Community Yogi Founder Allison Reitz on Disrupting Wellness

Allison Reitz wants to help you find balance. The founder of Community Yogi, a transplant from Illinois, knows something about balancing acts. While building her startup, she also works as a composer of films scores and as an on-set sound effects expert. Allison discovered yoga in college in 2011. Her passion for the healing art grew steadily, and when it came time to become a yoga instructor, she went directly to the source. In 2016 she spent a month studying at the Trimurti school, in Dharamsala, India, located at the base of the Himalayas.

Allison joined the instructor team at Carson City’s premier yoga studio, Yoga Sol. She quickly saw that her new mission to introduce others to yoga was limited by her own time and energy. While teaching a community class at Comma Coffee on Sundays, she found her answer.

“I realized that we could host more yoga classes at underutilized commercial spaces.” Community Yogi was born. “It’s a win for the business that hosts the class, because it increases their visibility and foot traffic. And it keeps overhead expenses down which helps us provide classes at an affordable price.”

Central to the Community Yogi concept is a “Choose Your Price” or “Pay What You Want” model, a business model promoted by business influencer Tom Mork. The idea behind this is to ensure that everyone in the community can afford yoga classes. Community Yogi has a suggested price of $12 per class for drop-in sessions. Allison reports that about 2/3 of customers pay the suggested price; the final third split evenly into those paying more and those paying less. She’s noticed that this effect is a bit different for the more expensive class pass, which has a suggested price of $25.

“The majority of the customers pay more, and a lot of them pay $40 because they tell us that it’s worth that,” she reports.

Customers use the Community Yogi app to reserve and pay for their classes. Instructors currently receive 80% of the class revenue.

“We’ve attracted incredible teachers. We’re all discovering different kinds of yoga. The format of Community Yogi makes it easy to explore different yoga modalities,” Allison observes.

Offerings include popular themed classes like Soul Day Sunday, Moon Day Monday and Afternoon Zest. There are an array of healing arts represented in the Community Yogi repertoire, as well. The Brewery Arts Center hosted a sound-healing class, called Gong Immersion. Instructors are encouraged to be creative. There’s even a class at Patchwork Giraffe crafts store in Carson where participants sew their own eye pillows and then put them to use in a meditation class.

Allison is excited about the rapid growth of the company, and knows there are challenges ahead. Ensuring that the semi-virtual company can scale profitably will be the biggest. “We’re part of the sharing economy,”

“I’m looking forward to working with my mentor group,” says Allison. “I came to Adams Hub to take advantage of the Marketing Entrepreneur in Residence office hours on Tuesdays. When Community Yogi really started to take off, they invited me to become a Virtual Incubator member.”

“What Allison has accomplished in a short span of time is amazing,” notes Miya MacKenzie, Chief Professional Officer at Adams Hub. “She has incredible focus and strong follow-through. But very importantly, she is coachable. That’s not always true of entrepreneurs, but it’s essential for their success in incubated startups.”

“We liked her concept so much we decided to bring a Community Yogi class to our incubator and coworking space,” says Adams Hub Community Curator Peggy Wynne Borgman. “Beginning May 4, we’re welcoming Yoga Lunch to The Studio at Adams Hub, from 12 to 1 p.m.”

To learn more about Community Yogi, visit www.communityogi.com. Or sign up now for our Yoga Lunch!

Mastermind Groups Demystified: Guest Blog by Diane Dye Hansen

The first time I sat in the hot seat in my mastermind group, I was terrified. What was I doing? I had 20 minutes to talk about my business and ask a ‘how do I’ question. This was vulnerability at its most frightening. Sit me down in any support group and I’d be happy to talk about my childhood or my relationship with my father. But, cracking the nut on my business challenges, fears, and outright stalemates? That’s the type of raw honesty that made my skin crawl Yet, I counted myself in. I learned a while ago if it terrifies me, it’s worth the leap to try. After all, wasn’t that why I was a dyed in the wool, 4th generation entrepreneur? So, there I sat on the phone surrounded by the CEOs, VPs, owners, movers and shakers I had been so confidently providing advice to for months. It was my turn.

