Latest Articles in TIP OF THE WEEK

  • Every company leaves a tremendous amount of human potential untapped because its people are inadequately developed. Provide informal feedback and coaching, cross training, and opportunities for advancement. Train all new employees thoroughly in job requirements immediately upon hiring. Putting a new employee on the job to “sink or swim” results in frustration, sloppy work habits and... more »
  • December is a key time to make business-related purchases in order to gain credit for them on your 2007 tax return. You can buy office supplies for January, renew business publication subscriptions for 2007, purchase advance postage and pre-pay rent for January to receive savings now. Another end-of-year item to consider is making a donation. Whether you donate cash or products to one of your... more »
  • Often overlooked, yet consistently successful, are mentoring systems that give new employees a sense of history and community when they enter a new company environment. By introducing new employees to the office culture immediately, mentors make them feel important and necessary to the company's success. This system also doubles as a way to create strong allegiances within your organization as... more »
  • Know the skills and personality traits that will make a person successful in a given job, so you can develop job descriptions when you’re hiring. This helps in framing interviews with potential applicants, who in turn learn in advance more about the skills needed for the position. Initially, a job description facilitates the selection of the right employee. But a good job description... more »
  • Don't hire the first person you like. Commit to meeting a number of people—even though you won't be interested in most of them. You owe it to yourself to interview a group of talented professionals for whatever position you are trying to fill. The worst-case scenario is that if you don't think a person is a good fit for your company, you can use the interview to learn more about your... more »
  • In 1990, Penn State University joined the Big Ten, giving the conference 11 members. Why didn’t the conference change its name? Besides the fact that “Big Eleven” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the Big Ten is one of the strongest brands in all of sports. To change it would have meant throwing away tremendous brand equity built over many generations of sports fans.... more »
  • If you hire an advertising agency or marketing consultant, you are likely paying them good money to help you build your brand. When they come to you with recommendations or ideas, you should trust them like you would a lawyer or an accountant. They are experts, after all. However, don’t trust them blindly. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and voice your concerns... more »
  • If you’re married, you know one of the worst things you can do is forget your anniversary. The same goes for your business, because anniversaries are tremendous opportunities to get noticed. If your company is approaching a milestone anniversary (5, 25, 75 and any multiples of 10), use that as an opportunity to create some excitement. Submit a story to your local newspaper, have a special... more »
  • One of the best ways to build awareness and build your brand is publicity. Having a story about you in your local paper gets your name out to more potential customers. But don’t stop there. Merchandise the publicity to your customers. Tell your salespeople to mention it to their customers. Hand out reprints at your showroom. Put a story about it in your newsletter. Link to the story on... more »
  • When creating your messaging for your ads, Web site or other materials, you will be tempted to use the following phrases: “Low prices,” “High quality,” and “Great service.” Don’t. These phrases are overused to the point of being meaningless. Too many businesses use these taglines, and they are not memorable. Instead, find something truly unusual about... more »