How smaller companies can compete against major brands | A sales strategy based on trust | Managers in the wrong job can hurt engagement, CEO says
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March 15, 2013
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How smaller companies can compete against major brands
A study of 39 fledgling companies in emerging markets shows smaller companies can compete successfully against large brands. For example, small companies are better able to customize products because they don't have standardized production processes. Small companies should deploy their resources, even if limited, in ways that maximize impact. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/14)
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Your management system: from effective to efficient
April 25, 2013 at 3:00PM EST
Managing information across your business can burden resources, and be very costly on the bottom line. Learn how Entropy™ Software can provide a consistent management framework to monitor document updates, corrective and preventive actions and compliance. Join our complimentary webinar to learn more.
 
Marketing
A sales strategy based on trust
Today's customers are more informed than ever thanks in part to online product reviews, and they're looking to buy from companies they trust. So companies must steer clear of unethical sales tactics and concentrate on establishing trust with their customers, Jeff Kline writes. Companies can embrace this kind of "selling wisdom" in several ways such as by getting to know their customers, producing educational content and letting sales staff customize their pitches so that it feels authentic. Duct Tape Marketing (3/14)
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Phrases that will please your customers
There are certain phrases your staff should use to put your customers' minds at ease. This article includes 10 examples, which include "I can solve that problem," "I will take responsibility" and "I will keep you updated." Entrepreneur online (3/14)
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Management
Managers in the wrong job can hurt engagement, CEO says
Employee engagement is important to company success, Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen says, and managers in the wrong position can limit employee engagement. "Good managers are better at engaging teams and engaged teams can succeed no matter what the business environment is like," he said. "Teams that aren't engaged don't do as well." When managers aren't effective, often the reason is that they are not in a job that plays to their skills and strengths, Rasmussen said. Gallup Business Journal (3/14)
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5 simple tips for improving your company culture
"There are adoptable practices to turn a halfhearted team into one that’s resilient and devoted," writes Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network. "It’s as easy as celebrating and investing in your employees." Gimbel's tips include making teams out of people who don't normally socialize together, embracing cultural events like March Madness, involving employees in big decisions, setting aside regular times to meet with each staff member, and offering workshops and additional training. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/14)
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Money
Self-insurance rises in popularity among small businesses
Some companies are opting to self-insure, which means they pay their employees' medical expenses directly. These companies also buy stop-loss coverage, which protects them when medical costs exceed a certain threshold. Companies might be able to save money through self-insurance, but some policy analysts are concerned the trend might endanger the reforms introduced under the Affordable Care Act. USA Today/Kaiser Health News (3/14)
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Tips & Tools
Options for creating a mobile website
Mobile sales are on the rise, which means it's more important than ever for companies to create websites that cater to users of mobile devices. There are multiple techniques that can be used to create mobile websites, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, William Johnson writes. "The design method that will work best depends largely on screen formats, operating systems, browsers and resolutions," he writes. Small Business Trends (3/13), Small Business Trends (3/14)
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Just for Fun
What your Facebook "likes" say about you
Read full story
Reuters
What a Facebook user "likes" can indicate a lot about that person, including religious beliefs, politics, even sexual orientation. A new Facebook application called "My Personality" gathers and correlates a user's "likes" to compile a profile of the user. Some of the results are intuitive -- Democrats tend to "like" Stephen Colbert and Republicans tend to "like" Rush Limbaugh. However, some connections are less obvious, such as determining that a person is likely to be a smoker by the rock bands he or she follows. Science News (3/11)
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SmartQuote
Conduct your initial meetings with customers with the same level of interest Oprah uses when she interviews her guests."
-- Entrepreneur Jeff Kline, writing at Duct Tape Marketing.
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