How a cheese shop found capital through Kickstarter | Tips for keeping customers loyal | Why you should treasure customer complaints
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March 19, 2013
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How a cheese shop found capital through Kickstarter
Carolyn Stromberg secured $45,000 in private loans to open her own wine-and-cheese shop in Washington, D.C., but she was still about $12,000 short. She turned to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, and she used social media to spread the word about her campaign. She managed to surpass her goal within a month after receiving donations from 160 backers, about half of whom were strangers. "I had to be a little shameless in terms of promoting," Stromberg said. She also had to offer special perks to contributors. The Washington Post (3/18)
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April 25, 2013 at 3:00PM EST
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Marketing
Tips for keeping customers loyal
In addition to searching for new customers for your business, it's important to show your current customers that you appreciate their business. Stay in touch by sharing valuable information with them, sending handwritten notes and letting them know about everything you're doing to meet their needs. Entrepreneur online (3/18)
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Why you should treasure customer complaints
Receiving negative feedback isn't a pleasant experience, but if a customer takes the time to send a complaint, it could mean they value your company, writes Margaret Heffernan. Take the feedback as an opportunity to improve. "You're learning from the frontline what is really going on and how it plays to your market," she writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Serial CEO blog (3/18)
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Management
How March Madness can put a spring in the step of workers
There are legal considerations to letting employees participate in March Madness brackets at work, but doing so correctly can build team spirit and morale without hurting productivity, says Murat Philippe of Avatar HR Solutions. Bracket betting "is something that is going to happen anyway, no matter what a company may say," Philippe says. "It doesn't really cost you a great deal, so you may as well saddle it up and ride it out." USA Today/Gannett News Service (3/17)
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Dealing with employee negativity
Negative employees can take a serious toll on your company's culture, writes Tim Parker. Don't let employees make excuses for their poor behavior, and give them a time frame in which to improve their attitudes, he recommends. If nothing else works, you may have to remove negative employees from your organization. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/18)
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Money
What it takes to secure financing
Before seeking a loan for your company, you should do your research and be prepared to answer key questions about your needs and ability to repay the money. Make sure you're asking the right lender and anticipate road blocks to financing and prepare responses for them. In addition, keep in touch with your bankers to learn how they operate and what changes in lending they are facing. The Huffington Post (3/18)
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Tips & Tools
A guide to writing effective e-mails
Your e-mails will be more effective if you start by explaining what you want the recipients to do instead of including lengthy introductions, Geoffrey James writes. Provide brief supporting arguments and evidence for your viewpoints, and write subject lines that will grab your readers' attention. Inc. online (free registration)/Sales Source blog (3/15)
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Other News
Just for Fun
Roaches and people travel together on Greyhound bus
Passengers on a Greyhound bus between New York and Atlantic City, N.J., got an unexpected surprise last week as cockroaches invaded the bus. Panic broke out as roaches began swarming over the passengers. "We thought it was one. It turned out to be a whole house full of roaches," one passenger says. CNN (3/16)
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SmartQuote
If a customer is willing to invest the time and effort required for a coherent complaint, you're lucky."
-- Margaret Heffernan, author and entrepreneur, writing at Inc. online's Serial CEO blog.
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