Take a tip from Google's HR team: Instead of just scanning resumes for "the right" educational background and jobs, use the interview process to determine if your candidate expresses the kind of soft qualities necessary to a strong team (i.e. humility, humor, ownership). "Google’s hiring managers talk extensively with candidates to find out how they handle and react in various situations," OPEN Forum's Kelly Spors writes. "They care less about skills and experience and more about character." (From "3 Lessons for Business Owners from Google's Hiring Process," by Kelly Spors)
"if you don’t keep your body and mind functioning at peak levels, your business will suffer," writes Phil Dumontet, the CEO of Dashed, a restaurant delivery service. Along with getting a proper night's rest and eating well, you should also find creative ways to work in a workout on your busy days. Have a "walking meeting" by making phone calls while you're out for a stroll. (From "The Key to Business Growth You're Probably Neglecting," by Phil Dumontet)
Increase the impact of your marketing efforts by having your entire staff working to amplify awareness of your brand. This type of culture can generate more leads as you'll have more than one person or team committed to finding your company's ideal client. (From "Why Marketing Should Be Everyone's Job," by John Jantsch)
Knowing which industry may be the "next big thing" could put you in a position of being at the right place at the right time, writes small business expert Mike Michalowicz. It can be a great way to discover growth opportunities for your business. For example, unique travel is one industry seeing a boom this year. " Cater to vacationers in your area, whether it’s a local wine trail or a rock climbing location, and you’ll increase your customer base," Michalowicz writes. (From "7 Industries That Are About to Explode," by Mike Michalowicz)
People spend money to serve their wants and needs. But becoming a want is how savvy businesses become integral to their customers' lives. So how do you turn your business into a want? Find out what makes your customers tick, says small-business expert Erika Napoletano. "Appealing to your audience’s feelings is also how smart brands stop competing on price, even in highly commoditized markets," she writes. "Feelings create value, and value leads to that sense of want." (From "Creating a Must-Have Brand Customers Can't Live Without," by Erika Napoletano)
Snacks are a great office perk that also serves as a major productivity and office culture booster. Skip the candy and stock up on protein-packed treats like fruit, nuts and cheese for your staff; they're shown to improve focus and can help keep energy up throughout the day. (From "'Office Snacks: The Way To an Employee's Heart," by Vivian Wagner)
You've found a developer abroad who can help you create the app of your dreams at a price that doesn't give you nightmares. That's great! But if they're asleep when you and your team have questions or notice functionality issues, there's a chance this happy arrangement can turn sour. Make sure you work with app developers who can either work the same hours as you do, or shift your own schedule to match their availability. (From "5 Top Mistakes Rookies Make When Outsourcing App Development," by Gideon Kimbrell)
8. Take a week off.
Taking a break from work has been proven to be beneficial to both your well-being and your business's health. (Bill Gates calls his week-long breaks "Think Weeks.") Make your vacation a true break from work by doing nothing related to your job, by focusing on personal development and by seeking out new environments. Trust us; it's for your own good. (From "How Skillshare’s CEO Cultivates and Applies Creativity (Taking Cues From Bill Gates and Chuck Close)," by Michael Karnjanaprakorn)
There are a number of resources out there for entrepreneurs of all walks of life. Minority entrepreneurs have a wealth of options at their disposal, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). "In fiscal year 2012, the agency helped minority-owned businesses obtain more than $3.6 billion in capital awards and contracts," writes OPEN Forum's Julie Bawden Davis. (From "6 Valuable Resources for Minority Business Owners," by Julie Bawden Davis)
Being an executive comes with a certain expectation of swagger and confidence, but that's not always necessary, especially for introverted business leaders, says Nick Marsh, managing director of Harvey Nash Executive Search Asia Pacific. "Executive presence is being the person in the room that people gravitate toward, and when that person makes a remark, everyone else is quiet, since they value their thoughts and respect them," he says. A quiet confidence is just as good, if not better, than boisterous bravado. (From "The X Factor: 5 Ways to Boost Your Executive Presence," by Dorie Clark)
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