Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
10 Reasons to Protect Your Intellectual Property
For a small business, it can be prohibitively expensive to sue someone for violating your patent or trademark. So you might wonder, “If I can’t afford to fully defend my intellectual property, why should I even bother to protect it?” Before taking this chance, consider these 10 reasons to protect your IP…Read more
Keeping Up with Google
Many business owners feel frustration trying to improve or maintain their search engine positions. Additionally, as Google continues to better enforce and then penalize websites that violate their Webmaster Guidelines, it is important to know and understand what your search optimizing team is doing with your Website. Some powerful questions include…Read more
Creating Situational Interviews
Successful interviewing is critical for identifying capable, motivated candidates. Unfortunately, many business owners are not good interviewers. The traditional interview questions – such as “What are your weaknesses?” or “What would your co-workers say about your performance?” — no longer work. Books on interviewing as well as interview coaching have made the responses to these time-tested questions obvious and predictable. Plus, they fail to provide the needed insights as to how the candidate thinks and behaves…Read more
Talking Finance: Two Quick Tips
When it comes to getting rid of old assets, we have found that donating the asset brings a much higher return than selling an asset that is of little value.
In a collection situation, we request at least some good faith money from the customer. This keeps the debt viable and keeps us from having to turn it over to collections.
Double Duty Employee Manuals
In our employee manuals we include language about the confidential nature of customer lists and other proprietary business processes. Since the requirements vary between management and employees, we provide a different manual to each group. We also update and re-issue the manuals every year, requiring everyone to sign a memo acknowledging that they have read the manual and agree to abide by the policies. This avoids having a unique confidentiality agreement for every employee.
Is Your Value Proposition Clear?
Be clear on your company’s value proposition. Are you going to offer the lowest price or the best product/service? You can’t do both. If you are disappointing customers, review the value proposition being sold to them. Is your sales team writing expectation checks to your clients that your operation/delivery team cannot cash?
We use a website called Box (box.net) to collaborate over the Internet with multiple parties. For example, to cut down on emails between myself and a colleague, I created a simple Excel file and uploaded it to the site. My colleague is able to view my changes online or download the file to his computer, make changes, then upload it again. Because this service is in the “cloud” we can download the latest copy from anywhere. This is a simple solution that reduces our email correspondence and makes it easy to keep track of our communications in one place.
Affordable Drip Marketing
For inexpensive nurture marketing, my firm uses Infusionsoft (www.infusionsoft.com) and Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com). If you are short on content, you can hire writers affordably from a site like Elance (www.elance.com). I recommend commissioning several articles to be drafted in advance so you can easily send out periodic emails to prospects, peers, customers and suppliers.