If you run a public-facing business - especially one that serves slushy drinks and junk food - you know that nothing’s worse for your business’ image than rowdy teenagers who yell, swear, make messes, and hang around for hours at a time. So what can you do to keep them from causing problems? We spoke to a few business owners who shared some strategies for keeping them in check:
small Business tips
These days, with the barriers to entering the business world lower than ever, countless companies are getting their start not in a boardroom but in the dorm rooms of their business-minded founders. Getting started in college doesn-t mean you-re going to be a success, mind you: As with traditional businesses, most dorm-based businesses fail, says Ryan Caldwell, an online entrepreneur who runs College-Startup. com.
For the last few years, I’ve mentored teens during the summer, all aspiring writers. The most recent was a friend’s daughter, an advertising major at Texas Tech University who had aspirations to become a copywriter.
Looking to drum up new business fast? Cold calling — the act of making sales calls to total strangers — may seem like a frightening prospect, but when done properly, it can be remarkably effective: Todd Eberhardt, CEO of Minneapolis communications firm Comm-works, added 52 new customers to his roster in the space of a year through cold calling. Try these tips to make cold calling pay off for your business.
Some people are able to manage their time without the help of lists, planners, and calendars. Then there-s the rest of us. If you find yourself wondering where the time has gone, take a look at these 10 iPad and iPhone apps that can help you become more productive.
It-s officially internship season. Once an elective stop on a career path, internships are becoming de rigueur for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students looking to beef up their resumes to later land that dream job. Internship programs can also be an excellent resource for small businesses, especially startups that are cash-strapped, fast-growing, and need help in drawing good talent.
Like it or not, there’s a good chance that your customers either found your business through Yelp. com or plan to say something about it there in the future. That’s a scary reality for many business owners, but it also offers an opportunity to engage with customers and improve sales down the road.
If you have a shop or product designed especially for children, then you’ll want to make a website that appeals to kids and is easy to use… and complies with federal regulations on marketing to an underage crowd. Here are some of the considerations you should be thinking about when you build your site if you have children in mind as your customers.
Good time management is something we all strive to achieve. Unfortunately, today’s busy professionals find themselves juggling a full plate. Between running a business, raising a family, and maintaining a sense of order in their personal lives, many find themselves with little time left in the day.
Whoever said that going digital would usher in a paperless era was sorely mistaken. For many of us, paperwork (account statements, bills, receipts, tax forms, etc.) still pours in every day. The longer we put off dealing with this mountain of pulp, the higher it rises.
When you’re a big fish in a small pond, recruiting the right people to fill senior-level positions can be a problem. After all, the smaller the town, the smaller the talent pool is to draw from.
Tired of waiting “on hold” to speak with customer-service representatives, many frustrated consumers are turning to social media — particularly Twitter — to try to resolve issues online instead. Who can blame them?
It may take more than the lure of candy to convince people to celebrate Valentine-s Day with abandon this year. A recent article in The New York Times paints a rather grim picture of consumer spending, describing how a Minnesota couple plans to skip dinner out on Feb. 14 and instead dine at home on crab legs they bought and froze last summer.
Employee theft is a big problem for small businesses. According to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of employees steal from their employers (most repeatedly). A typical business loses as much as five percent of revenues due to employee fraud and, says the National Federation of Independent Business, an employee is 15 times more likely than a non-employee to steal from a company.
Email marketing can be a very effective tool to connect with customers, members, and contacts quickly, easily, and affordably. But if you’re not already doing email marketing and/or have had a less than ideal experience in the past, it can seem like a daunting task. If you’re thinking about making the leap into email marketing, here are some tools, tips, and best practices to get started:
Every time someone leaves your company, it costs you money — and more than you may think. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin, replacing a $9.50-an-hour employee costs more than $2,200 when you factor in the hiring and training of a new worker. (To determine the replacement cost for one of your staff members, plug your numbers into this Online Employee Turnover Calculator.)
