Tip of the Day

Customize Your Customer Service

8/08/11 at 6:00 AM

Today’s businesses need to recognize that customer loyalty goes a long way. Re-evaluate your approach to customer service. If you are restaurant, take the time and effort to provide meals based on dietary needs or allergies. If you are a service facility, have a nice waiting room with a working television and coffee or water. Use social media to provide specials to loyal customers to keep them coming back. Make customers feel like a member of the family. This truly benefits all types of businesses. Continue Reading

Vlog, Vlog, Vlog!

8/05/11 at 6:00 AM

People love seeing who is behind the company and they love hearing what you have to say -- not necessarily selling but giving tips on what works best for you and your business. For example, we are in the diabetes community and we offer 'diabetes tidbits,' short videos that give tips on what has helped us in raising a child with diabetes. Continue Reading

Get Involved In Your Community

8/04/11 at 6:00 AM

Small businesses leaders should always devote time and effort to involving themselves in their local communities. Whether you’re in a large city or a small rural town, always remember that doing good business is not just about selling your product, it’s interacting with potential customers. Playing a role in your community can really help sell your product. People are naturally hesitant about new businesses settling in their community – some may even feel threatened by the business you offer. By sponsoring local events or participating in local street fairs and parades, you demonstrate your effort to be 'one of them'. From there, you open up a world of opportunities for people to feel comfortable around you and want to do business with you. Continue Reading

Reward Talent

8/03/11 at 6:00 AM

You need to recognize talent and reward your key executives within your company. One of the key strategies to maintaining top talent is to provide positive recognition and rewards for one’s achievement. Enlist efforts to make employees feel important and appreciated, which can increase employees loyalty to the company. Continue Reading

Motivate Performance to Match Corporate Benefits

8/02/11 at 6:00 AM

When employees are motivated, they welcome more responsibility and the chance to demonstrate skills. Adding a mix of employee benefits that reward top employees and can be tied to profitability can help maintain key employees. It will also likely inspire them to work harder. Continue Reading

Focus on Brand Consistency

8/01/11 at 6:00 AM

You need to have a consistent look, feel and name all over the net. Your site should have the same color scheme and theme throughout ALL of the pages so that visitors do not think they have landed on another site while surfing through yours. Studies show that when people feel uncomfortable online they move on – and they feel uncomfortable when the consistency changes. The same goes for social networking sites; make sure your Facebook, Myspace and Twitter themes match your website. If your website is blue, your Facebook, Myspace and Twitter pages should also be blue. Also, use the same handle wherever possible: You.com should match your Facebook.com/you, your Myspace.com/you and your Twitter/you. Continue Reading

Attract and Retain Key Employees

7/31/11 at 6:00 AM

On a basic level, corporations thrive when they recruit and maintain the employment of top talent. Leaders that invest effort into planning for employee growth opportunities will see success because top talent often remains loyal when there is opportunity for professional growth. Continue Reading

If You Want it Done Right, Do it Yourself

7/30/11 at 6:00 AM

As a small business owner, I'm not fond of the term 'delegate'. I learned the hard way that you can never trust anyone other than yourself to make your business successful. Individuals or companies may make promises when wanting to partner or join your company, but you can never sit back and expect anything to be done to your expectations because no one will ever care as much about your company as you do. While it is okay to enlist support, make sure you follow through and monitor what is going on at all times to avoid costly mistakes that could reflect poorly on you and your company. Continue Reading

See What Your Consumer Isn't Telling You

7/29/11 at 6:00 AM

In this digital age, it’s very easy to rely on online data to keep tabs on your consumer. While there is value in that kind of research, nothing can replace actually being with your consumer, in their 'real world.' This kind of ethnographic research is a great way to identify compensatory behaviors your consumers may not even recognize they’re making, and to see how they interact with your product, observing how they store it, use it and what delights or confounds them about their product experience. You can even see what is competing for their time and attention. Face-to-face interaction is also a great way to gauge intensity of consumer reactions to new products, packaging or concepts. Watch their body language and how respondents express themselves—are they truly excited by the idea, or do they unconvincingly express interest in your idea? Skilled ethnographic researchers can help you uncover these real world truths, creating an environment that keeps your respondents comfortable and 'real.' Continue Reading

