iclmnet

The International Concierge & Lifestyle Management Network

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  • April 07, 2017 11:21 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


  • April 03, 2017 3:29 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Here it is in a nutshell … with all due respect ... 

    If you post a logo on your website that states you are a member of an association, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, or the like, then it goes without saying here that you probably should be an actual member.

    Why?

    You are misleading your potential clients by telling them you are a member of an organization when you are not.

    I’ve been doing some research for a new edition of one of my books, and have been visiting people’s websites to see what new changes and trends are out there. While on a website, I often click on the logo they display to see if they are a member of a particular organization, or to find out more about the company.

    Imagine my surprise when I discovered many websites I visited are misleading people!!!

    Here’s what happened when I clicked on the logo they displayed …

    • It led me nowhere. Literally. The association was no longer in business.
    • It led me to an association, but their logo had changed.
    • It led me to a company, but when I searched their online directory I didn’t find them

    “Well, while I agree with you Katharine, no one really checks these things, so it doesn’t matter”

    REALLY?

    If I am going to hire you to do something for me, I guarantee you I’ll visit your website and will check on your credentials. Call me crazy, but I actually prefer working with companies who are actual members of chambers and associations, and who have taken the time (and money) to be professionally trained. If I find out that you are misleading me, then I’ll simply go to a competitor who actually DOES have these credentials.

    The sad thing here is that you won’t know it happened!!!

    So you're losing hundreds (or thousands) of dollars from a potential client who quietly scrolled to another company when they discovered that the links and logos (your credentials) on your website were false. It doesn't matter if you simply "forgot" to update it ... the result is the same. They will hire your competition.

    If you are telling people that you are honest and ethical and will do a great job for them, then I highly recommend that you be honest and ethical on your website. If you are NOT planning on renewing your dues with an organization, that's fine, then simply remove the logo!

    Lack of information will also scare them away. Allow me to explain.

    Your website is telling me to hire you because you have an awesome service or product, but you won’t tell me your name or what experience you have, and you’re telling me that you belong to associations when you don’t. Some of you don't even tell me what city you are located in!  How can I hire you if I don't know what city you're in?

    Would YOU hire them?

    Exactly my point.

    Here’s another quick tip … I also read people’s bio’s and “about us” pages, and what I found wasn’t pretty. While most had the page on their site, many gave me very general information about their company. They didn’t tell me what the owner’s name was, nor did they post what actual experience they had. I highly recommend you post your name, title, and a brief biography that tells me why I should hire you.

    Until next time!

    Katharine Giovanni

    (Katharine is Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of ICLMNet. She is a concierge & front desk staff trainer and consultant as well as a best-selling three time award-winning author. For more information please visit www.katharinegiovanni.com)


  • March 24, 2017 11:47 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)



    Think you can keep it hidden at work? Watch this demonstration.

  • March 24, 2017 11:46 AM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    Do you just go to social media and post your stuff and then click off? Just posting “your” stuff might get you a few clients, but engaging with your followers will help you more. People enjoy working with their friends, so allowing them to get to know you will get you farther faster. Also, if all you post is about you and what you sell, then people will get bored fast and they will either ignore you or unfollow you.

    My top tip? You have to be present! Read people’s posts, make a comment or two, share their articles, and “like” their stuff occasionally. Wish them a happy birthday!

    I spend at least 15 -20 minutes in the morning and another 15-20 in the afternoon on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course I put up my own content, but I also share other people’s posts, make comments and generally try and be present. Social media is a two-way street … you have to give in order to get.

    I also have a love/hate relationship with automating my posts. While it does indeed save you a lot of time, many people will judge you for not taking the time to post them yourself. Right now that’s me you see out there, I only use automation for late-night messages that I want people in other time zones to see.

    Until next time!

    Katharine


  • February 27, 2017 12:58 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


  • February 20, 2017 12:08 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)



    By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

    1. Do a business plan. It really doesn’t matter how short or long it is, nor does it have to be fancy with colored charts. However, you really should do one so that you know where you are going, what you are doing and how you’re going to get there.

    2. Business cards and website. This can all be done on a shoestring with today’s software, but having them is a vital part of a business.  You can obtain some terrific free business cards by visiting www.vistaprint.com, and you can do a website pretty inexpensively as well. If you don't want to do it yourself (many people use Wordpress), here are a few links to some "instant" website creation sites where you can have a site up in minutes via www.godaddy.com or www.intuit.com.

    3. Get some business liability insurance! Please don’t start a business without it. You can also join this group (ICLMNet) as we have a list of insurance companies in our member's library. 

    4. Legal Documents – contracts, agreements, etc… Get this right the first time and you won’t have to put out fires in the future. You’ll need both client contracts as well as vendor agreements.

    5. Do NOT quit your job, go out and rent an office, buy or rent furniture and hire employees.  THINK ABOUT IT FIRST!  First and foremost, you need to be able to feed your family and pay your bills so make sure that you have either enough money saved to last you at least 6 months, possibly even a year worth set aside or you have some other form of steady income flowing into your household.

