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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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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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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How to Succeed at Multi-unit Operations


Despite its lure of higher sales and profit the multi-unit operation is hard work and can be prone to failure. If you are not careful you may end up losing it all. In our previous blog we laid out the pros and cons of multi-unit operations. Here we will outline some of the steps you can take to make multi-unit operation succeed. I will say it again – operating multi-unit business is challenging. At the same time if you take care of the pitfalls that come with it you can not only succeed; but thrive.

The basic philosophy you have to adopt when moving from single unit to multi-unit operation is to take advantage of your scale; while at the same time standardize and apply the proven formula at multiple locations. These are the principles behind the concept of franchise; which is essentially multi-unit operation on steroids. If you want to learn how to succeed at multi-unit business; study how any franchise you operates.

Let’s look at the steps you need to take in more detail:

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How to Make Partnership Work


Statistics show that more than half of partnerships usually end up in failure. This is a reason enough to discourage many would be partners from getting into business with partners. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Given sufficient precautions the partnerships can not only avoid failure; but can thrive.

There are a number of successful partnerships at a larger scale that have worked well. For example, the triumvirate at the helm of Google – Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt has grown the company’s sales to more than $23 billion in 2009. So what makes a partnership successful and how can you use it in your situation? Below we have identified several traits of successful partnership from our own experience and that of others.
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How can you beat large business with deep pockets?

Customer Service
It is not only possible to fight with large business; but to win big in this battle. Are you the owner of small business that is fighting for customers and sales with the big, national chains? How do you win the battle when you know you are outnumbered in every way? I just found out how one such business is doing one customer at a time.
I was at the auto mechanic shop the other day to fix the coolant leakage on my old car. The service I received there made me think what it takes to make a first-time customer come back for the rest of his life. Let me explain…
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