The experience of sharing my business was unlike anything I had experienced. It was nothing like the horror movie my mind conjured up. I was surrounded by a team of intelligent allies who were curious about my business and wanted to help. Soon, I found myself talking about my business and where I had created operational stress for myself. My ‘how do I’ turned into a slew of solutions from those who cared about me. I had given freely during previous sessions. Now, they were giving to me. Top consultants had their eyes on my business. Best, it didn’t cost me a dime.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings floating around about mastermind groups and what they do. When I stepped into my first one, I was still figuring it out. Now, I don’t see running my business without being part of one. Hopefully, my experience will help you decide what group is right for you.

Masterminds are not:

About Finding Sales Prospects: Networking and business connections can be a by-product of being part of a mastermind group. However, you don’t go there to sell. The best masterminds are those where everyone is there to give freely of their knowledge and make connections without strings attached. This no-sales environment makes a mastermind a safe place to explore business challenges without feeling you are about to be pitched.

Always “Pay to Play”: The experts industry has high end mastermind groups which can cost thousands to join. These groups may be right for some people. However, they are not the standard for mastermind groups. A good number of mastermind groups, Entrepreneurs Assembly included, are completely free to participate in.

For Those Who Know Everything:
If you think you know everything and are not open to ideas about what you are doing, a mastermind group may not be right for you. Where you gain from a mastermind is getting different perspectives on your business challenge. If you are closed off to this or are seeking validation for what you are doing, a mastermind may not be the best fit for you. You are intelligent. However, even the most intelligent person is open to insight.

A Place Where You Stay Quiet: Come to your mastermind group ready to participate. Entrepreneurs Assembly at Adams Hub for Innovation breaks out its entrepreneurs into pre-revenue, revenue, and growth categories. Each person has 20 minutes to briefly state their challenge and get input from the group. Seasoned entrepreneurs guide the group as facilitators to move the discussion along.

Masterminds are:

An Environment Filled with People Like You: Mastermind groups provide an opportunity for you to meet people who are facing similar challenges. You will get support, get connected with people who have been where you are, and discover resources that are available to you. You’ll realize quickly even if you are a solo-preneur, you are never alone.

A Place to Give Freely: Don’t be stingy with the questions. Mastermind groups are a place to give! When giving recommendations, it’s best to frame it as something you have done or would do with your business. Listen and respond thoughtfully and people will do the same when you are on the hot seat.

Incredibly Fun: When I left Entrepreneur’s Assembly, I felt energized. Even though I was mentoring, it gave me new fire and energy which I applied to my business. I also felt more prepared with ideas for my two other mastermind groups.

I hope to see you at the next Entrepreneur’s Assembly in Carson City. I look forward to saying hello!

Executive Pajamas – Cute Idea. But Not Cute for Executive Mindset.

Guest Blog by Diane Dye Hansen, Chief Inspiration Officer, What Works Coaching

Last Friday, I hit work-from-home bottom. Ironically, it was because I wasn’t working from home. I had set such poor boundaries with my working hours Monday through Wednesday that, by Thursday, I was waking up late. By Friday, I was entirely unable to focus. I went for a run. I talked on the phone. I did everything I could to get my head right. Because, darn it, I’m a business productivity coach! This is not me! But, it had become me.

It becomes thousands of well-intentioned business owners who want to save some money and work how they want. Unfortunately, how I wanted to work was to work when the inspiration is flowing. Can you guess how long that lasts for someone whose title is Chief Inspiration Officer?

I was working a lot. It was sustainable, I thought. It was productive, I justified. But last Friday, I hit my work-from-home bottom.

