Small Business, Government Contracting & Customer Service

Quoted on Customer Service: Delta

ARMA Inc. - Friday, April 24, 2015

Would you hire the last Delta representative you spoke with if you owned a customer service company?

David Heinemeier Hansson spotted this great question in a Delta Airlines customer service follow-up survey that he received.  If the answer is no, you know you have a problem, right?  Fantastic.

Customer Service: Exceptions to the Rules

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Brett Snyder has a great story about when to make an exception to the old maxim that "the customer is always right."  As he says, "the hard part is knowing where — and when — to draw that line."

What do you think -- did he make the right call?

Redirecting Networking Missteps

ARMA Inc. - Friday, April 17, 2015

Barry Moltz at Small Biz Trends has written some thoughtful ways to redirect yourself from making conversational missteps at networking events or business meetings with new prospective partners. Our favorite tip:

4. “How boring is this (speaker, event, job)?”

Complaining about anything and negativity in general absolutely ruins a first impression. Even if your statements are valid (and they are thinking the same thing), never start a relationship over a negative. Keep the tone positive.

Instead try: “What have you found most helpful in the (speaker’s presentation, the event, the job)?” Asking people to reflect on what they have just heard or experienced and how it will help their business gives insight.

Tips for Black Businesswomen Tackling Retirement

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brittany Dandy at Black Enterprise has crunched the numbers, and black women in business have a number of hurdles to face in order to put together their nest egg for retirement:

Gender equality shouldn’t end when you finally reach your corner office, but with women nearly twice as likely to retire in poverty, and black women wedged in the financial constraints of the wage gap, no matter your workplace status, the deficit manages to creep up and affect women most during their retirement years. In effort to get ahead of this deadly curve, its recommend that women begin planning for retirement as early as their twenties.

Even if you didn't start then, there are still steps you can take.  Here are her three tips:

1. Maintain a moderate investing stance

2. Put in a few extra years on the job

3. Think outside the box

 Head over to her article to read the full write up.

Making Relationships with Contract Partners Work

ARMA Inc. - Friday, April 10, 2015

This article by Lee Polevoi is about improving relationships with vendors, but it functions just as well as a how-to on improving relationships between contract partners. Our favorite tip:

2. Make Sure the Vendor Understands Your Vision and Goals

A vendor who “gets” your business is of far greater value than one who just goes through the motions of filling orders. Take the time to communicate your short-term goals and where you plan to take your business in the future. Invite their suggestions on the role they can play in achieving these goals. A trusted vendor will likely have unique insights into the industry and offer helpful feedback you won’t find anywhere else.

Keep your supplier updated on planned product updates or a new launch. Extend an invitation to attend strategic meetings or to simply tour the office to get a better feel for your business. Consider visiting their place of business and learning more about how they operate as well.

Quoted on Knowledge Management:

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, April 08, 2015

“A small company often captures its working knowledge in the minds of its early employees. As a result, you may struggle to educate new hires, and some people may have a disproportionate amount of power or responsibility simply because of what they know (rather than what they can do). To grow smoothly, be disciplined about documenting your best practices and sharing them with your team.”

AJ Shankar of Everlaw, Inc. at Small Biz Trends

Tapping the Collective Wisdom on Teaming

ARMA Inc. - Friday, April 03, 2015

Teaming is ARMA's bread and butter.  Long-term strategic alliances are not without risk though.   Black Enterprise asked 13 industry leaders their thoughts on the common pitfalls.  One of our favorite pieces of advice:

Assumptions are a good way to have everyone disappointed and potentially end a good relationship. Articulate all expectations up front so everyone is clear. If someone doesn’t seem to be holding up to their end of the deal, ask them about it and reference the initial expectation. Or, determine if you/they are acting on an assumption that wasn’t articulated initially and talk about it.

- Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt

How to Act and How to Think

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Five Keys to Good Leadership

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Five keys to leadership via Entrepreneur:

Quoted: Tony Hsieh

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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