Archives: December 2010

Making Slide Decks Shine

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 31

It's rare to find a businessperson who doesn't know how to use PowerPoint software. Using it well can be a different story. While a blank slide may seemingly offer a...

Protect Your Brand. It's Your Most Valuable Asset

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 30

Business news is saturated with talk of the power of the brand. But what does that really mean for a small business? Consider for a moment that your brand is...

Protect Data with the Principle of Least Privilege

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 29

Malicious insiders account for nearly 50 percent of all data breaches and pose a significant threat to sensitive enterprise information. This data ranges from proprietary research information, corporate best practices,...

Win Over Difficult or Combative Customers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 28

Eventually, all small business owners are faced with a customer who's ready for conversational battle. Sometimes there is good reason for these combative conversations; sometimes there isn't. Either way, when...

How to Sell More of Everything

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 27

Whether you're selling products, services, or ideas, every small business owner wants to sell more. The three most effective ways to do this are to connect emotionally, establish credibility, and...

Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 24

You could have a high intellect and prestigious education. Without emotional intelligence, however, your business will fail. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, process, and communicate your own...

How to Navigate a Small Business through Economic Turbulence

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 23

Small businesses were among the hardest-hit by the economic free fall and many are still reeling from the effects. Each time the economy takes a dive, even the most steadfast...

How Leaders Can Give Their People a "Hug"

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 22

I once conducted my own unofficial survey of colleagues, associates, and clients to find out what they value in a boss that would inspire, motivate, and make them more likely...

It's Back to the Future for Small Businesses: Communities

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 21

Social networking is often overlooked by small businesses for one of two reasons: Either owners don't understand social media and what it can do for them or they have more...

Making Marketing Campaigns Work on a Local Level

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 20

Trying to reach local customers is the marketing category in which it is most important to create a personal look and feel in your messaging materials. Personalization reminds consumers that...

Encourage Customers to Complain

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 17

TARP has researched customer complaint behavior for over 30 years. More than half the time, your customers will not tell you when you have alienated them but will simply go...

Avoid Assumptions That Undermine Customer Service

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 16

Great service assures you keep customers and allows you to charge a premium for your product. But when trying to achieve consistently good service, most business owners make three mistakes:...

Align Your Teams in the U.S. and Abroad

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 15

Your startup has headquarters in the U.S. and a small office in India that uses the country's engineering talent. How do you make both your U.S. and India offices feel...

Get a Loan to Buy Commercial Real Estate

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 14

Now is a great time to buy, renovate, or refinance the real estate you need to expand your businesses. There is a surplus of well-priced commercial real estate on the...

Get the Capital You Need

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 13

Small business owners who've made it through the Great Recession have already proved their worth to lenders. That real-world success is very attractive. While credit is still tight, the recently...

Marketing During the Holidays

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 10

With the holiday season upon us, there are many sales and marketing strategies that small business owners can leverage to expand revenue base and improve business. Here are a few...

Three Ways to Help Secure an SBA Loan

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 09

The Small Business Jobs Bill signed by President Obama in September offers good news for small business owners seeking Small Business Administration financing. The new law extends the SBA loan...

Get Maximum Value from Your Consultants

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 08

Many small businesses count on professional services from companies and individual consultants to supplement their in-house expertise and capabilities. Some of these relationships contribute enormously to business success while others...

Start a Social Community for Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 07

Today it is commonplace to find large companies such as Reebok's GoRunEasy.com and MarthaStewart.com using white-labeled online communities to engage consumers and draw them into brand-specific conversations. Why can't your...

Five Tax Strategies to Take Advantage of Now

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 06

Small businesses are being inundated with news about recent tax deductions, incentives, pending and adopted legislation, and whether or not the Bush tax cuts could expire. With such an extensive...

Slow Your Selling to Speed Your Customers' Buying

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 03

Almost anyone who is trying to sell has been taught that a faster pitch means a faster close. In fact, the reverse is true. No matter what it is you're...

Know Your Counterparty Risk Before Signing a Contract

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 02

A counterparty is any entity with which you sign a contract. Many small businesses contract with other business providers with no knowledge of their financials, credit worthiness, or whether they...

Find IT Tools That Fit How You Do Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 01

The line that sums up our philosophy on business and technology is: Keep things simple, particularly when it comes to IT. The majority of small and midsize businesses have minimal...

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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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