Small businesses could benefit by developing a plan for handling customer complaints and following it consistently. A complaint policy should include a way for people to complain; methods for keeping track of the complaints and analyzing them; identifying who is responsible; procedures for responding; and follow-up.
Many states are cutting education, health care and state parks funding, and lawmakers are eliminating tax credits that benefit businesses because of budget deficits. Rhode Island is one of the states anticipating a deficit, but franchises are one of the key areas for job growth, according to the International Franchise Association, which earlier this month rallied the state's business community to support pro-franchising legislation. Rhode Island had 3,077 franchises that employed 35,860 people in 2005.
Many large quickservice companies have taken steps to protect consumer credit card data as theft threats have increased. Now hackers are focusing their criminal efforts on smaller mom-and-pop operations.
NexCen Brands says it plans to purchase three to five new brands each year in 2008 and 2009 as part of its growth initiative. The company, which owns The Athlete's Foot and other footwear retailers and brands, says ongoing worldwide growth precipitated its recent hiring of a chief marketing officer and a new CFO.