Interviews can be tricky for either side. If you’re being interviewed, once you get past the standard “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” questions, you never know what will be thrown at you. If you’re an interviewer, how do you get past the pre-scripted answers to the standard questions to see the real person and make the right hire?
Apr 18, 2017 7:02:00 AMLearn more
All managers have their own style and some are definitely more effective than others. Over the years I’ve come across quite a few different approaches – both from people who’ve managed me directly and, more recently, who I’ve worked with on projects. And while I’ve been inspired by some people’s approaches, I’ve been less than impressed with others.
Apr 10, 2017 11:44:04 AMLearn more
A good team is way more than the sum of its parts. Here are my thoughts on creating the environment and structures that help a great team dynamic to flourish.
Mar 29, 2017 7:05:06 AMLearn more
Times are changing. To keep your team together through thick and thin, you have to think smart. Here’s some common-sense advice I wish I’d had years ago.
Mar 15, 2017 6:20:01 AMLearn more
The importance of team work is something most of us learn from an early age, and really shouldn’t be underestimated. Working collaboratively with colleagues can help initial seeds of an idea become a reality, and can help bring a new expertise to the table.
Mar 7, 2017 7:03:00 AMLearn more
At the start of a new year it’s natural to think about what may lie ahead and the opportunities that may present themselves. Every year we’re seeing new innovations, startups and emerging business leaders, and 2017 looks set to be no different.
Feb 20, 2017 6:00:19 AMLearn more
The popularity of my Creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and How to build your website for under $100 posts suggests you guys like to get the word out without spending too much money. Me too! And what savvy small business wouldn’t. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some cost effective ways to advertise your company.
Feb 16, 2017 9:32:34 AMLearn more
Feb 9, 2017 12:02:38 PMLearn more
Did you know that millennials (those aged between 18 and 34) now make up more than a third of the American workforce – making them the largest working generation? It’s a pretty staggering fact.
Feb 2, 2017 6:15:04 AMLearn more
If any of these women have anything to do about it, 2017 in Atlanta is shaping up to be a great year for women. Here’s how nine women are trailblazing across Atlanta in multiple industries - from startups to Fortune 500 companies – and what you can learn from them.
Jan 24, 2017 9:00:00 AMLearn more
Hiring and firing. Neither are decisions I take lightly. If you hire the wrong people you risk upsetting the balance of your whole team, while firing someone obviously has serious consequences not just for the individual involved but for staff morale in general.
Jan 20, 2017 6:35:32 AMLearn more
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about customer loyalty. With so many brands competing in every sector, is it possible to keep customers for life anymore?
Jan 13, 2017 7:41:20 AMLearn more
Marketing is a tough nut to crack. I know this as well as anyone else. But it looks like other business owners may also be thinking the same thing. And that's where taking a look at some fantastic marketing books can help.
Jan 6, 2017 7:51:43 AMLearn more
As the fourth largest city in the nation, and the home of NASA’s Johnson space center, Houston has its fair share of tech savvy entrepreneurs. So, we’ve gathered the top tech names in H-town that you really need to know and added our thoughts on what we can learn from each of them.
Jan 3, 2017 9:00:00 AMLearn more
Personally, I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions since I was about 13 and determined to get onto the school soccer team. As you get older, you realize that choosing January 1st to change yourself or the world is a little restricting.
Dec 23, 2016 4:27:35 PMLearn more
With the holiday season approaching us faster than a rocket-fueled Santa’s sleigh, the annual debate on where to have the holiday party is in full swing. Well, relax. We’ve had a look at what Houston has to offer (it’s a lot) and come up with 10 suggestions for spending some quality time with your team - or your clients.
Dec 19, 2016 6:43:03 AMLearn more
Atlanta has a rich history of being a hub where people gather, so whether you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate the year’s successes with your colleagues, or a venue to thank your most loyal customers for their business; there are venues to cater for every possible taste.
