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Entries posted by blaskowski

Careful planning will make company policies stick

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Have you ever had this experience? You recognize a problem in your business and formulate a policy or procedure to govern how it should be handled in the future. You put the policy in a memo to your employees and send it out by email, discuss it at a staff meeting, and maybe even post… Continue Reading Careful planning will make company policies stick

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A client recently gave us the book Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion and purpose by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. It’s a great book and one story particularly stood out to us. Hsieh talked about how he developed his poker-playing skills through study and practice. He went on to illustrate similarities between poker… Continue Reading Be sure to take a seat at the best possible business table

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Good, bad or ugly — owner sets the example

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Remember the movie “The Christmas Story” and the scene where Ralph drops the F-bomb while helping his dad change a tire? His mother is stricken and certain he must have learned that word from a friend. But the grown-up Ralph narrator says he learned it from his father, who used it all the time. We… Continue Reading Good, bad or ugly — owner sets the example

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Take steps to improve account collection

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The work is done and your customer has been invoiced, so the sale is complete. Right? Wrong! Your sales aren’t complete until you’ve been paid. As many people have found over the last few years, receivables collection has become more difficult and this has caused a lot of problems for companies’ cash flow. Although it’s… Continue Reading Take steps to improve account collection

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If you were the coach of a football team, one of the things you would spend a lot of time doing is studying your opponents. You would watch tapes of their games over and over again to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. Then you’d use this information to develop strategies that would make… Continue Reading Study your competition if you want to win the game

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How do you know when you should fire a customer?

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Many of us started out in business hearing “the customer is always right” and some people still adhere to that philosophy. But sometimes we want to shout out a resounding “No!” The customer is not always right and sometimes you need to end the relationship. This idea may seem counterintuitive for those who have been… Continue Reading How do you know when you should fire a customer?

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We once had an employee who was a nice guy but was never as productive as others in his department. Supervisors discussed this with him on several occasions but his output didn’t improve. Then, in a staff meeting one day, he spotted something on the wall and remarked, “Sometimes I’m sitting at my computer and… Continue Reading Why employees who have potential for success often fail

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Make your business plan simple, yet powerful

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Laddie once met with a new client at his location and asked to see his existing business plan. The man reached for a binder covered in dust that sat on top of a bookcase. It held a document 50-or-so pages long that obviously hadn’t been touched for several years. Having an outdated business plan that… Continue Reading Make your business plan simple, yet powerful

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Alliances can be beneficial or troublesome

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A client recently asked for advice about the opportunity to partner with a larger company. The arrangement looked promising on the surface and the other company was pushing for it, insisting it could be a strong union and a win-win situation. But there were also red flags, warning that this particular alliance carried considerable risk… Continue Reading Alliances can be beneficial or troublesome

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Build business value now for sale down the road

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Like many people, you may invest in the stock market. But the people in charge of Target or Ford or Chesapeake will probably never call you to ask your opinion on how to operate those companies. Go figure. Therefore, aside from deciding when to buy or sell, you have no control over the value of… Continue Reading Build business value now for sale down the road

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