Anita Manfredonia ran her boutique as an online business before securing retail space in a friend's store and eventually taking over the lease. Superstorm Sandy presented an early problem for the store, but Manfredonia used social media to encourage locals to stop by.
When customers avoid engaging with sales representatives, it's often because they believe reps are only interested in pitching their products and not in understanding the customer's needs, writes David Brock. Sales reps can counter these beliefs by sticking to basic sales fundamentals while implementing a customer focus.
Barbacoa Smoke House, which is slated to open in Fairfield, Conn., will use technology including ordering kiosks to get lunchtime customers served in eight minutes, said owner Nigel Bradley. Customers will also be able to order using mobile devices, and they'll receive text messages when their food is ready.
Companies financed by business loans tend to report higher revenues than those without debt or those financed with personal loans, according to university researchers. "If a firm is borrowing in the name of the owner at start-up, then it has used up at least some of that debt capacity, whereas a firm that does not borrow in the name of the owner retains that debt capacity to use in subsequent years if needed," noted Rebel Cole of Florida Atlantic University.
Some venture capitalists and nontraditional investors are seeing opportunities to fund early-stage concepts in the restaurant industry. "Something with four or five stores [investors are] looking at now because they realize if they get to 10, 20, or 30 units and are doing well, then their price is just out of sight," said Dennis Monroe, chairman of the law firm Monroe Moxness Berg.
An active imagination is valued in our innovation-driven climate, but it must be rooted in meeting an organization's goals, writes Brad Shorr. "It should never be assumed that customers or employees value imaginative thinking," he writes.
A new law in California bars employers from asking job applicants about their previous compensation, and similar laws are going into effect in several other states. "This means employers may need to enact significantly new internal hiring and interviewing policies -- and enforce them," writes Kelly Kinnard of Battery Ventures.