Recently I met up with an old friend who is contemplating starting up a small business. We had a great discussion and I didn't want to lose the notes, so I thought I would share them with my readers. This discussion is divided into four sections: business structure, physical/virtual storefront, social media channels, and getting the word out. I undoubtedly missed some items; will update as I see holes.
As a small business owner I’ve had many many discussions with colleagues about my products and services. Throughout these discussions I have gleaned some outstanding pieces of advice about things I should be focusing on and ideas that I should be pursuing. I also have been on the receiving end of some pretty random ideas which may have had some merit in the eyes of the beholder but just didn't seem to fit well with the direction that I want to take the business. One colleague of mine got pretty peeved with me because I wasn't executing upon his advice. The truth is, his advice just didn't align with the other advice I was getting and didn't fit well with the direction that I want to go. I stuck with my spider-senses and didn't execute upon his advice.
The theory has spurred much discussion in the scientific community, but the concept is firmly seated in college psychology classes as a higher-education staple.
Without challenges, your business would cease to exist. After all, you began your business in response to a need and you continue it for the same reason. However, just as your customers’ needs change over time, so do your business’s. Your competition improves, technology changes, and your employees come and go. In order to stay in the game for the long haul, you need to find new ways to satisfy your customers, improve the efficiency of your processes, and maintain a healthy profit margin.
More and more companies are outsourcing everything from IT to call centers to facilities management. Measuring the effectiveness of the outsourcer is crucial and can mitigate tons of downstream issues for both companies. Consider the following to help you better measure outsourcer effectiveness:
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