wyoming, who wanted a special favor to commemorate their client's event.  

They selected the Acrylic Block frame which is a 2x6 block of acrylic with 4 strong magnets at the corners allowing for items to be displayed front and back, horizontally or vertically.  So 350 lucky attendees of the Wyoming Lottery Pre Launch party received these souvenirs where they could slide their photo booth strips in on the back of these frames.  

Warehouse Twenty One was very pleased with how efficient we got their order out to them in time to prepare the inserts for their client's event.  Their client was pleased with the unique favor that commemorated the night's event and the attendees were very pleased with their designer acrylic block frame souvenirs.  

If there are any other event planners looking for a hot, happening, practical yet unique favor or souvenir for your client's wedding, party, or special event, we have many different styles of frames to select from.  We would love to hear from you.

 

Wyoming Lotto 1 edited 9-3-14 

 

 

We have seen the news lately of savvy computer hackers breaking down encryption software and stealing valuable data off of big retailers' computer networks.  Oh but those are big companies with valuable data, no one will try that with our small business.  WRONG. 

First, let me emphasize that I am not a lawyer nor an IT professional.  I am just a small business owner that reads alot of business journals for fun.  NERDY perhaps, but if you are using a cloud based storage system or provider, be wary of what you are choosing to store in the clouds.  If you are only using the cloud for storage of images, pictures, and the like - less likely there is anything of value worth stealing.  Unless of course, you have pictures of celebrities that have chanced their way into your booth.  Or those guests that got into some rather provocative poses which may be perfect for blackmailing.  Never know as they say, "one man's trash may be another man's treasure.

If you are storing your contracts complete with customer names, addresses, credit card information - then you have an even bigger threat on your hands.  If these hackers are able to break into the Targets, and other big box retailers, what makes you think you are safer than they are with their million plus budgets for such security ?

What can you do about it?  

Insurance Options

Believe it or not, you can insure against these types of cyber risks which is a first step if you are retaining vital financial information about your client's on a computer device, storage device, or cloud based servers.  These types of policies protect against data intrusions, data loss, and system failures would could lead to interrupting your business, your reputation suffering, legal compliance and loss of revenue.  Even if you have a thumb drive to retain this information, this type of insurance is a must as these thumb tracks can be lost or data can be penetrated.  Most of you should have some form of General Liability, possibly Workers Compensation and perhaps some form of Commercial Auto or rider on your personal auto insurance, right?  If not, as a licensed insurance agent, I would strongly suggest you get the basics covered.  This cyber risk we are talking about, generally not covered under the general liability policy and will cost you extra.

Secure Storage Sites

Free Cloud Storage may not be the best source for your storage needs.  Great for nonessential saving of your work but not for contracts, or other items you wish to protect.  Consider the adage, "you get what you pay for".  We tell our prospects this all the time in regards to trying to dissuade them from renting a booth from some coupon rated vendor but same is true for us.  There are plenty of secure site cloud storage options - just search for secure cloud storage options and do some research.

Limit Access and Change Passwords Frequently

Cloud storage is convenient and allows everybody in a small business to have the same access to the files from anywhere but that same access can be gained by hackers and criminals who wish to do your company or your customers' financial harm.  What if the risk is closer to home than you think ?  What about employees you lay off or are disgruntled for one reason or another.  When companies lay off an employee, they make sure they get their property or equipment back, but what about data access?  These disgruntled employees can wreak havoc with the data, deleting things, editing them with false information or worse. They may have passwords to your PayPal accounts, your website back office, sales resources that they can log in when they want and use unbeknownst to the company's owners. When an employee leaves for whatever reason, passwords need to be changed or if you have a specific user password for that person, they should be closed or deleted to prevent unauthorized access.  Create a checklist for releasing/firing/laying off an employee complete with a list of software or application user names and passwords and make sure you follow up on these and change them, delete these users, etc.

We can protect ourselves, our businesses, and our customer's data by giving this some thought as I hope this blog will do.  

I know you are thinking this is all well and good but this is going to cost us more money.  True, but think of the alternative.  If someone does hack into your records and causes internet fraud on your customers credit card - the legal costs of defending yourself and your company, the negative publicity and reputation hits you will take - it all adds up. 

Benjamin Franklin once was quoted as saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

bfranklin quote

 

networking

NETWORKING.  Some of you love it, some of you hate it.  But what if I shared a way for nearly everyone at the next networking event to come over and seek you out for a change?  Did that get your interest?  

Whether its a "meet-up", a chamber of commerce, or some other business networking session, conference, etc. There is an opportunity for your business to be a focal point by providing a service to the group.  Now, obviously, it would be very helpful to be an actual paid member of the group you are approaching - which is a topic for another day as to the amount of leads you can receive by becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, but you can provide a service.  

Photo Booth or Head Shots Provided Here  

You can either offer up your photo booth for free (hate that word but sometimes it can bring back more business in the long run) or use your photo booth equipment to do headshots which go hand in hand with networking and businesses.

If you get the word out that you will be providing this service you will be able to make face to face contact with practically everybody at the event.  There could be business owners you can collaborate with on future events.  Or it could be business owners who are looking for a photo booth for their next company party (because they read our blog a few episodes ago and now they know how much fun you can provide for their employees), and of course everybody has someone or knows someone who is getting married, having a sweet 16, mitzvah, or some other personal celebration. 

Right - are you with me still ? 

So networking in general is a great source of leads, but you have to work the room.  Sometimes you get stuck with that one person who only speaks to their pet at home and now has you showing them interest (uh-oh).  So try and get a list of the attendees so you can be more strategic with whom you seek to speak with. 

But, if you can get in and provide a service - you have everybody flocking to you - and put out a fishbowl for business cards as business cards and networking events are another thing that go hand in hand.   

fishbowlbizcards

 

Need Help?

Phone: (954) 278-8740
Fax: (954) 510-2051

Sales@1stopphotoboothshop.com

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