Carnival of Small Business Issues - Edition 6
Welcome to the sixth edition of the Carnival of Small Business Issues. A quick note: I received six submissions past the Sunday deadline. They will be considered for next week’s carnival.
I am also a frustrated person today. A number of bloggers’ “About” page displayed this: “This is an example of a Wordpress page. You can edit this to put information about your site or yourself ….” I have a question to ask these bloggers. Why would you not have an “About” page?
If you haven’t gathered it by now, this is not a link-exchange-only carnival. I take the time to read your submissions and if relevant to small businesses, I include them. Additionally, I want to know who the brain behind the article is. How would you expect me to introduce you to my readers and convince them to read your articles? I am marketing your blog - help me help you?
It also shows a lack of professionalism. What if your prospects think the same way - it’s a lost sale (or readership). It really does not help you if you do not have an About page or worse, have not populated it. It also sets a bad impression if your site is critical of services provided by others when you own backyard needs fixing. (BTW I hope my backyard is ok )
Enough of my rants - let me not stand between you and words of wisdom! Please remember to link back and support the Carnival.
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- Once in a while comes along a story of successful entrepreneurship. It is heartening to note that such entrepreneurs are eager to share their stories and what they did right for the benefit of fellow entrepreneurs. Michelle Wood’s foray into the world of business is outlined in this post; The Cowboy Bag at Tired of Working? Take a Break! by Denise Olesky. All the very best to Michelle!
- Larry Cragun deals with real estate. He has gone from being a Real Estate Agent to Owner of a mortgage company and an entrepreneur. He talks about one of his professors [Dean] who taught an advanced business course and called it the Skyhook Theory in his post He Called It The Skyhook Theory. How About Skyhook Theory For Buyers? “The Dean claimed no religious belief. I think he reason the theory stayed in my mind was that I thought it was interesting. I thought this might be his religion.”
Comment: I think such salespeople are a rare breed. I once knew a sales guy who said, “I can sell your product even if you have not completed development on it.” I didn’t know whether to be shocked or sorry for him. Great post Larry.
- David Sherman, a healthcare administrator for the US Air Force, is all set begin a new chapter called Dave 2.0. Anything 2.0 is definitely not retirement Dave. Snyder Drug Store is brewing up a storm over its decision not to sell a product.
Comment: I agree with you Dave. If it is a private enterprise, which it is, then they should have the right to stock the products they want to sell. Tomorrow if they want to sell, say, arms, then the same people who are criticizing them today will probably turn around and ask them to discontinue selling it. Double standards. This is a free enterprise. If you do not like their principles do not shop there. Or open a competing store. It is because of such issues that a law is introduced where commonsense should prevail.
- Lucynda Riley writes at Quietly into the night. She outlines her experience at a new pricey restaurant in her post A dinner out. “It was half price night. It’s a good thing too because I would have been very unhappy to have paid full price for what we got.”
Comment: I categorized this post into Ethics since, I think this is will make a good ethics case study Lucynda. Also, a great example of conflict of interest. In order to keep his customer, Bear told the restaurant owner a lie. And I suppose, this helped the restaurant owner improve his service? In my opinion, Bear did a dis-service to his client by saying the service was good - when you both thought otherwise. There are ways to diplomatically put it across so that everyone saves face (if that was a concern.)
- “If a task is too easy, men won’t do it. A team will pull together and accomplish most any project if it is perceived as a “Peak Experience.” But most management training and large organizations may not be challenging enough to develop teams or develop leaders.”, says Jack Yoest in his post Management Training, Military Recruiting: Too Easy? Jack’s experience ranges from operations to sales & marketing to senior management development. Reasoned Audacity is where he posts his thoughts and experiences.
Comment: As I was reading the initial part of your post, Jack, I thought, “Why should I be reckless and not climb through the lubber’s hole? What am I trying to prove and to whom?” And then I read your note on Captain Aubrey. Exactly the point I was trying to make. “Mature managers know the difference.”
- I talk about the Top 3 things to look for when hiring as my contribution.
- Ed Rivis is a UK based Small Business Internet Marketing Strategies. He’s got a book under his belt “The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy”. The 3 Secrets of Exponential Growth talks about 3 actions that aims to help small businesses achieve Hyper-Growth. “… too many small business owners are focused on production work, and not the activities that actually drives business forward … if you are not performing any (or all) of these 3 activities on a daily or weekly basis, then your business is not growing as fast as it could.”
Comment: A discipled approach by small business owners is what is lacking Ed. What is the first department that gets chopped when business is tough? Marketing. And then there are those business owners who have a department “Sales & Marketing” headed by one person. Each function has its own respective objectives and are quite different. Marketing’s objective is to generate awareness and leads while the job of Sales is to sell. Also, how many small business owners are clear about their missions in the first place to focus?
