Feature Article: Grow Your Business Through Relationships: Ten Top Tips

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Darleen Bowman
Next Chapter, Inc.

Refueling Recommendations
Make-it-Fly® Advisory Boards
Advisory Board Openings

Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

Next Make-it-Fly® Café

ISSN# 1552-3705

March 3, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 5

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

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A Note From Dave & Victoria

We love entertaining, and though we’ve been busy lately with Make-it-Fly® activities, we’ve also enjoyed having friends and clients for dinner in our “new” living/dining area, artfully arranged by Geri Bigum of Staging Denver.

Sharon Gibson, Make-it-Fly
Sharon Gibson is our wonderful new, high energy Make-it-Fly® franchisee for NW Denver and the foothills areas. She is doing well—she is to speak at several events this month. Read more about Sharon on her website, www.make-it-fly.com/sgibson.

Check out Sky-Place.com our online social networking site is gaining traction. We invite you to visit and sign up today!

Our very best regards,

Dave and Victoria

Business Owner in the Spotlight

Darleen Bowman
Next Chapter, Inc.

Moving can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? What all needs to be done? The thought of having to pack and haul a lifetime of belongings can hinder progress toward the ultimate goal. Darleen Bowman opened Next Chapter in August of 2002 to help ease the process. Next Chapter is a move management company that assists people who are moving from one residence to another and/or downsizing.

“We handle all the details of a move as if it were our own,” says Darleen, “from sorting to packing, to overseeing movers, getting the client settled into a new residence and the disposition of excess possessions.”

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
DB: I love helping people who are overwhelmed with the details of a move. We organize and create a sense of order where chaos reigned before. What is most fulfilling is when we close the door of the previous residence for the last time, knowing it is completely cleaned out, and then open the door of the new residence and get a client settled in with the possessions that are precious to them.

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
DB: I had been laid off, and because of age could not find a job. I had determined I wanted to start my own company when I became aware of the move management industry. While many people across the country had been doing move management for quite a while, it really was a new industry. The challenge of doing something new to Colorado appealed to me.

I had cleaned out my parents’ home in Rochester, N.Y. Other than that, I had moved 12 to 14 times myself, three times across the country. I had also helped many friends prepare for their moves.

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
Actually two people. One was a lady 30 years my senior who started me in sales many years ago. She believed in me and convinced me that I could be anything I wanted to be. Another is a man who was my boss for two years, again who believed in me. He always told people if they wanted me to do something, simply tell me what it was, and then get out of the way so I could do it.

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
DB: Word of mouth has been the best marketing for me. This is such a personal business for clients, in that we see many facets of a client’s life when they are under the stress of making a move. They have to know they can trust us completely to handle everything efficiently and discreetly. When that trust factor is there, clients then refer others to us.
A second strategy that’s proved successful is giving talks at service clubs and churches.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
The first challenge was educating the community of the need for move management. I talked with a talk show host early on who basically said, “What’s so great about that? Get the grown kids to help with the move.” I’m here to tell you that idea doesn’t work well usually.

Currently the challenge is linked with the downturn in the housing market. Baby boomers might want to move or downsize, but are unable to sell their current houses. Another challenge is the influx of competitors.

Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
The greatest benefit is realizing I’m not alone. If I don’t know how to handle a situation, I have met people that can help me. There are resources that I can tap into.

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
DB: Just do it. It has been most helpful to me and well worth the investment.

Darleen Bowman can be reached by phone at: 303-757-4124, or visit her website at: www.ColoradoNextChapter.com.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Nugget:

When you take someone’s business card at an event, immediately, write any follow-up commitment you make on the back of his or her card. As soon as you get back to your office, do what you promised or make a note to yourself to do so as soon as possible.

Feature Article

Victoria Munro and Dave Block of Make-it-FlyGrow Your Business Through Relationships:
Ten Top Tips
By Victoria Munro & Dave Block

People choose to do business with those they know, like and trust. Business owners who’ve worked in the corporate world often find it challenging to adjust to the reality that small business is built on relationships.

Studies reveal that the majority of customers leave not because of problems with services or products, but because of perceived indifference. Plan to build and nurture great client relationships to grow your business!