I realized that, although I could go to work in my pajamas, I also had “pajama boundaries” with myself. I put “pajama limitations” on myself on my ability to network. By that Friday, I looked at my social calendar and it looked like “pajamas” too. Too much Netflix and chill was needed to recover from the way I had been pushing myself. I needed boundaries. I needed socialization. I had reached “diminishing pajama return.” I needed to be a part of the human race again. I already volunteer at Adams Hub for Innovation on Mondays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.. So, I decided to drop my pajamas (!) and check into what co-working could do for my business.

For one, I am clear and unwavering about my needs. I don’t want to be tied to a space. I want the flexibility to be absent, to travel, go see clients, and (gasp) work from home if I wanted to. Also, I didn’t want to be in the middle of something and have to get up and leave because its “closing time.” That sounded less productive than more. The 24/7 co-working membership allowed me flexibility to come and go and not experience the “last call’ feeling when it came to my work. If I am inspired at 4:50 pm, I am probably going to lean into my inspiration versus say, meh, tomorrow.

What’s your Co-working Why?

Co-working might be right for you if you:

• Enjoy being around people and don’t need absolute silence while you are working.
• Hate being in pain after sitting in the wrong chair at coffee shops or other public spaces.
• Are open to the opportunity that meeting new people may bring you.
• Tend to overwork or underwork yourself when you work from home.
• Realize your home doesn’t feel like home anymore.
• Need a more professional environment for meetings
• Need things like fast Internet, copiers, good ‘ol fashion fax machines, and coffee you don’t have to worry about making.
• Understand that a $5 cup of coffee and a $5 snack from your favorite place times 5 times a week is the same amount as a 24/7 co-working membership at Adams Hub – and there is no closing time.
• Would like to work in downtown Carson City, have sushi for lunch, maybe some mid-morning yoga, and walk to your office from your free parking spot.

Your why is in there. You are feeling it. I know I had to be huddled under the covers, exhausted, unsocialized, and battling the pajama-CEO blues before I realized it. Use me as your cautionary tale. Just come and check it out. There are day passes, 9 am to 5 pm memberships, offices, and even incubator services. Plus, you get access to a bevy of experts to help you with your business.

If nothing else, come say hi to me. I’m still getting used to face-to-face human interaction again.

Diane Dye Hansen Chief Inspiration Officer
What Works Coaching
775-400-6174 | diane@whatworkscoaching.com
| www.whatworkscoaching.com | Skype: whatworkscoaching

Schedule a session now.

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Innovator Interview: Justin Huntington, DRI researcher and MapWater co-founder

Read our blog, 8 Daily Habits that Boost Productivity

 

INTERVIEW: Dr. Justin Huntington of MapWater

How did MapWater come into being?

justin-speaking-at-googles-earth-engine-2016-user-summit

Dr. Huntington of the (co-founder of MapWater) giving a presentation at Google’s Earth Engine 2016 User Summit.

Water and agriculture in the western U.S. are multi-billion dollar resources that are central to the regional economy and future development. An important component of water development, management, and sustainability in the western U.S. is a detailed accounting of historical and current water use from irrigated agriculture. There is a great need for accurate, defensible, and timely maps of water use that are summarized on a field-by-field basis–the spatial scale at which water rights are managed. MapWater is a new company founded by researchers at the Desert Institute that provides satellite-based field scale water use and vegetation vigor products using multiple NASA and non-NASA earth observation platforms and spatial data-sets. These products can be used by water and natural resource agencies to support day-to-day decision making, long-term water resource planning and management, hydrologic studies, and obligations for water governance and interstate agreements.

 

Why do you do what you do?

Helping to better manage and protect natural resources using new satellite and cloud computing is quite exciting and inspirational. Just a few years ago making field-scale water use and vegetation vigor maps was very labor intensive and expensive. Now days we can make maps in seconds compared to days or weeks.

What was the most exciting development for you in 2016?

The use of cloud computing to quickly make maps and data summaries that are easily assessible to end users via a web browser.