Barbara Wein Allen implicitly trusted her employees — until she found out that one of them had stolen some $250,000 from her firm, Multi-Point Communications of Birmingham, Ala.
Are you ready to put a little spin into your promotional efforts? Consider these seven tips if you-re considering an advertising campaign using hand-held signs - also known as -sign spinning.-
The ideal domain name — or URL — for your small business website is your company’s actual name with a “.com” suffix. But if that particular internet address is already taken - and it probably is - what are the next-best alternatives?
Building diversity in the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for business — especially when you’re a franchisor. When companies recruit franchisees that reflect their markets’ varied demographics, they make more money, says Stephen Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International.
It’s that time again — time to take a hard look at your small business and figure out what you can do better next year. Instead of concentrating on only the usual issues, such as improving your cash flow and reducing expenses, why not think a bit outside the box? Consider these five New Year’s resolutions for 2012.
Many small-business owners have what experts call type A personalities. They tend to believe that nobody can get a job done quite as well as they can and, as a result, often impose unduly high expectations on themselves and others. They work when they-re ill, refuse to take vacations, and miss important family events. This approach to running a company, unsurprisingly, leads to a lot of stress. Sound familiar?
Seasonal employees can help keep your small business humming along during some of the busiest days of the year. But seasonal and full-time staffers don’t always integrate seamlessly. According to Deb Spicer, author of Power Teams: The New Square Root Model That Changes Everything, bringing in new people for the holidays can lead to some negative workplace dynamics, such as cliques or competing factions.
Santa Claus is one of the world’s most popular figures — and has been for generations. You could argue that jolly-old St. Nick ranks among the strongest brands on the planet, with global name recognition, a universal story, a massive fan base, and unparalleled customer loyalty. His gift this year to small-business owners this year: five lessons in company leadership.
Increasingly, companies are adopting sustainability reporting as part of their efforts to become good corporate citizens and demonstrate they are operating in an environmentally responsive manner.
Michelle Zatlyn (pictured) is a go-getter, in every sense of the word. Armed with a degree in chemistry, she worked for Google and Toshiba, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, launched two successful startups, and then co-founded the website-protection service CloudFlare in 2009. This fall, the Huffington Post cited Zatlyn as one of 18 Female Founders in Tech to Watch, and the Wall Street Journal named her firm the Most Innovative Technology Company of 2011.
When 13-year-old Hart Main joked with his sister that the candles she sold for a school fundraiser were too girly, it sparked a business idea. Why not create candles with manlier scents like a baseball mitt or freshly cut grass? At first, Main dismissed the concept as a joke but his parents encouraged him to pursue it. He started ManCans by making candles out of his home with an initial investment of $100. Now his candles are available online and in dozens of stores across the country.
Business owner Tyson Ellis has always seen a relationship between buildings and the environment, and his photography business has tried to highlight those connections in their eco-architectural photography. “All architecture relates to the environment. Hopefully it relates in a harmonious way that benefits the environment, the structure, and its occupants. Capturing this is where I thrive…”
At long last, gay marriage is legal in the state of New York — which means that thousands of ecstatic couples all over the state (Neil Patrick Harris and his partner included) are already planning ceremonies. The new law is likely to create an economic boom for the state: The state senate projects that the new marriage equality act will generate more than $311 million in revenue over the next few years.
If you divide your work between a laptop and a desktop PC, you probably spend half the time navigating with a mouse and the other half with a trackpad. Why not use the same pointing device with both computers? If you’re the kind of person who prefers the feel of a laptop, the AZiO Bluetooth Multimedia Keyboard may be for you. It’s a compact wireless keyboard with a trackpad built into the handrest.
Digital publishing, intense competition from Amazon. com, and other factors have made it more difficult than ever for small bookstores to turn a profit. Even large national chains have struggled, sometimes mightily, as demonstrated by Borders recently closing all of its stores.
According to impassioned opponents of online piracy, the United States of America is under attack today from pirates who continue to imperil the economy by illegally distributing American-made entertainment and other counterfeit products.
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