Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: You find bad managers in every office, but what happens if you’re causing some of the problems? It could stifle your growth. Keep a watch out for these bad management traits.

Stress is a double edged sword. It can often bring out the best in us. It can also lead us to act and react to situations in unusual ways. When your business is experiencing rapid growth, stress will show. It just depends on how well you’re prepared and how well you communicate with your employees, to define whether you thrive under the pressure.

And you must handle this appropriately, as your employees will be looking towards you for leadership. If you don’t handle that stress, then you will likely take the angst and anxiety out on them. That will lead to a terrible work experience for them, and only hurt your business in the long run.

But even if you struggle handling the stress, if you become an effective manager, then many of the problems will go away. With a thousand questions from employees and customers, your management practices will be put to the ultimate test as you attempt to satisfy an ever-increasing workload. It’s during these times, that the evil head of bad management practices begin to show. So when you’re in the middle of a growth spurt, keep your eye out on these practices of bad managers. If you start to show these traits, look to change them immediately, for the sake of your business:

  • Talking Bad About Employees: Do you constantly find yourself complaining about your employees? Are you complaining to other employees? Well you shouldn’t be. If you find yourself constantly adding little jabs as a person walks out of the conference room, start to check yourself, and figure out if the problem is them or you. If it’s them, then fix it. If it’s you, then shut your mouth. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: After Google’s Larry Page’s announcement that he suffers from vocal chord paralysis, questions of management styles have arisen. How do you manage your company? Have you ever tried it any other way? We discuss.

Google CEO Larry Page has trouble speaking at times. For years, people questioned if something was wrong as analysts found his tone not quite right during reporting calls. Two days ago, he clarified the situation for everyone, writing on Google+ that he suffers from vocal cord paralysis likely brought on by a virus damage from a cold. This has brought along a national conversation about how to lead while sick or suffering from an illness.

In the post, Page writes:

“And giving long monologues is more tedious for me and probably the audience.  But overall over the last year there has been some improvement with people telling me they think I sound better.  Vocal cord nerve issues can also affect your breathing, so my ability to exercise at peak aerobic capacity is somewhat reduced.  That said, my friends still think I have way more stamina than them when we go kitesurfing!  And Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully.”

While it’s hard to say whether or not he’s better, it does bring up questions about management styles. Has his improved because of the inability to talk? Would that work for you? Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Startup

Synopsis: When it comes to startups, people seem really concerned about matching what past companies have done. Does it matter? And what should you care about in order to transition your company into a thriving business?

It’s a question that we would all love an answer to: What makes the ideal startup experience? What factors drive the most success? What will guarantee that your business makes it into Series B, C or beyond funding?

There’s no clear cut formula. After all, if there was, there’d be far fewer business ideas failing to make it off the ground level. So what can you do to make sure your company stands above the rest? How can you position your organization, internally, so it has a chance to pull in the next multi-million dollar funding round?

While there’s no formula, certain factors do seem to weigh more heavily in the startups that turn into long-term businesses compared to those that flicker before closing. And these factors vary, depending on the size of company you’re trying to build, the industry you work in and the talent you need. What, then, are some of the major points that matter the most when you’re looking to grow your organization past that first hurdle, and transition into the larger successes that you dream about?

Here are 7 factors related to where and how you set up your business, to ensure you have the best chance to transition from a still growing company into one that lasts: Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Advertising

Synopsis: If you happen to be a fan of Arrested Development, they have launched a fake menu on Seamless. How can your company mimic the style of this unique promotion without the name recognition?

Yesterday, as I was sitting down to order food online, I went to Seamless.com. Like usual, it popped up a number of options for restaurants in the area that I could choose to order from. But there was a new option I had never seen before from Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana.

For those who are fans of the sitcom Arrested Development, then you would immediately recognize the name of the restaurant as the banana stand that the show’s patriarch first built to grow his shaky empire. And as Netflix begins to air new episodes this summer, the company has used an all-out media blitz to remind fans of its return. Somehow the company was able to post a fake menu for the banana stand on Seamless.

It was interesting use of a platform that doesn’t usually offer advertising space. And you can get an original frozen banana for $10, of course the minimum order was $250,000. So it was clearly all for fun. But the way Arrest Development promoters were able to integrate the fake menu seamlessly (no pun intended) is what really made the spot work.

Having a unique advertising campaign can do wonders for your brand. But it’s not easy to come up with something that will connect with consumers, especially at a price that most businesses can afford. So how can you create spots for radio, online or wherever that offer this perfect intersection of promotion? Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: Sometimes, in order to learn, you must watch others. Authors of The Ascending Leader Diane Egbers and Karen Schenck discuss traits important in any growing leader through one such example: The new head basketball coach at University of Southern California.

