Small Business Owners to Shoppers: Stay Put

Management and OperationsIdentify New Consumer NormsThe recession has changed how customers shop, possibly forever. Entrepreneur.com Management and Operations Resolving Employee Complaints Before They Hit the Internet The question is what to do about employee complaints about the workplace. It's more than a matter of damage control. Trying to repair the harm to internal morale, recruitment efforts, and corporate reputations after the fact is not as effective as preventing the damage in the first place. ManageSmarter.com Management and Operations [Read Full Article]


Consumers Do Homework Before Buying This Holiday Season

Government, Politics, and the Economy Is It Too Early to Start Thinking About a Rebound? It may not feel like it yet in your town or in your industry, but there are indications that things are getting better. NYtimes.comManagement and OperationsHow to Not Go Out of BusinessStart by studying how your best customers interact with your brand and its competitors, then brainstorm ways to address any shortcomings. BusinessWeek.com Management and Operations [Read Full Article]


Small Biz Tip: Various Approaches to Training Employees

Tips from October 22, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss different approaches to training employees. Orientation: for new employees to understand their new place of employment. Include the goals, purpose and role of employee. Lecture: use for a large amount of material to communicate with a group of people. Cost-effective, but possibly unproductive. Audiovisual: TV, films, and video clips show real world situations in action with a constant, perfect presentation to all employees. Programmed Learning: computer-aided instruction. Employees learn at their own pace and a supervisor is not necessarily needed. Daily Overview: Various methods cater to different businesses. The right approach depends on your business and your employees. [Read Full Article]


Small Biz Tip: Training: Skill-Based Training

Tips from October 21, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss the benefits of skill-based training. Increase productivity: teach advanced techniques to help employees conquer tasks more efficiently & take on more responsibility. Aid in hiring process: teach the perfect candidate lacking the skill new tricks, or enhance the ones who mastered the skill. Improve job satisfaction: time & money invested in employees skills gets them more involved with their field & up to date with the industry. Reduce need for supervision: skill-based training encourages independence & shows how to do their job better & faster.   Daily Overview: Keep employees on their career path by providing skill-based training to improve in their field. [Read Full Article]


Small Biz Tip: Training: Employee Manual

Tips from October 20, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss creating an informative employee manual. Welcome Statement: include the mission and goals of your business, letter from the CEO so employees know what to perform towards. Compensation: describe in detail the payroll schedule, hours expected to work, and vacation/holiday/sick days off. Policies: outline the dress code, attendance, confidentiality agreement, competition agreement, and general culture rules. Discipline: describe actions taken if problems arise, including warnings, formal complaints, and grounds for termination. Daily Overview: Creating an informative manual gives employee a glimpse into the business and establishes their role. [Read Full Article]


Small Biz Tip: Training: Planning

Tips from October 19, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss what to plan for when training new employees. Instructors: Have someone who's qualified and engaging do your training; they'll give good information and if they're engaging they'll hopefully be a memorable speaker. Materials: Have books, tools, pens and paper ready in advance. Make it so that trainees only have to worry about subject matter! Space: Choose a space that is quiet, comfortable, and promotes learning. Try a conference room or extra office. Timing: Outline who is talking when about what materials. Include breaks and time for a Q&A session. Daily Overview: The success of training new employees really revolves around how prepared you are. Plan ahead! [Read Full Article]


Small Biz Tip: Customer Service: Employee Training

Tips from October 16, 2009 The Small Business tips today discuss training your employees to provide exceptional customer service. Every employee is a representative of your business. Give them reasons to respect your brand, business, & customers. Go over situations that could arise; get feedback from experienced employees. Show your customers you're ready for anything. Employees that know all situations can help customers immediately instead of asking management. Be knowledgeable. After an unusual situation occurs, talk to employees about how to handle the situation in case it happens again.  Daily Overview: Proper employee training will give your business an edge on providing exceptional customer service. [Read Full Article]


SBA Expands Service by Redefining Small Business

  Government and Economy Obama: Financial Sector Will Shrink According to President Obama, the financial sector will make up a smaller part of the US economy as new regulations put an end to what he calls "massive risk-taking." Yahoo.com/Reuters SBA Redefines Small Business to Expand Help The Small Business Administration has temporarily expanded its definition of 'small' to make more loans available to auto dealers, but potential borrowers still face many obstacles before they see the money. CNNMoney.com [Read Full Article]