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Archive for “Grow Your Business”

Rehiring Employees

I was always told that once you leave a company to work for a competitor, you can’t return. Have times changed? A couple years ago, a friend quit his job to work for the competition. Within a week, he was back at his original job. The first job paid less, but the new company was [...]

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Everyone Says They Want the Big Order

Everyone says they want the big order. But beyond all the techniques and tricks of the trade you’ve heard about how to crank up your sales, here’s an ever-looming challenge entrepreneurs have to deal with: Would you take an order–sell, basically–a product or service only once it’s clearly developed, locked, loaded, and ready to go? [...]

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Big Changes for a Key Employee.. and your reaction

Continuing on the theme of throwing scenarios at you that you respond to, here’s one that we (as business owners) have to be ready for…because it could happen when we least expect it… — One of your key employees walks in to have a private talk with you. He has a serious situation he’s dealing [...]

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Lunch from hell

We’ve been to some real doozies of business lunch meetings…including some awkward situations where we had to make on-the-spot judgement calls on what was appropriate to do. Just to make sure we’re acting appropriately, we thought we’d tap your thoughts about proper etiquette during a business lunch. Here’s a typical scenario: Harry calls you at [...]

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An opportunity to work with a fellow entrepreneur

An entrepreneur named "Matt S." contacted us this week. He’s looking for help. Here was his initial email to us (via our “CONTACT” link at StartupNation.com): Hi– I’m desperate to launch a couple e-business ideas, but need a more tech-savvy partner. Would you have a resource for finding business partners? Love the website, by the [...]

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Incredible outpouring of help

We owe a BIG thanks to the people who stepped up last week as volunteers to test drive our soon-to-be-released "10 Steps to Start Up" online process. You know who you are–BRAVO!!! We’ll be working with you closely in the weeks ahead. When the 10-Step program is released on StartupNation.com, we’re planning to list out [...]

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What is a Niche?

It’s an entrepreneurial mantra: find a niche and fill it. Not so obvious, perhaps, is the definition of a niche. Over lunch today with my very inspiring friend Scotty, we were discussing a retail idea of his, and how to market it. The idea itself is very unique, and has the potential to serve a [...]

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Flex-Time- Is the Concept Coming or Going?

Do your employees make their own hours? This week, the subject of “Flex-Time” kept popping up on my computer. USA Today said the practice of flexible hours and allowing your employees to work at home has stalled. Major companies aren’t offering the option, and many employees fear that having such an arrangement puts them a [...]

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Website Traffic Tips from Overstock.com founder

This past weekend on StartupNation Radio we were joined by guest host, Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock.com. The theme of the show was all about creating a web presence that takes your business to new heights. Patrick should know… his company is on a course to do a billion dollars in revenue this [...]

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Who Calls Your Phone?

Joan Isabella’s recent post about answering your phone struck a chord with me. I remember how much we spent buying and servicing our ridiculous Lucent phone system back at my last company, and not even having a dial-by-name directory for all the cash we dropped on it. More importantly, though, the post reminded me of [...]

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Who Answers Your Phone?

I love it when a human being answers the phone. Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of trying to telephone a list of 67 people. I’ve spoken to five of them. In the process I have encountered every imaginable type of answering system. Among them: – The automated voice gives you [...]

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Who’s On Your Superstar List?

I ended a recent blog with this statement: "I’ve got my superstar list. Who’s on yours?" A superstar list includes people that you’d love to have on your team in some capacity. They could become employees, partners, advisors or part-time consultants. I believe you should have a list of 12 that you constantly cultivate. Keep [...]

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Taking Responsibility

Obvious? Maybe. For me though, it wasn’t clear until I’d screwed it up a few times: you have to take responsibility for everything that happens at your business. At times in the past, I’ve been in situations where our company was stumbling, and I *did not* do everything I could to bring it back on [...]

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Desperately seeking sales

We recently received a plea for help from an entrepreneur who just started up a consulting business. She was having a hard time getting initial customers. A lot of people who are just starting up have the same challenge–they’re desperately seeking sales. It’s tough to ramp up sales volume when you’re a new business without [...]

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Hire the ones who smile

Whenever you need to add a new person to your team, make the decision easy on yourself: just hire the ones who smile. Smiling is awesome. The act of smiling makes a measurable positive impact in the physiology of a person. Smilers are obviously more upbeat and smiling is darned contagious. The StartupNation team just [...]

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Salesforce for cheap

I’m no marketing genius, but I know that certain products and services require repeat exposure to prospects before they will convert to customers. I’ve heard that the magic number is 6 or 7 points of exposure. Think of how much business you could be losing if you are not following up with interested prospects. Now, [...]

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Your employees represent YOU

My fiance Suzanne and I went to a movie last week and wanted to purchase the tickets before grabbing a quick dinner prior to the show. It was a boutique theater that plays "artsy" films which we love (the film we saw is Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary on the New York City public school [...]

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Great on paper, but do you hire her?

We’ve been throwing lots of challenges at you lately–like… what would you do if you had an opportunity to sell a product but knew it wasn’t really what the customer wanted? Or what would you do if someone dangled startup money in front of you, but it came with some serious strings attached? Well, this [...]

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Are you willing to say, "Don’t buy that from me."?

A customer walks in the door of your boutique pet store. Even though there are four national brand "big box" pet product retailers in your vicinity, this customer chose to come to YOUR store. Cool. She’s looking for a dog toy to keep her dog occupied during the day while she’s at work. She strolls [...]

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A business practice we admire – Classy Follow Up

As you know, we’ve been blazing trails all over the country on our book tour. Along the way, we’ve been reminded of a business practice we recommend you consider adding to your mix. It’s a really simple one. We call it, "Classy Follow Up." After our recent Denver appearance, we received the kindest correspondence from [...]

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