Dec 19, 2016 6:42:35 AMLearn more
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but finding the right place to add the falalalala’s can sometimes leave the holiday spirit in short supply. If you haven’t already found a venue for your team or client party this year, don’t worry…
Dec 19, 2016 6:41:54 AMLearn more
Bostonians have loved a good party ever since 1773. Of course, these December days, the only revolutions tend to be found on turntables at parties across the city. But just in case those arguments about where to hold the office get together become a little heated, here are our 10 suggestions for the holiday season (tea optional).
Dec 19, 2016 6:41:14 AMLearn more
It’s not unusual for business giants to flock to a particular location in a country or city. This could depend on factors such as business-tax rates, financial programs that might be on offer there, or the cost of living and how this compares to the national average. While places such as Silicon Valley may be well-known destinations for businesses, there are many more affordable and feasible locations in the United States for companies to set up shop.
Dec 15, 2016 7:02:00 PMLearn more
The Emerald City is not green when it comes to being a tech hub, in fact it’s pretty firmly established. With two of the biggest names in tech (Amazon and Microsoft) and one of the biggest names in Aerospace (Boeing) in very close proximity, this bustling young city has some amazing tech endeavours founded and run by some incredible Seattleites.
Dec 8, 2016 9:00:00 AMLearn more
For the introverts among us, conversing or networking with people at events can be a difficult and daunting experience. Despite wanting to get the most from the event, factors such as social anxiety and worry might sometimes get in the way. However, there are ways to combat these feelings, and it is possible for more introverted people to network just as effectively as extroverts.
Dec 5, 2016 6:28:59 AMLearn more
With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to have a clear plan of how you’re going to market to your customers (existing and prospective!) during this period. I recently wrote about how to create a holiday marketing plan, but what about some low cost practical marketing ideas to go with that? That’s what I’m going to look at here.
Nov 28, 2016 10:54:52 AMLearn more
Every year the holiday season creeps up on me. The leaves begin to fall and the temperature starts to drop and before I know it there are holiday ads on the TV and stores are stocked floor to ceiling with decorations, stocking fillers and gift wrap.
Nov 24, 2016 10:31:35 AMLearn more
You may remember the other week when I wrote about fatigue and ways to reduce it. We’re always chasing that perfect work/life balance so we’re getting the best of both worlds, but it’s easier said than done. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help with this.
Nov 23, 2016 7:20:45 AMLearn more
Learning how to lead a team can be a case of trial and error, often involving learning from past mistakes. There are many management styles you may wish to follow, and there are even more to avoid, as shown in our latest infographic.
Nov 21, 2016 6:42:24 AMLearn more
As Thanksgiving approaches, it reminds me to be thankful - thankful for my business, thankful for my customers and, above all, thankful for my employees (without whom I wouldn’t have either).
Nov 18, 2016 3:35:31 PMLearn more
Aside from the great stuff your business provides, whether it be products, services, great customer service or awesome coffee (and, let’s face it, everyone needs awesome coffee!), none of this can happen without a healthy cashflow.
Nov 11, 2016 6:55:49 AMLearn more
Even in this day and age, female entrepreneurship isn’t as common as one would hope. That’s why it’s time to celebrate these strong innovative women who make The Cradle of Liberty such an amazing place.
Nov 3, 2016 8:48:06 AMLearn more
Nov 1, 2016 6:37:52 AMLearn more
I love to experiment.
When it comes to growing my business I’m definitely not one for standing still - I don’t prescribe to the ‘wait and see’ mentality. Instead, I like to try different things all the time.
Oct 27, 2016 7:13:43 AMLearn more
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that I could do with a few more hours in the day? Recently I noticed that I was getting to the office earlier and leaving later, but I still seemed to have things left on my to-do list every night.
Oct 24, 2016 8:10:55 AMLearn more
There’s such a variety of degrees available nowadays as more and more people are deciding to go to college. It’s no longer just a case of whether you’d like to be a lawyer or a doctor, as there are now so many degrees that you can choose from.
