Tag Archives: local

Business Tips from St. Louis Small Business Expert Jennifer Q. Williams

Small Talk on KTRS Tune into KTRS 550AM on The McGraw Milhaven Show and to hear owner Jennifer Q. Williams talk Small Business.  Being an award-winning business leader in the St. Louis Business Community for over 24 years, Jennifer will talk Small Business!! Tips on getting your business started, turning an idea into a business, what tools you need to start, run and grown your Small Business.  According to SBA Small Businesses make up 99.7% of all employer firms.

7/23/15  Aren’t we always interested in the habits of famous people, successful business owners? Here are five habits that I think most successful Entrepreneurs seem to possess.

Five Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners:

They put their customers first.  Small business owners see a need and fill it! Customer service and customer satisfaction is the make or break of any start-up and the key to growth and sustainability.

They don’t take ‘No’ for an answer.  Small Business owners are not good at accepting the answer ‘no’ to anything. Entrepreneurs will find a way to make things work, they will find a way to keep moving forward. Also ignoring the people who say you cannot do it, is the path to success.

They go one step further than anyone else.  Not only does this apply to customer service, but it applies to everything a small business owner does, go one step further with your brand, your website, your employees. Don’t settle for just OK…be the best.

They make decisions quickly, are OK with changing directions.  Many people get bogged down with decisions and the inability to change quickly if things are not working. Successful entrepreneurs make a decision, move on and deal with it later. Successful entrepreneurs are OK to pull the plug on something not working and quickly change gears and move on. * an advantage small businesses have over large companies.

They are visible.  Successful entrepreneurs are the face of their business. They are in the media, they are a face for the customer and don’t shy away from the customers. They are also available and visible to their employees.

6/18/15  EVERY Customer deserves a response! Over-listen!

Read, listen and learn from Social Media, great platform for customers to communicate with you.

Have a plan, how will customer complaints be dealt with within your business. Is there a chain of command, a time period, do employees have power to solve customers concerns.

Show genuine concern. Make their problem YOUR problem….because ultimately it is your problem.

Respond Promptly, every minute you’re not responding they are telling someone about how unhappy they are.

Go the extra mile….go overboard with your solution!! Fix their problem then do something else. A cup of coffee, a nice dinner, an extra accessory, etc.

3/19/15  Five Small Business Trends for 2015 and Beyond

Entrepreneurship.  More and more people leaving large companies and starting their own small businesses. Downsizing, layoffs, & better opportunities.

Digital Marketing and Social Media.  Videos on YouTube, Facebook, Blogs, etc…no need for TV Commercials, more need for TECHNICAL marketing employees vs CREATIVE.

More people working from home.  Work/life balance is more important to millennials than any previous generation.   More opportunities to work from home and more opportunities for flexible hours due to technology.

Less Retail shopping, more Online shopping.  Convenience!

SEO (search engine optimization) and the Web.  More important than ever! Consumers want content marketing NOT product. Everyone Google’s….your small business needs to be found. Online engagement.

7/5/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Q. Williams discusses with McGraw Milhaven on How to Get Business, How to Get Your Phone to Ring.  Tell people what you have that others don’t, send out press releases on a regular basis, remember customers need to hear your company name 5-7 times before they remember.  Make sure to stay on top of your competition and know what they’re doing.  You want to Target Market the small surrounding area your business services and Blanket Market the larger surrounding area for name awareness.  Constantly work on, revise and grow your marketing plan to change with what’s working and not.  Don’t forget Social Media.

5/15/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Q. Williams talks with McGraw Milhaven about Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter Ideas for Small Business.

Blogging, Facebook and Twitter are great ways to generate business and turn existing customers into repeat customers.  Some key components of this type of communication:

1.  Don’t sell…this is a great way to disseminate information in a non-sales way.  No pressure and offering great helpful information.  Save your sales for your sales force and your brochures.

2.  Connect with and keep in touch with past clients.  This form of communication will keep your past and existing customers thinking of you, even when they don’t need your services…referrals!

Great topics to consider…Be an expert on your product or service, Review a book or product your customers would find helpful, Highlight new products and how they can help, Top 10 Lists, How to Articles, Take a survey and share your results, photos, feature new employees, promote specials, host networking events, etc.

4/24/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Quinn Williams talks about Creating Raving Fans for your Small Business not just satisfied customers!  book, “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better.  Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore in today’s competitive marketplace, you have to create Raving Fans.”

