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Dealing with Customer Complaints – The ‘Act Now’ Policy

A business coach, when explaining to a group of entrepreneurs how to deal with a dissatisfied customer, asked how serious is the following customer complaint? (Add complaint here_________________.) Answers ranged from an easy fix to unrecoverable. The coach replied the actual seriousness can be immaterial; it depends on how long you wait to deal with [...]

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Lessons from Lawyers – Risk Management & Negotiating Agreements

Author: Arif A. Mahmood, B.Sc., LL.B., JD.  Arif A. Mahmood is an internationally qualified attorney who works on complex high-risk litigation including technical pharmaceutical and intellectual property matters. He is licensed in Ontario, Illinois and Washington D.C. and is quoted in both US and Canadian media publications on topics including technology, privacy and advertising law. [...]

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How To Be An Extra-Special Manager

Regardless of how “normal” you may regard your business and how you run it, you may have a unique set of traits that can set you apart as a manager. It may be the way you interact with others or your ability to sell anything to anyone. It may be a bit subtler than that. Bringing that little bit extra to managing a business can make a significant difference in how your company operates and how you are perceived as a manager and boss. Bringing something extra to the table can give you a hands down advantage.

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How Luck Figures Into Things

It isn’t all about an MBA, a solid investment from somewhere or how innovative you may be. Luck is a factor, and most successful business people believe that luck had something to do with their success. What’s interesting about this is that the average person in a full-time job or even in a small business puts education first and discounts luck as a factor.

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Does Your Start-up Need an Employee?

Most new small businesses begin as one person operations. At some point the question becomes, is an employee or two needed? Do You Need To Delegate? The first consideration has to be whether or not certain responsibilities have to be delegated so that you can do the things you have to do to keep things [...]

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Skills Entrepreneurs Lack

Most entrepreneurs are focused. They are goal oriented, and they are generally persuasive. These are all good qualities to have in business. It’s what they lack that is often most telling.

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A Strong Brand Means Focus

Getting a hold of exactly what your company brand is can be difficult. Most entrepreneurs are so consumed with running a business and growing that business that they lose sight of the key to consumer acceptance, which is the brand. The brand can only be one thing. It can’t be a diverse set of ideas or selling points. Avis is “Number Two”. BMW is “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. Esso puts “A Tiger In Your Tank”. One dominant thought. One compelling brand.

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How to Spruce Up Your Brand

A company brand is not static. It changes over time. It’s important to regularly re-evaluate your brand and do what it takes to restore it to where you know it has to be.

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Businesses That Learn Grow

Many small business owners don’t see themselves as particularly innovative. A very good approach for all entrepreneurs is to be observant, always test things out and assess what works and doesn’t work. In the end, it’s learning the basics that pay off for small businesses.

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How to Keep Employees Happy Without Raises

Sometimes, especially in this economy, raises are out of the question. Sometimes the money isn’t there. However, employees are not just there for salary increases. There are many way to keep a staff happy without throwing money their way.

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How Small Businesses Can Make It Big

Everyone loves a great success story, and there are many stories about little companies that took off and made it very big. Apple started in a garage. It comes down to strategies that suddenly take hold.

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How to Change Your Company

There comes a time when change is essential for many businesses. It may be as a result of a new product line, or entering new markets. It may have to do with a needed overhaul just to tweak things. Whatever the reason for needing change, it’s difficult.

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An Interesting Perspective on Productivity

Productivity is on the mind of every entrepreneur and all entrepreneurs try to be productive at all times. In the end, it isn’t about working harder, it’s about working smarter.

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What Your Customers Really Want

Customers don’t usually tell you what it is they really want. When asked they’ll usually say all is well, but there are many things they don’t say about businesses they deal with. A psychologist might tell you that it;s just human nature. Customers want a whole lot from you, but they’ll never tell you.

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The Importance of Goals

It’s probably safe to say that the first goal set by every new business owner is to survive the first year, let alone the first few months. Assuming the company is still standing once that goal is reached, there are important goals that have to be set. Goal setting is about revenue and it’s also about ideas and innovation. It’s about employee retention and about product or service offerings.

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What a Start-Up Doesn’t Need (Immediately)

Start small, then build. Too many new entrepreneurs put the emphasis on the wrong things. The big things can come later.

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Good Leaders: A Balancing Act

In a business environment leader know that staff members should be given regular training to upgrade their skill sets. Great leaders know that it doesn’t stop there. Training and upgrading skills is something that also applies to them.

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