What lies ahead for 2017?

We are working with several government and NGOs to develop products that best suit their needs.

How has your experience at Adams Hub contributed to your success?

Adams Hub has provided the support and environment to accelerate research to , and development of a sustainable model.

Contact Dr. Huntington at JustinH@.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 daily habits that boost productivity and reduce stress

For , self-management is one of the keys to success. Not all of us are “monomaniacs on a mission,” like an Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, so most of us exist in that space between wanting to accomplish our goals and wanting to have a life. With the ubiquity of technology, we can work anytime and anywhere, so we do. Entrepreneurs frequently admit that we’re the worst bosses we ever had.

Goals are crucial, but it’s our daily habits that enable us to reach them. During the years that I ran two companies and oversaw 50+ employees, I learned a some best practices that were powerful boosters, not to mention sanity-savers.

1. Don’t start your day with email. If you do, other people’s priorities (and crises) become your own. Reserve the first hour of your day, when you’re freshest, for tasks that require concentration, creativity, or both.

2. Focus on accomplishing just three key things a day. Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach says this is about all we ever manage to do anyhow, and trying to accomplish more sets us up for failure. (If you’re Elon, you’re allowed 100 things a day.) Focusing on three key things helps you focus and provides that all-important sense of accomplishment.

ferriss-quote3. At the end of the day, write down what you’ve accomplished. There’s nothing more dispiriting and de-energizing than looking at a list of things to do that’s as long as your arm, and then adding something to it. Take a minute at the end of the day to write down what you actually did. This prevents you from focusing only on what’s left to do.

4. Move all the items that you can from your “to do” list to your calendar. This is a tried and true technique that really works. It keeps your to-do list from reaching terrifying proportions while it allocates time to the items on it–and that enables you to visualize exactly what you can (and can’t) do.

5. Delegate that! I consulted with many company owners who claimed that delegation “didn’t work,” as an excuse for why they were so overworked and underproductive. Most bosses never learn that there are two distinct transactions involved in an effective delegation: you need both the delegee’s understanding of the task being delegated (can they do it?) and their agreement (will they do it?) Nail down both and you’re golden.

6. Set a brisk operational tempo. Verne Harnish’s classic book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits prescribes a rhythm for business operations that generates a sense of purposeful urgency (not the more popular and widely-used fear and hysteria.) In this system, the rhythm builds steadily from day to week to month to quarter to year to years.

  • Daily: A minutes-long “huddle” in which team members participate in a quick discussion of their top priorities for the day (see previous habit)
  • Weekly: the tempo continues with a one-hour weekly meeting (we changed the name of ours from “operations meeting” to “progress meeting.”) We started those with a quick round-robin of “good news” and “acknowledgements.” As leaders, it’s important for us to make sure we look back at what we’ve accomplished, rather than focus on the stuff that remains to be done.
  • Quarterly: half-day sessions to review progress toward our goals and plan next steps. We conducted these as off-site mini-retreats. This was time to step outside of our daily routine and get strategic.

7. Revisit your goals daily. Remember your awesome strategic plan for 2016? Yeeaaaah. Harnish specializes in fast-growing “Gazelle” companies and offers a famous “One page Strategic Plan” which is one of the most practical and actionable (not to mention free!) tools I ever came across. It enables you to take your company’s long-term BHAG and break it all the way down into quarterly bite-sized chunks, on a simple chart that everyone on the team can read at a glance. While his book explains how to use the plan, he also offers seminars on the topic. Thousands of companies swear by it.

8. Use Different Days in Different Ways. When I first encountered the Strategic Coach I had a 24/7 work lifestyle and so did virtually every I knew in Silicon Valley. I’d just met a terrific guy, but after a month of dating, he told me flat-out, “You don’t have time for a relationship.” Fortunately, I was just about to start attending Strategic Coach sessions.