The cost of getting new customers in the door is getting more and more expensive everyday.  Let your Raving Fans do the work for you.

Decide what you want for your business and it’s service…discover what your customers want then deliver that plus!

WHY?  Studies show that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about his/her experience with your company.  A dissatisfied customer will share their bad experience with 8-10 people and some will push that number to 20.  But here’s your real opportunity…an unhappy customer will become extremely loyal if you fix their complaint and do it quickly. 80% of these customers will come back to you if you’ve treated them fairly.  That percentage rises to the upper 90’s if you respond immediately.

Everyday you have the chance to transform your mistakes into returning customers and everyday you have the chance to go above and beyond and create Raving Fans.

2/5/14 St. Louis Small Business expert, Jennifer Williams talks about the importance of Mentoring in Small Business.  Define Mentor – An experienced or trusted advisor!  Six tips to finding the right mentor:

1.  Determine your needs, remember your needs will change as your business grows.

2.  Take time to network, not only to generate sales, but to meet potential mentors.  This will help you decide who and what you need.  Great places to network include women’s events, chamber events, local speaking engagements, etc.

3.  Listen MORE, talk less!  Given your enthusiasm about your particular business or product, it may be hard to listen and take advise from someone outside your industry.

4.  Be ‘mentor able’ – Be willing to consider other ideas that may not match your opinions.  Look for other opinions and be willing to think outside the box.

5.  Be flexible.  Don’t assume a mentor will have to stick with you for the entire life of your business.  Mentors can come and go based on your needs.  Some mentors may help you with future planning, some may help with advertising, and some may just be there for you to bounce ideas off of.

6.  Thank you mentor!!  They don’t want money, but their time is extremely valuable, so please let them know you appreciate it.

Tweet Jennifer with your Small Business questions @StLouisClosetCo #SMALLBIZTALK or email her at jennifer@StLouisClosetCo.com

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Business Tips from St. Louis Small Business Expert Jennifer Q. Williams

Small Talk on KTRS Tune into KTRS 550AM on The McGraw Milhaven Show and to hear owner Jennifer Q. Williams talk Small Business.  Being an award-winning business leader in the St. Louis Business Community for over 24 years, Jennifer will talk Small Business!! Tips on getting your business started, turning an idea into a business, what tools you need to start, run and grown your Small Business.  According to SBA Small Businesses make up 99.7% of all employer firms.

7/5/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Q. Williams discusses with McGraw Milhaven on How to Get Business, How to Get Your Phone to Ring.  Tell people what you have that others don’t, send out press releases on a regular basis, remember customers need to hear your company name 5-7 times before they remember.  Make sure to stay on top of your competition and know what they’re doing.  You want to Target Market the small surrounding area your business services and Blanket Market the larger surrounding area for name awareness.  Constantly work on, revise and grow your marketing plan to change with what’s working and not.  Don’t forget Social Media.

5/15/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Q. Williams talks with McGraw Milhaven about Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter Ideas for Small Business.

Blogging, Facebook and Twitter are great ways to generate business and turn existing customers into repeat customers.  Some key components of this type of communication:

1.  Don’t sell…this is a great way to disseminate information in a non-sales way.  No pressure and offering great helpful information.  Save your sales for your sales force and your brochures.

2.  Connect with and keep in touch with past clients.  This form of communication will keep your past and existing customers thinking of you, even when they don’t need your services…referrals!

Great topics to consider…Be an expert on your product or service, Review a book or product your customers would find helpful, Highlight new products and how they can help, Top 10 Lists, How to Articles, Take a survey and share your results, photos, feature new employees, promote specials, host networking events, etc.

4/24/14  St. Louis Small Business Expert, Jennifer Quinn Williams talks about Creating Raving Fans for your Small Business not just satisfied customers!  book, “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better.  Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore in today’s competitive marketplace, you have to create Raving Fans.”

The cost of getting new customers in the door is getting more and more expensive everyday.  Let your Raving Fans do the work for you.

Decide what you want for your business and it’s service…discover what your customers want then deliver that plus!

WHY?  Studies show that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about his/her experience with your company.  A dissatisfied customer will share their bad experience with 8-10 people and some will push that number to 20.  But here’s your real opportunity…an unhappy customer will become extremely loyal if you fix their complaint and do it quickly. 80% of these customers will come back to you if you’ve treated them fairly.  That percentage rises to the upper 90’s if you respond immediately.

