Management & Team
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Entrepreneurs often are adept at combining a personal skill or interest with business savvy to create a new enterprise. But what happens when a person's area of expertise is a little, well, unusual? As in fire-eating and snake-charming type of wacky. The enterprising performers on this list have created businesses out of teaching their special talents to others. And as it turns out, the businesses behind these schools are growing. Revenues in the fine-arts schools category, which as unlikely as it may sound includes such training, are projected to increase by nearly 3 percent this year to $4.73 billion, says industry research firm IBISWorld.
The billionaire entrepreneur shares his advice for promoting your business's best asset. Editor's Note: Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. What follows is the latest edited round of insightful responses.
Don't just rely on annual performance reviews. Create an ongoing communication with your employees to help them be their best. Many employers sit their workers down once a year for a review. At that time, the employee finds out what they've been doing right or if there are areas in need of improvement.
To follow-up on our recent post about do's and don'ts of using social media to screen new hires , when your company uses social media channels to both source and screen new talent, you must consider that your applicants can turn right around and use those same channels to your disadvantage. In other words, if you screw up the interview process or treat job seekers with disregard or disrespect, you could find yourself the target of a rash of unwanted publicity. For this reason, it's most important to capture and promote good feedback from candidates who apply for a job with your company, says Lisa Chartier, U.S. head of resourcing communications for Alexander Mann Solutions, a provider of recruitment process outsourcing solutions. Her firm just published Candidates, Consumers and Your Global Brand , a white paper looking at the impact of the job candidate's experience on consumer perceptions of businesses and brands.
Using social media to find new employees is one thing, but making a prospect fork over their Facebook credentials as part of a background check is something else entirely. More than one half of employers use social media sites to recruit potential candidates, up from just over a third in 2008, according to a June poll from the Society for Human Resource Management . More and more these days, however, employers are taking the practice one step further by asking applicants for their Facebook logins as part of the screening process.
Update : Also see our 40-minute interview on this topic. Picking a co-founder is your most important decision. It’s more important than your product, market, and investors. The ideal founding team is two individuals, with a history of working together, of similar age and financial standing, with mutual respect. One is good at building products and the other is good at selling them.
Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Uzi Shmilovici, CEO and founder of Future Simple , the company behind Base CRM . The “Ship or die”, “Done is better than perfect”, “Just ship” mantras have lately become a part of many startup conversations.
Being in small business today necessitates a certain degree of familiarity with the language of the Internet. After all, marketing online has become one of the cheapest, easiest options available for small business with little or no barriers to entry. But entering into the online world has also meant adoption of a whole new vocabulary and way of thinking. Here is a brief look at Search Engine Optimization, metrics and the new tools of small business success.
People in some countries are more interested in self-employment than people in other nations. A 2009 survey funded by the European Commission queried over 25,000 randomly chosen individuals aged 15 and 64 in 36 nations about whether they would rather run their own business or work for someone else. The survey found that the fraction that would prefer self-employment ranged from 25.6 percent in Slovakia to 71.4 percent in China. So where is America on the list? The U.S. had the fourth highest share of people who would rather be self-employed among the 36 nations investigated, coming in at 54.8 percent.
Over the past couple of weeks I have interacted with people who work for small business owners who aren’t such great bosses. In fact, they are downright angry and mean. I can’t help wondering what they are hoping to accomplish. Yelling at people, demeaning them, using nasty language – none of these are leadership tactics, nor are they effective. You don’t get people to perform at their best when you spend your time beating them down.
Here's a look at five low-cost customizable business form providers. Running a small business well requires the ability to gather and manage a vast array of data, from sales leads to customer complaints and employee vacation time. Because this information is so critical, business automation companies, such as Basecamp, LiquidPlanner and Salesforce.com, charge good money to organize it. Now, a category of lesser-known yet powerful organizational tools is quietly gaining traction: online business forms.
I own a research and development company for pharmaceutical drugs.
As mobile data plans move to a pay-per-use model, you and your business will have to learn to work around them. All-you-can-eat never lasts forever. That's the story in mobile these days, as mobile data plans--the kinds that let you surf the web and download apps on your smartphones and tablets--move to a pay-per-use model. Businesses, consider yourselves warned: Going over the limit can result in hundreds of dollars in overage fees. When the mobile internet was slow and ugly, unlimited data plans made sense.
The company founder shares how she overcame a crisis of confidence to build a multimillion dollar business. DailyCandy Founder Dany Levy Photo courtesy of the company