Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
5 Common E-mail Mistakes
Email has become an integral part of doing business, but many people still struggle to get it right. Here are five common mistakes I see that limit the effectiveness of email communications…Read more
Sharing With Other Business Owners
Entrepreneurs Make Things Happen
In my 30 years of business experience, I have observed that people typically fall into three categories:
- People who say “What the heck just happened?”
- People who watch things happen.
- People who make things happen!
Branding Do’s and Don’ts
Branding is not only a marketing concern, there can also be legal implications. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to designing your brand…Read more
Making Sense of Profits
We use an online tool called ProfitCents (www.profitcents.com) to review our financials against the industry. The reports the tool provides help us understand how our business is doing and track its progress. This fantastic tool also allows you to determine financial goals for your company, and can be used to spark discussions with your accountant.
Rewarding Employees for Good Feedback
After beginning a training program for our people, I asked for feedback on how we could make the training more effective. At first the group responded with blank stares and benign comments like, “It was just great!” I wanted more, so I offered an incentive for them to give me their ideas. When I received one good idea, I presented the individual with a coffee shop gift card in front of his peers. The group took note, and they understood that I was serious about the training and making it the best it could be for all involved.
Deadlines Make Us Accountable
During the process of making a major equipment purchase, the decision of which supplier to use kept being delayed as other work took priority. It is often said that “you get what you tolerate,” and my tolerance of this delay was causing an important decision to slip. Upon setting a deadline to make the final selection within 30 days and holding everyone accountable, including myself, we finally gathered the information needed to make our decision. Since then, we have worked on making this deadline-based culture take root by making sure important tasks have due dates.
Free Marketing Tool: Google Places
Have you set your company up on Google Places? It’s easy, free and you don’t even need a website. Google Places, along with the free Google Maps service, provides basic information about your business to the millions of people who search online every day. When potential customers search Google Maps for local businesses like yours, they’ll be able to see your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. To get started, go to www.google.com/places/ and claim your business listing.
People Change, So Must Partnerships
While it’s always wise to have a comprehensive partnership agreement in place, don’t assume it will last throughout the life of the business or your relationship. It’s a good idea to review these agreements periodically to ensure they still make sense for the current business, circumstances and changes in the partners’ skills, health or preferences.