Dan Sullivan had us divide our week into three distinct days: Focus Days, Buffer Days and Free Days. A Focus Day is one spent 80% in your area of “genius,” activities that you do better than anyone else.  A Free Day is a 24-hour period in which you do not do any work, talk about work, or think about work. (If a family member asks you how your is going, you pleasantly remind them that it’s your Free Day and you’ll have to get back to them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly others around you get trained.) A Buffer Day is when you do things like email, meetings and, well, the stuff that occupies most “normal” work days–and importantly, get ready to enjoy a peaceful Free Day or rock a super-productive Focus Day.

My Free Days enabled me to invest in my relationship and I ended up marrying aforementioned Terrific Guy. Even if you only start with one Free Day per month, the experience is incredibly liberating and rewarding. The hardest days to carve out were Focus Days. Even with 20% of the time allocated to non-Focus interruptions, it’s can be hard to get back on track. You may want to spend your Focus Day out of the office.

As entrepreneurs know, there’s no shortage of good ideas out there. The difference is execution. Execution requires discipline–and good daily work habits are the way vision becomes reality.

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Your Business with Strategic Alliances: the Basics

One of the most effective business-development strategies for startups is a process that’s employed by mid-size to large companies every day in the United States. It’s the use of strategic alliances.

I hesitate to call them “strategic partnerships” as many do, because they’re not really partnerships per se. A partnership denotes shared risk and shared reward, but this isn’t usually the case. Typically, the parties in a strategic alliance will keep the relationship at arm’s length until the comfort level, expectations, and rewards of the relationship become evident.

Strategic alliances are business relationships that are usually built with no money or investment of capital.

Typical goals:

  • Expand visibility in a new market sector
  • Confer legitimacy or prestige to the parties, especially when one is new or unknown

A strategic alliance must be a win-win, but the way each party “wins” can be quite different. Strategic alliances are most beneficial and impactful when they are built between businesses with complimentary offerings, that serve the same markets and customers. They work best when they consist of unrelated offerings that together create a synergy.

So how does this differ from sales and marketing? First and foremost, this is definitely not about selling to other people’s customers. The quickest way to kill a strategic alliance is to treat it like your new sales channel. It’s about building relationships and business development. It’s a matter of having a vision for your organization and identifying which resources can aid the strategy. What other organizations can be aided by what we do? How can our products or services help others?

Startups and small businesses have a tough row to hoe to gain traction and customers in competitive markets. Throwing money at the market is one way companies try to overcome the deficiencies, but startups rarely have that option. Even if they did, success depends on how and where the dollars are spent and the metric(s) utilized to measure it. Most startups and small businesses don’t have endless amounts of cash to spend on marketing, nor can they effectively measure which piece of the marketing and communications budget actually creates the greatest ROI. In my startup companies, we always look early on for powerful strategic alliances to help drive our agenda, identifying other non-conflicting agendas in the same marketplace. We create a more dynamic message and/or solution, and we do that on a shoestring.

Here’s an example, one we’re working on right now for my new software company. In the new company we’ve identified some real problems in the boutique hotel industry, and it’s easily costing small hotel owners tens of thousands of dollars per year and up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to rectify these, or upgrade. One way to get customers in the target market is to start cold-calling hotels that fit the profile we’ve identified. Anyone who has ever cold-called a market knows just how hard that is to get anyone to even listen to you, much less buy from you. The odds are in the low 2% range, which means that for every 100 calls made, only 2 will result in an appointment or sale. Those are some rough odds for anyone in this era of small business customer acquisition, and phone screening.

Our primary strategy is to align with the organizations that cater to this particular industry. It does help that in this case we have a thirty-year relationship with several hoteliers, and know the founder of an industry association that includes a membership of 20,000 small-hotel chains all around the world. We’ve pinpointed something of value for the association, are building it, and providing it to the membership as a value-add to their base dues. Then (ta-da!) there are two more tiers of premium products that will be available for the members at higher price points, providing services that tether us to the customer base in long-term ways.

