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and make smarter business and technology decisions. Delve into best practice, how-to guides
and other handy information across a range of topics.


How to increase Christmas sales

The Christmas season is upon us and small retailers hoping to profit from the holidays should be looking to their strengths.

The Christmas period can be a crucial one for retailers, including many small businesses, with sales representing a large proportion of annual revenue. By itself this is a good reason to put some effort into making the most of the holiday period, but the increased traffic through your stores – both brick-and-mortar shops and online outlets – means you also have the opportunity to impress customers and benefit your business throughout the year.

Here are some of the best tips on lifting sales and helping your business make the most of the holiday season.


How to plan the ultimate Christmas party

Are you still cringing from last year’s Christmas party? Maybe you had a mishap under the mistletoe or drank too much truth serum. Never fear – perhaps to camouflage last year’s memories, you can throw a Christmas bash that will redeem your sins. Here are top tips for throwing a Christmas bash that will be remembered for years to come!


How to get meetings with super busy people

Getting meetings with super-busy people isn't impossible - if you do it right. Here's a list of proven strategies.


How to make your customer service memorable

How do you create customer service that will be remembered, appreciated and earn great reviews?


How to choose a business name

How do you come up with a business name that aptly communicates what you do and makes you stand out from the crowd?


How to reconnect with wavering clients

Have a wavering client? The best thing you can do is be on their side and help them feel good about changing their sale.


How to create a documented social media strategy

Even small businesses need a documented social media strategy to ensure marketing success. Here's a simple guide to help you kick-start a strategy.


How to turn a cool idea into cold hard cash

Starting an enterprise from an original idea allows you to put your individual stamp on a business.


How to make money while you sleep!

Most of us already make money while we sleep via our bank accounts or other investments, but what are some other ideas for passive incomes?


How to pick yourself up after a major financial set back

Recently had a financial setback in your small business? Three simple steps - accept, aim and achieve - can get you back on track.


How to find angel investors

One way to grow your business is to seek an angel investor who can provide funding for your business. Here's how to find one.


How to choose business database software

How do you choose off-the-shelf business database software, and when is it worth creating your own system?


How to set up a home office

What do you need in order to set up a home office that will help you along the road to achieving your business goals?


Setting up shop: A guide on how to set up a retail outlet

Setting up a retail store is not easy. Fortunately, you can learn from those that have gone before.


Feeling sleepy? How to beat the afternoon slump

Your business probably won't be installing nap rooms anytime soon, so here are some ways to stay alert and beat the afternoon slump.


How to build a following of brand evangelists

Imagine having a brand following so strong that your best customers do your marketing for you. That's the idea behind brand evangelists - customers so enthusiastic that they sing the praises of your products and services to friends and family, or even people they meet on the street.


How to think like Bill Gates

What set Bill Gates apart and rocketed him to the top of the business world?


How to create a compelling value proposition

A strong CVP (compelling value proposition) will not only provide a basis for your marketing, it will also influence how you grow your enterprise.


How to double your productivity in a day

Truly productive businesspeople have more breaks, less stress, greater joy and better lives - and they get twice as much done as most other people.


How to think like your customers

Everyone knows how to think like a customer because everyone is a customer at some point. Think about your experience of being a customer. What impressed you and made you want to go back to that business? What irritated you and ensured you would never return? Now make your business do more of the first and less of the second. If only it were that simple, right? Well, at least there are some basic business fundamentals to start thinking like a customer.


How to conduct constructive performance reviews

A standard performance review is an evaluation against the employee's job description and (hopefully) some pre-established performance criteria. If employees really had control over their work environment, supply chains, other staff and workload, this would not be a problem. But they don't. Many employees are forced to do the best they can amid the chaos of customers, administration failures, team problems and (worst of all) varying degrees of management expertise. Many employee failures are actually management failures, but employees can't tell you that for fear of losing their jobs.


How to write an effective LinkedIn recommendation

LinkedIn recommendations are the two-way street of business networking. The more we write for others, the more will be provided for us. A LinkedIn recommendation works by providing what psychologists call 'social proof' of that person's worth, and by letting prospective clients and employers know important things about them. Recommendations are a win-win mostly, but a poorly written one can have the opposite effect. Here are a few dos and don’ts of writing great Linkedin recommendations.


How to manage difficult stakeholders

Resolve problems with difficult business stakeholders and they can become some of your best assets.


How to set realistic business goals

Setting realistic business goals can help you to create a roadmap towards those larger aspirations and ultimately achieve business success.


How to elect a great team leader

Electing team leaders establishes the holy grail of effective leadership - two-way accountability.


How to set up social media channels from scratch

So you want to promote yourself using social media. Congratulations, it's a great idea. However, if you want it to be a success instead of a big waste of time, you need to consider a few things first.


How not to hate cold calling

Fear of cold calling is right up there with fear of public speaking. This is because we are genetically programmed to avoid rejection. In evolutionary terms, rejection means exclusion from our social group. Added to that is the fear that if we get it wrong, not only have we not gained a potential customer, we've lost one. However, with the right approach you can learn to love it and enjoy fantastic new business.


How to conduct a cost-benefit analysis

Good cost-benefit analysis ensures the small business will be making smart strategic decisions. It allows the business owner to determine whether a particular course of action is worth it, or whether it's too risky. And while it may sound like mathematic gobbledygook at times, the process is relatively easy. Calculate costs, calculate the benefits, then simply compare the results.


How to plan an annual budget

Contrary to the popular belief that budgets are dreary and dull things best performed by accountants, creating an annual budget can be the most rewarding part of running a business. A good annual budget can deliver peace of mind, business growth, insurance against market shocks and a truly great feeling of being the master of your universe. Budgeting can seem intimidating at first, but there are plenty of tools and guides that can help you get your game on when it comes to money.


How to raise prices without losing clients

The need to periodically increase prices is an inescapable but thankless task for all businesses. The downsides for owners include the potential disruption to relations with existing customers and giving rivals an advantage in the competition for clients. However, an even greater danger is ignoring the need to cover the growing costs of your business.


How to conduct a break-even analysis

Conducting a break-even analysis maps out the costs that small businesses might incur and the revenue they might derive from their product.


How to beat a sales slump

Here are four ways to help you beat a sales slump.


How to use your networks to accelerate sales

As a species we just don't like strangers very much - they represent a potential unknown threat. Getting over the line into the 'friend zone' is hard to do without a mutual acquaintance, group membership or common interest to connect you. That's why referrals are far and away the best avenues to get new business. Of course, to get referrals you have to utilise your networks of colleagues, customers, friends and acquaintances.


How to choose the best printer for your business

We've been promised the paperless office for a couple of decades, but the reality is that most small businesses are printing more than ever before. So how do you choose the best, most efficient printer for your business?


How to make your website mobile-friendly

In a recent survey by Google, 67 per cent of respondents indicated that a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a product or service, and a similar number said they would move to another site if they couldn't easily find what they were looking for on their smartphone.


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