A business reference guide by Judy Day Wilfong
If ever there were a primer for small business owners to beef up their customer relations and business development skills, this is it. Refreshingly honest and chock full of useful and practical examples to illustrate every point, author Judy Wilfong is speaking from experience. She is founder and president of New vision Windows & Walls, Inc., a successful decorating business she has managed for over 28 years. She has more recently been a business advisor and teacher to business owners across the country, and she shares the core of her teaching in this small, easy-to-digest book.
Amidst the tide of books about using technology to build customer relationships (relationship marketing), Ms. Wilfong’s book goes back to the basics of three areas critical to any small business: 1) Customers and Relationships; 2) Effective and Efficient Communication; and 3) Handling Problems and Conflict. In each, she covers several key areas that small business owners encounter on a regular basis, ranging from building an excellent reputation, the importance of body language and listening skills to contracts, expectations, and when to let a customer go.
Her examples are sometimes cautionary tales about the consequences of mistakes made. Other times they are shining examples of things that were done right. In both cases, they turn what could be a dry textbook into an experiential learning lab where lessons are understood and internalized.
I found this book to be highly valuable for anyone trying to start or build a business, regardless of whether the owner is operating from a bricks-and-mortar storefront, going to the customer as a service provider or consultant, or operating online. It would make a terrific gift for someone starting out, but there are lots of lessons from which even seasoned entrepreneurs can benefit.
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