1. Clearly define your ideal client, then study to understand their industry or profession and the challenges they face, especially the possible problems that your service or products solve.
2. It’s difficult to build good relationships over the phone and via email, so arrange times when you can meet face to face with current and potential clients.
3. Take time to talk with your current clients, ask questions, listen and learn from them about their needs and frustrations. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help them and advance their interests whenever you can.
4. Clients who know and trust you are much more likely to recommend your services or products to others. Ask for referrals.
5. View complaints as opportunities to position yourself as a candid, committed problem solver. Research shows that when customers have a problem with a company and have that problem spectacularly solved, they become more loyal to the company than customers who never experienced a problem. Time and energy spent solving a client's problem reaffirms and strengthens the relationship and any trust that was broken.
6. Keep in touch regularly via newsletters (print or electronic), calls, emails, notes, letters and “Raving Fan Celebrations.” (Call Dave, at 720-962-8888, to learn how this can increase your bottom line). If you don’t already have contact resource management (CRM) software, such as ACT, Gold Mine or Maximizer, consider investing in one, and keep it current!
7. Employ the power of personal, handwritten notes to say ‘thank you,’ emails to share something that will be of genuine value to them, or just to let them know that you appreciate and value their business and their friendship.
8. Learn about what is important tothem – their family, favorite sports team or hobby – and remember to ask about this. Focus on what matters most to them.
9. Look to the future and build long-term relationships with your current clients, then turn them into loyal fans. This won’t happen overnight, but it will yield big dividends!
10. Always, always, always be sincere! Be real, authentic and true to who you are!

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Marketing in a Down Economy – Tip #2 of 5

Choose networking events wisely. Continue to network and build relationships. Don't be a victim of "out of sight, out of mind." When choosing events ask: What types of businesses will be in attendance? Are they your target market and/or potential professional referral partners? How many will be in attendance? What does it cost?

Marketing tip by Beth Boen of CreativeXchange Marketing

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

The Riverfront

The Riverfront specializes in well crafted, richly satisfying occasions that balance aesthetics, personality and party. The site is versatile, accommodating groups from fifteen to five hundred. Features include: two dance floors with professional sound and lighting, a fireplace nook, three bars, outdoor patio, and gazebo. Our personal chef, custom menus, and full suite of inclusions rank us paramount in our industry.

Call 303.865.8500 today
and schedule your holiday event!

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Cheryl is offering a free 30-minute phone consultation, plus ask about the discount for In-Flight Refueling readers.
Visit www.TheEmailWorks.com.

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A step-by-step strategy for increasing your web traffic and online visibility. Set up available at an additional charge.
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Wanted: People with a Passion and Heart to Help
Small Business Owners

Have you ever wished you could work with like-minded business professionals to grow your own business, while doing work that results in major positive changes in lives and businesses?

Make-it-Fly®, Your Small Business Board of Advisors, has been changing the lives of small business owners and professionals in the Denver metro area for six years through peer advisory boards. We are now looking for franchisees with heart and passion to do the same in their communities.

After testing and perfecting our advisory board system with more than 800 clients, we are expanding. If you have a sales and/or marketing background, outstanding people skills and want to invest in your own business with a team committed to your success, we’d like to talk to you.

Contact Dave Block - 720-962-8888.

READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 2,700 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 12 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for three consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® program, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Current program openings in Denver:

  • Thursdays - April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2
  • Mondays - April 20, May 18, June 15, September 20
  • Fridays - May 1, June 5, July 10, August 7

Click here to sign up for Advisory Boards.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly® Café Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each other
High altitude networking, where exceptional people help each other.

Next Café:

Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door
Click here to sign up now.

Location: The Riverfront
2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton (One block west of Santa Fe)

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Contact Make-it-Fly® - Dave and Victoria:

email: info@make-it-fly.com
voice: 720-962-8888
web: www.Make-it-Fly.com

Reprint Permission:
Please email or call Victoria if you'd like to reprint any information contained in this newsletter. Thanks! © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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Make-it-Fly® LLC
355 South Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80226, USA