Oct 18, 2016 9:12:28 AMLearn more
Crowdfunding has really come into its own in recent years, with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo helping to launch new products and even bring movies to the big screen thanks to generous investments from members of the public.
Oct 11, 2016 6:46:51 AMLearn more
While outsiders might not be aware of the full story, Atlantians know that the Georgia capital is home to some of the top business leaders in the world. As home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, Atlanta is home to many well-known companies. It also has some of the most exciting small businesses in the US, along with some of the most exciting small business leaders too.
Oct 5, 2016 9:00:00 AMLearn more
I’ve been busy trying to recruit a new salesperson for my team, which means I’ve been spending the past few nights reading résumé after résumé. Luckily, there were a few really great ones in there and interviews are pending, but I was surprised how hard I had to work to find them among pages and pages of seemingly endless résumé jargon.
Oct 3, 2016 7:31:43 AMLearn more
As an entrepreneur I’m always interested to keep an eye on new start-ups. You never know what will be the next Facebook or Airbnb! There’s a lot even the most seasoned business people can learn from up and coming companies, particularly when it comes to creative thinking and taking chances.
Sep 29, 2016 6:03:56 AMLearn more
I’m always amazed when I talk to people from other businesses and they’re complaining about some of their customers. I think to myself: “Whoa! Have you ever thought where you’d be without clients? You wouldn’t even have a business.”
Sep 15, 2016 8:47:42 AMLearn more
Your potential employees are becoming more demanding in what they look for in a job, and are happy to go elsewhere if they feel the company doesn’t offer them the benefits that they’re looking for. It’s therefore important to think about what your business could offer in order to make sure that you appeal to those top candidates.
Aug 31, 2016 4:38:24 PMLearn more
We all know good marketing is essential for small businesses, but it’s something that all too many owners (including myself sometimes) put to one side because we simply don’t have the budget.
Aug 31, 2016 4:10:23 PMLearn more
What’s your small business brand identity? Sure, you’ve got a logo, a website, business cards, signage and perhaps even a storefront – but your brand is so much more than the “look” of your business. While all these can help you project a carefully crafted image to your customers, true branding runs a lot deeper.
Aug 31, 2016 2:53:18 PMLearn more
The more technology develops, the less necessary it is for us to be at specific locations to get things done. Now we can work on the train, in an Uber, from a restaurant and, of course, from the comfort of our living room couches.
Aug 31, 2016 2:34:53 PMLearn more
As a small-business owner, I recognize the importance of rewarding employees who perform well and exceed expectations. I appreciate their contributions and want them to know I’m grateful.
Aug 31, 2016 2:21:40 PMLearn more
If you think marketing is just for the big players, think again. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can use the power of marketing to enhance their brand, connect with their customers and improve their bottom line.
Aug 31, 2016 1:59:02 PMLearn more
For companies battling through tough economic times, effective internal communications may not sound like a top priority. But clear and effective communication within a company, no matter what size, is a big deal. Get it wrong and you’ll soon have a workforce that is unsure, inefficient and struggling with motivation.
Aug 31, 2016 1:27:58 PMLearn more
Since a good event takes time to pull off, the time to start planning is now. If you’ve not done an event before, it does take some planning, but the rewards – new customers, customer loyalty and great new contacts – can definitely be worth the man hours.
Aug 31, 2016 1:16:29 PMLearn more
In a highly competitive, global economy, small businesses need to use every possible resource to compete with the big guys. But many of us fail to recognize and develop one of our most valuable assets—our internal talent.
Aug 31, 2016 12:28:34 PMLearn more
If you've got a great idea for a business that has the potential to drive profits and generate a customer following, there is still the matter of transforming your idea into reality. There is more to creating a small business than simply opening up shop.
Aug 31, 2016 12:27:31 PMLearn more
From bringing in new customers to handling payroll, we wear a series of hats from one day—or one hour—to the next. But if, like me, you want to grow your business, you need to outgrow that one-person-show mentality and trust your people to take some of the work off your plate.
