Small Business Success Q&A #6: Reva Reck Consulting

For the past 26 years, Reva Reck has been helping small businesses with their IT needs. The laundry list of issues she can address is long but, in general, she specializes in helping small businesses handle information flow so operations are as smooth and efficient as possible. Couldn’t we all use a little more smoothness and efficiency? I know I sure could.

Here’s Reva Reck’s Small Business Success Q&A. I especially find the advice on listening to clients valuable. Don’t we all experience businesses almost daily who fail to hear what their customers – often us – are really saying?

Name: Reva Reck

Company name: Reva Reck Consulting

Location: Warwick, MA

Website: www.revareck.com

Founded: 1984

No. of employees: Just me

Business description: I help small businesses get the most out of their investment in computers and related hardware and software. The services I provide include database design, programming and installation, network configuration and management, assistance with selecting and installing software and hardware, and integration of applications to increase productivity. For most of my clients, I AM their IT department.

Although my skills are technical, my approach is not. I understand the information needs of small businesses. I have over 30 years’ experience working with a wide variety of small businesses, so I really know how they work.

Keys to business success: I am very customer service oriented. I always return calls, even if it is only to say that I am too busy to do anything for a while. I LISTEN very carefully to what a client is telling me about what they need and/or what their business problems are, and am often able to help the client clarify and define what they want. The result is that I rarely lose clients.

1)    I know what I can and cannot do. I sub-contract out work in areas where my expertise is not adequate. I turn away clients who are looking for something that I cannot provide cost-effectively, often making a referral to someone who would be a better fit. I keep my client’s (or prospective client’s) needs in the forefront.

2)    I try to stay current with industry trends and keep my skills up-to-date. When deciding which new products to learn about, I choose ones that let me build on my current strengths and seem useful to my active client base.

3)    Word-of-mouth marketing. I was in BNI for a while and that really helped me to build my business and to learn how to present what I do in a way that potential new clients can understand.

4)    Frugality. I keep my costs low. I invest when I need to, but I don’t buy every new gadget that comes along.

Best business advice you’ve ever been given: Join BNI, it will help you learn how to network.

Worst business advice you’ve ever been given: Never apologize. I ALWAYS apologize if I think it’s warranted.

Toughest thing you’ve ever had to do as a business owner: Trying to make good on a project I shouldn’t have undertaken in the first place, to the tune of weeks of non-billable work.

What advice would you give to someone just starting a business? Know what your strengths are and stick to them, but be flexible about the details.

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