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  • May 22, 2017 2:48 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    If you would like to work for a concierge, or wish to start your own concierge business, then read on!  I've gathered some great resources to help you on your way. 

    Looking for a job as a concierge in a hotel or property?

    Here are some resources....
    You can also contact local concierge and hotels directly.

    Looking to work FOR an independent concierge company? 

    I suggest that you first look in our directory to see what companies are located within your city. 

    If you don't find any, then simply Google them by typing in your city name followed by the word concierge. For example, you could search for companies within Chicago by using the word "Chicago Concierge" and see who pops up!  Then just contact the companies.

    Want to start your own concierge company? 

    I can help. Just visit my website at www.KatharineGiovanni.com and click on "for entrepreneurs". You can also buy my book "The Concierge Manual". 

    Looking to train your concierge staff?  

    I love training!  Visit my website at www.katharinegiovanni.com to see what programs I offer.

    Good luck!

    Katharine


  • May 12, 2017 1:16 PM | Katharine Giovanni (Administrator)


    Do you have your contact information on the emails that you send to people?

    No?

    You could be losing clients if you don't.

    I got an email just yesterday from someone who wanted to do business with me again. I knew this person so it was a legitimate email. What threw me wasn't what he said in the message. It was the fact that he didn't have any contact information at the end. No telephone, no website ... nothing! Just his name.

    If I'm going to take your email seriously, I have three house rules that I live by.

    First, if you don't have formal contact information at the end of your email, I'm going to assume you are spam and will delete you. At the very least, you should have your name, company, website and telephone number. I also have links to my social media pages in mine. I have set it up to automatically go on each and every email that I send out.

    Second, I check people out and will visit their website to see who they are. If you don't give it to me, then it's a safe bet that I'm not going to use your company.

    Third, if you don't address me by my real name I'm going to delete you. You get extra points for spelling it correctly. Please don't write to me as "Dear Giowell Group" because that tells me that you didn't take the time to look me up on my website and you have no idea what we do. I will usually just hit the delete key.

    I tell everyone to write your emails like you would a formal old-fashioned letter. With an opening and closing. Although I frequently use "with joy and peace" I have also used "sincerely", "kind regards" and "warm regards" depending on who I am writing. I always add a "thank you" as well. Your contact information should be at the bottom. Most people are on a tight schedule with tons to do and don't have the time to go and search out your website. So give them a tiny bit of information in your email! 

    Have a great week!

    Katharine

  • 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 11:46 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.


    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.

    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.

    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 © 2014-2018 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


  • January 09, 2017 2:46 PM | Ron Giovanni (Administrator)

    Hello everyone,

    Well we are now 9 days into the new year and I think it is time to evaluate your business, marketing plans, time management, and your community connections in your industry.  People ask me all the time how ICLMNet can get me business, or they tell me that they are not getting business so they see no valueHere’s my answer… 

    ICLMNet enhances your business because joining gets you involved with a professional group that can help you and your business grow and expand. As small business owners, you most likely don’t have the money to have expensive advisors and mentors, so being part of a Network Community fills the void of not have someone to bounce ideas off of.  It allows you to ask questions to network members when you are not sure if you have the answer right.

    Yes, you want to also get customers, but to find out where customers are coming from you have to add analytics to your website to find out exactly where traffic is coming from. You see it is not about one source to get traffic to your site, great traffic comes from a collection of places. Analytics is extremely important because once you have a potential client on your site, you need to know where they went on your site and when they left.  If your content is not strong enough, and your information is all over the place, then you will not give this person the opportunity to know what you can do for them. Reach out to your hosting company (they all have amazing tools to help you) and see what tools they offer for your website to allow you to track traffic. Also, go over your content on a regular basis to make sure it is updated and fresh. This gives people a reason to come back to your site.  Update your logos and links as well!  It takes money and time to get a customer so if you are not using your website, your marketing, your network connections, and all the tools the internet offers and instead you’re just sitting there waiting for customers to show up, you are wasting valuable time and other resources.

    So make a checklist of how you want to attack this year, grow your business and make connections in your community. If you are not a part of a network of like-minded people/business, then join one today www.ICLMNET.com or others that are out there.

    Regards,

    Ron




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