Blog

Management

Make a Difference – Sweat the Small Stuff First

My background is in retail management - yes, running stores, from tiny ones you couldn't swing the proverbial cat around in, to huge three floor jobs. Yet there are some guiding principles which, like Giuliani did for New York, that make a difference on a smaller scale. Guiding principles which make a huge, possibly unseen difference to your customers and no less so to your employees.I'd like to suggest that, on the basis of 20% of the focus gives you 80% of the return, acting in just two areas of fine detail will make all the difference in a retail business.As they say - 'Retail is Detail' Presentation Making a difference in the presentation of your store sets a tone for who you are as a business and for your customers, what they can expect from you. And this needs to come from you, the...
Small Business

Fastest Way to Make Money – Become a Wallpaper Hanger and Fill Your Wallet With Hundreds

The fastest way to make money is to give the public what it wants. Give the people what they need and you will be booked up for months. And sometimes what the people need the most is to have help with home decorating. Lots of people need help getting their homes spruced up. They do not have time to paint and hang wallpaper themselves and if they did they would not want to. It is much easier to pay someone like you to do it for them.If you want to get started in the wallpaper hanging business, all you need to do is tell a real estate agent that you are available. They can help you get the first jobs and the rest will be referrals from your customers. How many people do you know that want to spend their weekend hanging wallpaper? None, right? That is exactly why they will be willing to pay y...
Customer Service

Customer Service – Taking What You’re Doing From “Good” to “Great”

Or maybe even Exceptional! We recognize bad customer service right away, it's like a flashing beacon. We tell all our friends and colleagues about bad customer service, and the story spreads like wildfire. Let me share a recent experience with you, I'll keep it short, but it's utterly hilarious.I just purchased a new BBQ pit, this thing is beautiful! I knew that assembling it was beyond my capabilities, so I hired someone to do it for me (I'm the queen at knowing what I do REALLY well, and what should be done by a pro!).Now, I'm not saying that this professional assembled the pit wrong, it may have been that an incorrect part was shipped, but either way, the darn thing wouldn't light. I called the company I bought it from, and kept getting passed around until I ended up at the manufacturer...
Branding

Brand Identity – Building Your Brand With Integrity

Building a brand is not a gimmick or fluke, marketing for deep positive branding is a necessary part of business. If marketing with integrity is at the core of your business, you can develop branding strategies that are customer focused built on your values.Branding Strategy #1 - Branding through top notch customer serviceA major aspect of branding for any business is the customer's experience from first learning about the company to actually using the product. Competitive pricing, quality return policy and programs to generate customer loyalty all add up to effective customer service. Running a business with integrity includes asking for customer feedback, efficiently handing customer complaints and truth in advertising, your brand's essence is based on the promises made with the initial ...
Accounting

Managing and Operating Budget Effectively

As a manager, a lot of your time probably involves four major activities: planning, organizing, controlling and directing. Accounting plays a central role in each of these activities. It does so largely through the budgeting process. An organization's operating budget is a plan of action or, more precisely, a quantified plan of action. It communicates the firm's goals and sets forth expectations in financial terms. It helps answer such questions as: What level of sales will we need this year to achieve our desired rate of return? What are our budgeted costs? Which costs are fixed and which are variable? The budget can also provide an estimate of the resources and funding a firm will need to achieve its operating goals.Not only is the budget a valuable planning tool, it also serves as a con...
Small Business

How To Hire Like The Fortune 500’s: A Guide For Small Businesses

A recent iLogos Research study revealed 94% of Fortune 500 companies now hire employees online, a stark contrast from 1998, when only 29% of them were doing the same. If you own or manage a small business, that means the vast majority of your fiercest competitors are now spending less time and less effort on recruitment. And that leaves them with more time to, simply put, get a leg up on you.Sure, it sounds like a threat. But isn't lack of technology an inevitable drawback for most small businesses? Absolutely not. Maybe 10, even 5 years ago. But not today.Every time we do market research with small businesses, we hear three top reasons why the business has not yet implemented an online hiring solution, in which job candidates apply online:1. The cost is too high2. They lack the technologi...
PR

How To Get Your Press Release Published By The Media

While some argue that press releases no longer work in the context of modern digital communications as the world takes to citizen journalism, we disagree. This is how we work magic.What's in it?Content. Information on what is newsworthy.However, content needs to match the packaging. An attention-arresting headline is never enough to seal the deal. It needs to be substantiated with noteworthy information that is of value to different media and to their readers or followers.Having said so, more does not mean merrier. Journalists almost always prefer succinct materials. Therefore, the astuteness in discerning what's hot and what's not and the ability to orchestrate different bits and pieces into a concise yet compelling pitch are decidedly invaluable assets of a PR practitioner. PRoTip: Get c...