Everyday you have the chance to transform your mistakes into returning customers and everyday you have the chance to go above and beyond and create Raving Fans.

2/5/14 St. Louis Small Business expert, Jennifer Williams talks about the importance of Mentoring in Small Business.  Define Mentor – An experienced or trusted advisor!  Six tips to finding the right mentor:

1.  Determine your needs, remember your needs will change as your business grows.

2.  Take time to network, not only to generate sales, but to meet potential mentors.  This will help you decide who and what you need.  Great places to network include women’s events, chamber events, local speaking engagements, etc.

3.  Listen MORE, talk less!  Given your enthusiasm about your particular business or product, it may be hard to listen and take advise from someone outside your industry.

4.  Be ‘mentor able’ – Be willing to consider other ideas that may not match your opinions.  Look for other opinions and be willing to think outside the box.

5.  Be flexible.  Don’t assume a mentor will have to stick with you for the entire life of your business.  Mentors can come and go based on your needs.  Some mentors may help you with future planning, some may help with advertising, and some may just be there for you to bounce ideas off of.

6.  Thank you mentor!!  They don’t want money, but their time is extremely valuable, so please let them know you appreciate it.

Tweet Jennifer with your Small Business questions @StLouisClosetCo #SMALLBIZTALK or email her at jennifer@StLouisClosetCo.com

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Celebrate Women’s History Month with Jennifer Williams

Join business owner Jennifer Q. Williams and Victoria Babu on 1380 The Woman to discuss Women Making History Month!  Every March is designated as National Women Making History Month to ensure that the history of American Women will be recognized and celebrated in schools, workplaces, and communities like St. Louis.

The knowledge of Women’s History provides a vision of what women can do!  This knowledge can encourage girls and women to think larger and bolder and move mountains when needed.

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Business Tips from St. Louis Small Business Expert Jennifer Q. Williams

Small Talk on KTRS Tune into KTRS 550AM on The McGraw Milhaven Show and to hear owner Jennifer Q. Williams talk Small Business.  Being an award-winning business leader in the St. Louis Business Community for over 24 years, Jennifer will talk Small Business!! Tips on getting your business started, turning an idea into a business, what tools you need to start, run and grown your Small Business.  According to SBA Small Businesses make up 99.7% of all employer firms.

2/5/14 St. Louis Small Business expert, Jennifer Williams talks about the importance of Mentoring in Small Business.  Define Mentor – An experienced or trusted advisor!  Six tips to finding the right mentor:

1.  Determine your needs, remember your needs will change as your business grows.

2.  Take time to network, not only to generate sales, but to meet potential mentors.  This will help you decide who and what you need.  Great places to network include women’s events, chamber events, local speaking engagements, etc.

3.  Listen MORE, talk less!  Given your enthusiasm about your particular business or product, it may be hard to listen and take advise from someone outside your industry.

4.  Be ‘mentor able’ – Be willing to consider other ideas that may not match your opinions.  Look for other opinions and be willing to think outside the box.

5.  Be flexible.  Don’t assume a mentor will have to stick with you for the entire life of your business.  Mentors can come and go based on your needs.  Some mentors may help you with future planning, some may help with advertising, and some may just be there for you to bounce ideas off of.

6.  Thank you mentor!!  They don’t want money, but their time is extremely valuable, so please let them know you appreciate it.

Tweet Jennifer with your Small Business questions @StLouisClosetCo #SMALLBIZTALK or email her at jennifer@StLouisClosetCo.com

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Jennifer Williams Small Business Talk – National Get Organized Month

January is National Get Organized Month!

Click The Link to watch business owner and McGraw Milhaven discuss National Get Organized Month.  How can Organization make you a happier and more productive person?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMuhbiV7bes

Top areas people want to get Organized:  Offices/Home Offices, Kitchens, Closets, Master Bedrooms, and Garage/Attics/Basements.

Top Reasons people want to get Organized:  Too much clutter, general disorganization, to have more free time, difficulty finding things, and getting ready to sell a home or business.

Once Organized, you will have more time, be more productive, be less stressed and overall be a happier person!

SMALLTALK for WEB

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Small Business Talk with Jennifer Williams

Small Talk on KTRS Tune into KTRS 550AM on The McGraw Milhaven Show to hear owner Jennifer Q. Williams talk Small Business.  Being an award-winning business leader in the St. Louis Business Community for over 20 years, Jennifer will talk Small Business!! Tips on getting your business started, turning an idea into a business, what tools you need to start, run and grown your Small Business.  According to SBA Small Businesses make up 99.7% of all employer firms.

