April’s iCASH Winners, Chris, Robert, Joshua, Nicole and Mary have passed the mugs on to…
Innovation:LarainePeterson has demonstrated her great knowledge in our software system. And she is always the reliable one to work with.
Collaboration:Chad Young has been very collaborative during the PA-DSS project, QSA onsite visit and assisting in security questionnaires/ phone calls.
Accountability:Matthew Hudas is the guy! I know that if he gets a phone call he will see it through to the resolution, even if that means calling me after hours. He doesn’t take no for an answer and won’t take a yes unless he understands why. His success is a reflection of how accountable he truly is.
Service:Ken Sansom is great with customers and has a great, positive attitude, which is the key to great service!
Happiness:Roney Louka always passes by with a smile and says, “hi!”
From right to left: Kenneth Sansom, Vita Olynyk, Ryan Forster
Jaymz Clancy, Garry Oborn, David Price, Rebecca Sibole
If you’re part of a small business, you’re likely aware that legislature can greatly influence the way you operate. The good news is that, as it turns out, small business can influence legislature right back.
The 365 team took Lansing by storm! Thanks to Eric Dell of NAMA for this snapshot (5/18/16). From left: Samantha Malott, Laura Robinson, Stefano Ferri, Chris Andrick & John Veit.
Just a few weeks ago, 365 Retail Markets was trekking up to Lansing for a little political influence of our own. We were making our way to join the Michigan Distributors & Vendors Association Day at the Capitol. MDVA is our industry’s state advocacy organization, working on our behalf to influence tax and regulatory legislature. 365 Sales Director, John Veit explains it well: “MDVA is an important and influential organization that represents small to large vending and food service operators and complimentary partners in the food and hospitality industry to our elected representatives and lawmakers, to ensure that we have a voice in Michigan.”
How do they accomplish this, you ask? They’ve got some tricks up their sleeve…
Okay not tricks, but techniques. MDVA Day at the Capitol is an annual event, where candy boxes are used to lure state representatives and senators to a networking luncheon with association members. With a group comprised entirely of food distributors and vendors, you know those boxes are chock-full of great treats!
It wasn’t all candy and handshakes though. Prior to hand-delivering luncheon invitations, our group was briefed on priority issues and bills in process that could impact our businesses. The hot topic of the day was MDVA’s support of SB 774, Senator Joe Hune’s bill to centralize the licensing and inspection of food and coffee vending machines under the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). Presently, this is managed by the 45 local public health departments across the state, making cost and regulation inconsistent and difficult to follow. Passing this bill would provide a coherent, statewide licensing and inspection program, saving the industry thousands of dollars. In a trade primarily assembled of small businesses, it’s understandable how such legislature attracted substantial involvement. Senate Bill 774 is currently still in process, but MDVA has an impressive track record of legislative successes.
So, what should you take away from this?
Your small (or not-so-small) company can have an impact too!
Advocacy organizations such as MDVA exist to represent a broad spectrum of industries and political views, providing a mouthpiece for citizens affected by governmental action (aka all of us!).
Congratulations! You are installing your first MicroMarket location. You made the leap to add MicroMarkets to you product offerings and presented a compelling case to your customers as to why they need MicroMarkets in their office. But your job isn’t done. Being a successful MicroMarket Operator goes beyond installing the kiosk and setting up the market – it’s not just one and done.
Ask your future customers to complete a brief survey to gather demographic information, shopping preferences to get a “lay of the land.” Encourage informal tours of the market before the launch and then prepare for a Soft Opening. This is the dress rehearsal for the Grand Opening. Invite a small group into the market to test the product.
Does the flow of your market make sense?
Is your signage effective or confusing?
Is the system functioning properly?
These are all things to take note of and address BEFORE the Grand Opening to limit day-of mishaps. Added bonus: The word-of-mouth publicity you’ll get if the customers are impressed.
Your Grand Opening is your official introduction to the site location’s customers and you want to make a great first impression that you can carry on throughout the relationship.
Here’s how you plan an awesome Grand Opening!
Make it a BIG deal!
Excite your future customers with signs announcing the new market. Be sure to include prudent information such as the opening date and time. Then on the day of the opening, hold a ribbon cutting ceremony. Their breakroom has gotten a makeover, making it an entirely new experience for them. Play that up!
Run a BOGO special, discount items or hold a raffle for those who create their market accounts on the first day. One of the best things you can do when introducing people to a new product or concept is to give them a deal. Aren’t you more willing to try something new if you know it won’t cost a lot?
Hosting a tasting contributes to the festive atmosphere and introduces your customers to great products that they may not have tried on their own. Plus, people love free food!
A few things to remember:
Be sure to have at least one member of your staff present during the Grand Opening. This is not a time to be distant from your customers. Having a staff member there ensures that there is a knowledgeable person on-hand to help customers set up their account, properly explain what MicroMarkets are, etc.
Signage is very important! Everyone will not be able to make it to the Grand Opening. Consider placing wing cards on the kiosks detailing how to set up their market account and how to fund their account. Be sure to include your customer support information.
Now that you’ve successfully launched the market, remember that MicroMarkets are not a sprint – you have to be in it for the long haul. Plan promotions and events around holidays or major sporting events. Super Bowl party anyone? Also, quarterly customer satisfaction surveys will let your customers know that you are invested in their needs.
What is the formula for long-term MicroMarket success? Watch the video below!
When you’re opening your first few micro markets, it’s an easier task to give a lot of attention to each individual one. You can ensure that the customer is satisfied with the service and products being offered. You can spend more time reviewing what customers are buying and when…read the full article.