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February 4, 2013
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Business news you can use from your Better Business Bureau®

  Trends & Trust 
  • Fostering trust between merchants, consumers
    Trust is a vital part of the buyer-seller relationship, writes Odette Vella, senior information officer for the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority's Office for Consumer Affairs. "Consumers need to be assured that the seller they are buying from is selling them good-quality products and services, and that they are getting good value for their money," she writes. For this reason, Vella's organization created a program designed to promote trust at all stages of the purchasing process. The Times of Malta (2/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to protect your business from hackers
    You can take certain precautions to protect your business from the kind of attack that hackers recently perpetrated on The New York Times, writes Jason Fell. Teach your employees to be wary of suspicious e-mails, keep your software current and make sure your staff uses passwords that are tough to crack. "Security professionals often recommend creating passwords that are at least 14 characters long, contain letters as well as numbers, and use upper and lower case letters," he writes. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Customer Satisfaction & Marketing 
  • Why you should educate your customers
    Customers can do a better job of spreading the word about your business when they are both satisfied with your work and knowledgeable about what you do, writes Tony Messer. An educated customer "will be a more powerful advocate of your services," he notes. Duct Tape Marketing (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Management & Leadership 
 
  • Leadership tips from the African savanna
    Seeing a lioness caring for her cubs showcased some skills that every business leader needs, Beth Armknecht Miller writes. A lioness models good hunting techniques for her cubs, watches them carefully while allowing them space to fail and rewards their successes, she writes. "One of the primary roles a leader has is to develop her team to their full potential. And on the plains of the Serengeti, eating and being aware of your surroundings are critical to survival," Miller writes. Great Leadership (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stop petty problems from ensnaring your staff
    Watch out for disagreements among your employees that could grow into larger problems, writes Eric V. Holtzclaw, CEO of Laddering Works. Head off problems as they start to arise, he writes. "Offer to facilitate a conversation between the employees, but don't agree to become their arbitrator," he advises. "It's best when the employees at odds can come to agreement on their own and in private." Inc. online (free registration)/Lean Forward blog (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Most small business owners know the importance of managing credit effectively and that a "one size fits all" model won't work. Use Managing Credit - Made Simpler to find the right credit management model for your business and to help identify strategies to ensure you are on top of your business's financial condition.
  Funding & Finance 
  • Why you should consider management liability insurance
    Lawsuits can be expensive for your company even if you win, so you may want to get insurance to guard against this risk. "There are always exclusions and limitations to policies, but your agent can work with you to identify your risks and find a policy designed to mitigate your exposure," writes W. Reed Moraw, president of Cadence Insurance. Smart Business online (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are your employees faking their injuries?
    You can use certain clues to spot workers' compensation claims that may be fraudulent, writes Stephanie Faris. Be especially wary of supposed injuries that occurred when no one else was around or that take place at suspicious times, she advises. "If a suspect injury happens on a Monday, the alleged 'workplace' accident actually could have occurred over the weekend," she notes. Also, consider whether an employee might have a motive -- such as dissatisfaction with work -- to file a fraudulent claim. Intuit Small Business Blog (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  BBB in the News 
  • Customer complaints often stem from poor communication
    Poor communication is often to blame when problems arise between businesses and their customers, writes BBB's Eleanor Katzele. "Even when the business can't do what the customer wants, just choosing to respond to their requests can often de-escalate the issue," she writes. Citing an article by John Heckers, she adds that you can improve your communication skills by listening carefully to other people and avoiding the use of jargon. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (2/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day."
--Laozi,
Chinese philosopher


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