Feedback and Criticism Are NOT Your Enemies


Have you ever been critiqued? Have you ever received negative feedback?

It can be hard to hear something negative about yourself or your endeavors. It’s completely normal to want to plug your ears, dive under the covers and refuse to come out until you feel better. Unfortunately, there’s rarely a blanket handy when these situations arise in real life, so it’s vital to learn how to handle them gracefully and develop a desire to learn from mistakes.

Everyone will be criticized at some point. It’s an inevitable part of life and business, but the way that you react to it will speak volumes about your maturity and skill as an entrepreneur. You don’t have to fear feedback or criticism. In fact, it can help you grow and build in ways you never imagined. Here’s how you can leverage the negative stuff and turn it into something positive:

9ASK for feedback. It’s a scary thought, asking people what they honestly think of you or your business. However, people feel valued and respected when their opinion is sought, and they are most likely to provide honest and thoughtful feedback when they are asked.

Something to consider is this: if people aren’t saying things to your face, they may be saying it to their friends, family and on social media. The best and most efficient way to handle problems is to communicate directly with your clients and customers.


Smiling human child hand listening deaf ear gossip

Listen well. Don’t interrupt. When receiving criticism, listen completely before you respond. Value what the other person is saying. In many cases, what you are hearing can be valuable insight into how you can improve, if you CHOOSE to hear it that way.

thinking-capThoughtfully consider improvement. Don’t dismiss what you are hearing, but rather “chew on it” for a bit and find the truth in what has been communicated. You may be hurt, surprised or even feel defensive, but that doesn’t mean that what you heard wasn’t true or helpful.

Praise_PosterSmart business owners take criticism and use it to build toward their future success. There is no reason to hide from feedback. Instead, seek it out, use it to improve and make changes that will benefit your employees, yourself and your business.

Pokémon And Your Business: An Augmented Reality Opportunity?


In what may be one of the most bizarre comebacks in pop culture history, a company has recently released an app called Pokémon GO that has people running around their towns, wandering into random businesses and teaming up with complete strangers. All this is for the sake of capturing animated creatures that exist in an augmented reality universe seen on a user’s phone screen.

If you have no idea what this means, you are not alone. However, there are millions (yes, millions) of people who are engaged with the Pokémon GO app for several hours every day—but what in the (real) world does this have to do with your small business? According to Forbes, there are some businesses that have found a way to take this craze and turn it into more foot traffic in their stores and, as a result, more profit.

Businesses can sign up for this game and find out if their location is a desired stop (a PokéStop or Pokémon Gym). Users use their GPS system and their phone’s camera to “hunt” creatures, stock up on game accessories and find other game tools that could be hiding in your business. Signing up is easy, and businesses across the country have discovered that they can lure people in with creative Pokémon advertisements and other game-related tactics.Pokemon

As with any other trend, Pokémon GO will eventually fade and another fad will take its place. Participating in this phenomenon may not be possible for your place of business, but do you think that there are other ways that your company can leverage trends and other cultural fads to generate more business? In some cases, playing along may just help you engage a whole new clientele in the real world, not just in an augmented reality.

What do you think? Will your business participate in Pokémon GO, or will you sit this craze out?

Before You Start A Business…

Do you dream of being your own boss and of waking up in the morning and knowing that you do not have to answer to anyone but yourself? This is the dream of many Americans before you, those who paved the way for modern entrepreneurs with hard work and a strong sense of motivation. Starting a business is a great, achievable goal, but it is important to consider the practical aspects of this decision before you take a great leap.

starting a businessEvery successful business is built on the foundation of a solid, workable, practical business plan. Starting a business without a plan is like opening a restaurant with no menu—if you don’t know where you are going and what you are working toward, your potential customers will pick up on that confusion as well. From the first day of your journey, know where you want to end up. Over time, as goals are reached and needs change, adjust your plan accordingly, but always, always, always have a roadmap to follow.

Additionally, it is necessary to follow through with important legal steps. Determining your legal structure is as important as your business plan. Will your business be a sole proprietorship or will you incorporate your business? Do you have a legally documented plan for dealing with liability issues and employment matters? Do you have the required licenses and permits for operation? These questions and more should be answered with the help of a lawyer who can help you navigate the necessary legal processes involved with starting and running a business.

If you have a dream, it’s time to get it out in the open and give it life. At Vertu Marketing, we help people with hopes and dreams translate these goals into reality. Don’t wait any longer to step out in faith—contact our team; we are excited to help you.

Customer Service That Counts

customer service

We live in a world where one opinion posted on social media by just one unhappy customer can inflict serious damage to the reputation of a company. If you are a small business owner, it’s critical to handle these delicate situations carefully, but it is just as important to instill a culture of excellent customer service in order to avoid such situations as much as possible.

customer serviceFortunately, excellent customer service isn’t difficult, it simply requires commitment, well trained staff and a customer-first mentality. If you need to revamp your customer service strategy, it is of primary importance to have the right people to interact with your clientele.  Choose the right people, keep the circle small and train them to handle a range of situations appropriately. Customer service doesn’t necessarily mean that you must bow to the whim of every customer, but it does require a “soft touch” and the ability keep control of emotions at all times.

Customers may not be right 100 percent of the time, but they can be a valuable source of information, opinions and suggestions for improvement. Don’t be afraid to listen to what your customers are saying. Even if you think that you are right, client feedback could point you in a more profitable and beneficial direction that you haven’t considered before.

Entrepreneurs are in the people business, no matter what services and products they provide. Treat people well, and they will do the same for you in return by patronizing your business and recommending you to their friends. Customer service doesn’t have to be complicated—put people first by prioritizing a culture of service and assistance at your business and with your employees.