Systems and standards can elevate customer service from friendliness to sustainable excellence, expert Micah Solomon writes. He details examples of standards, such as how to slice limes so guests can squeeze them, and systems, which are "groups of standards."
Kobe Bryant's legacy extends beyond the basketball court after his death on Sunday. Bryant co-founded Bryant Stibel in 2013, and the $2 billion investment firm made bets in Tile, Epic Games, BodyArmor and LegalZoom, among other companies.
Electrical surges can affect point-of-sale systems and other equipment, causing costly downtime for franchise businesses, writes Anthony Knighton of DITEK. Power surges can come from external as well as internal sources, writes Knighton, who offers ways to protect electrical equipment.
The top consumer trends of the year include a growing acceptance of robots and a push to make better use of resources, according to a report by Euromonitor International. Consumer desires for convenience and personal control are major themes to watch, the report notes.
Asking for help at work, whether you're the CEO or a new hire, shows courage and vulnerability, argues Wayne Baker of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in a new book. "You have to be clear on why you are making the request, the goal you are trying to achieve, and use SMART criteria," he says, with SMART being defined as specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related.
A surprising number of sales organizations fail to follow up with prospects after initial communication, forfeiting potential sales in the process, writes Colleen Francis. Sales leaders must teach their teams not to give up easily, as prospects who appear hesitant initially can still become buyers eventually, Francis writes.
A "living" budget provides up-to-date insight on company funds, allowing business owners to respond quickly to changes or opportunities, writes Alex Bean, a founder of Divvy. "When priorities change or new business opportunities arise, you have the insights you need about available company funds to rapidly respond," Bean writes.
Ideal market conditions and political uncertainty make now a great time to sell a small business, consultant Gary Miller writes. He cautions against pitfalls that can doom a sale and advises owners to understand the acquisition process, including certified valuations, internal due diligence and which advisors to hire.
Building on his family's love for coffee, 21-year-old entrepreneur Austin Arias opened Abundant Life Coffee in Osakis, Minn. Arias fine-tuned his coffee-making skills by watching YouTube videos, and he hosts a youth group that meets at the shop on a weekly basis.
Investors are sometimes needed for businesses to reach the next level of success, writes Adam Uzialko. He offers tips for finding and understanding different types of investors and describes what to look for in an investment deal.
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