    6. Find a target market!  There are so many niches for this business that you might be tempted to do them all when you first open up. However, I strongly suggest that you choose one or two niche markets and go after them first. Do them well and then you can choose a few more. If they don’t do well after six months (or they tank completely), then you have hundreds of other niches to choose from! Choose a new niche and then re-focus, re-work your business and then re-launch!  The key here is to never ever give up!!!  Some niches around the country include hospitals, small/medium/large companies, condominiums, shopping malls, airports, office buildings, neighborhoods, individuals, colleges/universities, country clubs, senior market and more. I could go on and on there are so many out there!

    7. Market, market, market … join your local chamber of commerce, networking groups … get out there and shake people’s hands and tell them what you do!  Talk it up everywhere you go. Attend as many expos and receptions that you can!  I think face-to-face marketing is key when starting up a business … so talk it up people!!

    8. Social media … Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn … a GREAT way to grow your business and gain trust without spending a dime.

    9. Be warm, friendly, approachable and extremely courteous 100% of the time. This is the key to being a great concierge!  People may not remember what you did for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel and how you treated them. Customer Service is the hallmark of the concierge industry … over-the-top unbelievable customer service. I think everyone should build a customer service plan. You should talk about every day, not just once in a while! It’s a way of life and something that you practice every minute of your life and in every facet of your business.

    10. Join ICLMNet - I also suggest that you join this group as it will show the general public that you are a legitimate company. Scam companies do NOT join professional groups.

    Lastly, Keep your focus on where you are going … and not on what is hitting the fan at any particular moment. KNOW that you can do this!!  See the future that you want, daydream about it and see yourself being there!!!


  • February 15, 2017 4:02 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    One of the questions I get asked by the media is what does a concierge do?  The quick answer is that a concierge will do anything as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.

    Everyone single one of us tries to squeeze 36 hours into a 24-hour day, and when you do that you inevitably don’t do it very well. You get stressed …

    Which leads to tired …

    Which leads to not eating healthy because you’re craving “comfort” food …

    Which leads to sickness.

    Not good!

    A concierge is here to do the things that you have to do which leaves you with the time to do the things that you want to like spending more time with family and friends, putting more time in at the office, or relaxing.

    That being said, below is a list of 52 ways you can use a concierge. Since the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless, the list below is merely here to get you started.

    1.      Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
    2.      Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
    3.      Travel and Vacation Planning
    4.      Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
    5.      Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
    6.      Pet services
    7.      Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
    8.      Personalized shopping and delivery
    9.      Running to the post office
    10.  Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
    11.  Grocery shopping
    12.  Running to the hardware store
    13.  Senior care
    14.  Modified house sitting – need someone to wait for the service technician while you’re at
    work?
    15.  Picking up or returning a gift
    16.  Meal Delivery
    17.  Home Inventory – video the contents of your home and keep it in your safe deposit box
    18.  Bill paying
    19.  Auto Maintenance
    20.  Home Organization
    21.  Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can come to you.
    22.  House Cleaning Services
    23.  Courier/Delivery Services
    24.  Delivering lunch to nurses and doctors at the hospital
    25.  Delivering a Meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner
    26.  Prescription Pick-up and delivery
    27.  Repair and Service Calls
    28.  Returning a library book or a video
    29.  Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner
    to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out
    30.  New Mommy Services
    31.  Meeting and Event Planning; private parties
    32.  Personal Chef Services
    33.  Single Parent Helper
    34.  Employee Relocation Services
    35.  Gift baskets and Flower Delivery
    36.  Landscaping Services
    37.  Special Day Reminder Service
    38.  Charter a Private Jet, Yachts or Helicopter
    39.  Hire a concierge to assist you at your event, wedding or conference - also called "event
    concierge" and "wedding concierge"
    40.  Need Security?  They'll hire a security company to assist you.
    41.  Day Spa Services
    42.  Fashion and/or Stylist Consultant
    43.  Nanny Services
    44.  Estate Planning
    45.  Arrange for your Tee Time at the golf club
    46.  Book your appointments for you
    47.  Hire a Butler
    48.  New to the area?  A concierge will give you a tour of the town
    49.  Catering Services
    50.  Get Away Weekends
    51.  Office help
    52.  Moving assistance – let your concierge unpack those boxes and put it all away!!  All you’ll need to unpack is your toothbrush.

    If you are looking to hire a concierge, then I suggest you visit www.ICLMNet.com and check out our directory.

    For people who are looking to be a concierge, please visit www.KatharineGiovanni.com or www.ICLMNet.com

    You may also join Katharine's front desk and concierge free forums at  https://www.facebook.com/FrontDeskTips/ and https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8524518

    copyright © 2014-2017 by Katharine C. Giovanni


  • February 13, 2017 4:28 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)
    • By Leslie Spoor

    Do you ever find yourself staying up late at night inputting data into an Excel spreadsheet? Or find you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about whether or not tasks have been completed for your clients? What about managing timecards? Or providing visibility to your clients for account information?

