Business Blog for Company Owners

by Jim Stein
October 18, 2012

Ask most company managers and they’ll tell you the key to satisfying customers is to “do what the customer wants.” Although this is a reasonable answer, I believe in embracing the philosophy of “doing what the customer needs” instead. Although it takes extra time to educate a customer and merge their wants with newly learned needs, it leads to a more satisfied customer and it’s the right thing to do.

You are an expert in your field and your customer is not. You’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. How you discover what your customer wants and how you make recommendations on what your customer really needs can be the difference between success and failure. Read more

by Jim Stein
October 04, 2012

If you want to boost your business in 2013, you’ll need to reserve your page in the Diamond Certified Directory now. If you qualify, we guarantee your page will bring you a flow of new customers who care about quality and are willing to pay for it.

How can we guarantee your satisfaction when that isn’t done by any other directory? Because ours is unlike any other you’ve been in. The Diamond Certified Directory works in the exact opposite way of other directories that are primarily used for price shopping. By design, our directory gives you a flow of the better type of customers: families that are seeking a quality local company.

That’s why the Diamond Certified Directory is the most requested directory in Northern California. Read more

by Jim Stein
September 17, 2012

How your team delivers on your customers’ expectations forms the basis for their satisfaction. So, it’s worth reviewing the implications of this basic fact and relooking at your internal customer-related processes to ensure they’re having the desired effect.

What expectations do your customers have? First, before they even contact your company, they bring all their past experiences with services that they consider similar to yours. The other day, I was helping my wife do an online check-in and add a new frequent flyer number to her airline reservation. There was a problem with the exact spelling of her name, and the airline website kept rejecting both the check-in and the new frequent flyer number. Read more

by Jim Stein
August 16, 2012

Every day, your team’s performance is measured by the toughest judges in the world: your customers. Picture this: If you earn Diamond Certified, you’ll find yourself standing on top of the podium with Diamond Certified Gold gloriously resting on your chest! Cue the Olympic theme music. Raise both arms above your head and wave your hands. Now flash a big smile as you catch the eyes of your team members and think of all the work you put in together to become good at satisfying your customers. While victory is sweet, you know keeping your team focused on customer satisfaction day after day, year after year, is only achieved by strong leadership. Read more

by Russ Catanach
August 07, 2012

As a small business owner, you probably get phone calls on a daily basis from people who want to sell you something. These days, a lot of those calls are made by salespeople who claim they can help your company’s website appear higher in Google searches. These Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies or individuals will ask you to search for a specific keyword and then show you a site that appears at the top of Google’s results—a site that they also happen to manage. It looks like a magic trick to the untrained eye, but is it really that impressive? It depends on what type of hat they’re wearing.

Let me explain. Just like the old cowboy movies, Read more

by Jim Stein
July 18, 2012

The old saying goes that records are made to be broken. And so they are, with three big ones for the Diamond Certified program smashed in the first half of 2012. Take a look at these charts: They compare the first half performance of 2012 with the first half performance numbers of 2010 and 2011.

Net Connected New Customer Calls
To add to our performance metrics, in March 2010 we instituted unique call tracking numbers for each Diamond Certified Company within Diamond Certified Media. A very high percentage of our Diamond Certified companies are using these tracking phone numbers in their presentation in the Diamond Certified Directory, in each Diamond Certified Company Report page on our website and in our newspaper list of local top-rated companies. Read more

by Jim Stein
June 19, 2012

The Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer membership was launched last year to give super fans of Diamond Certified extra recognition and benefits. Now, just one year later, I’m very pleased to report that more than 10,000 consumers have signed up! These are consumers who really care about quality and look first to Diamond Certified companies when shopping locally. Reactions from consumers have been quite enthusiastic. “Thank you for adding me to your membership list!” says Michele Pelter of San Mateo. “I heard about Diamond Certified years ago, and I’ve been using Diamond Certified contractors when I have house projects ever since.” Vallejo resident Gabino Lopez goes one step further: “Being a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer is great! Read more

by Matt Solis
June 19, 2012

More than 10,000 people have signed up to be Diamond Certified Preferred Consumers since membership was first introduced in 2011, making it one of the most successful launches in the history of the Diamond Certified Program. Since this unique membership is specifically geared toward quality-seeking consumers, reactions from new members have been very positive.

“We’re excited about the feedback we’ve been receiving from consumers,” says Member Coordinator Mari Keshishyan. “Members are grateful to have so many new Diamond Certified benefits, and we really appreciate their participation and look forward to adding more benefits in the near future. It’s always free to be a member—just go to to sign up today.” Read more

by Jim Stein
June 16, 2012

Women have changed in many ways, but they’ve also stayed the same in important areas. Understanding both will help you design your company to market and offer services to women as effectively as possible. If you take the time and energy to meet with your team and follow the steps listed below, I’m confident you’ll see an increase in both retention and referrals from your female customers.

What has changed?

The number of women in the workforce has rapidly increased over the past five decades, from 30 percent to roughly 50 percent today. Since many of your female customers are also working women, time management and stresses are more pronounced. Many women are playing multiple roles as they tend to children, Read more

by Russ Catanach
May 17, 2012

Even minor changes that Google makes to its algorithm or search engine results page (SERP) can have a big impact on local businesses—we saw this with the recently deployed Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. But will this new change affect your business? Probably not.

What is the change?

Basically, Google wants to be able to deliver results to its users more quickly. Let’s say you want to know something about Donna Summer, the ’70s disco artist who passed away this morning. When you search her name on Google, you’ll see a photo from, a bio from Wikipedia, a discography and links to further details about her many albums. Read more