Don't Let Challenges Slow You Down

7/28/11 at 6:00 AM

When you're starting out and struggling, it is important to remember that above all the stress and struggles you are still learning. I loved Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford (available at TED.com) because he discusses how the challenging set backs in life and business are the best education and if you persevere, those bumps along the way can lead to new opportunities beyond your wildest dreams. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you perseverance is key to success. Learn form your mistakes, set backs and disappointments, search for new ways and areas to do business. Take it in, soak it up and keep going! Any successful entrepreneur will tell you perseverence is key to success. Learn form your mistakes, set backs and disappointments, search for new ways and areas to do business. Take it in, soak it up and keep going! Continue Reading

Stay Connected with the Cloud

7/27/11 at 6:00 AM

For small businesses, the Cloud can be a very useful tool to stay connected and manage their business while on the go. Many professionals use multiple devices, including their laptops, smartphones, and now tablets – but the problem is that they don’t have the same files on all of those devices. Using the Cloud gives you the ability to access, edit and share data from any device, at any time. After a simple one-time setup to backup your files and data to the Cloud, you can use nearly any Web-enabled mobile device to access everything – including your documents, photos, music and videos. Sharing and synchronizing files across all your devices is also as simple as a clicking a button. Most SMBs that I know can't live without it. It's a simple tool that keeps you connected and in sync wherever you go. Continue Reading

Don't Let Their Perception Be Your Reality

7/26/11 at 6:00 AM

In an age where social media dominates our everyday life, more and more Americans are turning to their virtual friends for suggestions on what to buy and who to buy from. Regardless of what a company sells, be it a product or a service, they have to be prepared to promote and defend their social reputation. The truth is that once a negative comment is posted or tweeted, the bad news is out there – legitimate or not – and it is hard remove. This situation can be remedied by marginalizing the bad with good. If you address the negative postings and difficult issues head-on and kill your customers with kindness, you can turn a bad product or service encounter into a wonderful customer experience. Address issues by tweeting, re-tweeting, and blogging positive testimonials. Use Facebook as a forum for open and truthful conversation, because in reality, perception is reality. Continue Reading

Get Out in the Field

7/25/11 at 6:00 AM

In today’s busy world it is very easy for small business executives to get bogged down with the day to day tasks it takes to run a business. While those tasks are important, you can’t lose contact with your customers. The field is where the action is, where your company was built. Getting in front of the customer keeps you and your company top of mind. Seeing your clients face-to-face helps them know you are still vested and are aware – and listening – to their needs. Losing contact can be a very costly business mistake. Continue Reading

Get Out to Get Inspired

7/24/11 at 6:00 AM

Inspiration comes in many forms. If you are stuck on a certain problem or hit a brick wall in your creative thinking, find some place other than your office to gain inspiration. Take a walk, go biking in your local park, travel to Italy – oftentimes, your 'next big idea' won’t come while you’re sitting in your office sipping a cup of coffee. Make time to travel to other places outside your comfort zone and see how other people live and interact with each other. Go to museums, art galleries and historical monuments. Even the great thinkers of past generations needed a little help once in a while. Always think outside the box – you’ll be surprised at what simple idea inspires an even bigger one. Continue Reading

Spend Less On Advertising, More on Your Product

7/23/11 at 6:00 AM

Only really poor products need huge ad budgets to sell. Brilliant, well polished products (or services with incredible support and customer service) don't need any. Your customer will sell it for you by telling their friends on Facebook, twitter and blogs. Continue Reading

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Tip of the Day

  • August 8 2011
    "Today's businesses need to recognize that customer loyalty goes a long way. Re-evaluate your approach to customer service. If you are...
    Continue Reading
  • August 5 2011
    "People love seeing who is behind the company and they love hearing what you have to say -- not necessarily selling but giving tips on what...
    Continue Reading
  • August 4 2011
    "Small businesses leaders should always devote time and effort to involving themselves in their local communities. Whether you're in a large...
    Continue Reading
  • August 3 2011
    "You need to recognize talent and reward your key executives within your company. One of the key strategies to maintaining top talent is to...
    Continue Reading
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