Archives: May 2006

Don't Let an Employee's Poor Performance Compromise Your Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 31

When small-business owners find themselves dealing with an employee whose performance has deteriorated, they often don't have the resources in place to effectively deal with the situation or to protect...

Tracking Your Reputation in the Blogosphere

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 30

Whether it's a customer complaining or someone making a recommendation, it is imperative that companies track all mentions of their products, brands, trademarks, copyrights, and senior management. If your company...

Top 10 Mistakes Made When Hiring Consultants

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 26

Consultants play a part in the ongoing activities of many businesses. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and need to be evaluated carefully. Ten of the most common...

How to Advertise, Cheap!

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 25

Advertising is expensive, so know why you are advertising and what you want to accomplish. Evaluate your advertising carefully, and measure its effectiveness. Here are a few suggestions for making...

Key Contracts for Small-Business Success

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 24

Without airtight, well-conceived contracts, businesses may be in legal jeopardy. Companies need to retain a lawyer and make sure that business agreements are comprehensive, carefully written, and protective. To see...

Effective Supervision

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 23

Managers have such a tremendous impact on employee job satisfaction and productivity that it's often said employees join an organization but leave a supervisor. But despite the acknowledged importance of...

Offering a Toll-free Telephone Number

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 22

Providing a toll-free telephone number can be an effective customer service tool and a savvy marketing strategy for many small businesses. Most long-distance carriers provide toll-free numbers at reasonable rates....

How Much Do Group Insurance Premiums Cost?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 19

According to a national survey of employee-sponsored health plans, HMO coverage averaged $3,185 per worker in 1996. PPO coverage averaged $3,293 per employee. Although insurance premiums vary by state, plan...

Getting Along with Your Business Partner

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 18

In our experience, most problems in not getting along with your business partner stem from an inconsistency in expectations: You thought one thing and your partner thought another. The solution...

Costs of Incorporating

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 17

Many small-business owners incorporate their businesses to protect themselves and their shareholders from liability. That way, their personal assets are safe from business creditors or lawsuits against their firms. Before...

Who Owns Your Ideas?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 16

If you came up with a great idea while working at your last job, your former employer may own it. You may have signed away your rights to it in...

Running a Successful Meeting

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 15

Every meeting can be viewed as having two communication components: content and process. The content of a meeting refers to the "what" -- in other words, the subject matter that's...

Accounting Basics

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 12

Accounting -- often called the language of business -- is the process of recording, classifying, reporting, and analyzing financial data. And while the accounting requirements of every business vary, all...

Expect More from Your Advisers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 11

Family businesses often don't ask the right questions before they hire an adviser or consultant, and end up with people who are not equipped to deal with the complexities they...

Ten Preliminary Steps to Take Before Writing a Business Plan

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 10

Writing a business plan can sound like a daunting task. Once you are ready, begin your business plan with the understanding that it is a work in progress and there...

Ask Questions, and Lots of Them

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 09

Innovations often come out of the examination of things most people take for granted. Question the assumptions you hold about your career and your business. Why have things always been...

Customer Satisfaction Means Brand Awareness

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 08

How many times have you called a company only to be treated as though you're bothering the people there? Or a company representative agrees to call or meet you at...

Choosing Your eBay Password and User ID

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 05

Compared to finding a prime parking space at the mall during the holidays, signing up at eBay is a breeze. About the toughest thing you have to do is type...

Conducting an Effective Interview

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 04

Conducting professional and effective interviews with potential employees is not only the best way to find the most qualified employees for your business but it can also protect you against...

Tips for Closing a Sale

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 03

Many entrepreneurs have little or no experience in outside sales. Finding new prospects and explaining features and benefits -- the stock-in-trade of salesmanship -- can be difficult for a non-sales-oriented...

Getting by Without an IT Department

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 02

You may not have an IT department for your small business, but you can still run your company on enterprise-class applications. Every aspect of business management -- from accounting and...

Be Connecting And Be Connected

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 01

Be connecting and be connected. It's a message that may sound a bit strange at a first, but it conveys a key theory in the business world. When you are...

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Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

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