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Articles filed under Kendall, Jim

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  • Try selling your solution, not your product Apr 21, 2014 9:01 AM
    Not quite random thoughts about small businesses: • Remember what you’re selling, which for the more successful among us most often is a solution to a customer’s problem. If you run a hardware store, you’re helping customers solve plumbing problems or lawn care issues. If you’re a sales consultant, you’re selling a way to help your prospect’s sales team improve its numbers, not a sales training package. Selling a solution to a problem is different from pitching a widget or other product — and requires a different selling approach. You have to know what’s bothering your prospect; the glories of your widgets aren’t enough. I like the question manufacturing sage Paul Heinze (Paul M. Heinze Co., Barrington Hills) asks early in his conversations: What keeps you awake at night? • Form strategic alliances. Own a restaurant? Offer the most popular flavors sold by the local ice cream parlor for dessert; promote them with a tent card on your tables. In return, the store can put up a poster for your restaurant and each week hold a drawing for a free dinner at your place. If yours is a breakfast stop, work a similar alliance with an up-and-coming local bakery. • Know your referrers and treat them like the important people they are. For many of us, especially service providers, our referral base is the key to success. That means a thank-you note to the accountant who referred one of her clients to you; the same to a municipal economic planner who suggested your services to a potential new business in town and to the consultant who brought you in on an assignment. Treat your best referral sources to lunch. Remember, however, that the best thank you is a return referral: If you have a client looking for IT help or a reliable auto repair shop, think first of the folks who’ve helped you. • More mothers are staying home with the kids, although 71 percent of all U.S. mothers work outside the home. And, perhaps sadly, a growing number of Moms are home because they can’t find a job — six percent today compared to one percent in 2000 according to the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. Still, if Moms are your market, there might be an opportunity in, for example, Mother-and-baby exercise classes or baby-sitting services. With annual household incomes of about $130,000, working mothers not surprisingly have more money to spend. Trying offering many of the same services evenings or weekends. • Know your market, not only so you can provide the products or services your customers want but so you know how to reach them. Sell to seniors? Provide senior-oriented services? You likely can reach the 65-plus crowd on the Internet. Pew says that almost 60 percent of seniors use the Internet; more than 70 percent are on every day. Slightly more than 25 percent even use social networking sites. Ideas perking yet? • © 2014 Kendall Communications, Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter, and at Kendall Communications on Facebook. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com.

     
  • The Millennials are coming. Will we be ready? Apr 14, 2014 5:00 AM
    More than preceding generations, maybe even more than the Baby Boomers, Millennials will impact how we manage our businesses. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the topic.

     
  • How one entrepreneur is selling his business Apr 7, 2014 6:04 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall evaluates how one owner is selling his business.

     
  • Business owners become social media marketing believers Mar 31, 2014 5:04 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the topic that social media could be one of your business’ most effective marketing tools.

     
  • From 'incredibly awkward' to making more money Mar 24, 2014 7:32 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the GGOB: From 'incredibly awkward' to making more money.

     
  • The Great Game of Business is a game you might want to play Mar 17, 2014 5:16 AM
    The Great Game of Business really isn’t a game. Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the principles developed by Jack Stack in a desperate (and successful) attempt to turn around a failing International Harvester remanufacturing facility.

     
  • Good news: The speaker being introduced is you Mar 10, 2014 9:36 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall talks to two experts about their thoughts on successful speech giving.

     
  • Successful team building needs strategic goals right team Mar 3, 2014 5:46 AM
    There's nothing like the word “team building” to get conversation going at a business luncheon — or, apparently, to provide fodder for business and management book authors and other assorted gurus. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the topic.

     
  • Feeling isolated? Peer groups provide support Feb 24, 2014 7:52 AM
    Small business columnist Jim Kendall takes a look at peer groups where noncompeting business owners gather to share insights and experiences.

     
  • How to find business on LinkedIn: Target market Feb 17, 2014 4:41 AM
    LinkedIn is supposed to get me business, right? Not necessarily. Small Busines Columnist Jim Kendall expores this issue with experts.

     
  • Sorting iPads, Google Voice, tablets, ransomware, Windows 8 Feb 10, 2014 5:00 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall asks the experts about Sorting iPads, Google Voice, tablets, ransomware, Windows 8.

     
  • Expert sees Ďlots of opportunitiesí for indie retailers Feb 3, 2014 5:00 AM
    ďIndependent retailers bring a heartbeat to our communities,Ē one Geneva expert tells Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall in his weekly column.

     
  • Business-owning Baby Boomers should keep some lists Jan 27, 2014 7:45 AM
    The last of the Baby Boomers will hit 50 this year, which means the first of that generation are nearing 70. No buckets are necessary, but if you’re a Boomer who owns a business, there are some lists you should be keeping. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall looks at the issue.

     
  • Entrepreneurial stress: ĎWe do too much out of fearí Jan 20, 2014 12:46 PM
    When entrepreneurs are feeling stressed, the typical response is "Iíll do more," but itís often better to do less. Small business columnist looks at this topic in his weekly column.

     
  • Angel group founders share insights, investment criteria Jan 13, 2014 7:08 AM
    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall interviews the three co-founders of Naperville-based West Suburban Angels (WSA). The owners share tips.

     
  • New Year a time to show entrepreneurial flair Jan 6, 2014 5:45 AM
    With virtually the entire year before us — the proverbial blank canvas — what entrepreneurial initiatives shall we undertake? What will we let our creative impulses do this year that will make our businesses better?

     
  • Havenít started your 2014 planning? Thatís OK: Start now Dec 30, 2013 5:30 AM
    Havenít started your 2014 planning? Thatís OK: Start now. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall gives some tips.

     
  • Complex HR rules may require outside assistance Dec 23, 2013 5:00 AM
    Solopreneurs donít need a lot of human resources advice. Once that first employee comes aboard, however, the entrepreneurís responsibilities change, and an awareness of HR rules and requirements becomes important.

     
  • Next year could bring higher business tax bills Dec 16, 2013 8:14 AM
    Next year could bring higher business tax bills, according to experts that Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall talks with.

     
  • Plan to sell the business to fund retirement? Plan long-term Dec 9, 2013 5:00 AM
    Planning matters for entrepreneurs starting up. It turns out, however, that planning may matter even more if youíre nearing the other end of the spectrum and looking at retirement.

     
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