(This post originally appeared on The Hill)
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who owns a construction company near Nashville, Tenn. Not surprisingly, it’s been a busy couple of years, and he’s certainly not complaining. Also not surprisingly, when I asked him what his biggest challenge is, he immediately told me it was finding good people. “I have a chronic worker shortage,” he said.
Most businesses, particularly small businesses, are faced with the same challenge. The economy’s strong, unemployment is as low as it’s been in 50 years and talent is scarce. Some blame big companies who offer better pay and benefits. Others blame the government’s immigration policies.
My friend? He blames teachers. Read More…
(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)
Online review sites, like Yelp and Google, are an important part of many businesses’ success. A few great reviews can create a buzz. A few bad ones? Well…
As a business owner you can’t ignore bad reviews or blame them on people being jerks (although I admit that will happen occasionally). But three new studies collectively show that you may be able to blame someone else: Mother Nature.
Researchers at Ohio State University collected customer reviews from 32 Florida restaurants and found something interesting: more negative reviews were left on comment cards by customers on rainy days versus dry days. And not by a little, either. The odds of getting a bad review when the weather was lousy increased almost three-fold. Higher temperatures and barometric pressure were also linked to the Florida respondents. Whether or not these were just a bunch of cranky old people was not taken into consideration. Read More…
(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)
The hot fintech startup genius. That amazing e-commerce savant who created a billion-dollar company selling shoes from her apartment. The cool owner of a cosmetics line. The game-changing inventor of an eco-friendly toothpaste. These are tomorrow’s business owners, right? No, not even close.
Although the media loves to write and feature all of these sexy, young, exciting millennial entrepreneurs, they are far from representative of the people who are actually running small businesses in America in 2019. The majority of small business entrepreneurs are baby boomers.
That’s according to an email survey of more than 2,700 male and female small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the US that was conducted by the small business financing company Guidant Financial and the online credit marketplace LendingClub Corporation. Read More…
(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)
Is letting your employees work from home a good idea? That depends. Some companies – and people – are more suited to the arrangement than others.
Research has shown that remote working could make employees feel less engaged, isolated and disconnected from their coworkers, and that could lead to more mistakes, miscommunication, and a lack of productivity. Other studies, such as one recently conducted at the Wharton School, have found that for some employees, the loneliness of working from home could have a significantly negative impact on their performance.
Researcher Dan Schawbel, an employment expert and consultant, even found that work-from-home arrangements could decrease the long-term likelihood that an employee will stay with a company. Read More…
(This post originally appeared on Forbes)
Mailchimp, the popular email marketing software that’s enjoyed by millions of users around the world, is announcing a new Marketing CRM module.
I say duh because, well, isn’t it obvious? I can’t count the number of times that, when asked what CRM application they use, a small business owner replies to me with “Mailchimp” or “Constant Contact” or “Emma” or any number of a group of email marketing platforms.
But the thing is, these applications are not CRM applications. They are, as just mentioned, email marketing platforms. They allow their users to create campaigns, design templates, send out professional looking emails and then track the results. They also give these users the ability to store multiple lists of contacts targeted for their campaigns. Read More…