Why is it important to identify key players, associations and memberships within your particular industry? There are many reasons, but one of the best is creating a legitimate one-to-many relationship.  Other parallel reasons for pursuing the associations and memberships in a particular market are to create parallel legitimacy with a recognized or established organization. Being able to use of share their brand alongside your brand is a powerful message to would-be customers and other alliances.

When we founded the non-profit Entrepreneurs Assembly (www.EA-NV.org)  five years ago, it was established to assist entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in honing their business models and keeping them on track in 30 day intervals. Early on, we established strategic alliances to provide funnels  for the programs and legitimacy for the unique and valuable things we were doing to create and grow businesses. We worked with the folks in Reno at EDAWN, and provided them with a key entrepreneurial metric they did not have. They helped us with marketing and a bit of funding which continues to this day. We strategic-alliance-imagealso knew early on that the university was key to many aspects of our programs and their success. Our educational courses have been accredited now for several years and 20% of our EA membership are students and former students all of whom are now building fantastic companies right here in northern Nevada, instead of moving over the hill to work for Google.

In launching EA in Incline Village, we knew that working with SNC was critical to the equation. They have an entrepreneurial program up there, but not a community outreach mechanism, which is what we have. I spoke to my pal Kendra whom I’ve worked with for years in business plan competitions. She was excited to launch, so we did, but we couldn’t have done it without the critical alliance in Incline!

Now here we are in Carson City, where we’ve been working strategically with Adams Hub for innovation to build a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration in Carson City. This entails working closely with NNDA and other local entities to create a collaborative network of businesspeople who can help each other and drive fundamental success.

No organization can operate solely on its own. All of them need resources, networks, customers, and strategic alliances. The alliances help each entity accomplish more than it could on its own, tap into new markets, create new synergies, and most importantly help organizations thrive and prosper. It works!

Why I Started Entrepreneurs Assembly

by Matt Westfield, Adams Hub Entrepreneur in Residence

matt westfield portraitEntrepreneurs Assembly (EA) was born in the shadow of the Great Recession, in 2011. A lifelong, serial entrepreneur, I had years of experience in mentoring business plan competitors and assisting startups. But as the “recovery” staggered forward I found myself interacting with a striking number of displaced professionals who’d lost their jobs to the recession and were attempting to reinvent themselves. For many of them, starting a business was a survival strategy fueled by desperation.

Time was of the essence for many of these aspiring entrepreneurs. Many years before this (2003), a buddy and I decided to build a startup curriculum module that we’d never seen anywhere else. It was straightforward and action-oriented, providing a starting point for an entrepreneur to help shake out his or her business model, add chronological marketing steps, and build a plan to stay on track and reach his or her goals.

We revived and expanded that curriculum for these post-recession startups, and realized that we needed to create a network that could engage, nurture and foster accountability among these startups. Structured in 30-day intervals, the network meetings would keep the founders on track and get them to the customer more quickly and more effectively–with a good value proposition and a compelling story to tell. This new network turned out to be the precursor to Entrepreneurs Assembly.

To build the network we sought an initial partner to provide us with meeting space. We met with the economic development folks who needed the metrics for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which we could build. We met with UNR, who wanted to develop a minor in Entrepreneurism, and also needed a place to direct the entrepreneurs who were hatched by the business program at the University.  Other partners referred potential entrepreneurs to us. The response to the Entrepreneurism curriculum was electrifying.

One of the biggest benefits of the course is that it helped foster accountability. As people began to graduate though, we also discovered a new need: entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs who now needed a way to keep on track and maintain forward momentum. So, the Entrepreneurs Assembly (www.EA-NV.org) was formed with two mentors and two startups who’d come through the class and wanted more hands-on guidance.

In four years, EA has grown from a one-chapter program with a mentor and two founders to three chapters in Northern Nevada mentoring about 100 startups each month. We are proud to build a new chapter in conjunction with the Adams Hub for innovation, launched in Carson City, and delighted to say that we’ve just passed the “1,000th company founder served” mark since our inception.

