Carnival of Small Business Issues - Edition 7
Welcome to the seventh edition of the Carnival of Small Business Issues.
We received a LOT of submissions. Unfortunately, I was not able to include them all.
Err … just to clarify, this carnival is about helping small business solve their business issues and not for promoting products. And please just submit blog posts; i.e. articles that are published in your blog. Submitting websites is not going to help you.
You may submit your post for next week’s carnival here. Also, please remember to link back and support the carnival.
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- Trusted Advisor by Charles Green is one of my favorite blogs. “… I am just another sentient idiot on the planet trying to make sense of it all … from the rear view mirror, I see now they were hardly different from me … most had charisma … all were genuinely nice people, and all could make some Really Stupid Moves.” Curious? Read Do you trust your boss?
Comment: Your moral is quite apt, Charles. Now I am considering what steps lead to the level of trust that Trish has in you. Is it just “to do the rights things for employees, create a job security and a rich experience?” What if, and I mean this only for the sake of argument, you had to let go of Trish? Would then her trust in you diminish now that there is no job security? Now that you have me thinking on those lines, for me trust for my boss is a function of respect; which in turn is the ability of my boss to do the right things right for one. There are other reasons too but this tops my list.
- Every busines, big or small, needs to have a board. Michelle Cramer at GreatFx Business Cards talks about Finding the Right Outside Board Member in her post. “The benefit is having someone with an unbiased opinion available to give a better perspective on issues at hand …”
Comment: I totally agree with you Michelle. However, not many small business owners have a board. Small business owners need an unbiased opinion on strategic decisions and often times the board can highlight pitfalls to be avoided.
- Ann Williams at Sales and Marketing Secrets says, “As a small business owner, you can sometimes be overwhelmed with all the possible actions you can take. This article offers one strategy for dealing with possibility paralysis.” It’s an apt term that you have coined Ann - possibility paralysis.
Comment: Ann, I am not sure who wrote the article - you or Dr. Jain. An “About” page would have been so useful.
- Bernhard Schindlholzer is a Ph.D. Student and Research Associate. The Customer Experience labs is not about finding the ultimate truth - it’s about starting conversations that might lead to some kind of truth. The 25 most common sales mistakes and how to avoid them talks about sales mistakes EVEN if you are not a sales person. “When you are giving a presentation to your boss about your latest project or a new business idea and trying to get funding and additional support - this is just as much a selling process as selling life insurance…”
Comment: Some really great tips Bernhard. Lack of listening and Not showing competitive spirit - these are the two top mistakes I have seen sales people make. Very few sales people listen - you have to hold them by their neck and tape their mouth shut (figuratively speaking, of course) and say “LISTEN to me”. I even had a sales person tell me once, “You do not know what you need. My product is what you need.”
- Edith Yeung founded Edith Yeung.com with the mission of expressing the timeless thoughts and ideas of life, career, money, relationships and passions for the busy people. How to Drive Traffic to Your Website or Blog talks about her lessons learned about driving traffic to her website.
Comment: I would also place “Content” on the top along with the proper meta tags for each page, Edith. Good content that includes the keywords to drive traffic to your site is of paramount importance. This is not to discount what you have said, but I am just stating my preference. And by the way, one of the best “About” pages I have come across.
- Chris Danny at Lead Optimize.com says, ” … three factors have proven again and again to be simple and controllable for driving leads to your website.” in his post Top 3 Factors to Generate Sales Leads.
Comment: Some really great tips, Chris. How about navigation? Would you not agree that providing an intuitive navigational structure is as important as the top three items you mentioned?
- I doubt if anyone needs any introduction to Benjamin Yoskovitz at Instigator Blog, another one of my favorite blogs. Ben’s also the co-founder of Standout Jobs - an innovative recruitment site. I have been looking at some of the ads, and it’s simply amazing how they ARE changing the face of recruitment. In his post, Ignore a Customer’s Lifetime Value at Your Own Risk Ben hits the nail on the head with his sandal buying experience at Panda.
Comment: It is sad people do not realize the days of making a quick buck is over. It is all about building relationships now. Word of mouth marketing begins with a good product and a good service. The store, Panda, did not gain $50 - but lost a couple of thousand dollars at least. What would have done in the store manager’s position, Ben in a situation where the sandal was “used”? How would you suggest they account for their inventory if they had replaced the sandal?
- Jim Logan is a marketer, speaker, writer and consultant focused on growing profitable businesses. He believes in the power of understanding and applying principles and to continuously pursue knowledge. Anatomy of a worthless business proposition is a great post on valuing what your customer wants. “If your business attempting to fix a problem or enable a solution that isn’t valued, measured or monitored by your target market? If so, you are wasting your time and your offering will never sell…”
Comment: Jim, if we stick to the adage that the customer is always right and we are here to fulfill their needs, then we have to offer what they value. It often means following practices that may not be the “best practice”, but it is what customers value. This is especially true for a first time sale. But once you have established credibility, customers will listen to you more willingly if you can save them money. Then again it boils down to cost/benefit. The value of the benefits must exceed costs by a significant number to be an attractive proposition.
- Here is an interesting post from Kevin Kozlen that highlights (yet again) the disruptive power of the Internet. Create your Own Ad at Marketing & AdBits Blog. Now small businesses can create their own ads and buy spots on TV even without deep pockets.
- Aaron Brandon is an Internet Entrepreneur who blogs about product creation, how to run a business without you actually being there; among other things. “Besides common workspace distraction like noise and visual distractions, other distractions like having a clutter of paper on the desk in front can be distracting.” This is the offline distraction. Check out his post Reducing distractions improves work performance increasing productivity for online distractions.
Comment: Bookmarks - I dread to go clean that up. I have got tons of them out there. I do have them in separate folders, but it’s a rather long list. Now that I think of it, I probably can delete all that. I don’t even remember the last time I visited those sites. Great post.
- Fitbuff.com is a website dedicated to helping you achieve total mind and body fitness. “An empty email inbox provides an almost zen-like state of calmnessâ€“no pressing messages, no ads … Unfortunately, very few people ever see the bottom of their virtual box for long, if at all. You will be surprised at just how effective this simple technique can be at reducing stress and clearing your mind for more important tasks.” Read 5 Tips to Empty Your Inbox and Keep it that way to achieve that zen-like state of mind.
Comment: Yup - delete works for me great. Segregating email accounts work just great too. One professional email to just give out to clients and no one else, one for family & friends. A couple of email ids for submissions to websites - delete these emails - they are usually junk anyways. That keeps my inbox relatively free of clutter.
- Jimmy Atkinson writes at Your Credit Advisor. How many of you who are self-employed have considered retirement? “In most instances you can set up and control your own tax-advantaged retirement program and put aside more each year than the average wage earner.” Learn more about such plans in his post Self Employed? Know your options.
- Jason Elder at A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Blog says “Most people know about Chapters 7 and 11. But did you know about the other four?” The 6 laws defining bankruptcy looks at the other laws of bankruptcy.
- FinanceIsPersonal.com is a webzine by Matthew Paulson which discusses topics of personal finance, money management and more. How to choose an accountant provides some tips on … well … choosing an accountant.
- Alfa King aims to provide a platform for free interaction and sharing of knowledge, experiences and memories with a view to honing one’s writing at Alfa King Memories. In Is there something like a strong password? Alfa King says, “Use a password that makes it difficult for the hacker … use a random combination of characters …”
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Happy reading!CoSBI categories.