Andy Enfield went from a $157,000 salary at FGCU to $1,000,000 and a much bigger job at University of Southern California as the team’s head basketball coach. What do the two jobs have in common? Interestingly, very little! (In case you missed March Madness 2013, Enfield’s team at Florida Gulf Coast University stunned the basketball world by taking a 15 seed team into the Sweet 16 for the first time ever.)

The top basketball programs in the country all have three things in common, more stress, an increased number of relationships to manage and higher expectations. So, what will it take for Enfield to succeed? Look for ways in how he will need to manage his new location to how you manage your company on an everyday basis.

First, it requires Enfield as a leader and coach to be a quick learner and to remain centered and focused on his team in the face of more financial resources, a larger coaching staff, stress to perform, and an infinite number of distractions. In order to remain focused at the task at hand, Enfield will also need to lead from his own values and internal set of priorities. Managing himself will be his first challenge. How do you manage yourself and your expectations? Make sure they reflect your values.  Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Advertising

Synopsis: Targeting has become all the rage in advertising. And it’s an important step to take, but make sure you’re not targeting too closely. We discuss how you’re limiting yourself, if you do.

If there’s one buzzword that stands above all others in advertising, it has to be ‘targeting.’ It’s everywhere. No matter where you turn, whether discussing online, television or radio, it’s all about how you target, which will inevitably bring success and riches your way. And don’t get me wrong, it’s vital for your advertising campaign to use targeting techniques. But can you set too small of a target, when running an ad campaign?

It’s not a surprise that targeting has become such a popular word. After all, we can now locate our potential customers better than ever before, as the ability to manipulate and read large swaths of consumer data has grown astronomically over the past couple of years. But we’ve become so focused on reaching the few customers we already know about, that we lose sight of those that don’t fit within our usual customer base. And these people can make the difference between a successful company and one that struggles month-to-month.

There’s a number of other reasons why you shouldn’t focus all your advertising efforts on only your targets, especially if your only targets are your customers. Here’s why: Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Startup

Synopsis: Sometimes finding a quality intern can be a struggle for a new business. But with the right strategies, you can stand out from the crowd, convincing college students to apply. We offer some suggestions below.

If you’ve had a few moments to look outside lately, you might have noticed that the weather is starting to change. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and the trees are lush and green. It’s a sign of summer. And, like every year, the season brings along warm weather and a legion of college students looking for an internship for that multi-month break.

As a startup, this offers the opportunity to pick quality talent at a low-rate. But with so many students vying for internships at the largest companies across the landscape, how do you entice them to come to you? It means you will need to make a splash in your recruiting efforts.

In order to stand out, you will need to think of unique ways to attract the talent. From running an internship contest to offering the intern an experience that no one else can offer, it’s the only way to separate yourself from the pack and recruit top students from the top colleges in your area.

Here are 6 ideas to help in your recruiting of interns, this summer: Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Marketing

Synopsis: Running a recommendation outreach program isn’t something that will just happen. You must take the right steps. Here’s how to get customers gushing about your services.

A stamp of approval is hard to come by, but when battling for customers it can really make the difference at the time of purchase. There’s a number of ways to get this approval, like speaking at industry events or having your business profiled by the local media. But there’s no better way than customer recommendations.

Having an enthused client gush about the quality of your services can do wonders for your marketing and advertising. By utilizing that recommendation on your website, marketing material and maybe even wrapping it into your advertisements, potential customers can now see that others approve of what you can do or offer. That serves as a convincing argument that you’re not just marketing to them, but can actually solve their problem.

Yet, getting these recommendations isn’t just a set it and forget opportunity. After all, if online community forums have taught us anything, it’s that a customer is much more willing to jump on and complain about poor service than regale readers about a wonderful experience. Instead, you need to go out and actually find the customers who are willing to positively discuss your business.

How do you accomplish this? Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: Every business experiences them, but how do you react? We discuss the best parts of the business to focus on when your company sees a little downtime.

Sometimes when the business is booming, the thought of downtime seems almost appealing. But then when it finally slows, and it usually will at some point, there’s nothing more scary for a business owner. The natural instinct is to throw up you hands and scream, as the fear that a new customer or new project will never come around again.

But that’s usually not the case. And managing those emotions can better position your company when this downtime occurs. It can also give you a much needed boost in other areas of your organization that haven’t received as much love and care, in the rush to fill customer orders or provide the best service.

Before we discuss where you should focus attention during the downtime, you should also make sure you’re tracking your year. Most businesses have cycles. And if you’re in a down cycle for your company, it could just be the natural tendency of your organization during that particular month. If you know that, then the shock of suddenly slower sales, will not be a vice grip on your sanity. You can also prepare financially, to ease the concern.

10 Parts of the Business to Focus On During Downtime:


  1. New Business – You know that idea you’ve been thinking about for awhile, you just hadn’t had the time to really look further into developing that new product? Now’s the time. And you might just find a solution to your yearly downtime in the process. Read more »