One of the more critical and yet less focused upon skills for any kind of success in business is understanding how to communicate with prospects and customers. When it comes to clients, bonding with them is the best way to establish a level of trust. We have found that the best way to do this is by taking the time to really get to know their needs. Then establish ways to meet those needs on as personal a basis as possible.
I know it sounds archaic, but back in the day, business people met regularly with their customers. They were accessible and went out of their way to make personal calls on their business establishments. Given the level of competition today, most any business can get a leg up on the competition if they make the effort to actually spend time with their prospects and customers. Read more...
There’s no doubt about it, it’s always great to get a change of scenery. This holds true for just about anything. Even if you have a fabulous home, it’s always nice to get away. The same holds true for offices – maybe even more so. You know how great it feels to get away for a weekend or a nice vacation. I always feel refreshed and more energetic to face whatever happens to be sitting on my desk. And depending upon what happened while I was away; it can be quite a bit.
No matter how nice your work place may be, having a change of scenery can do wonders for you. It’s really like a breath of fresh air. It clears your head so that you can focus even better than before. Imagine if you could do that on a regular basis; even if just in the middle of the day for a few hours. Read more...
Do clothes make the man? It sure seems like it. In fact, life, for much of it, is about the visual. The first thing people use is their eyes when they meet you, unless they have a visual impairment.
There is only one chance to make a first impression. That’s why clothes are still so important. There was a book back in the day called Dress for Success. This was before high end people hired stylists – so the idea that so much minute attention was paid to clothing just seemed strange.
I’d always thought that wearing anything that resembled a nice outfit would suffice and it often did. But today, people don’t all work in the same corporate environments anymore. While a great suit is still a key component for any business person’s wardrobe, great business casual attire is also very important. Maybe even more so, given the way that the business climate has shifted so much toward entrepreneurship. Read more...
Business is booming between the U.S. and countries in Latin America. Between 2009 and 2012, trade with these 20 countries increased 54 percent compared with a 36 percent increase with the rest of the world.
Doing business with companies and partners in Latin America can obviously be financially rewarding, but it can also be challenging, and good preparation has its rewards.
Knowing something about cultural differences between Latin America and the U.S. is a good place for starting a new business excursion south of the boarder. An interesting tool for looking at cultural differences was created by Dutch researcher Geert Hofstede.
According to the Geert Hofstede cultural dimension scale, the U.S. and Latin America are most different in the dimensions of risk avoidance and individuality. Hofstede’s scale compares measures of risk avoidance on a scale of high to low. Read more...
Some businesses are discovering what the entertainment industry has known for decades. Canada is a great place to expand business. Production companies began using Canada for its locations decades ago, as producers found that Vancouver can easily resemble middle America. Toronto can look like New York City and Calgary passes for the western region.
Aside from the stunning locations, it is also a favorite for film productions because they offer huge discounts and a subsidy for labor costs that the U.S. just doesn’t offer.
Other businesses would do well to investigate the many benefits of doing business in the land of the Canucks. Like it or not, the fact is that operating a business in Canada could be better for the bottom line than many other places. Read more...
Professionals of all types use presentation tools for a variety of reasons. Let’s face it. Many business meetings are just plain boring. There, I said it. I really hope my boss isn’t reading this — but it is the truth.
Anyone who has had to sit through a meeting with a person who speaks in a monotone voice can relate to what I am saying. When it comes to some meetings, what I wouldn’t do to be able to take a nap instead! In fact, sometimes I have to belt back a couple of cups of coffee just to make it through. I knew there was a reason they always serve coffee at meetings!
So how can you keep the meeting moving and audience engaged enough to keep from nodding off? Presentation tools! You may not have thought of using a slide show, PowerPoint demo or video on-screen to liven things up, but it really does work. It is amazing what just a little color can do to change a meeting. Read more...
Imagine what your work world would have been like if you were doing your job 50 or 100 years ago. Maybe what you do would not have been possible then, but imagine you, your ideas, and your zeal working to get things done in 1963 or 1913.
Entrepreneurship has changed drastically since then, and one of the greatest changes for the better is the availability of premium meeting and office space that was once only there for the already rich and famous.
Work is not what it used to be, and aren’t we lucky. A well-appointed, technologically up -to-the-second office location for meeting a prospective investor, training and motivating new employees, or brainstorming the newest innovation, was not there in those days; unless you already had it. Read more...
There is no doubt that the impact of technology on people’s lives has been more than extraordinary. Not even techno gurus could have seen it coming. For example, IBM scoffed at Bill Gates’ idea about developing personal computers, as did Steve Jobs’ cohorts – insisting that no one would ever want a computer. It is stunning when you think about it. Because today, not only do more households than ever have computers, but they walk around with them as cell phones and numerous other devices, as well.
The benefits of technology are so far reaching that it is not possible to capsulize them adequately. Businesses today rely so heavily on them that a company can be shut down for hours, days and even for the duration from a simple failure in technology. Read more...
In my experience, one of the key ingredients in the ability to produce the best work is creativity. But it is hard to be creative in a stuffy, small space. You would think that with all we know about how the brain operates that businesses would have a better clue about how work space affects productivity. But the fact is that many of them don’t.
It should come as no surprise that the spaces we work in to a large degree can determine our ability to actually think. With all the cutbacks, many businesses have had to scale back offices. Newer firms often have no official office at all.
While the local coffee house seems like a cool place for people to work and gather, the truth is that it really isn’t. The blaring music makes it impossible to hold a conversation, let alone hold a meaningful meeting. It also just doesn’t look professional to hold meetings in coffee houses. I mean, how seriously do you think someone is going to take you when you have them meet you at a Starbucks? Read more...
There are many reasons to cancel your commercial lease and with so many options available for offices more business owners are doing so. Depending on the type of business you have, you may not need a permanent office situation. You could be a freelance writer or salesman, and have determined that your presence is not needed on a regular basis at an office as much as some of your other professional colleagues. Because you are mostly mobile you can do your work from anywhere and have decided that the commitment to a permanent leasing agreement doesn’t cut it for you.
You may need to cancel your lease because of a down economy. Many professionals are moving into alternative office spaces as a result of inflated rents and less clients coming into their business. Many professionals are leaving the traditional office setting and opting to move into shared offices. Offices that don’t require long term leases and which allow you to share many of the amenities is becoming the norm. You get an office set up and have an opportunity to share the boardroom, office equipment and support staff. Read more...