What exactly does it mean when an entrepreneur says that they own and operate a Christian small business? What should we expect when we walk through the doors? As an entrepreneur, is this really an image we want to attach to our small business?
The name of the video is What If Starbucks Marketed Like A Church? A Parable. The lessons from this video are great for small businesses whether they are Christian owned or not.
Does the Typical Church Experience Taint the Christian Small Business?
Clearly, this video is a wake up call to many churches that do not think that marketing is appropriate for the church. Why? Because whether they realize it or not they are already engaged in marketing and, as this video shows, they generally fail miserably.
When asked why he talks about God in his presentations, Zig Ziglar is found of pointing out that according to surveys nearly 90% of people express a belief in God. “Why would I risk alienating 90% of my audience?” he replies.
Let’s face it though. While more people may claim to believe in God, and even call themselves Christians, we have not been so despised since the days when we were blamed by Nero for the fire that nearly destroyed Rome.
In light of this, and the experience of attending the typical church service, is it a wise decision to attach our businesses to our Christianity?
My Business is not Christian Owned – Why Should I Care About This?
It’s interesting to note that some of these same marketing fiascos are being employed by small businesses regardless of whether they are Christian owned. The truth is the truth no matter where it is derived. We would be fools as entrepreneurs not to take advantage of such wisdom.
Everyone loves a great parking spot. Whether it is at church or your small business, make sure that the best spots are saved for your customers. Designate prime parking spots for your customers by putting up signs and instructing your employees, friends, and family to park in other spots.
This also applies to your website. Make sure that it is easily accessible. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate.
You know the saying. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Greeters are a powerful way to make that first impression. Wal-mart does a great job utilizing greeters, but not only do they greet you they also perform a service.
Like the greeters in the video, small businesses are guilty of ignoring customers as they walk in the door. It is such an important moment in a new client relationship. How much time do you spend on training your employees and yourself on making the most of this one time opportunity?
Again, this applies to your website as well. What is the first impression you are making? What type of greeters do you have? Is there a welcome or new visitor section on your home page?
Fill This Card Out
How many times have you heard that the money is in the list? Sometimes we are so eager to get a new customer into our list that we bombard them with signing up before we have ever given them a reason to do so. Provide great service, follow up with the customer to make sure they are happy, and then suggest the sign up.
In the virtual world the list is just about everything. Screaming at your reader through multiple calls of action pointing to signing up for your free newsletter, ebook, etc. is not very wise. If you have your auto-responder box prominently displayed on your landing page then there is no reason to create pop ups, banners ads, toolbar notes, etc.
Sprinkle more calls of action throughout your posts where they make sense. Provide value then remind of the reader about your call to action.
What Did You See?
There are many more lessons in this video. There are many parallels between the local church and small business. As we have seen, many times they are utilizing the exact same methods of attracting “customers.”