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Small Business, Government Contracting & Customer Service

A Price to Customer Service?

ARMA Inc.
Friday, August 22, 2014

At the NYT Who's the Boss? Small Business blog, Jay Goltz of Chicago shares an anecdote about success and staffing that ends with this gem:

There is a price for giving great customer service – just as there is a price for not giving it. No matter what business you are in, it is a balancing act. Ultimately, you have to decide what is more important – staying lean or having a backup bench. Because sales fluctuate and people get sick or quit, it is not possible to calculate the precise number of people you will need over any given time.

It is time to hire, and that is good news.

Doing right by both your customers and your employees is a balancing act.  Head over to the NYT to read the full article.

Small Business Owners and Vacation

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 

While small business ownership can come with some flexibility, it often comes without some of the benefits that employed workers take for granted, like vacation.  This infographic breaks down some of the vacation realities.

Lessons About Self-Promotion

ARMA Inc.
Friday, August 15, 2014

 

Part of being the founder or president of a small business means that you need to be comfortable with promoting yourself, but that isn't a skill that comes naturally to everyone.  Melanie Pinola at Lifehacker has written a bit about five lessons that she's learned about the difficult art.  

Our favorite is this lesson:

Self-promotion isn't just accepted on social media and in networking situations, it's expected. Not only is it par for the course, some people even unfollow inactive accounts that never get status updates (they're following you for a reason, after all). The moment I realized some of my favorite online personalities consistently and regularly share what they've done—share, not sell or brag—was the moment I gave myself the okay to do so more often. It's not always as icky as it feels.

Being SMART about Goals

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 

A small reminder that goals should not be pie-in-the-sky frustrations, but rather something concrete and within reach.

 
(source)

Five Questions to Ask Before Firing an Employee

ARMA Inc.
Friday, August 08, 2014

 

Firing an employee is never an easy task.  These five questions from Entrepreneur cover the basics of what you as the manager or business owner should have thought through before making the call.

1. Does the employee clearly understand your expectations?

2. Have you removed all organizational roadblocks? 

3. Is the employee fully trained and has he or she had enough time to practice? 

4. Have you motivated the employee to perform? 

5. Is the employee capable and/or willing to do the work?

If the answer to any of these questions is "no," head over to the article to see some suggests from Doug and Polly White on alternatives to firing them.

#Infographic: Startup Success

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014

 

Considering a startup?  This infographic from Intuit throws the statistics at your feet.

#GovCon on Twitter

ARMA Inc.
Friday, August 01, 2014

 

Great tweets on #GovCon from Twitter:

 

On Leadership and Delegation

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Delegation, and leadership, is no easy task.

This post by Fred Warmbier about leadership at the New York Times "Who's the Boss?" Column is both frustrating and funny. Hang in there Fred, we've all been there. 

Upcoming Webinar: Setting Up a Customer Feedback Program

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 

Rieva Lesonsky, a small business expert, is assisting on an August 6th webinar with QuestionPro, an online service that assists with customer research.  They promise to:

In one hour, we will:

  • Debut our new industry-specific feedback program guides
  • Walk an actual #SmallBiz through setting up the program for their #SmallBiz
  • Provide a quick-start guide that will help walk you through the process at your own pace.

Date: August 6th, 2014

Time: 8am PDT / 11am EDT

To register go here.





Great Advice In Wake of Comcast Disaster

ARMA Inc.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

After the recent Comcast customer service snafu, Mila D'Antonio at 1 to 1 Media has identified a number of ways to repair similar customer service issues before they turn into national incidents.  Our favorite suggestion is number two:

Telecom and cable companies are notorious for employing specialized teams of agents who are trained specifically to handle cancellation calls like Block's. Rather than hassle customers calling to cancel, a better approach would be to understand the customer's pain points and possibly offer discounted service or better rates. Companies that implement policies intended to force the customer's hand will invariably experience customer dissention. They'll assume you don't want a working relationship and they'll likely search for a better alternative from your competition

Mila D'AntonioMila D'Antonio

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