The purpose of your business, is firstly to get and then to make sure that you keep your customers. Something that’s difficult to do without some kind of plan. It doesn’t have to be a marketing plan, but at least something that provides your employees with a direction in terms of satisfying customer demands. Here are some things to consider when putting together a plan for encouraging people to do business with you. [Read more...]
A long time ago in a workplace very far far away, our careers were something that happened to us on the road to retirement. Very few of us actually managed our careers, rather we waited for our bosses and managers to notice our work and then hopefully we would get promoted onto better and greater things.
Those days are long gone now. YOU are in charge of your career, not your boss. People no longer typically advance in a straight line up through management in one company. The truth is – you will more likely take a lateral move into a new project team or into a new area of your company, without being promoted. Some of us will instead move up by joining a new company.
Given this, the questions that you need to focus on becomes: [Read more...]
Too many business people neglect to keep tabs on their competition. How in the world will you know where you stand in your market and your category if you don’t keep a weary eye on the other guys?
Shop the Competition, but go with an open mind. We all have a tendency to look for everything that the competition is doing wrong. It makes us feel better and superior, and it helps confirm that what we are doing is right. Here’s an even better idea :
Send your employees out to do your competitive shopping. Give them the assignment to come back with 10 things that the other guys are doing right. Think about that… What could you possibly learn from paying attention to what your competitor is doing wrong? What you really want and need to know is why those customers are in his store instead of yours.
Your employees will come back with ideas that they can incorporate into their work. Furthermore, you will get better result from your internal customers, your employees, than you will if the boss goes out and comes back to tell the employees what she learned. If that happens, the employees will not have bought into it or internalized it.
Dont do this once and forget about it. Make it a regular program. Send your staff out once a month or once a quarter, whichever is appropriate for your business.
In his seminal book What colour is your parachute ? Richard Bolles lists ten things that will greatly improve your chances of finding a new job.
The Ten Commandments for how to find a job:
- Go after small organisations with twenty or fewer employees, since they create two-thirds of all new jobs. – For some great tips on how to get a job at a small company check this post by marketing superstar Seth Godin.
- Hunt for interviews using the aid of, say eighty friends and acquaintances, because a job-hunt requires eighty pairs of eyes and ears – Today social networks like LinkedIn allows you to exponentially increase the amount of “friends” who can help you hunt for a interview.
- Do thorough homework on an organization before going there. - Fact of life , employees ALWAYS you what you know about their company. I cant even begin to relate the amount of times that super candidates have killed their chances of being hired, because they could not answer this question when we asked. Do the homework, search Google learn about the company you are hiring at. You will be asked.
- At any organisation, identify who has the power to hire you there, for the position you want, and use your mutual friends and acquaintances’ contacts to get an introduction to that person. - Again LinkedIn and other social networks make it easier to find out how you are connected to whoever has the power to make the hiring decision. If you know the position and department that you are interviewing for , you can then call the company and ask who the person is.
- Ask for just twenty minutes of their time, when asking for the appointment; and keep to your word rigidly.
- Go to the interview with your own agenda, your own questions and curiosities about whether or not this job fits you. This always impresses employers. - When you ask “intelligent” questions about the company and the position, you immediately differentiate yourself from the other candidates. Also , by asking and engaging you are able to build rapport with the interviewers.
- Talk about yourself only if what you say offers some benefit to that organisation, and their “problems” - When the interviewer asks “tell me about yourself. Don’t go on a tangent talking about your whole life. Ask them to elaborate. Respond by saying “What part of my career do you want me to tell you about?”. The interviewer is interested in how you and your experience can help them solve their company’s problems.
- When answering a question of theirs, talk only between twenty seconds and two minutes, at any one time. - Talking too long is not a sign that the interview is going well. It is a sign of nervousness- and the longer you take to answer the question, the greater your chance of saying something that could cost the job.
- Approach the company as if you were a resource person, able to produce better work for that organisation than any predecessor. Don’t go in with a beggar mentality. – Companies hire for two reasons only. They hire someone to make money for them, and to help them save money. Think about how you can offer those things. Then demonstrate that in the interview.
- Always write a thank you note the same evening of the interview, and mail it at the latest by the next morning. -It might seem like common sense, but very few candidates actually do this. Yet doing this can help elevate you above the other candidates or even save you , in a case where your interview did not go too well. It also helps to remind the interviewer who you were.