Archives: March 2011

Incorporate Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 31

Many small businesses consider themselves too small to worry about incorporation. However, whether you're a self-employed social media consultant or a landscaper, incorporating or forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC)...

Get More Business by Choosing the Right Keywords

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 30

Are you speaking the same language as your customers? You may use the phrase "pest control" to describe your services, but someone who just found bedbugs and turns to the...

Hire a Great Startup Employee

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 29

If you run a young company, you know that every hire matters. So how do you choose the ideal person to work in this unique environment? While the requirements for...

Great Leaders Ask Questions and Listen

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 28

Although everyone agrees that communication is a very important skill, research shows that it is crucial for leadership success. When business owners think about becoming better communicators, however, their knee-jerk...

Enable Young Employees

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 25

I recently reviewed a survey of chief executive officers about talent development, which confirmed my suspicion that most organizational leaders have lost touch with how to effectively manage and motivate...

Participate in the 'Social Economy'

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 24

Deals of the day and other performance-based online promotions available through companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial are gaining traction with consumers. Perhaps you're considering how to get in on...

Put Wellness Initiatives in Place

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 23

The role of businesses in providing healthy living benefits to employees is often discussed and debated. Certainly, implementing a corporate wellness initiative takes a multitude of resources, specifically time and...

Hiring and Working with Family

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 22

I frequently get asked for advice on hiring, especially as it relates to working with or hiring family members. This is especially true with small business owners, who often look...

Avoid a Leaky 'Sales Funnel'

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 21

A leaky sales funnel means that you end up spending more money to create fewer sales. Do you need to patch any of these areas? 1. Weak lead capture. How...

Three Signs You Are Addicted to Chaos

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 18

Entrepreneurs are frequently so devoted to the business that they persist in the state of chaos, accepting it as a way of life, without ever trying to identify or solve...

Cultivate Existing Customers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 17

It's a maxim of marketing: Retaining a current customer is easier, wiser, and less costly than attracting a new one. Your loyal customers are the most important—with "loyalty" defined by...

When the IRS Wants to Audit Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 16

Consider this scenario: You are under audit with the IRS or the Franchise Tax Board and are thinking about representing yourself. I suggest you think again. As a former IRS...

Measure Customer Satisfaction

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 15

You have spent a considerable amount of time and resources creating a fantastic customer experience. Now, how do you measure the satisfaction and loyalty of your customers in order to...

Trumpet Your Values

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 14

"We pride ourselves on ethics," Mark Wolverton, president and chief executive of Lush North America, told me during a recent interview about the cosmetics company's growth from one small store...

Make Sales to Businesses as Effective as Sales to Consumers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 11

Large businesses such as Amazon, Dell, and OfficeMax use e-commerce for business-related transactions, so why not use it for yours as well? With more users online than ever before, your...

Smart Marketing Without Added Expense

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 10

Although many business owners are still hesitant to move away from snail mail or the phone for marketing, others are rapidly discovering that e-mail marketing is one of the most...

Improve Your Customer Service Training

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 09

Almost all customer service training includes roughly the same instructions for dealing with unhappy customers: listening without interruption and the need to empathize, validate, apologize, take responsibility, and agree on...

Protect Your Mobile Data

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 08

The growing adoption of mobile devices as primary business communication tools substantiates the need to ensure that your data is protected in the office and on the road. Business professionals...

Get the Most From Your Paid Search Budget

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 07

While paid search such as Google AdWords can be a great way to attract visitors to your website, it can be difficult to determine the cost-effectiveness of these programs. We...

Why Your Business Isn't Getting Leads From LinkedIn

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 04

I am amazed at how many small businesses do not take full advantage of social media, which—as the Internet did two decades ago—allows any business to compete with larger, more...

Eliminate Software Licensing Waste

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 03

Many employees say they are receiving little or no value from their company's IT department, but industry analyst firms estimate that businesses spend on average $12,000 per user each year...

Join an Ecosystem to Get Ahead

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 02

One of the best ways to get ahead as a small business is to join an ecosystem or group of businesses with a common goal. Doing so will allow you...

Help Your Employees Invest For the Long Haul

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 01

Great talent is hard to find. It can be even harder to retain your best employees, particularly when the job market heats up. One proven technique to encourage employee longevity...

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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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