- Michelle Cramer at GreatFX Business Cards summarizes Maria Marsala’s post (read the original post at About.com) on Buddy Networking. “A cleaver and effective way to expand your network by buddying up with another business.”
Comment: Definitely a worthwhile tip for small businesses.
- Trish Rubin is the dynamic author of Trish Rubin’s New York Minute, a series of business communication books for busy professionals. Going Face to Face with Online Social Networking: Where’s the Real Communication Currency? “I think the answer to the question of how we spend our communication currency is always the age old answer …Balance … there are ways to compliment the Face to Face world with online connectivity …”
Comment: An important lesson for businesses too Trish. “Complement their on-line presence with off-line presence”. I look forward to your discussion on the three currencies.
- It is always refreshing to read Charles Green’s articles at Trusted Advisor. Charles has over 20 years of consulting experience advising companies across industries: technology to financial services. “How Marketing Can Destroy Sales Trust” is about “taking a lesson from the bad example of Politicians, PR and Big Pharma to stop damaging your brand and improving your sales instead.”
Comment: Charles,I tend to agree with what you are saying. However, I would like to remind everyone about the organization’s Goal. If the Goal is to make money (for example), then money is made by selling to customers. And if customer requirements are not met, the customer is not going to buy. No sale - no revenue - no departments. The other departments’ point of views do not matter then. The whole issue of one department being the dominant one stems from losing sight of the Goal. I compare businesses to a multi-horse chariot - with horses being the various departments or functions (marketing, sales, operations, finance, etc.) If all are not pulling in together in one direction, where do you think the chariot is going?
- Wilson Ng’s passion in life is business management, learning/writing and computer technology. Wilson manages a systems integration company and a software development company - and he finds time to blog at Reflections of a BizDrivenLife about his experiences. In his post The Solution to the Problem he asks why we reinvent the wheel when similar issues were already resolved earlier or a solution already exists in process rulebooks. “A better way would be to have better documentation and minutes, which saves a lot of time … constantly revisiting old issues leads to confusion and murky resolutions …”
Comment: How else will we show ourselves as being productive, Wilson? On a more serious note, the first instinct for most people when confronted with a problem is to look at ways to solve it and quick. How many of us, when faced with a problem, takes a step back and tries to accurately define it and the constraints surrounding it? Also goes to show that we never learn from history. A good lesson you have for all of us - look up past records for a solution.
- “Small Business Survival is a funny informative blog about the ins and outs of running a business from a small town or rural area.” This is how a reader describes Becky McCray’s blog. How to use a checklist to focus your entrepreneurial efforts is about developing your checklist: “just five tasks to begin with. But these five tasks ought to be income producing activities.”
Comment: I never work without one Becky - whether it is submission of posts to blog carnivals or grocery shopping. I have too many things up in the air to trust my memory to get everything done. I am sure this is the case with everyone. A very useful tool for entrepreneurs. Just needs a bit of discipline to get started. After a week it becomes a habit.
- Erek Ostrowski, at Verve Coaching, knew at the age of seven that life for him was about learning and teaching when he stood outside under the open sky. It gave him a feeling of limitlessness and vast possibility. “Building a sustainable infrastructure means creating systems and procedures that can be followed consistently and reliably and that require as little time, thought and energy as possible”, says Erek in his post Building a Sustainable Infrastructure.
Comment: What you say Erek is all nice and dandy. But how many small business owners have an operations manual? In fact, I once worked with a small business where even the software development was never documented - let alone business practices. I am also amazed at the coincidence that you chose to write and submit this article to the Carnival the same time that Wilson Ng chose to submit his post. Wilson talks about the waste of time that happens when we try to reinvent the wheel looking at the same issues that were solved earlier. I guess there are pitfalls in implementing systems so that every problem you spend time on is unique. Perhaps the three of us can come up with a follow up article on these pitfalls?
- Sagar Satapthy is passionate about writing. Let me quote him: ‘I always believe in the words of Sir Isssac Assimov, “I write for the same reason I breathe. If I didn’t, I would die.” ‘ He writes for a number of websites and one of them is Business Fund.com. How To: Bootstrap It (27 Tips) is about starting a business without “burying yourself under a mountain of debt, paying sky high interest rates on business loans or handing over stake and ownership to venture capitalists or other investors”
- A Credit card for a small or new business can be a powerful monetary tool is posted at The Credit Card Blog. If you are a new business owner without access to a credit card, you may want to check this article out.
- My Estate Planning Career Blog presents Living Trust Confusion. “… the larger and more complex your estate, the more a living trust will likely benefit you …”
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Happy reading!CoSBI categories.