Archives for May 2012

7 Reasons you are Losing your Best Employees

It is estimated that best employees contribute 30-50% more than average employees for a typical business. Their contribution is not only in the form of higher productivity, but it also comes from new ideas and better customer service. These are the employees who can take your business to new heights provided you are able to hold onto them.
Employee turnover in general is harmful for small business. When it comes to turnover of star employees it could damage your business beyond repair. That is why it is paramount to treat your star employees well and ensure they are happy to work with you.
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Do not Make these 7 Mistakes in Business Negotiations

Negotiation is more art than science. Just as some people have natural ability for art, I believe there are people born with “negotiation” genes. They already possess virtues required to succeed at negotiations. However, not all is lost for those who do not have these natural skills. By understanding your limitations and making plans to overcome them anyone can improve their success rates in the negotiation process.
Earlier we discussed 5 fundamental rules to keep in mind during negotiation. In addition to not having good understanding these rules, many business owners make certain mistakes common to naïve negotiators. While these mistakes will not put you out of business (at least not right away!) they can do substantial financial harm to you. Here is the description of 7 most common mistakes:
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5 Must-have Virtues to Succeed in Business Negotiations

You cannot be successful in small business without having good negotiation skills. You are required to negotiate at each and every step while operating the business – with vendors, customers, employees, franchisors and so on.
Some people are natural born negotiators and they even enjoy the experience. Many others, however, think of negotiation as necessary evil they have to deal with and dread dealing with it. No matter which camp you belong to learning good negotiation skills and understanding the rules of negotiation will help you becoming successful small business owner.
I discussed 5 fundamental rules of negotiation for small business in the earlier post. In this article, I would like to elaborate more on what virtues are necessary to help you become successful negotiator. Not everyone is born with these virtues, however, with little practice and understanding you can learn and improve your winning odds at the game of negotiation.
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5 Fundamental Rules of Negotiation for Small Business Owners

Small business owners who do not have good negotiation skills risk losing big (or at least not earn what they deserve). Many business owners find negotiation very stressful and try to avoid it as much as possible. They think of negotiation as a long, drawn-out process where one party wins at the expense of other, and when it’s over the “loser” hates the winner for not giving enough. It doesn’t have to be this way. Professional negotiators tell us negotiation is a skill where it is possible for both parties to come out winners and still be “friends” at the end.
To clear the misconceptions about negotiation we have come up with 5 fundamental rules that you should keep in mind. Once you accept these rules and arm yourself with the tactics to use them effectively you can not only “win” the negotiation, but also feel good about it at the end, and make the other party feel the same. Here they are:
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Your 90-day Action Plan after Buying a Business

The actions you take in the first 90 days after you have purchased a business are crucial for its long-term success. We showed what things you need to take care of in the first 30 days after you buy the business. I asked you not to take any major decision in that time, but to learn and document everything about the business by asking questions and observing. By the end of 30 days you should have a plan of action to improve the business in the coming days and months. The plan of action needs to fall in two categories – short-term tactical improvements and long-term strategic direction.
Your focus in the first 90 days should mostly focus on short-term improvements. The idea is to get quick benefits by taking advantage of “low hanging fruits”, while at the same time keeping long-term direction in mind. These steps you take in the first 90 days will position your business well for coming months and years.
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Things You must do within 30 Days of buying a business

The first 30 days after you buy a business is the most critical time in owning a new business. Done right it will take your business to new heights, but done wrong you will be paying the price for a long time.
Buying a business can be exciting as well as nerve-racking for both, veteran as well as first-time, business owners. On one hand, you are eager to implement all the new ideas you have thought about during homework done at the time of due diligence. On the other hand, you could be losing sleep from the thought of all the things that could go wrong right after you step in.
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Are you Wasting Money with These 7 Marketing Mistakes?

Many small business owners think of marketing as a black magic that involves spending lots of money in advertising in the hope that it will magically bring additional customers and sales. They get frustrated when not as many customers as they had hoped show up and the scant few that do never return again. The worst part is business owners feel they have no choice but to continue doing this because they will lose even more customers and sales otherwise. As a result, they end up wasting their hard earned money on marketing when they could have received better return on their money.
While consulting with number of small business owners we have uncovered several recurring mistakes that many of us make in terms of marketing. By simply understanding those mistakes and taking steps to avoid them from happening with your business you can not only save money on marketing, but also get much better return. The list below shows 7 common mistakes many small business owners make. We also show references to other articles that provide additional details and explain how to prevent them from hurting your business.
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How to Increase Sales with Better Business Signs

Effective interior and outdoor signage is essential to the branding efforts of almost any business. From wall decals to billboards, signage can help bring in new customers and retain the attention of regulars. To improve your signage, consider placement, graphics, short messages and frequent changes.
Better sign design and placement not only improves the image of your business, but it can help increase your sales from existing customers as well as by attracting new ones. The tips provided below will help you improve your business sign design.
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