ARMA Blog

Small Business, Government Contracting & Customer Service

Evolving Roles of CMOs

ARMA Inc. - Friday, December 19, 2014

Keeping up with #GovCon on Twitter

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keeping up with the latest news regarding government contracting on Twitter:

Small Business Boundaries

ARMA Inc. - Monday, December 15, 2014

Stephanie Ward, guest posting at Small Biz Survival, has some thoughtful words about setting boundaries and saying "no":

Start by making a list of the strategic activities that are essential to the growth of your business. These are the actions to say yes to. Say no to anything that doesn’t fall under your strategic activities. This is what it means to set business boundaries. It may sound simple, but many people find that saying no is an extremely difficult thing to do.

Head over to Small Biz Survival to read the full post.

Free Webinar this Thursday

ARMA Inc. - Thursday, December 11, 2014

Small Biz Trends is hosting a free webinar called Small Business Outlook 2015, a free webinar hosted by Biz2Credit and Small Business Trends Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. EST.  The webinar will include timely seasonal topics like accounting, finances and incorporation. For more info click the banner below.

Improving Customer Experience

ARMA Inc. - Thursday, December 04, 2014

 A post over at Smashing Magazine by Matt Reamer about designing a product got us here at ARMA thinking about how we interface with customers.   Reamer looked at four aspects of user experience (that he attributes to Jeffrey Rubin):

  • Usefulness
    product enables user to achieve their goals — the tasks that it was designed to carry out and/or wants needs of user.
  • Effectiveness (ease of use)
    quantitatively measured by speed of performance or error rate and is tied to a percentage of users.
  • Learnability
    user’s ability to operate the system to some defined level of competence after some predetermined period of training. Also, refers to ability for infrequent users to relearn the system.
  • Attitude (likeability)
    user’s perceptions, feelings and opinions of the product, usually captured through both written and oral communication.

All four of these areas are places that small businesses can also look at their customer-facing employees and points of interaction.  Is the information that you provide through your website actually useful to a prospective customer or business partner?  Are your communication channels effective?  Do interactions with your portals or employees improve after the partners learn how your organization works or do they get trapped by inconsistency? 

Look at your organization from new eyes, and with the intention of improving usability.  It may surprise you.

Moving Past Complacency

ARMA Inc. - Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Every business that's moved from startup into modest success has run the risk of falling into complacency.  Diana Helbig understands that.  Is this you?

Imagine this: a small business owner creates and implements a prospecting plan. As they move forward, they start realizing results. Those results include meetings with prospective clients, proposals, and sales. The busier they get, the less they prospect. As a matter of fact, they pull back from active prospecting. And they might not even realize they are doing it!

Helbig has some thoughts on what sort of mindsets can trick you into backing up on your prospecting.  Worth reading to make sure you don't slip into them yourself.

Thankful

ARMA Inc. - Thursday, November 27, 2014

Spotlight: HOPE Inside Small Business Empowerment Initiative

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In the coming year, DC will be seeing the roll-out of an area branch for Operation HOPE, a

program aims to increases the number of young Americans involved in small business and entrepreneurship, as well nurturing the development of small businesses across America's underserved communities.  - See more at: http://www.operationhope.org/entrepreneurship#sthash.JVzYpbFV.dpuf
program aims to increases the number of young Americans involved in small business and entrepreneurship, as well nurturing the development of small businesses across America's underserved communities.  - See more at: http://www.operationhope.org/entrepreneurship#sthash.JVzYpbFV.dpuf
program aims to increases the number of young Americans involved in small business and entrepreneurship, as well nurturing the development of small businesses across America's underserved communities.  - See more at: http://www.operationhope.org/entrepreneurship#sthash.JVzYpbFV.dpuf

program that aims to increases the number of young Americans involved in small business and entrepreneurship, as well nurturing the development of small businesses across America's underserved communities.

The nonprofit describes themselves thusly:

The Operation HOPE Small Business Empowerment Program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs from low-wealth neighborhoods. We combine business training and financial counseling with lending services so our clients get all the tools and resources they need to make their dreams a reality.

Our program uplifts underserved neighborhoods by promoting our clients’ success and fueling the creation of jobs within the community. Through partnerships with over 25 direct lenders nationwide, we provide access to a wide range of small business loan options as well as crucial business services, training, information, and resources

- See more at: http://www.operationhope.org/small-business#sthash.YVKoCovU.dpuf

The Operation HOPE Small Business Empowerment Program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs from low-wealth neighborhoods. We combine business training and financial counseling with lending services so our clients get all the tools and resources they need to make their dreams a reality.

Our program uplifts underserved neighborhoods by promoting our clients’ success and fueling the creation of jobs within the community. Through partnerships with over 25 direct lenders nationwide, we provide access to a wide range of small business loan options as well as crucial business services, training, information, and resources

Staffing Infographic

ARMA Inc. - Friday, November 14, 2014

Contracting means staffing.  And staffing means finding talented people to fill positions with.  This infographic gives some great advice on finding and implementing that talent.

Quoted on Business: Cheryl Wood

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Words to live by from coach Cheryl Wood:

Don’t throw away your most valuable asset, time, while waiting for validation or permission from anyone else to pursue your dreams and aspirations. Unapologetically remind yourself that you’re enough just as you are and focus more on what you have than what you’re lacking.

Read more of her motivational words here.


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