4 out of 4 stars
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One morning at a recently opened restaurant where Dominica Lumazar waitressed, the owners fired her. The reason? She spent too much time with her customers, and her colleagues complained she earned more in tips than they. Walking out the door, Lumazar wished the owners good luck and vowed she'd never work for someone else again. Thirteen years later, Lumazar is a successful entrepreneur and international author whose latest book Empowered, encourages companies to elevate their potential, leveraging actionable marketing and employee-related changes. I recommend this book for small business owners looking to increase revenue, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity. Lumazar gives a wide variety of recommendations allowing any organization to achieve a win by adopting one or two suggestions.
In the book's opening, Lumazar shares how her undiagnosed childhood dyslexia contributed to school struggles, teachers' ineffectiveness, and classmates' negative labels. Music was an outlet for Lumazar, and she planned to pursue a college music degree. A frightening car accident caused both physical and cognitive injuries, and Lumazar put music on hold. Her sister needed help running a gourmet chocolate business and asked Lumazar to lend a hand. Lumazar joined and eventually took over full-time. She learned all aspects of profitably running and growing a consumer business, with her self-taught website design talents a key reason for new customer acquisition and increased revenue. In parallel, Lumazar started a band and marketed it through Facebook. Other groups hired her as a marketing expert, raising her industry profile and leading to social media manager positions for area festivals and events. Lumazar decided she loved helping others and started her own consulting, website design, and brand development practice.
With her background summarized, Lumazar devotes most of the book's 153 pages recounting specific customer engagements and making recommendations in three areas: organizational leadership, customer interaction, and business strategy and execution. What I like most about the book are the precise tips that a business owner can implement immediately. One suggestion in Chapter 9 is when you have a service-related business, such as a restaurant, and there is a long wait. If a prospective customer decides to leave, give him a coupon on which is written: "We apologize for not assisting you. Please bring this back within seven days and receive 15% off your service over $100." It costs the owner nothing to hand out the coupon and increases the probability the prospective customer gives the business another chance. Lumazar's advice is practical and allows for an easy return on investment calculation - how many coupons do you give out, how many were redeemed, and how much revenue is associated with the coupon usage.
I enjoyed the book and rated it a 4 out of 4 . My only complaint with the book is Lumazar writes long sentences containing multiple subjects. Sometimes it was difficult for me to follow, and I had to reread the sentence to grasp the meaning and who was doing the action. I do enjoy Lumazar's optimistic and engaging tone to her writing style, and I could imagine her consulting personality is the same approach. She is always looking to add new clients, and this well-edited book is an excellent draw.
Lumazar's short-lived stint as a waitress reaffirms what individuals and organizations must do to differentiate from the competition – have superior customer service. No surprise, the restaurant, where Lumazar pledged an entrepreneurial path, closed only a few months after management fired her. Maybe Lumazar could consult with the owners today - they would be grateful for all the 'tips' she earned in her consulting career and is willing to share with others.
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