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Retail sales rise for sixth straight month

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The start of the crucial holiday shopping season in November helped fuel the sixth straight monthly increase in retail sales. Gift-buying Americans spent more on clothing and electronics, and sales of autos and furniture also rose. Still, the overall gain was the smallest since June. Consumers pulled back on some purchases unrelated to holiday shopping,… Continue Reading Retail sales rise for sixth straight month

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by Susan E. Reed Your customer base is changing. You’ve been noticing it for the past few years: the face of your average client isn’t what it used to be, not surprisingly. These new customers are savvier, they’re men and women of all age groups, they’re smart about where they shop, and they look like… Continue Reading Book Review: “The Diversity Index: The Alarming Truth About Diversity in Corporate America… and What Can Be Done About It”

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Are we only as strong as our weakest link?

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We all want speed, agility, adaptability, innovation and sustainability in our businesses, especially in these difficult, complex and volatile times. To attain these measures of success, our organizations need to take a look in the mirror. We are only as productive and effective as our “weakest link”. For some leaders, this may be a process… Continue Reading Are we only as strong as our weakest link?

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Increasing employee engagement, military style

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By Mary Kelly Corporate managers frequently complain that employees are unfocused, unproductive, and struggle to work cohesively. Employees not actively engaged generally lack interest in the goals of the organization. In economics, we call this the ‘principle-agent problem’ meaning employees look out for their own interests before considering their employer’s interests. Motivating employees and ensuring… Continue Reading Increasing employee engagement, military style

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For years, the personal shoppers at the Women’s Resource Agency heard stories of women in need of interview suits but had no transportation to the agency’s Dress for Success boutique in The Citadel mall. Continue Reading With shuttle, Dress for Success suited for the road

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Book Review: “Social Q’s”

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by Philip Galanes Every year, you’re faced with a quandary. Missing the office holiday party is not an option. You have to go, no question. But attending is filled with potential trouble. Will you, in the holiday spirit, say the wrong thing to the boss? What if your beloved makes a fool out of you?… Continue Reading Book Review: “Social Q’s”

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Delegation can be a touchy subject for business owners. They often find it hard to relinquish control but failure to delegate can cause problems. Frequently overworked, they can experience severe burn-out from carrying too many responsibilities, and many of the jobs they’re handling aren’t the best or most profitable uses of their time. Too many… Continue Reading Owners should learn to embrace the ‘D-word’ (delegation)

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Colorado Springs small business owner Chris Coughlin is a sales and marketing junkie, and wanted to take his staff to a professional development marketing conference out of state. It was going to cost him a whopping $15,000. He decided there had to be another, cheaper way to get the training. So he recruited local experts… Continue Reading Business owner plans different kind of small biz conference

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A Democrat full-court press campaign this week for the extension of the payroll tax cut failed to sway Senate Republicans. Thursday they defeated President Obama’s plan to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of next year. The Senate Republicans also voted down an alternative plan backed by Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to renew an… Continue Reading Payroll tax cut decision affects 130,000 Colorado firms

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Inappropriate sexual remarks to co-workers Inconsistent productivity Reduced profit Disparaging comments about the company left on Facebook Taking money from a cash register. These are all real examples that have forced employers to terminate jobs. No business owner wants to be put in the position of having to fire someone or have lay-offs but sometimes… Continue Reading When you terminate an employee, take care to avoid lawsuits

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