Archive for April, 2012

B2B and Small Business Miscellany for April 27, 2012

Friday, April 27th, 2012
B2B and Small Business Miscellany for April 27, 2012

Word cloud for all the content from this week's favourites.

Throughout each week, I share what I consider to be interesting articles, blogs or web pages/sites about B2B and small business. I appreciate quality so I’m somewhat selective about what I pass along.

The best way to keep track of these is to follow me on Twitter at @bizcompare. But in case you missed any, here’s a list of my faves that I sent out this past week.

Sales & Marketing:

Leadership, Management & People:

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

Authored by Geoff Vincent

Small Biz Case Study: This CEO needs to give control to gain control.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Today’s small business challenge in the Globe & Mail features a company called Aden Earthworks Inc., a commercial and residential landscaping company. They are a $5 million company with 50 employees, 40 of whom are out in the field and paid on an hourly basis.

The CEO’s issue: He has no effective way to track his field employee’s hours and productivity. Employees showing up late or taking too many breaks can wreak havoc with project completion dates (and presumably costs).

“Being 15 or 30 minutes late can have a massive snowball effect on productivity.”

If he knew for certain exactly how much time an employee spent at a job site (not on breaks or late) he could better plan how long a job would take and the workload for the company.

You can read the full story here called How to keep better track of employees’ time.

The experts suggest:

Small Biz CEOs: Your Website Minimums

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I just came across a few articles about what should and should not be on any given website.

This is something that I’ve written about before and have a few more things to add in a minute. The bottom line is that there are some very easy things that we can all do to ensure the user experience on our sites are good ones. And its still amazing how many sites still do not adhere to even minimum good web practices.

Firstly, from the prolific writers the HubSpot, we have The 15 Things That People Absolutely Hate About Your Website:

  1. Pop-up ads
  2. Automatically playing multimedia content when a page loads
  3. Disorienting animations
  4. Generic stock photography
  5. Including a ‘Contact Us’ form in lieu of contact information
  6. Unintelligible ‘About Us’ page
  7. SEO-driven copy
  8. Not including social sharing buttons on your content
  9. You don’t have a blog
  10. Titles and content are incongruous
  11. Your call-to-action copy doesn’t align with the offer
  12. Your internal linking isn’t user-friendly
  13. Sliders that take forever to load
  14. Using flash
  15. A site where I don’t know what to do.

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Small Biz Case Study: Expansion Options – Invest or Acquire?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A recent small business challenge in the Globe & Mail features a company called Momentum Technologies which is a information technology consulting firm based in Quebec.

Their numbers to date are impressive: With 120 employees, they achieved $12 million in sales last year and have an annual growth rate of 30%. However, all of this revenue is derived within the province of Quebec and the owner feels that this growth rate is not sustainable without expansion to Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary.

One option is to open offices with his own employees and grow the business organically. The other option under consideration is to buy a similar company with an existing customer base and revenue stream (Target company size: $1-million to $3-million in annual revenue, with 15 to 25 employees for purchase price of $1-million and $2-million).

One more point of info: He previously expanded to Montreal from Quebec City and while it has become successful for him, there were growing pains. The owner characterizes a new office opening as not unlike starting a new business from scratch.

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The 12 Dangers of Power Leadership

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

It is better to be loved than feared.

We have all heard this age-old adage, and some of us even subscribe to its meaning. However, there are still a large number of managers and workplace leaders that instill more than a little fear in their employees and team members; thinking that it is the only way to get the job done.

Many managers, once they achieve the position, feel they yield a sort of power. Using that power to motivate, reward and punish those under them, accordingly.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines power as the ability to act or produce an effect. That is no doubt the responsibility of the manager. However, the synonyms of the word beg more reflection: might, force, strength, authority.

If we are to look at the common conceptions of the word ‘power’, we see that the consensus is that power is a more specific way of producing an effect. And perhaps, just maybe, not the only way.

Dr. Thomas Gordon, with his PhD in clinical psychology, discusses the use of power in his book Leader Effectiveness Training.

“Power is derived from possessing the means to provide others with what they need in exchange for compliance to the desires of the person with power,” he wrote.

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