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Do you know Why your Customers are Dumping you?


If history is any guide; you will lose about 20% of your current customers by the end of the month and 40% by the end of the year. I know it sounds terrible; but that’s fact of life. While 30-40% of sales for any business come from existing customers; the rest comes from customers using revolving door. They will come and go for a variety of reasons.
This customer churn can be costly for your business. You need to constantly recruit new customers to fill the gap left by those customers who have dumped you. This costs money reducing your profit. It is said that it is 4 times more expensive to get new customer compared to retaining the existing one. We will look at the ways to stop customers from dumping you in a later post; but let’s understand why they leave you in the first place. The reasons are quite varied and some are easier to correct than others.
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5 Effective Techniques for On-boarding New Hires

Onboarding
Many business owners miss an opportunity to get the most out of new hires because they do not have well-thought plans to acclimatize new hires quickly. First few days of new hire play a large role in determining whether the person will contribute effectively to your business or will be dud.
In the previous posts we have identified several insights for hiring best employees and reducing staff turnover. Our goal here is to get the best use of your employees once they are hired.
I know several managers and owners who would give a written training manual to the new hire and let him figure out how things are done. In our experience nothing is more effective than on-the-job training by letting the new hire dive right into operations from day 1. In addition, there are several other techniques you can use to get the most out of your new hires. Below we show 5 most effective ones:
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10 Questions You must Ask before Hiring an Employee


In our previous post we mentioned that hiring best employees makes a big impact on how your business performs. We also showed how to go about hiring best employees for your business. However, we have felt that many employers are at a loss when they think about what questions to ask in the job interview. They end up talking about different things before wrapping up the job interview and making hiring decision based on their gut.
In this post we give you ideas on how you can to go in the interview well-prepared plan; so that you can get a clear picture of the job candidate and make informed hiring decision. We also mention what type of personal quality of the job applicant they aim to find out (in parentheses). By understanding personal qualities you can get a pretty good idea of what drives the person and whether he will be motivated and successful after you hire him. Here are the questions:
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7 Proven Techniques to Hire Best Employees

Hiring Techniques
It is fair to say that the owner of small business builds the business; but it’s the employees who make it a success. It has been our personal experience and those of countless other owners that if you want to make your business successful pay careful attention to who you are hiring. Hiring a “right” employee can improve your sales by almost 15-20%; while hiring the “wrong” one can bring it down by the same amount.
How do you make sure you are hiring the “right” employee? What are the good practices you can follow to ensure you don’t end up with someone who will bring your sales down? Here we outline suggestions that can help you do that.
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5 Low Cost Ways to Motivate Employees


Let’s face it. Motivating employees that are making pretty good salary is hard enough. Now try to do it for those who are making minimum wage in a small business and you understand the magnitude of the problem.
However, all is not lost in this battle. There are ways to motivate the employees who are working part-time, on a minimum wage as long as you know what makes them click.
Below we highlight the 5 best ideas we have collected from our own experience and those of our colleagues and business partners.
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Effective Techniques to Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee Turnover
If you own a small business and are not seeing employee turnover of greater than 30% per year you are doing something right and need to advise all the other small businesses. As we all know; for small businesses the employee turnover is a fact of life. One of our clients tells us – “I am not in the restaurant business. I am running a training business because of the constant need to train stream of new employees that I have to hire because of turnover”.
In order to find ways to reduce the turnover it is important first to understand the causes behind it. Some of the causes listed below are obvious and are common across majority of small businesses.
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5 Proven Ways to Reduce Credit Card Processing Fees


Most small businesses are overpaying for credit card processing. After the Mafia was eliminated from Italy this has become the next legitimate way of extorting money from businesses. Visa and Master Card are making billions of dollars in profit every year just for acting as a middle man to process the credit cards.
Is there anything businesses can do to lower this cost rather than just give this “extortion” money to credit card processing companies? Although there is no way you can eliminate this cost; there are few steps you can take to bring it down. Here are 5 steps you can explore:
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Are you Giving your Heart or just Hands to your Business?


If your heart is not in your business (or anything you are doing for that matter); you might as well not own the business. Your business is just going to drag along at best and in worst case it will fail causing you financial and emotional pain.
We say this from our experience at a concert we attended this past weekend.
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How to Overcome Challenges of Starting a Business in Bad Times


In our previous blog post Is this a Good Time to Buy a Business we argued that the difficult economic times present an excellent opportunity to start a business. There are a number of advantages and opportunities that bad economy; like current one; provides. The advantages include less competition, good talent available at reasonable salary and others.
While it is true that this is a good time to start a new business you cannot ignore the challenges that you will be facing in starting business in bad economic time. By understanding the challenges and preparing yourself to meet them head-on you will improve your success rate. Here are three most difficult challenges in our mind along with suggestions on how to overcome them.
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What can you learn from Zappos.com’s $1.6 Million Mistake


If you are not standing by your core values at the time of crisis and instead take a myopic view of the situation you will miss out on building a long-term, thriving business. Just look at what Zappos, the popular shoe site, went through on May 23, 2010. It lost $1.6 Million dollars within matter of hours. But it’s what it did afterward that is the real story.
For those who don’t know Zappos; it is an online web site that sells shoes. In the process it has built a Billion dollar business!! It has done this by focusing on core tenets of providing exceptional customer service at any cost. Amazon.com just bought the company last month for $928 million.
So what happened?
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