The place to start and grow your business


Have Customer Service Paradigms Shifted?

Have Customer Service Paradigms Shifted?»

Nowadays, we live in a relaxed environment. Granted, we are higher tech (cell phones instead of party lines, lap tops instead of manual typewriters, and wide screen, HD TV instead of 12” black and white), but can we say that our lives are better? As an observer, I’m always amazed at people shopping in pajama pants, flip flops, and oversized t-shirts (those are women). In businesses, I’ve been waited on by clerks who literally looked like they had just stepped out of bed (hair scrunched up, wrinkled clothes, and far too casual for my taste). We’ve all been met with indifference, rudeness, and a lack of care for the customer. Little if no training goes into how the customer is treated or to what extent the customer is right. How many times have we asked a clerk for a size, color, or item to be told, “Everything we have is out there; if it isn’t, we don’t have it?”

key steps in applying for a small business loan

Why Won’t Anybody Lend My Business Money?»

It takes the perfect storm to create a successful business and even then it may be hard to get money. There are several extremely important things to have in place to successfully apply for a loan.

change ahead

Redefining Business to Survive»

The ever-changing economy, consistent gas price increases, natural catastrophes and other influences keep small businesses teetering on the edge. Many have to make decisions. Do we stay open, or close? Is the daily struggle worth the meager rewards? Or, can we give ourselves a makeover and beat out the competition? What can we do to survive?

Prospecting for New Customers? Local Groups and Organizations Can Help You Strike Gold

Prospecting for New Customers? Local Groups and Organizations Can Help You Strike Gold»

By doing a little digging, you can unearth numerous local organizations and groups to connect to sales prospects in your industry and location.

Perform Your Own Marketing Checkup in Two Easy Steps

Perform Your Own Marketing Checkup in Two Easy Steps»

When did you last do a marketing check up? Where would you begin? Just as a doctor doing a physical checkup looks at individual symptoms, such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight, you can use a similar process to perform a marketing checkup. Take a look at your current marketing efforts and define where improvements are needed. Let’s try it.

Facebook Does it Again

Facebook Does it Again with Instant Personalization – Yet Another Privacy Setting Made Active by Default»

“Privacy setting.” Ironically, those two words are an oxymoron when it comes to Facebook as it continues sharing more user information with third-party websites and requires us to opt out of these so-called enhanced social sharing features rather than opt in. The latest feature added to Facebook’s privacy settings is called Instant Personalization. It actually launched quietly in April of 2010, but Facebook began rolling it out the masses last week.

How to Spot, Avoid (And Deal With) Facebook Spam/Scams

How to Spot, Avoid (And Deal With) Facebook Spam/Scams»

Spam, scams and email phishing schemes seem to spreading like wildfire via Facebook lately. With more than 550 million users, it’s not surprising that fraudsters are targeting Facebook users. The potential payoff is huge. Since a lot of my Facebook friends have recently fallen victim, I thought it was a good time to write a blog post about how to spot some of these scams, deal with them if you’ve already been tricked, and avoid them in the future.

Hi. I can't remember your name either.

How to Remember Names»

One of the best ways to make a personal and lasting connection with people you meet at networking meetings is to remember their name. Over the past several years, I have found that by taking the following simple steps, I have become much better at remembering people’s names:

Home-based Business Success

5 Key Steps of Home-based Businesses, Part 5: Anchors Away!»

During this five-part series, we looked at ways a small home-based business can make educated decisions in moving from start-up to mainstream. We’ve covered “Look Before Leaping,” “Ready, Set, Start Up,”Keep on Tracking,” and “Growing with Magic Beans.” Now, we’re ready for “Anchors Away” – taking that leap in moving the business from home to another location.

sales rejection

21 Ways to Overcome a Series of Sales Call Rejections»

As every small business owner knows, a large percentage of their day is spent selling something — from initially convincing their family to support their plans to start a new business and, once started, selling their business idea to a lender to obtain a loan, or selling their products and services to prospective customers, and so on. Since the typical sales pipeline involves making a large number of presentations that result in only a few sales, the small business owner’s never-ending challenge is to stay motivated when facing so much rejection.