Obama Ready to Prime the Economic Pump

Government and Economy

Obama Ready for Bold Stimulus Action

President-elect Barack Obama will have an opportunity that few presidents have had: Financial support from Congress to push forward with his campaign promises, especially to use some of the bailout funds to combat home foreclosures and to spur lending to individuals and businesses.

Retailers Overhaul Their Business as Consumers Draw Back
For years, retailers could afford to be sloppy about running their businesses because customers kept buying. No more. Stung by the worry that shoppers - who cut spending by the most dramatic amount in at least 39 years this the holiday season - may not start spending again for a long time, stores are making drastic changes.

Bank Rescues Having Problems Fixing Bank Problems
The day before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, the escalating troubles facing major banks around the world couldn't be clearer. Officials on both sides of the Atlantic have failed to contain the most severe credit crisis in decades. Now top officials from 10 Downing Street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are scrambling to figure out how to stop the bleeding. They are trying to find the best way to prod banks into loaning out more money, struggling for a solution 18 months after the most severe credit crisis in decades sent investors reeling.

Loan Costs Rise for Corporations
Companies with shaky credit are especially vulnerable as their debts come due, and are likely to be among the earliest of many expected defaults this year.

Management and Financial Issues

Inauguration Now, Work Later

Because of the special historic significance of Barack Obama's inauguration, some employers are accepting the inevitable, that Tuesday won't be business as usual.

Best Practices: Credit Collections

One of the best ways to avoid collection problems after a sale is to make sure the customer is credit worthy before the sale. However, that is not always possible, so when it is time to collect, here are some ideas to make the process easier.

Technology Issues

Boost Your Business With Search Engine Optimization

Since high-visibility websites can be sales magnets, you want yours visible across the Web. An excellent way to make to make that happen is by taking advantage of search engines, learning what they look for optimizing your website accordingly.

It's About Process (or The Ability to Be Responsive)
Because business processes are often communicated in an ad hoc and unregulated manner, it can be difficult to standardize processes across organizations, particularly larger ones. TEC analyst PJ Jakovljevic takes you on a guided tour through workflow automation—or business process management (BPM)—and shows how these solutions can help ensure standardized adoption of processes, with highlights on several key BPM vendors.

Benefits and Labor Issues

Going on Sabbatical

What was once almost exclusively a perk of academia, the Sabbatical is making its way into business. Some employers offer these extended leaves of absence as a benefit, like vacation time, but more and more employers are seeing these as a great way to retain top talent as well.

Sales and Marketing

Sales 2.0: Faster Sales in a Sluggish Economy
The Internet offers a wealth of information for buyers who can window-shop from their desks. Power has shifted to buyers, who no longer need to rely on salespeople for information. But sales managers can use Sales 2.0 to tap into these new buying habits to instantly interact with prospects and provide personalized service. Find out how Sales 2.0 can help you instantly view and serve prospects entering your online store.

5 Easy Ways to Lose Your Customers

With the economy worsening, the last thing a small business wants to do is to alienate good customers or develop negative word of mouth but, if you are the sort to bet the other way, here are five ways to lose your customers and, probably, your business as well.