Business Advice

Stay in the safe zone when interviewing for a new position

As a small business owner, you’re accustomed to wearing lots of hats—probably including human resources manager. In the absence of a dedicated and trained in-house HR professional, you may find yourself interviewing job seekers—either in person, by phone or in an electronic format. Before you interview a job candidate, it’s a good idea to have […]

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Tips for optimizing mentor relationships

You probably had a mentor at some point in your career. If you run a small business, you may have one now. Someone you turn to for advice. Or a trusted sounding board. And while the benefits of having a mentor involve soaking up knowledge from someone more experienced, the benefits of being a mentor […]

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Should you lease or buy equipment

No matter what category of commerce you’re engaged in, your small business almost certainly uses some kind of expensive equipment. Think manufacturing equipment. Specialized tools. Computers and peripherals. Vehicles. Accounting for the cost of these machines raises a complex series of questions. But one of the top priorities is deciding initially whether to buy or […]

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3 Signs It’s Time to Expand Your Business

So you’ve built yourself a decent business. Maybe you have pretty steady cash flow, a strong consumer base, and a nice office. This moment is crucial for your business because it presents you with a dilemma: do you keep things the way they are or try to expand? “Complacency can be the single most dangerous […]

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Guerilla PR and marketing tactics

If your small business sells to the public, or even a defined segment of Consumers, consider adding guerilla tactics to your communications mix. Guerilla marketing and public relations (PR) tactics are a great way to get your business noticed using non-standard techniques. The name derives from a type of warfare in which insurgents break established […]

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Make the most of vendor relationships

Even if you’re in the smallest of small businesses (typically a sole proprietorship), you almost certainly rely on one or more vendors. A software consultant, an office supply contact, or maybe a strategy guru or even a freelancer in your field to whom you send overflow work. And if you have employees and a dedicated […]

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Customer satisfaction pays

If you’re in business, you’re in sales. And as anyone who’s ever gone through sales training will affirm, selling is inextricably linked to Customer Satisfaction. This intuitive universal truth is supported statistically, in study after study. And it applies to small businesses as well as large multinationals—in both the retail and the B2B space. As […]

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Excel at customer and client service

Every small business has customers or clients. (Most retail businesses have customers; most non-retail businesses have clients). However you define your relationship with the people who buy from you, they will, at some point, need some extra “tender loving care” (TLC). The customer or client will believe: • something they purchased doesn’t work properly • […]

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Do you serve Clients? Or customers?

As any small business owner knows, the customer rules. Or maybe it’s the Client. The terms are not interchangeable, and you can optimize revenue by revisiting the differences. Some businesses have mostly one or the other. A food franchise, for example, has mostly customers; a consultancy, mostly Clients. In some cases, there’s room for both. […]

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19 financial terms every small business owner needs to know from the class you DIDN’T take in college:

Back in college, before you knew you would be a small business owner, the goal was just to graduate so you could get a leg up on the people competing for the same job you wanted. Little did you know that the jobs you had before becoming your own boss were just steps on your ladder to success. […]

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