Small Business

Running a small business is no small feat. Expert tips for marketing and growing your company.

Companies from Mars, customers from Venus

Companies too often hinder their own success by focusing too narrowly on selling products and not on what their customers actually need, says Dev Patnaik, a business strategist. Businesses could be more successful — and see competitive opportunities faster than their rivals — if they looked differently at what they were doing.

Mr. Patnaik, founder and chief executive of Jump Associates, a firm in San Mateo, Calif., that advises companies on growth strategies, and a part-time professor at Stanford, has written a book, Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, scheduled for release this month.

Saturday Interview – Companies From Mars, Customers From Venus – NYTimes.com. Flickr photo credit: Melork

By | January 24, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

Six ways to get people to say “yes”

In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini, a respected social scientist and specialist in the area of compliance psychology, says that “… automatic, stereotyped behavior is prevalent in much of human action …”

He cites an experiment by Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer, where you can see this concept in action. Langer approached people waiting in line to use a copy machine and asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” About 60% said “yes.”

Under similar circumstances, she did the same thing, but instead asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” In this case, an overwhelming 93% said “yes.”

What happened to increase the “yes” response so dramatically? …read more at Copyblogger. Flickr photo credit: It’sGreg.

By | January 22, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

Podcast: improving your cold calling results

StartupNation talks to Mari Anne Vanella about how to improve your cold calling techniques and how to get better results. Her company, The Vanella Group, is an outsourcing telesales firm serving the high-tech industry based in Silicon Valley. She’s compiled and analyzed data from 10s of thousands of cold calls and has come up with “42 Rules of Cold Calling Executives,” which she’s distilled into a simple little book by the same name. …more from Startup Nation. Flickr photo credit: Smithcam

By | January 21, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments