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Jan - Great tips for all business owners. My favorite it #1. Many businesses make the mistake of expanding too aggressively when things are going well. McDonald's did it about a decade ago and had to retract and focus on improving existing stores and menu. This helped them grow their sales and profit in the following years.
One of my favorite failure stories is the Internet company Webvan that went belly up after receiving large funding and going on expansion binge by building automated warehouses all over the country.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Avoid These 7 Temptations That May Undermine Your Business
Trevor - These are all valid reasons small business owners need to have social media presence. The bottom line is small businesses need to be on social media because the customers are there. However, I would caution against jumping in the social media blindly. You can get burned if you are not careful and don't know how to handle it properly. I had written an article on the traps small business owners need to avoid when considering social media presence. Would love to hear your expert view on them - http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2012/08/15/small-business-owners-beware-of-these-social-media-marketing-traps/
3 weeks ago on Social Media and the Benefits for Small Businesses
An ideal entrepreneur would be a big picture thinker with the ability to get into details. Of course it is not easy to find this combination in most people. Having said that I think you need to be a big picture guy to at least think about out-of-the-box ideas, but only those who can execute those ideas will be able to create successful business. The detail oriented person will spend too much time analyzing and may be able to take that next step necessary to make the business successful. I would put my money on the big picture guy to create successful start-ups.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Big Picture vs. Details Person: Who Makes the Best Entrepreneur?
Automated Phone System is the worst thing that has happened to customer service. Your experience with Reliance Home is not unique. Companies such as Netflix and Zappos understand the problems that automated phone creates. That's why Netflix at one point did not have Email based customer service. You had to call them and it was not the machine that was answering the phone. It was a human being. Not sure if they still have this policy. No wonder both of these companies consistently on the top in customer service.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Customer Service is Not the Same as Being Customer-Centric
I like to prepare the questions with the goal of identifying few characteristics of the applicant. Here are 10 questions that I like to ask along with the type of characteristics they aim to identify (mentioned in parenthesis).
1. What do you want to get out of this job? (Motivation, Needs)
2. Why did you leave last couple of jobs? (Stability, Commitment)
3. What would you do on the first day of the job if we hired you? (Preparedness)
4. What types of people do you get along well with? What type of people do you NOT like? (Teamwork)
5. How would you deal with a colleague or supervisor if you don’t along well with them? (Teamwork)
6. What actions would you take if we are running short on staff and there is a sudden surge of customers? (Ability to work under stress)
7. Will you work here part-time or full-time? Will you have another job after you accept this? Do you go to school? (Flexibility)
8. How much money are you looking for from this position? (Motivation)
9. What do you do for fun? (Interests)
10. What can you tell us about our business? (Preparedness)
3 months, 1 week ago on The Best Interview Questions to Ask a Prospective Hire