Aug 31, 2016 11:20:09 AMLearn more
Humana and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s survey in October 2015 found that 91 percent of employees said taking part in a wellbeing program improved their fitness, and 71 percent believed that wellness programs had at least a moderate impact in lowering their stress levels.
Aug 31, 2016 11:11:36 AMLearn more
Whether you’re starting a new initiative or taking advantage of a growth opportunity, you’ll probably find yourself needing a little extra capital at some point. But with access to capital still a challenge for many business owners, what can you do to try to maximize your chances of successfully applying for more funding?
Aug 31, 2016 10:08:00 AMLearn more
Following on from my second post on marketing your business on Twitter, here’s part 3 of the series on social media with some tips for using LinkedIn.
Aug 31, 2016 9:21:43 AMLearn more
Following on from my original post on marketing your business on Facebook, here’s part 2 of the series on social media with some tips for using Twitter.
Aug 31, 2016 9:20:28 AMLearn more
Every day, billions of people use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, making them essential for reaching existing customers and reeling in new ones.
Aug 31, 2016 9:17:53 AMLearn more
The job interview. I’ve been on both sides of the interview desk a number of times in my business career. But I’m sure we all remember that very first job interview, fresh out of college or school, feeling a little green, nervous and picking at our unusually smart clothes.
Aug 29, 2016 2:42:18 PMLearn more
What do Google, Zappos and Disney all have in common? Yes, they’re all hugely successful companies - but it’s more about how they became so successful. They all go to great lengths to empower their employees.
Aug 29, 2016 1:19:05 PMLearn more
According to James Cameron’s Terminator franchise, 19 years ago to the day (August 29 1997), the computer system Skynet became sentient and triggered the nuclear holocaust known as Judgement Day. Two decades on, we’re thankfully still some way from computers having the technological know-how to wipe out humanity unaided.
Aug 29, 2016 7:09:27 AMLearn more
Whether you’re in your first few years as an entrepreneur or have been running your own company for decades, the chances are you’ll have seen a lot of things change.
Aug 26, 2016 9:11:54 AMLearn more
I am constantly looking to other businesses for inspiration. Who better to learn from than companies which have faced the same challenges as you and overcome them to become real success stories?
Aug 25, 2016 11:49:33 AMLearn more
There’s been a lot of talk about wellness at work. Hardy surprising when you consider that if the health of the nation was an Olympic event, we wouldn’t have been on the podium in Rio. But, as a business owner, to what extent is it my responsibility to ensure my employees are happy and healthy?
Aug 25, 2016 11:12:29 AMLearn more
Sometimes it’s obvious your team is a bit flat and could do with a morale boost. While I’m not suggesting that team-building is a long-term solution for low staff morale, it is something that can get them away from their computer and help them feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to throw themselves into their work.
Aug 25, 2016 10:22:31 AMLearn more
Cutting costs is second nature to most small business owners. After all any unnecessary expenses eat right into your profits. I like to think I’ve become pretty good at cost cutting over the years, so here’s a few of my top money-saving hacks. Hope they help.
Aug 25, 2016 9:58:03 AMLearn more
Collins dictionary describes management skills as, “skills regarding the technique, practice, or science of managing a company, business, etc”. But what management skills do you need to run a small business? And do all small business owners have them?
Aug 25, 2016 5:48:23 AMLearn more
Did you know there’s an American Institute of Stress (AIS)? The Texas-based, non-profit organization aims to “improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence of stress management in education, research, clinical care and the workplace.”
Aug 24, 2016 10:50:17 AMLearn more
Just like most other small business owners I know, I’m a fan of anything that can save me time or money – or even better, a bit of both. In my quest to cut down on hours and dollars I must have downloaded hundreds of apps which promised to revolutionize the way I run my company. And while some were swiftly deleted, others have proved invaluable.
