Hello and Welcome!

Stan Dubin here.

What can you look forward to here?

Simple, useable advice to make your business life easier, more productive and more enjoyable.

You’ll find the tone here very conversational. My first business book, The Small Business Success Manual, was written in this way: light-hearted, practical, easy to understand. 9,500 copies later, I’m told I’ve helped many companies improve their scene.

So you’ll see a variety of things here, but they’ll all have one theme: helping you achieve business success…one idea at a time.

Last but not least, we’re getting great feedback on our free business analysis. Check that out here.

Improving Your Online Security

This may take some time to implement, but it also may save you an enormous amount of time and headache later.

Your Password is Obsolete

An Adobe Ad

This is all of 65 seconds. There is no business message here that I am trying to impart (although Adobe is). I just found it hilarious and decided to put it here for a bit of comic relief.

What’s the Deal With Employee Engagement?

shutterstock_96570277I rarely comment critically on another business writer’s articles. But this one caught my eye today and I felt compelled to share it here.

Steve Tobak writes on the Inc.com web site:

Why Employee Engagement Is Not Important (Yes, Really)

Employee engagement is all the rage these days. I’d even go as far as to call it the management fad of the millennium. But here’s the thing. It’s just a rebrand of something that’s been around forever — employee satisfaction — and it’s not at all clear that the surveys do companies a bit of good.

Sure, we all want our employees to care about their jobs and the success of the company. But some experts say there’s no compelling evidence that employee engagement surveys and strategies improve business results. One even flat out called employee engagement a racket. And I happen to agree.

The article continues by discussing a company’s priorities, with “external customers” at the top of the list. “Encouraging, challenging and supporting” employees is not viewed with any great importance.

Of course, servicing our customers is of utmost importance. And the viability of every business depends on people willing to do business with us now and in the future.

But who delivers this service? Who meets the person at the door? Who answers the phone? Follows up on our customers? Makes sure their financial records are accurate? Or simply hands them their receipt with a smile (or not)?

Go to the head of the class. Your staff. Your employees.

Last time I checked, a business or group of any kind is made up of individuals. Are they a group of random individuals who understand their own duties and have no connection to the person working next to them?

The more your people operate as a team, the more they care about outcomes of not just their individual posts, but the company they work for, the more likely your bottom line will improve.

Reminds me of the team with one or two superstars but they don’t play nice with their teammates. The other team playing them plays VERY well together. They enjoy making each other look good and performing well. They understand the power of a team.

More times than not, the team with just the better talent will lose to the well-organized team that is encouraged, challenged and supported to play together.

And more often than not, this is the case in the workplace.

Swapping Your Service

Here’s an example of a city that has put together a “swapping service.” There are other names for this, but this video will give you a good idea of how this works.
 

Producing Revenue From Unexpected Places

photo

I’m sitting in my local Barnes and Nobles and tapping away at the keyboard. If you must know, I’m sipping on a Blackberry Soda. Quite delicious.

I look up and see three people sitting at a table not far from me. They each brought several items from the store to their table. One brought a few paperbacks, another 4-5 magazines and I’m not sure about the last one. Come on, I’m not staring at them!

Here’s an important fact:

Each one of these items at their table is not paid for.

There is a convention in this Barnes and Nobles cafe (and others I’ve been to):

‘Feel free to bring whatever reading material you like to the cafe. If you purchase any of the items, great.

If not, we’ll gather them up for you.’

Back in the day, let’s call it the mid 70s, I was in a bookstore near my work. They had a small cafe off to the side of the bookstore. I pulled a book off the shelf that I wanted to peruse and sat down in the cafe. I had a coffee or some other beverage with me, I was quite enjoying myself when one of the staff came by and stood  over me.

Read more »

40 Great Quotes From Winston Churchill

Winston-Churchill

There are many business lessons in here.

Enjoy!

40) “It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”

39) “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

38) “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”

37) “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

36) “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

35) “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.”

34) “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”

33) “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.”

32) “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.”

31) “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Read more »

Getting It Done From Above the Earth

What does the following video have to do with business success?

These folks produced what they wanted with sheer will, courage and a healthy dose of expertise.

Those same qualities are available to us in the business world, every second of the day.

Do You Sell to Small Businesses?

If you do, check out this survey of small business owners.

 

Data and infographic by AWeber

Hard Times and Hard Work

The above was taken at a car wash in my local area. The guy you see drying the car is the owner. I have seen him almost every time I’ve been there, regardless of the time of the day. I’ve been going there for at least 15 years.

He is ALWAYS hands-on, drying the cars personally and moving about instructing his staff on various things. The staff, mostly young kids, are changing often, so there’s a whole LOT of educatin’ going on.

His wife is the cashier and appears to have quite a few other hats as well. And I’ve seen her every time I’ve been there.

Anyway, in this day and age of employment difficulties, I was just very impressed with two VERY hard working people. You could call them “mom and pops.”

Some people believe that hard work, even super hard work is the answer.

One Minute’s Worth of Advice From Steve Jobs

Actually, it’s only 46 seconds long.

But Steve makes a very strong case for not accepting life as we know it.

What do you think? How would you apply this to your scene?