Change the way you look at mistakes | Ask questions to uncover sales opportunities | 3 ways to handle the next bout of severe weather
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March 8, 2013
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Change the way you look at mistakes
It's important to treat employees as experts, trust them to do the right thing and ask questions instead of making assumptions, writes Josh Patrick of Stage 2 Planning Partners. For this approach to work, leaders must accept the fact that their employees will occasionally make mistakes. "Instead of thinking of mistakes as problems, we started thinking of them as learning opportunities," Patrick writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (3/7)
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Marketing
5 ways to deal with difficult customers
When customers get angry, turn the negative situation into a positive one by thanking them for calling attention to problems with your service, Monika Jansen writes. Avoid getting defensive and try to see things through their perspective. NetworkSolutions.com (3/7)
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Ask questions to uncover sales opportunities
Focus on asking questions to determine whether sales prospects have potential as a customer. Keep asking questions to determine whether a prospect will be interested in buying your product, Roger Daugherty writes. You might have an opportunity to make a sale if the prospect is unhappy with his or her current supplier. But even the prospect is satisfied for the moment, there might be opportunities in the future. "Often when a customer says 'I don't need this,' she may really mean 'I don't need this right now,'" he writes. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (3/7)
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Management
3 ways to handle the next bout of severe weather
Severe weather events can be disruptive for your business and confusing for employees, so it's important to create policies that explain how they will be handled, writes Deborah Sweeney. Employers should show their appreciation for their staff on these challenging occasions, and they may want to consider allowing some employees to work from home. Forbes (3/7)
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Money
How to keep your small business' books in order
Keeping track of the books can be a pain, but it'll be easier if you keep personal and business transactions separate, hire a professional and dedicate just a few minutes a week to organizing financial details, writes Kirk Simpson, CEO of Wave Accounting. "You'll have more insights into your business, be able to make more informed financial decisions and have everything organized when tax time approaches," he writes. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (3/7)
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Apps that help track your expenses
A number of mobile applications are available to help you track your expenses -- a practice that can help you write them off on your taxes, Kathryn Hawkins writes. She suggests four helpful apps: Mint, Shoeboxed, MileBug and Expensify. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/7)
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Tips & Tools
Where to go to learn more about social media
LinkedIn Groups, Quora and WikiAnswers are good places to go when you have questions about social media. Alltop and Technorati can help you stay on top of social media trends, and Google Reader and Evernote can help you stay organized as you do social media research. Small Business Trends (3/7)
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Just for Fun
What would you do with 1,426 unimaginable fortunes?
There are 1,426 billionaires on Forbes' latest list, with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion. If they used their collective wealth to form a country, it would be the forth-richest nation in the world, ahead of Germany and only narrowly behind Japan. Forbes (3/4)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, from March 8 to 12, and we need your help! SXSW has way too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to our readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on Social Media, Leadership, Finance, Food and Beverage or Education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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SmartQuote
[Y]ou won't lose a sale by asking too many questions or learning too much about a customer."
-- Roger Daugherty, a SCORE mentor, writing at the SCORE Small Business Success Blog.
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