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November 8, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • Why you need to track your supply chain
    Anna-Maria Mountfort, who started a company that creates children's mittens, understands all too well the pressures of managing a supply chain. The company "has so many inputs and partners -- three different kinds of fabric, embroidery, labels, hangtags -- I sometimes feel like it is a minor miracle that product gets to stores and on kiddie hands," she said. It's important for business owners to monitor their supply chains by paying attention to metrics such as the percentage of orders that are fulfilled properly and on schedule, according to Tim McLaren of Ryerson University. The Toronto Star (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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  • Correcting the most common B2B lead-generation mistakes
    Failure to create market differentiation by stressing the company's core values is among the 13 worst lead-generation mistakes cited by Louis Foong. Rushing the sales cycle to close instead of stressing the value proposition, living with a CRM system that's more trouble than it's worth, and stiffening into analysis paralysis are some of the other common mistakes made by B2B marketers in pursuit of prospects. (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Producing a trend-watch whitepaper that's sure to impress
    Whitepapers that examine current trends within an industry can attract buzz and "writing one won't require a department-wide effort," according to John Nettles. If you are interested in creating such a whitepaper, you should incorporate data from a wide range of sources, mention the impact of technology and explain how readers can use the information you present, he advises. (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • It might be time to update your leadership style
    The nature of business leadership is in a state of flux and companies are moving toward "a trust-and-track method, in which people are not just told what to do, but why they are doing it," Paul Spiegelman of BerylHealth writes. You can avoid being left behind by recruiting top talent, abandoning micromanagement and admitting that you don't know everything. "Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture," Spiegelman recommends. "And get out of the way." Inc. online/The Culture Gap blog (free registration) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to keep creative employees coming back for more
    Having a free-spirited employee can help your company to develop innovative solutions, James Price writes. "This person may be hard to cooperate with and find commonality in work ethic, but this is exactly the catalyst needed to spark passionate creativity in the workplace," he writes. If such an employee starts to get antsy, you might be able to keep them satisfied by allowing them to go to conferences or by allowing them to work remotely, he writes. (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • 9 uncertainties that are less so after Obama's re-election
    President Barack Obama's re-election means business owners should expect continued implementation of the health care law and prepare for the possibility of the end of the Bush-era tax cuts for top earners. Small businesses received more than $280 billion in federal contracts during Obama's first term, but there might be less money to go around if spending cuts are used to lower the deficit in his next term. The Wall Street Journal (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Write a blog post that will blow your readers away
    If you're looking for content ideas for an upcoming blog post, you can begin by "creating a list of everything you're passionate about or that you feel like you can write on authoritatively," Lisa Barone of Overit writes. Once you've settled on a topic, outline what you plan to say and flesh it out by including examples, evidence or relevant stories, she advises. Then edit your draft and consider adding images to make your post more interesting. Small Business Trends (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Just for Fun 
  • Could you one day drink a soda and eat the bottle?
    A Harvard University professor has come up with a way to package liquid foodstuffs such as soda, juice and yogurt in edible, washable shells. The shells, which resemble grape skins, are formed by fusing flavored components such as seeds or chocolate with products derived from shrimp shells. It's hoped the innovation will one day provide an edible, healthful alternative to cans and bottles. FastCoDesign (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
You don't have all the answers, so why try to make people think you do?"
--Paul Spiegelman, founder of the Beryl Companies, writing at Inc. online's The Culture Gap blog
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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.

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