Blog Archives

Happy Employees

Recently we celebrated “Equal Pay Day” which means if you do equal work, the pay should be equal.  This isn’t socialism, it is common sense.  If you are running an ice cream store and all the employees are new this year and you decide to pay those with blue eyes more per hour than those [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Management, Employee Management

Bad Employees Can Ruin Good Employees

Bad employees can ruin a business from the inside out on various levels. They can fail to complete projects on time or at all, spread negativity, drive customers away, just to name a few. But even if your employees are resistant to the bad employee it can still cause major issues and drive your good [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Employee Management

Customer Data Leads To Opportunities

For a few months now I’ve been working with a client to connect SalesForce to their website. Overall it has been a good and interesting process. Originally they just wanted to keep their user/company data synced but exploring what I have access to as far as SalesForce data I found a goldmine to improve the relationship between the company and their customers. My client has been pretty diligent about keeping records when ever they interact with a customer. They record when ever they talk to the customer on the phone, what the conversation was about, every email, every product/service order, what certifications they have, and a ton of company information. All of which I have access to and the ability to pull it into the website. Because my client is so meticulous about collecting data I have the opportunity to customize the user’s experience on the website based on the company/customer interaction history and so can you. But how?

Posted in Business Improvement

Customer Life Cycle

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the customer life cycle and how a customer moves through a business. This is just a rough idea but it got me thinking what I started to break it down. I realized how much not only my business is missing but also how many other businesses fail to [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement

When Not To Listen To Your Customers

As a web developer I have the skills to build all sorts of cool web based applications. I love being able to build features and applications that make any one’s life easier. But sometimes it backfires on me. Mainly, I can and have spent weeks, months and even years building and changing features if I’m left unchecked. Which recently happened and caused me to get stuck in a customer feedback loop.

I build a feature based on a customer suggestion about two years ago. No one else used the feature until about a year ago, two more customers have started using it. Those two customers had suggestions for the feature. All of them were pretty easy to do so I implemented them. It didn’t change the core functionality so I thought everyone would be happy. Well the changes annoyed the original customer and they wanted a few things changed. Fine, no problem. But those changes annoyed the other customer. Who then wanted further changes. I went back and forth between the customers for about a month. Neither were happy. I finally gave up, let my customers know I have to move on to other issues and will circle back later.

I should have handled this completely differently. But How?

Posted in Business Improvement, Customer Service & Culture

Delegation Makeover

Monday morning, again.  Here are just two things you can start doing this Monday that will make you more productive.  INC Magazine, one of my favorites, had a great article on the nine things to help you be more productive from tips they’d gleaned from some of the most productive.  Most were obvious or in [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Personal Improvement, Saving Time

Plan Like a General

How is it that some companies are successfully growing faster than others in the same industry?  Fast Track companies handle new projects or target markets like a general might plan a battle.  But before you declare you’re a commanding officer, realize that the secret is:

Plan
Brief
Execute
Debrief

Having a complete “beginning to ending” plan will help take the [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Planning for Business

You Need A Budget

In general I’ve always felt I’m pretty good with money. My parents taught me the value of a dollar, why it is important to save money, and why debt is bad. But I’ve never really had a budget. I never felt I really needed one because I wasn’t living pay check to pay check and at the end of every month I had spent less money than I brought in.

However, over the past few years as I make more money I started to succumb to lifestyle inflation. In most respects I think I’ve done a pretty good job of cutting back and not giving in but it is a constant battle. The other thing I realized is I couldn’t tell where all my money is going. Yeah I have a record of it because I rarely pay in cash and use my credit card for everything (paying it off in full each month) but that doesn’t do much for me if I’m not managing my money. So I thought it is time for me to get a budget.

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Management, Personal Improvement

Meet with Purpose

meetinghandsDid you just return from that horrid Monday Morning Meeting and wondering “why me?”.  Well, Tiffiny, Jeff and I often feel that way, too, on various meetings we attend.  Tiffiny gives us a great idea on a checklist and Jeff talks of the cost of meetings this Monday. 

Before I even get to the scheduling a meeting, I want to meet with purpose and see five things are needed:

  1. The Purpose
  2. The Meeting Leader
  3. The Time Frame
  4. The Agenda
  5. The Desired Outcome

All these can be expressed in an email to the attendees so they come not only well prepared but ready to work.

Now, there are different types of meetings and all have their place, but letting people know before hand is key:

  • Informational
  • Check-in
  • Collaboration
  • Working

Meeting with Purpose is essential in our time starved competitive world. 

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Management

The $3500 Meeting

I am regularly in meetings that cost anywhere between $300 to $3500+. Sounds crazy right? Not for me, and not for most people. On average I spend 3-5 hours a week in meetings. These meetings vary in size. Sometimes it is just the development department, 8 people. Sometimes it is the whole product team, 35 people. [Read More]

Posted in Business Improvement, Business Management
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