EA has a very simple, yet compelling model, with a peer-to-peer engagement strategy that holds participants accountable within 30-day intervals. First, when someone signs in they are automatically agreeing that anything divulged in the room stays in the room unless expressly permitted (by the specific founder) to share that information with those outside of EA.

Everyone in the room is held to an ethical and behavioral model which respects the participants, offers constructive critiques and nurtures creativity. As well, participants are encouraged to open and share networks and resources with others in the organization.

Meetings begin with introductions, business, and last month’s “marching orders update,” whether completed or not. Marching Orders are the action items that each participant has committed to for the 30-day period following the previous meeting.

After a quick break, facilitators divide participants into round tables with about 5 or 6 entrepreneurs and one or two mentor/facilitators at each. The next two hours are devoted to the roundtable sessions, with equal time for each participant who has completed their assignments from the prior meetings they attended.

If a founder doesn’t complete their respective marching orders from the prior month, for any reason, they’re welcome to attend the next meeting, but not permitted to take time from the ones who’ve completed their assignments and are prepared for the next session of business development. This ensures that maximum energy is offered to the founders who are executing their plans.

The mentor/facilitator’s job is to keep everyone on track, keep conversations constructive, encourage peer input and not allow anyone to dominate. Mentors-facilitators are also not expected (or wanted) to be the font of wisdom and “answers.” Energy is focused on one speaker at a time. We’ve found that the true power and dynamic rests with each entrepreneur’s ability to share, contribute and learn throughout each session.

The results of each meeting are energy, focus, and dynamic networks of like-minded people of every age who live it, breathe it and “get” it.

EA is open to the entire business community, from someone with a new business idea to founders of startups, new businesses, flat businesses, or businesses in need of turnaround. There is no cost to participate.

EA Carson launched in August and meets on the third Wednesday of every month. For more information, contact grow@adams hub, or call 775.222.0001. You can also visit ea-nv.org to learn more about the organization and all its chapters.

10/18 Lunchbox Learning Class: The Zen of Customer Complaint Resolution

customer-service-recovery-graphDo you dread the next outrageous or review? Does your front desk team freeze like deer in the headlights when a customer complains? Does the phrase “she wants to talk to a manager” strike fear in your heart?

You’re right to be nervous. Unhappy customers share their experience with three times as many friends and family members as your happiest advocate. have amplified this effect dramatically.

“fails” are a fact of life for everyone in business, regardless of how hard you try. (Even the founder of Neiman Marcus has said, “The road to success is paved with mistakes well-handled.”) Learning how to “recover” from these events is more crucial than ever, regardless of whether you’re a coffee shop or a law practice.
     There’s a major upside to handling a complaint effectively. Your customers will actually be happier than if they’d had an “uneventful” experience with your company (see diagram!) Authentic “” is not about improving online reviews, but giving actual, excellent customer service.
     Service recovery is a teachable skill. The first crucial element is a company-wide commitment to delighting customers.  Then all employees, regardless of position, need specific coaching in complaint-resolution skills.
     Your business must also define what, exactly, is in an employee’s “relationship repair” toolbox. (Can a restaurant server “comp” a meal? Is a manager’s approval necessary to issue a credit or refund for unsatisfactory service?) Making it easy to provide “recompense” or “amends” is essential to empowering employees to give world-class service. The words “I have to check with my manager” will further enrage an already-angry customer.
     Our fun, fast Lunchbox Learning class provides specific strategies and tactics that will ensure loyal, happy customers after a misstep.
     We’ll discuss how to turn around tense situations, how to remain calm and effective during a confrontation, how to identify complaints before they happen, and how to resolve a complaint with confidence. Attendees will find out how to turn potential “haters” into raving fans of your business.

