‘Life Lessons’ Category

New Year’s Resolutions For Small Business

Recently I was asked to put together a list of resolutions for small business.  As I read them over however, I realize that these are also great resolutions for anyone - business owner or not.  Most important, remember that baby steps are usually best when talking about change so please look at these proposed resolutions as year-long projects instead of quick fixes.

1. Resolve to clean out the clutter. Clutter is unprofessional and a psychic drain - blocking creative energy and new ideas. When a business's physical space is disorganized or overcrowded it sends a negative message to staff and customers. Use ebay, or an ebay reseller like Deb Heller (tadi4again on ebay); freecycle (www.freecycle.com); or a bartner exchange (www.nubarter.com) to get rid of your extra inventory and unwanted items.

2. Resolve to tap into your existing resources. List your personal and professional resources and create an action plan outlining how you will use each of those resources during the next month, six months, and year ahead.

3. Resolve to give your website a face lift (or makeover). Your web presence should be viewed as your business' face on the world stage. It should be a work in progress. Keep your website current and make frequent updates and revisions. Make sure your website links to your Facebook, twitter, and blog pages.

4. Resolve to reduce expenses. What worked during boom times will not work now. If it is too difficult for you to see what you can trim, sit down with someone else who doesn't know that much about your business. Show them your expense spreadsheet. Explain where your money is going. Which expenses can you justify? Which ones seem out of line?

5. Resolve to provide exemplary customer service. Your customers are the key to your success. Can you keep your customers happy? I am amazed at how often I encounter businesses that seem oblivious to the fact that if they don't make their customers happy there is someone else waiting for the business. Stay connected to your customers, find out what is working for them, what isn't, and what needs you can meet.

6. Resolve to create an out-of-the-box niche. Your out-of-the-box niche is what makes you stand out from the crowd. If you don't have a niche and nothing in your industry calls to you, start studying your industry's past, current, and emerging market trends. Do some market research by talking to targeted customer groups and find their unmet needs. Having a niche doesn't mean you turn away other business. You can still take that business in. But, having a niche gives you a marketing target and expert status.

The 10 Step Plan For Ending Feuds and Fights and Re-Building Connection

Yes, you can resolve even the nastiest of your conflicts, if you are committed to rebuilding the relationship. This article outlines my 10-Step plan for ending feuds and building connections.

Click here to go to Ezinearticles.com and view Elinor Robin’s complete article

Avoid, Confront, and Everything in Between – The Conflict Management Style Primer

Do you tend to avoid conflicts or face each one head-on, never taking no for an answer? Or is your typical response to conflict someplace in between these two extremes? Conflict management researchers have identified five styles that are commonly used to both resolve and temporarily manage conflicts: avoiding, accommodating, compromising, competing and collaborating. You may favor one of these styles, however knowing when and how to use all five appropriately can help you produce the best results. This article discusses each style and explains when it is most appropriate to use it.

Click here to go to Ezinearticles.com and view Elinor Robin’s complete article

Friendship at Work – The Benefits and the Potential For Disaster

We are living in an increasingly mobile society. "Until-death-do-us-part" marriages are becoming rare. Many of us can no longer depend on our extended families for social support. So where do we turn to fill in the gaps? Our friends. And, for busy professionals work is often where our friends are. Sometimes we meet friends at work, befriending the boss, a co-worker or an employee. Sometimes we hire our friends into our workplaces. Sometimes we go into business with our friends. In any event, adding a layer of friendship onto a business relationship can bring both benefits and the potential for disaster. This article discusses the positives and negatives of workplace friendship and offers six tips for keeping the bonds of workplace friendship strong.

Click here to go to Ezinearticles.com and view Elinor Robin’s complete article

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