Aug 24, 2016 5:50:23 AMLearn more
Every year we see the publication of the Forbes list, ranking the wealthiest people in the world. I don’t know about you but I can’t resist indulging my curiosity by perusing the list to see who has made it.
Aug 16, 2016 12:09:16 PMLearn more
It’s a sad truth that in today’s world everyone wants something for nothing.
Consumers are becoming increasingly bargain-hungry shoppers – fuelled by the rise of comparison websites, online auctions and discount sites. What’s worse is that more information, products and services can now be found online completely free of charge. And while consumers are lapping it up (and rightly so) I’ve found myself on more than one occasion with my head in my hands wondering how my little business and I will ever be able to compete.
Aug 12, 2016 3:48:52 AMLearn more
I love sports. Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, you name it and I'll probably watch it. So it goes without saying that I'm a huge fan of the Olympics. The U.S. has a great record and I'm always proud to watch our Olympians battle for the ultimate glory of winning a gold medal. I know it must take some serious work and more than a little talent to get to the podium.
However, it struck me today as I was thinking about the Games in Brazil (and seriously considering whether to DVR everything!) that there's a number of interesting parallels between the top athletes and those who've been highly successful in business. So here's my take:
Aug 11, 2016 4:00:00 AMLearn more
Cats. Enigmatic, aloof, contrary - affectionate, loving, loyal. There are so many adjectives that can be applied to our feline friends. And with a little under half of U.S. households (43%) owning one or more cats (totaling almost 86 million)1, it’s clear they’ve got a place in our hearts.
But what can entrepreneurs learn from the cat’s attitude to life? Well, quite a lot actually…
Aug 10, 2016 4:54:16 AMLearn more
It’s a busy world these days. As a small business owner, it perhaps goes without saying that I’m switched on to work even when I’m at home. But juggling work with all the other things we have to think about - childcare, eldercare and the domestic problems that go hand-in-hand with everyday life – isn’t easy. Even when my business is running smoothly, I feel like I’m failing in other areas of my life and vice versa.
Aug 10, 2016 4:35:15 AMLearn more
Fiction loves a good business. Whether it’s in books, TV or movies, companies of every size frequently form the backdrop of compelling and captivating storylines. Sometimes, we wistfully long to be in the same fun place as the characters. Other times, we’re rooting for the evil, corporate demon to fail and fall.
But behind all the gloss, fictional businesses can teach their real-life counterparts some valuable lessons.
Aug 10, 2016 4:11:28 AMLearn more
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed when you first start using social media as a business tool. I definitely struggled to get to grips with the sheer volume of platforms, terminology, best-practice advice and, of course, apps that all promise to help streamline and make the best use of your time.
Aug 9, 2016 11:38:37 AMLearn more
Recently I’ve been feeling a little too self-satisfied with my efforts at social media marketing. My Twitter page has been going from strength-to-strength, I’m starting to get a handle on scaling content and scheduling across all the social platforms I run, and I’ve got big plans for Facebook.
Truth be told I was starting to think I’d really cracked it.
Aug 9, 2016 9:00:25 AMLearn more
We all know the importance of happy and engaged employees. They’re the lifeblood of my business and have propelled me from a struggling start-up to a growing, profitable company. But motivating employees can be hard – especially when you don’t have the capital to compete with large businesses on salary.
Aug 8, 2016 4:01:29 PMLearn more
Stress can play a big role in a workplace’s productivity. When your employees are stressed, it impacts their health, possibly resulting in their needing to take time off. And while they’re at work, it’s likely on their minds – have you tried concentrating when your stress levels are high? I know I can’t. A stressed workforce can be an unproductive workforce.
Aug 8, 2016 3:14:09 PMLearn more
In an age where time is precious and the average attention span is less than a goldfish’s (yes, really), consumers want their content fed to them in a fast and easily digestible way. I’ve found that video has proven to be extremely beneficial for my business – especially when it comes to promoting the products and services I can offer in a short, succinct and consistent way.