10/17/13 #SMALLBIZTALK show tips:  Define your target customer – be specific!  Don’t just say “all women.”  Say “all women, ages 35-60, who own a home, live in the Metropolitan St. Louis Area, with a household income of over $60,000.”  This will allow you to better target your advertising and allow you to grow your product offerings to a specific market.  It also helps you keep on track with business plan, marketing plan and growth plans.  Create a BRAND…this does not mean design a logo – although having a logo is part of it.  A BRAND is the entire experience a customer has with your company from the beginning to end.  It includes everything from how you answer your phone to your employees uniforms and vehicles.  Your website, your logo, your stationary and business cards, your advertisements, the music played in your business, etc all work together to create and maintain your BRAND.

71% of Americans view small businesses more favorably than any other institution in America because they are seen as a positive influence on our country.  Why do people like  Small Business so much?

1.  Their services and products are often unique and their customers are very defined.

2.  Small Businesses are also often regarded as being involved with their local communities and give back.

3.  Small Businesses are agile and can change with the times quicker and adapt to the changing economy and customers needs faster than large businesses.

9/19/13 #SMALLBIZTALK show tips: Great overall resource, visit SBA.Gov for help and guidance for all small business questions.  A Small Business is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales.  Government determines small based on industry, sales, etc.  Small Business Administration stats show 1/3 of all new businesses fail in first 2 years due to lack of funds, lack of planning, growing too fast and competition. Prevent failure by the following steps: Be clear on why you want to start a business, determine your type of business (ie: manufacturing or service), research and write a Business Plan, determine who your customers are, set in place financing, sales and marketing – get your customers. Tweet Jennifer with your Small Business questions @StLouisClosetCo #SMALLBIZTALK or email her at jennifer@StLouisClosetCo.com

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Your Locally Owned, Hometown Closet Company!

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Saint Louis Closet Co. is a locally owned and operated closet company in St. Louis.  Our 35,000 square foot showroom and manufacturing plant is located at 2626 S. Big Bend in Maplewood, Missouri.  Owner Jennifer Quinn Williams was born and raised in Kirkwood, Missouri and founded Saint Louis Closet Co. in 1991 with just herself and a van.  We now employ over 35 full-time employees who have worked for the company an average of 15 years.  Saint Louis Closet Co. is truly a homegrown business and we are proud to be just that!

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Saint Louis Closet Co. Helps Give An Extreme Makeover!!

Saint Louis Closet Co. is one of just a handful of local businesses involved in ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for a Shrewsbury, Missouri family. Saint Louis Closet Co. donated all of the closets for the featured home.  Due to the special needs of the featured family, Saint Louis Closet Co. Designer Mary Zulauf took special care in creating closet systems that will make the family’s lives easier for years to come. 

Saint Louis Closet Co. was a perfect fit, with the floor-based, adjustable systems. The units are extremely safe by resting on the floor and not hanging on the wall, and like all Saint Louis Closet Co. closets, they have the versatility of being able to adjust the shelving as the children grow or as the family’s needs change.

“I have always wanted to be involved with ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’” says owner Jennifer Williams, “It is such an amazing concept and such an amazing family. We are honored to have participated.”

Saint Louis Closet Co. offers 100% custom organizational systems for both residential and commercial customers, specializing in closets, pantries, home offices, Murphy beds, laundry rooms, mudrooms, lockers, and much more. Call today at (314) 781-9000 to set up your free in-home estimate.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is entering its 6th season on ABC.  The program is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding.  Anthony Dominici is the executive producer; and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs Sundays 8/7c on ABC.

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Women Making History at SLCC

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This past Thursday (March 6th), The City of Maplewood, National City and Saint Louis Closet Co. were proud to sponsor the second annual “Women Making History” event honoring and recognizing Maplewood’s local women business owners during Women’s History Month.  It was held at Saint Louis Closet Co. in Maplewood from 5:30pm – 8:00pm.  Sauce Magazine Co-Founders Catherine Neville and Allyson Mace were the featured speakers. Food was provided by a number of Maplewood restaurants, including Jimmy John’s, Imo’s Pizza, Schottzie’s, Something Elegant Catering, LaChef and Cooperella. Wine was from Saint Louis Cellars.  The event drew in close to 300 people and was a huge success.  Thank you so much to everyone that came and/or supported this monumental event!

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