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Control Your Brand Conversation or Be a Part of It

your online brand, brand hijackThe domain of brand communication has changed significantly over the years. Customers have truly emerged as the ones who wield influence more than what advertising can do for organizations. It is no longer possible for organizations to cover up the low points of a product with media blitzkreig. Even online reputation management methodologies fail if people choose to voice their opinion against a product and such content subsequently goes viral over the internet. Read More…

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Grease the Signs: 3 Ways to Prevent Your Company From Being Ripped Off

Small Business can take a lesson from grass roots political operatives in 2012 and take steps to limit the risk that competitors will be eating their lunch by mid-year by literally stealing their lunch.  So how do you stop competitors from copying your good practices and ideas or co-opting them for their own, engaging in corporate theft?  You need to grease the signs. Read More…

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True Competitive Advantage for Professional Service Firms

business competitive advantage, true competitive advantageWhat defines competitive advantage in the marketplace?

That question has a lot of layers to it, but for service providers engaged in high- value professional services like consulting, tax accounting, financial planning and insurance firms, you can boil it down to a few simple answers.

To understand what true competitive advantage for professional service firms is, let’s first take a look at what it isn’t. Read More…

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Monitoring Your Online Business Reputation in 3 Easy Ways

In the media driven culture that is modern society, the most important currency your small business can trade on is the equity built by your company business reputation.  Stock prices rise and fall as a result of it, and the media tipping point is reached at alarming speed for either good and bad praise or vitriol about companies worldwide.  The first step to controlling your online business reputation is to be able to monitor what is being said about you, by whom and how often.  If it’s all good, it’s all good friends.  Business worldwide both large and small duel every day using the double-edged, sword of Internet power.  You need to know about the poison comments too, and of course, if nothing is being said about your business online, well, that is a problem in and of itself. Read More…

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How to Lose Your Customers in 10 Simple Ways

Plenty of success stories and proven processes are out there regarding Customer Service strategy and tactics.  That’s why it confounds me that there still exist companies that seem motivated to degrade, separate, piss off and just lose their customers.  I got to thinking that maybe a number of you small business owners may want the same results.  Those  customers can be a royal pain in the butt, with their annoying little credit card transactions and product questions, making you have to produce more goods and deliver on services.  This post is for you, Mr. Small Business Owner trying to ditch his customers.  Learn and implement this stuff and you can just chuck it all and go retire to Bermuda and spend your time drinking Mai Tais by the pool and eating Conch.  Here’s your top 10 best practice list to get rid of customers in a hurry! Read More…

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Customer Complaints Make or Break Your Online Business Reputation

If you’ve got customer complaints, sing “Hallelujah!” because they are telling you how to fix your business model.  The way you handle them will determine in large part your business reputation, and with online chatter harder to control than at any time in human history, your success starts with your customer complaint response.

As my business expands I am re-engaging e-commerce, at least my miniscule version of it, by selling my tapes (now downloads) and books on my website along with standard services to help small businesses.  Years ago this process was more complex, and involved setting up what’s called a merchant account, and to do this you need information from the bank; basic stuff—routing numbers, federal taxpayer ID number, et al.  This is where today’s little tale of woe begins.  Read More…

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