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Is The Phillies’ Gabe Kapler the Best Manager in The MLB?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

As business managers, we don’t like to admit it, but sometimes we have no choice but to hire an employee that isn’t necessarily the most experienced or talented. In today’s strong economy, good people are at a premium and it’s usually the bigger companies with the bigger wallets that are able to snap up the very best and the brightest. Which means that many smaller companies – like yours and mine – oftentimes wind up hiring people that couldn’t get jobs at the Googles, Facebooks or other big brands.

So does that mean that a business still can’t succeed? Of course not. Just because you’re not able to attract Stanford grads to your team doesn’t mean you can’t profit. If you want the best example of this, just take a look at what Gabe Kapler’s doing as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Read More…

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How Did PetSmart Eliminate $12M in Fraudulent Transactions?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

PetSmart, like many online retailers, frequently suffers from fraudulent transactions on its website when stolen credit card numbers are used to purchase products. But the company is getting smarter. Last year it stopped about $12 million fraudulent transactions from being shipped and this year the company is on pace to prevent even more. How?

The answer is an important consideration for anyone doing business online.

According to this report on ZDNet, PetSmart, and many other large retailers like Staples, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s Pizza and Crate & Barrel, are implementing new technologies from software companies that use machine learning and artificial intelligence. In PetSmart’s case, the technology they use is provided by a software company called Kount.  The software is used to compare a single transaction to millions like it and then look for signs that the transaction may not be on the up and up.

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Would you spend $37.99 for “hot dog water”?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

OK, I admit it. Sometimes those advertisements promising immediate hair growth catch my eye. I don’t think it’s so unreasonable. Take a look at my photo. What middle aged man wouldn’t want a full head of hair like he had when he was twenty? But then reality sets in. Of course, these things don’t work as promised, right? And besides, the abuse I would receive at the hands of my family if this stuff did work and hair began to sprout in odd places on my head would be merciless. Oh well.

But apparently, many men don’t move on from those commercials like I do. The hair growth industry is a $2.8 billion industry and…c’mon…does it really work as promised? Maybe for some. But there are plenty of stories about how these products don’t do all that they say and many customers walk away disappointed, and a little poorer from the experience.

Which brings me to hot dog water. Read More…

A Restaurant In China Offers An All You Can Eat Deal for only $19

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Offering free products is a marketing tactic that has been used by businesses big and small ever since there have been businesses big and small. But these tactics certainly have their risks, as the owners of a restaurant in China recently found out.

For the equivalent of only 120 yuan ($19) per month, customers at Jiamener restaurant Chengdu, Sichuan province – a city that boasts more than 14 million residents – were able to eat as much as they wanted for as long as they wanted. The promotion was a hit. In only 10 days, more than 1,700 people signed up for the deal. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s owners got a lot more than they asked for. Read More…

Why Do Millennials Resign? The Answers May Surprise You

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Lazy. Impetuous. Disrespectful. Unreliable. No, those aren’t the words that people today use to describe the millennial generation. Those are actually the words our parents’ generation used to describe us!

Now, there’s a new generation in town.

Millennials – those aged anywhere from 18-34 years old by most accounts – make up a significant majority of the current workforce. The smartest CEOs and business owners I meet accept that this generation has different values and priorities than the ones before and – instead of complaining about this fact – adjust their employment practices to attract the best workers from this group. But attracting new people and then keeping the best ones motivated and working long term are two different things.

How do you keep them from quitting? Read More…

This is a Terrible Year To Be A Landscaper

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

The landscaping business has never been easy. But this year, it’s harder than ever. And no, global warming has nothing to do with it.

Take Joe Chiera, who owns Impact Landscape & Maintenance in Boston Heights, Ohio. Chiera is used to dealing with shifting labor, unpredictable weather, environmental concerns and navigating the challenges of managing cash in a seasonal business. But this year, he’s got another huge challenge: no workers.

“We are having major struggles finding people to work,” Chiera told the Akron Beacon Journal. “No one wants to hear me. No one cares.” Read More…

Washington State Has a Bigger Economy Than All of Iran. Get It?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Is Donald Trump a good leader? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: he’s not afraid to push his weight around to move things in his direction. There’s good reason for that.

Just take a look at this fantastic graphic put together by economist Mark Perry and his team at the American Enterprise Institute. It shows the 2017 Gross Domestic Product of every state and the closest comparable country.

For example, Canada’s entire GDP is equal to Texas. California has a bigger GDP than the U.K., France and India. My home state of Pennsylvania has a larger economy than all of Saudi Arabia, even with their oil money. The state of New York has a bigger economy than that of South Korea, Australia and Russia. Norway is only the size of Maryland. The list goes on. Read More…