    All of these tasks and efforts equate to non-billable redundant administrative efforts that dilute your income. Don’t believe us? Here is the math:

    If you normally charge $50/hr for your services and you spend 20 hours per week doing billable work, then you make $1000 per week gross. But if you spend even five hours in the same week doing non-billable, redundant data collection, then you’re actually only charging $40/hr ($1000/wk divided by 25 hrs instead of 20 hrs).

    Now imagine you are actually spending an average of 10 hours per week doing non-billable administrative work. Your hourly rate is down to $33.33 per hour. In fact, the more time you spend doing non-billable efforts, the less you actually make. And that’s before you subtract all your overhead costs or consider the time lost for networking and marketing efforts.

    It doesn’t take a math wizard to see that non-billable, redundant, administrative work is ridiculously costly. That’s why we created Essential Elements™ our data collection software solution.

    We built this system in 2007 and over the years have added more and more features as the needs of our employees and our clients have grown. With Essential Elements™ not only is your admin work minimized but most of the data collection is turned into a component of your billable work which enhances your efficiencies and increases your profit margins.

    And, most importantly, utilizing Essential Elements™ frees you up to pursue new business opportunities!

    Here are a few of the features of Essential Elements™ (not an all-inclusive list):

    • No software to download – the system is fully cloud-based
    • Customized with your logo and colors so your employees and clients will recognize the system as your company
    • Online access via smart phone, tablet or laptop
    • Training is included in the setup fees
    • You’ll receive, free of charge, all our system procedures to modify for your own use
    • Data collection features (also not an all-inclusive list):
    Activity reports that automatically alert your clients when tasks are complete
    Online time entry by your employees
    Task Management module to create, modify, complete tasks with visibility by employee or client 
    Automated time cards
    Ability to track mileage and reimburse mileage costs for your employees and/or charge mileage costs to your clients
    Automated time tracking with visibility to which accounts need to be charged for more time
    All reports are designed to be Management by Exception for simplicity and ease of use
    Full transparency for your clients – they can view their task completions, hours logs and a status of their account
    Clients can request tasks through the software – everything is automated
    If you need features we don’t currently offer, we do quote customized features for your specific needs

    These are just a few of the features included in Concierge Business Solutions®’ software solution, Essential Elements™. Most importantly, fees are scaled to grow with your business so the initial investment is affordable and cost effective.

    What would you do with an extra 5, 10 or 20 hours per week? How many more clients could you attract? How many more relationships can you build with that much extra time? Or maybe, just maybe, how much more sleep might you get?

    ~##~

    Ms. Leslie Spoor, CEO of Concierge Business Solutions®, is a nationally-recognized business consultant and entrepreneur with over 35 years of business operations experience in the areas of education and training, process and procedure generation, formulation of action plans, software development, business process reengineering, metrics measurements programs, and internal mentoring and coaching programs. For more information about Concierge Business Solutions®, or to schedule a free demo of her Essential Elements™ software solution, please contact Leslie at 760.898.9604 or to email, click here: https://goo.gl/Bl3INq


  • February 13, 2017 3:48 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Check it out in Katharine's VLOG!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb2RZYgJJMI


  • February 09, 2017 3:27 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)

    So what exactly IS ICLMNet?

    First, let's get this out of the way right now ... if you think that this Network is going to work like a search engine and generate traffic to your website, or add an abundance of customers for you and your business, then you might want to keep reading because we are not a search engine (although it will drive more traffic to your site!)

    ICLMNet is a network where the general public (and the media) come to find out if you are a legitimate company or not. They'll read your profile, make sure you signed the code of ethics, and will then go visit your website for more information.

    Second, it's a community of like-minded people who network with each other. It gives you a chance to talk to other people about your company. We share ideas and help each other out. But you have to be active and get involved!  Go visit our Facebook members-only forum, ask questions, answer questions, post helpful articles and help motivate each other. 

    If you want more traffic to come to your website, then you need to get ad SEO plan together. Working Social Media everyday is also critical. ICLMNet is more about community in that we help each other. When a visitor to your website sees that you are part of a professional group they are more willing to give you a call or email you for your services.  There have been many articles about how important it is to be part of a bigger community to help grow your business.

    We are so blessed to have some absolutely amazing members who have been in the industry for years. We also have members who have been part of this wonderful group for many many years.  Not only are they great at what they do, but they are also very helpful to members who ask them questions. Over the years, we've found that concierge are more willing to share ideas with you if you are in a group with them. If you're not, sad to say but many will just ignore the question.

    In the months to come, we'll be bringing more articles and business tips to the community. We also ask Network members to do the same and stay involved in this community. The community/Network is only as strong as the members who are involved. Also, the reason we keep the cost of membership so low is so that small businesses like yours can join without it hurting too much.

    We hope you will all continue to stay on board with us and help the community to grow. Please share this great Network with others so we can continue to grow.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

    Have a great week!

    Katharine and Ron Giovanni 


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