Archives: September 2010

Four Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Application

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 30

Cloud-based applications are software running on third-party servers, which you access through an Internet browser. Common business uses are e-mail and CRM applications. For example, you can use Rackspace e-mail...

Evaluate Your Payment Processing Provider

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 29

Separating winners from losers in today's business environment is determined in part by how earnestly a business thinks about creating value in its operations. As many small business owners know,...

Protect Your Data Through Staff Education

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 28

Whether your business has more than 5,000 employees or fewer than five, information security breaches can be one of the costliest events to affect it. Security breaches cause businesses to...

Use Online Surveys to Increase Customer Loyalty

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 27

Surveys are a great way to show your customers that you value them. Surveys not only enable you to stay connected with your customers, but they also can provide valuable...

Understand the "Freemium" Business Model

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 24

The "Freemium" business model is based on companies offering their basic services for free while charging a premium for advanced features. With a lack of available comparison sets, Freemium startups...

Minimize Talent Loss

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 23

Businesses that are finally beginning to see signs of recovery are now facing a new threat—losing their most valued employees to a new job. Job satisfaction data shows that employee...

Update Your "Contact Us" Page

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 22

One element of website design that hasn't evolved much over the years is the "Contact Us" page. Typically it's just an address, phone number, and e-mail address accompanied by a...

Maneuver Safely in the Cloud

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 21

As your employees use more cloud-based technologies, such as Facebook, Gmail, and Salesforce.com, you need to protect valuable company data. Not having the right security measures and controls in place...

Draft Your Business "Will"

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 20

According to the Kauffman Foundation, people aged 55 to 64 started more businesses in 2009 than ever before. While it is important for all business owners to have legal operating...

Empower Your Employees to Deliver Excellence

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 17

Ensuring your employees have the tools they need to be successful is critical. But empowering them to make decisions that could affect your business is just as important, if not...

Prevent Identity Theft When Working from Home

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 16

Today's criminals are attacking home computers to make money by stealing your personal information. For stay-at-home small business owners, this could include your client's information as well, which would be...

Maximize Marketing Dollars with Tracking

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 15

More than ever, marketers are expected to deliver targeted campaigns with measurable results that refine messaging to specific audiences. As more money is being spent on Internet, mobile, and e-mail...

Reach a 'Cautiously Optimistic' Generation of Consumers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 14

Consumers have emerged from the economic downturn with a new mindset. When it comes to spending, they're proving to be more methodical, practical, and proactive than in years past. Some...

Money Isn't the Only Metric

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 13

The deal didn't close. The numbers were down. The last few months have been really slow. What does it mean? Most small business owners use financial results to gauge their...

Make It Easy to Choose Two

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 10

Can't decide between the peach and the cherry ice cream for your cone? Then have a scoop of each. Researchers at Yale University find that by encouraging your shopper to...

Understand Shoppers' Attitudes

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 09

Making a sale often requires that you and your staff change shoppers' negative attitudes into positive ones. According to research from University of Michigan, a shopper is usually asking themselves...

Give Loyalty Program Members Prestige

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 08

Customer loyalty programs—sometimes called frequent shopper programs—reward customers for their continuing business. When well-designed, the loyalty programs motivate customers to keep coming back in order to obtain the rewards. Overall,...

Hire Bilingual Staff for Bicultural Shoppers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 07

Business owners often assume that if a prospective customer is able to speak two languages, the prospect is equally comfortable carrying out transactions in either language. But the truth is...

Improve Your Chances of Winning a Business Award

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 06

Competition for awards is intense, and the best companies or products don't always win. At times, the judges determine winners by what information the nominator submits and the wording of...

Win Lifelong Customers Through Better Marketing

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 03

The chaos of small business life makes it especially hard to win lifelong customers. I'm talking about those customers who don't buy from you just once, but who come back...

Conquer Business Chaos

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 02

New businesses are being launched in record numbers by entrepreneurs setting out to find their freedom. All goes along well until they get their first customer. That's when chaos moves...

Understand Multilingual Search Engine Optimization

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 01

You have a small business. That certainly doesn't mean you think small. Nor does it mean your customers reside in a small geographic area. Global business is for everyone these...

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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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