Leading your team to goal setting

Last week, I suggested that you communicate company goals to each team member so that your company-wide goals have context for them in their daily work and with their department’s goals. That’s only part of the job when working with team members and goal setting. The other part is making sure they have a process […]

Strategic notepad: Small Business Saturday

The Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday rushes are over. If things are going as planned, your sales are on target with no signs of missing your revenue budget for the holiday season. Unless things are going poorly, you might not have started thinking about what you’ll do differently next year – yet […]

When the smoke clears, will your reputation?

No one in the Pacific Northwest has to be reminded that this is the worst fire season since 2003. Depending on what you do a bad fire season could be a boon, a bust or a non-issue to your business. Over the last couple of weeks, we had communications and marketing oriented conversations focused on the […]

I love companies with slow computers

How much money do you waste by making your staff wait for computers? For slow networks? For slow internet? For slow computers? How hard do you make it for them to get their work done? How many times has a hotel desk clerk apologized to you at check in time because their computer was not […]

Your systems should focus on your clients

Do your systems serve your internal customers or all of them? By internal customers, I mean your accounting department, the staff on the shipping dock, customer service representatives, sales people and so on. Systems that serve your internal customers do things such as accept, validate and record orders, track commissions, automate shipment notifications, manage inventory and […]

Big Data, Small Business

Last week, we talked about questions. Questions tend to produce answers and more questions, which can result in a pile of stuff that overwhelms a small business. As a business and client base scales, these questions produce data that you can use for guidance, decision making and to ask even better questions. Again, this can […]

Save your bacon: Backup your stuff

Today was yet another one of those days that come far too often. A day when someone tells me their computer crashed and they have no backups. For months. This isn’t a computer at home that’s used for email, Facebook and maybe an occasional game. This computer is used to manage their customers’ technical data and […]

Busy business owners have no time for this

Last time, we spent a good bit of time talking about the need to help your staff perform their best work. What about the stuff that no one would consider their best work, but is “work that must be done and since no one else is here to do it, I will.” Studies have been performed […]

Prevent lost customers with these five words

Small businesses are always interested in getting more new customers, but sometimes forget that keeping existing customers is less expensive than the cost of replacing them. While products, services and customer support are critical to the health of your business, it’s critical to maintain a strong connection with your customers through properly timed communications. Tending […]

Who benefits when snow, cold and ice shut down a town?

All over the U.S., winter seems to be having a little fun with us. While in many places, we’re also having fun with it – a lot of places are pretty well shut down by this year’s winter road conditions. Without the staff and equipment to handle serious (for their area) winter storms, many communities […]