How to Pick Conflict Resolution Style to Your Advantage

How to Use Your Conflict Style Strategically to Gain Results
When you sense a conflict brewing in the business situation what do you do? Do you put your head down and focus on your own work to stay out of it? Do you play peacekeeper and attempt to help everyone just get along? Or do you add fuel to the fire?

According to the leading theories of conflict, there are five major “conflict styles,” or approaches we take to handling disagreements. Everyone uses one of these styles at one point or another, but most of us tend to stick to one or two styles in most situations. The style you are most comfortable with and use majority of time can have a big impact on the outcome. It can help you arrive at a solution to your advantage or make you suffer with unfavorable outcome. It is crucial to understand what style you are most comfortable with and develop alternate styles so you can respond appropriately in a given situation.

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Warning! You might be Wasting Money on Electricity Bills!

You might be wasting money on electricity bills

Here is a quick question – When was the last time you checked your electric bill? Do you remember how much it was? If you are like most small business owners you do not pay attention to how much you are paying towards electric bill. You take it for granted that the electricity expense is fixed and there is not much you can do to bring that expense down. This could be a mistake because even a small monthly savings of $50 in electric bill can add up to substantial amount at the end of the year.
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7 Best Practices to Follow When Buying Small Business

Very few decisions have as much impact on your life, as well as of those around you, as the decision to buy a business. This is one of the biggest decisions you will make, other than the decision to get married or have kids. Yet many people jump into this without carefully examining what it takes to run a small business. They get blindsided by the myths about owning a small business and end up paying a huge price, both in terms of money and stress, for a long time. With that in mind, we have compiled 7 best practices to follow and understand before buying a business.
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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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How to Make Daily Deals Work for your Business

Daily deals facilitated by companies like Groupon and Living Social are double-edged swords for businesses. On one hand, they help you get new customers and improve sales. On the other hand, you end up with high operating expenses and dissatisfied customers, if not done right. Reading the horror stories that some businesses experienced you might think that it is never a good idea to work with daily deal companies. While this reaction is understandable, it may be extreme and may result in you losing out on the benefits offered by daily deals. We think with the right approach and proper planning you can make daily deals work for your business. Below we provide tips on how to do it.
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7 Common Mistakes that Impact Cash Flow and How to Avoid Them

Cash flow is a lifeblood for small business. Fail to plan properly for the month-end cash flow needs and you will start losing your sleep when the time arrives to write paychecks for employees or to pay vendor bills. That’s why it is very important to keep a keen eye on money coming in and going out, and plan for those times when you will need sizeable cash outflow. Not only that, but you have to take into account unexpected emergencies that will force you to spend money here and now. In earlier post, we showed how managing your inventory, account payables and receivables can help you better manage your cash flow.
In addition to those tips, you should also look at the obvious as well as not-so-easy-to-find ways in which small business owners squander cash and end up in dire situations. Here are examples of the mistakes many small business owners make and how you can avoid them.
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Five Step Action Plan to Remove Trouble Spots in your Business

In an ideal world your small business should operate like a well-oiled machine without encountering hiccups. However, as we all know, this is not the case in real world. Problems could and do arise from time to time. We are not talking about transient problems that can be fixed easily and quickly. We are talking about structural changes that occur very slowly and can go unnoticed for a long time. These are the problems that can do a great harm and eventually put you out of business.
To avoid this unfortunate fate we recommend you implement a three-step process. (1) Implement systems to provide you with warning signs about potential issues. (2) Interpret the warning signs to find trouble spots in your business. (3) Take appropriate actions to remove trouble spots.
We talked about the warning signs earlier. In the later post we showed how to interpret these warning signs This post will focus on what actions you can take for each type of the warning sign so that you can take care of the trouble spots and get your business on the right track again.
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15 Simple Cost Reduction Techniques for Small Business Owners

In the previous post we showed a systematic approach you can use to reduce cost in small business while still keeping your foundation intact allowing you to take advantage of the upturn in economy when it happens. We suggested that you should take surgical knife approach to cost reduction as opposed to using machete.
By applying this approach your business may come up with tactics that will be different from some other type of business. You have to tailor the systematic approach to your business and situation. However, there are common tactics that can be employed by almost all types of businesses. Below we describe those techniques categorized by stages in the cost reduction approach.
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