We’ll cover:

  • The shocking power of negative word of mouth, on and offline
  • When to disregard negative feedback
  • Handling complaints in person, on the phone, and online
  • The anatomy of a complaint
  • Your most valuable client: the complainer
  • Different complaining “styles” and how to respond effectively to each
  • Radioactive words and phrases you must never use when resolving a complaint
  • Why and when problem-solving backfires, and what to do about it
  • A simple trick that will enable you to listen rather than panic
  • Recompense: how to make them happy without giving away the store
  • Abusive vs. Angry customers and what to do about them

The Zen of Customer Complaint Resolution

12-1 p.m. (BYO Lunch!)

Adams Hub for , 111 W. Proctor St. Carson City.

 Space is limited for this session, so please RSVP to grow@adamshub.com.

Coworking: the cure for the common workday

is changing the way startups, small businesses and freelancers work. It used to be there were a handful of options for those of us who didn’t have an office: work at home, rent expensive space or set up camp at Starbucks. (Good luck on that conference call!)

While working from home has advantages, it has a couple of significant downsides, the first being distractions. Work-from-homers often cite the dog, the kids, or the load of laundry you can slip in between emails as challenges to their productivity and concentration

But the most significant downside for the home office worker is the sense of isolation that can set in after the novelty and convenience of living where you work loses its luster.

Coworking to the rescue. This recent work trend has picked up incredible steam in the past few years. Coworking spaces have popped up in virtually every city in the US. Most of them feature a communal work area that may resemble a cafe, with large shared tables, lounge areas, conference rooms and “phone booths” for those conversations that demand privacy. Some, like Adams Hub, offer a receptionist and mailboxes, enabling small companies and startups to present a professional image from Day One.

At Adams Hub, coworking members enjoy a light, contemporary space with lots of windows, a high speed fiber network, and an unlimited supply of caffeine. Located in the heart of downtown Carson City, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance, as well as a nearby yoga studio that offers lunchtime sessions. Other amenities include shower facilities for bike-to-workers, a refrigerator for stashing your lunch, and access to conference rooms as space permits. There’s even a new roof deck.

While coworkers report better focus and productivity, one of the biggest benefits of coworking are the “creative collisions” that occur while working around other people. These serendipities are one of the reasons people love coworking–you meet the most interesting people, doing the most interesting things. And inevitably, there are interesting new connections that come your way as a result of being in this “habitat.”

Adams Hub is unique in that it’s a business incubator and coworking habitat operated by the non-profit Hop & Mae Adams Foundation. Coworkers here enjoy an opportunity to be part of that environment of innovation and creativity.

Because our mission is to foster innovation and energetically support small business in the area, Adams Hub coworkers are treated to some unusual perks:

  • Student interns are often available to help coworking clients, on a space-available basis
  • On Fridays, expert research is provided by Research Ninjas, librarians from the Carson City Library.
  • Thursdays, business counseling by the SBDC is available in-house.
  • Even Office Depot gives our clients VIP treatment, extending their Carson City Chamber of Commerce discounts (which are substantial) to coworking members. Kind of makes you feel like a big shot.

Individual coworking memberships at Adams Hub are just $150 per month for use Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m. Students (with current registration and ID) can join for just $49.

Tours are always available.

Want to know more about coworking, or getting your accepted for our business incubator? Contact us at grow@adamshub.com or at 775.222.0001.

Learn more about the Coworking trend.

 

 

Problem People

Which are you?  Click the link below to read the full article, then answer Jeff’s challenge question: “So, I challenge us to decide, what is the wise thing to do when a problem arises?”

: Who Moved My Problem? | Carson City Nevada News – Carson Now

We all share a common problem in this world. That problem is called people. Most of our and daily frustrations can be traced to a person. Is this truthful in the sense of being right or is this just our flawed human ? The world, many might argue, is how we perceive it; that is in fact our reality. So, I challenge us to decide, what is the wise thing to do when a problem arises?