Century-old brand works to revitalize manufacturing industry | Key characteristics of an effective strategy | Are your employees forcing you to micromanage?
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March 20, 2013
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Problem. Solved.
Century-old brand works to revitalize manufacturing industry
J.W. Hulme, which makes luggage and handbags, was close to collapse in 2008. The brand managed to survive thanks to the intervention of an investor, but now it is struggling to find skilled employees to fill out its workforce. "When manufacturing started going to China, America stopped investing in training in trades, and we're seeing the repercussions of that in U.S. factories who are trying to stay alive," according to Jen Guarino, the brand's CEO. For that reason, Guarino partnered with other businesses to launch The Maker's Coalition, which is working to ensure there is an adequate supply of workers. Forbes (3/19)
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Marketing
Should you skip Facebook?
Facebook has a massive user base, but small-business owners should think twice before dedicating their time to marketing on the site, Shawn Hessinger writes. Research shows some users have left the site, and the social network's growth prospects might be limited, he writes. In addition, your marketing messages might be drowned out by all of the other activity on Facebook. Small Business Trends (3/19)
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Key characteristics of an effective strategy
One prerequisite for creating a successful strategy for your business is to set specific goals, Geoffrey James writes. "You can't manage what you can't measure. If your goals are vague, you have no idea whether your tactics are achieving them," he writes. In addition, your goals must be attainable and you must develop a plan for achieving them, he writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Sales Source blog (3/19)
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Management
Are your employees forcing you to micromanage?
Certain employee behaviors can trigger the urge to micromanage. For example, you might feel the need to closely oversee an employee's work if he or she has previously missed deadlines or has failed to include you in the decision-making process. This article provides advice for working with employees to address these and other problems. Inc. online (free registration)/Explosive Growth blog (3/19)
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Money
How to prepare to expand your business
Businesses can expand in three ways -- offering existing products to a new market, offering them in a new geographic area or offering new capabilities to serve existing customers, writes Joe Worth of B2B CFO. To prepare to expand, create models of the potential outcomes of the change. In some cases, after estimating the future value of your business, you might decide the expansion isn't worth the trouble. Entrepreneur magazine (4/2013)
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Tips & Tools
Building a mobile app? Don't bother, some experts say
Many small businesses would be better off building a mobile-friendly website instead of investing time and effort in building dedicated mobile applications, experts say. "While creating an app may seem like the trendier, better option, it's always good to stop, think twice, and consider building a mobile site instead," Mariana Simoes writes. Business Insider (3/19)
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Just for Fun
Turkish thieves have a bridge they'd like to sell you
Residents of a town in western Turkey were astonished Monday morning to find out their 82-foot bridge had been stolen while they slept. Police believe that the thieves wanted the 22-ton bridge to sell for scrap. "Now we have to take our socks off and cross the creek," said resident Mustafa Karakaş. Today's Zaman (Turkey) (3/12)
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SmartQuote
[I]f we can train workers well enough to be able to bring even 10% of the manufacturing industry back to the country, the economic impact would be undeniable."
-- Jen Guarino, CEO of J.W. Hulme, as quoted by Forbes.
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