Posts tagged entrepreneur

Small business owners are constantly looking for ways to make their companies more efficient. They can usually find help in the form of a website or an app. Here are a few ideas from our viewers who shared their favorite web tools for small business.

Instagram: the Sales Tool You’re Not Using

"Despite its widespread popularity, many small businesses aren’t utilizing Instagram to its fullest business potential," writes OPEN Forum contributor Angela Stringfellow. "Retailers post just 7.2 percent of their products on social commerce sites.”

Take advantage of the site’s influence and boost your brand’s value with this tip from Shari Theresia, co-owner of Los Angeles-based event staffing company Toast & Flute:

“To start, I researched and followed Los Angeles-based companies and people who I thought could recommend us to their clientele or would be interested in our services themselves. This included wedding and event planners, caterers, florists, event rental companies and event design companies. I was active on their Instagram accounts, liking their photos and getting on their radar.”

Read on for two more ways you can drive sales through Instagram.

Why Brands Are Having a Bit of a ’90s Moment

Nostalgia for the not-so-distant 1990s seems to be everywhere you turn these days. From Kate Moss’ little sister appearing in her own Calvin Klein ads to the Disney Channel’s spin off “Girl Meets World” following up where “Boys Meets World” left off more than a decade ago, brands are creating ads and products that are decidedly ’90s inspired.

But why?

Brands are focusing on the ’90s, because they know they need to tap into the spending power of the biggest and most diverse generation that’s ever existed: the millennials. Many of these young adults grew up in the 1990s and are now entering their peak earning and spending years. Ignoring them would be a bad business move.

And research backs them up. Apparently when we feel nostalgic, we’re more willing to part with our dollars. 

From OPEN Forum’s “They Love the ’90s: Using Nostalgia to Woo Millennials

Weird Job Titles That Probably Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

  • Data Alchemist
  • Chief Change Catalyst
  • Jolly Good Fellow
  • Intergalactic Federation King Almighty and Commander of the Universe

(Ok, the last two are from Google, where nearly everything is far from the status quo.) Read on for more crazy employee titles that made us do a double take on OPEN Forum.

This Is Why Your Sales Pitch Fell Flat

"The reason for a sale gone bad is seldom as simple as the service or product exceeding the target’s budget. It’s also often about how the sale is presented and whether your team is truly collaborating to the best effect."

But you can bounce back from a bad sales pitch with these three tips

Flickr user: Engin Erdogan

8 Common Customer Service Complaints You Can Actually Fix

Building a company culture that prides itself on offering great customer service does more than keep your business from being the butt of a viral joke… it improves your bottom line. When customers complain, it’s a good opportunity to improve your business procedures. For example, if a customer says, ”No one ever calls me back”:

Determine which ways customers reach out to your company, and monitor each of these channels with enough staff to respond in an appropriate amount of time. Email should be responded to within 12 hours, while tweets need to be answered in 15 minutes.

Read on for seven more customer service complaints you can solve quickly.

How to Become a Master Small Talker

So… it’s pretty hot out, huh?

Come on: There are way more interesting topics out there than the weather. Mastering the art of small talk not only makes you a more desirable person to bump into at a networking event; it can also make you smarter, according to a study at the University of Michigan, and open the doors for future business opportunities.

One trick?

Before you head to your next networking event, come up with topic points you can chat about. Have at least three things to talk about depending on the event you’re going to.

Read on for four more tips on how to become better at small talk.

Flickr user: David Goehring

The Management Mistake Everyone Makes (and How to Fix It)

We know, we know: You’re incredibly busy, and your team is supposed to help you meet the goals you’ve set to keep your business operating like a well-oiled machine. But don’t forget: Your team is made up of people, not robots. If you find yourself barking orders more often than not, there’s an easy fix:

Set up individual, once-a-week check-ins with each of your employees or, if your company is too big for that, with each of your direct reports. If you dedicate 30 minutes every week to meet with each of your team members, you’ll be able to guide them as needed and stay on top of what’s happening with them on the work front.

Read on for four more ways to fix common management mistakes.

5 Pieces of Advice Every Young Entrepreneur Should Know

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  1. Decide who you are.
  2. Have a plan.
  3. Have a backup plan.
  4. Be realistic.
  5. Create balance.

For more, read small-business expert and entrepreneur Brian Moran’s “5 Things I Wish I Had Learned as a Young Entrepreneur,” on OPEN Forum.

Flickr user: Vernon Chan

What to Do When You Fall Out of Love With Your Business

  1. Throw yourself into marketing.
  2. Develop new ideas for your business.
  3. Find a mentor.
  4. Stop doing the parts of your business that you hate.
  5. Take up a hobby.
  6. Change businesses.

From “6 Ways to Get Your Business Mojo Back" on OPEN Forum.