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Archives: August 2008

Diagnosing Reasons for Poor Performance

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 29

What do you do when a team member's performance is lacking? Before you can answer that question, you need to understand the reason for the poor performance. Otherwise, the corrective...

Make Your Meetings Effective

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 28

We've all attended meetings that failed to start on time, ran way over, or simply felt like a waste of time because the agenda was not followed. When meetings get...

Invest in a Marquee Customer Program

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 27

Customer satisfaction is one very concrete measure of business success. But being able to "package" this satisfaction fully for the benefit of future business prospects is a powerful way to...

Create a Culture of Accountability

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 26

When developing an emerging-technology company—or any startup for that matter—the right leadership is critical. One of the biggest challenges is that early-stage companies are often dominated by a founder, a...

Don't Wait for the Bandwagon

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 25

Given the current economy, many businesses are looking to adopt new technologies to help control costs and compete. It's sometimes tempting to delay these decisions until the market has clearly...

Balance Task and Relationship

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 22

Small business owners who are heavily task-focused don't tend to be very good at relationships. Yet those with too strong a bias relating [to others] have a tough time getting...

Be in Shape to Innovate

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 21

Innovation—whether in your own life or as a leader of others—requires purpose, curiosity, exploration, and receptiveness to discovery. Many entrepreneurs have rejected tremendous opportunities because they lacked (or shied away...

Lead with a Beginner's Mind

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 20

Each new day brings many chances to learn, and these opportunities are often hidden in plain sight. In this, children can be our teachers. Absent of preconception or judgment, the...

Support Your Sales Staff

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 19

Make sure sales representatives have adequate training. They should have a thorough understanding of how your products or services can help potential customers. The following suggestions will help you manage...

Meet the Demand for Speed

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 18

Realize that the swiftest competitor, not necessarily the smartest, is often the winner in today's marketplace. Speed is increasingly of the essence, no matter what business you are in. Consider...

Image Makes the Difference

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 15

I believe the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is true. The image or mental picture your customers have of you, your employees, and your business can dramatically...

Connecting with Customers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 14

How do you know what your customers say about your ability to deliver excellent customer service? How do you measure satisfaction? While the job of marketing and advertising is to...

Marketing in Tough Economic Times

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 13

You have no control over the state of the economy or the potential loss of revenue and profits that may occur when times are tough. You do, however, have total...

Develop a Selling Cadence

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 12

A "selling cadence" is a carefully organized process, containing regular recurring actions moving toward a sales goal. In a customer-service environment, it's important to get the cadence right. Think of...

Think Easy Number, Not Easy Phrase

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 11

Common marketing wisdom used to lead companies to secure vanity or custom 800 numbers to make it easier to respond. The theory was that people could remember "1-800-New-Home" and similar...

Blog to the Bloggers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 08

Adding a blog to your company's Web site is a great way to bolster your online marketing effectiveness. However, you should put aside dreams of directly building a broad readership...

The Benefits of an Expert Newsletter

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 07

The oldies but goodies of company communications are making a comeback. Now that e-mail blasts top many lists of marketing tactics, direct mail is regaining its effectiveness. And now that...

To Fax or Not to Fax?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 06

Most office environments are swimming in paper and faxes continue to contribute much to the mess. With many companies committed to reducing paper handling and moving to electronic work flows,...

Protecting Security at Your Document Hub

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 05

The old-school copier that most companies relied on for document processing has gone high tech. It has evolved into a sophisticated computing device (called a multifunction printer, or MFP)...

The Exit Interview

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 04

No matter how wonderful your company is, it's inevitable that at one point or another, an employee will quit or need to be fired. While this can be unfortunate—or fabulous,...

Using a Competency Model to Promote from Within

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 01

Promoting your own employees into positions of greater responsibility and recognition should be a win-win proposition. It allows you the opportunity to recognize someone for a job well done. It...


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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