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Problem Solved: Real People … Real Business Solutions, June ’09

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

Put a dollar value on your time

"I put an hourly value on my time. In my case, one hour of my time should, on average, generate $350 in gross profit. From that number, I can calculate what the added value of my work to the company should be in a day, week, month or year. It helps me make decisions to delegate a particular task. And it helps me to make hiring decisions when the new hire will replace some tasks that I am presently doing.”
— Bob Knoll, Millennium Packaging Group, San Antonio

Does ‘Enter password’ draw a blank?

"Unless you have a system for assigning passwords, you can spend a lot of time tracking them. Choose a random four- or five-digit number (not your birthday) and combine it with the first four or five letters of the web address. That way, each password will be unique, but easily remembered.”

— John Dini, San Antonio

How one Post-it can improve writing

"Here’s one of the best tips I ever received on writing sales copy—everything from client e-mails, proposals and ads to brochures. Take a Post-it note and write “So what?” on it. Now, stick it on your computer monitor while you write. If a potential customer could read your text and say, “So what?” then you haven’t written effectively. The solution: Think hard and write first about the benefits of your proposal, then tell them all about your product features.”

— Graham Kilshaw, Item Publications, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Looking for candid customer feedback?

"What’s a great way to determine how your customers perceive your company? Have someone you know contact current or former customers and ask them for a reference. Customers may not be entirely candid with you as the business owner and may feel inclined to hold back bad (or good) experiences. Having someone who is not affiliated with your company call and ask about your product or service is a great way to get completely candid customer-to-customer feedback.”

— Ted Brennan, T.M. Brennan Contractors Inc., Hamburg, N.J.

Free international phone calls

"We have several international manufacturers and make a lot of international phone calls. We looked for a method to reduce costs and found a free solution called Skype. It allows users to talk for free over the Internet as long as each has installed Skype. If you go to www.skype.com/products, you can download, register, install, plug in your headset, speakers or USB phone and start calling. The calls have excellent sound quality and are highly secure with end-to-end encryption.”

— Ronen Neutra, Neu-Tec Group, Inc., Plainview, N.Y.

Take the $10 daily challenge

"Do you have a problem undertaking the dreaded task of making your daily quota of customer sales/outreach telephone calls? Here is a motivating idea: Place a $10 bill on your desk. Invite employees to inquire on a daily basis if you have made 10 telephone calls before 10 a.m. The first employee to catch that it is 10 a.m. and the phone-work task has not been accomplished will receive the $10. Replace the bill as needed.

“This has helped me to stay motivated and continue with the telephone calls. In return, I have been rewarded with plenty of new leads and additional business.”

— Rob Elliott, Flexware, Texas

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Excerpted from Tips from the Top®, a publication written by business-owner members of The Alternative Board®. To learn how TAB can make a bottom-line difference in your company, visit TheAlternativeBoard.com.

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