Aug 8, 2016 11:06:04 AMLearn more
Much has changed in business over the last thirty years; most noticeably the rise in technology and the new job roles this has created. Not only has technology now become an important, if not essential, part of businesses both big and small, but it has also become a massive sector in its own right and as such, it has given rise to a multitude of jobs.
Jul 27, 2016 8:19:28 AMLearn more
When you’re running your business on a daily basis, it doesn’t leave much time for finding out about the latest gaming app sweeping the world, right? But that’s where us small business owners (and larger businesses) could be missing a trick
Jul 22, 2016 7:47:07 AMLearn more
Everyone who uses Twitter wants more followers. It’s almost an eternal quest, especially if you use it for your business. More followers equals more engagement and more engagement equals more business, right? Well, not necessarily, especially if your followers aren’t really interested in you or your product. There are tons of fake and ‘follow me and I’ll follow back’ accounts, neither of which provide any value, even if they do make it appear to the outside world that you’ve got loads of followers.
Jul 21, 2016 9:30:47 AMLearn more
Ain’t afraid of no ghost? How about women in business? With the long-awaited reboot of Ghostbusters having just hit the screens, the all-female cast of the Ghostbusting class of 2016 has raised some eyebrows - and more than a little controversy.
Jul 18, 2016 6:18:43 AMLearn more
There’s one thing pretty much every business needs now – a website. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but if customers can’t find you online, you can bet they’ll be able to find one of your competitors.
Jul 15, 2016 12:15:10 PMLearn more
I’m a huge sports fan. Since I was a kid I’ve loved watching and playing sports. I love the drama, the unpredictability, and the escape from the daily grind it gives me. There is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing your team win a big match or being part of a successful side and feeling like you’re part of a larger, shared experience. Every year I look forward to the important tournament dates in the calendar – Super Bowl Sunday, the NBA Finals, the World Series or the final round of the US Open.
Jun 28, 2016 10:03:32 AMLearn more
I’m always on the lookout for new talent and this can come in a number of different forms – experienced industry professionals, those looking for a career change (bringing with them a wealth of experience from other industries) and more recently I’ve started to recruit college graduates.
Jun 22, 2016 10:51:13 AMLearn more
If your business is anything like mine it probably started off in your spare room or at the kitchen table. It’s free of charge, the commute takes no time at all and you can work in your PJs if you want – what’s not to like? But as you (hopefully) expand and grow, the chances are you’ll need to branch out into an office, especially as you start to employ people and arrange meetings with clients.
Jun 17, 2016 10:41:19 AMLearn more
For me and, after talking to other small businesses, for others too, employee turnover is a huge issue. When you only employ a handful of people, if one of them leaves it creates a real hole. And that’s before you even get started on the cost of replacing them and the productivity issues and lower morale caused by others having to cover their work. So the more we, as businesses, can do to keep our top talent, the better, right? But how?
Jun 9, 2016 12:33:18 PMLearn more
I’ve read tons of time management tips over the years, but rarely find anything that really speaks to me. Sure, the apps are great - Evernote has helped me capture new ideas, and CamCard is shaving time off of converting business cards to my contact list. But telling me to delegate where I can, prioritize my to-do list and only check my mail twice a day just doesn’t seem to work that well for me, even though I know it makes total sense.
May 16, 2016 10:20:53 AMLearn more
We’ve all heard the quote, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” It’s another way of saying that you don’t get something for nothing. As someone trying to grow my business I’m well aware of this, as I’m sure you are too. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to assist with the huge challenge of running a business.
May 16, 2016 10:19:22 AMLearn more
Have you ever done an online personality quiz and been shocked by just how accurate the results were? It can be surprising to see in black and white your most noticeable personality traits described to a tee.
May 16, 2016 9:11:31 AMLearn more
Is your job orientation process perfect? Mine certainly isn’t. But I’m learning from my mistakes.
May 16, 2016 8:33:55 AMLearn more