ARMA Blog

Small Business, Government Contracting & Customer Service

Quoted on Team Building: David Ehrenberg

ARMA Inc. - Friday, May 15, 2015

David Ehrenberg of Early Growth Financial Services:

Early on, I mistakenly attempted to get my CFOs to do business development. When this experiment fell flat, I realized that instead of trying to make square pegs fit round holes, I should have enabled people to play to their core strengths. I hired a senior sales director and a business development team to focus on growing sales which I should have done in the first place. 

Quoted on Business: Barbara Corcoran

ARMA Inc. - Friday, May 08, 2015


Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank:

Now many [...] business ideas on first blush to me sound like they’re pretty stupid and they’re not going to go anywhere. But who am I to say?I failed at my first business of Flower of the Week Club. And then I succeeded at my second business. And so what I’ve learned more than anything is to just tell people the dream is great. Try it. You don’t want to die thinking you wish you should have, could have.

Women in Technology's 2015 Leadership Awards

ARMA Inc. - Friday, May 01, 2015


Women in Technology (WIT) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of advancing women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom—by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education.  WIT announced the winners for the 16th Annual Leadership Awards at their recent event at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA. Over 350 attendees gathered to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of WIT, its members and, more importantly, a set of extraordinary female leaders in the technology industry.

The winners of the 16th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards included:

  • Corporate Private Sector (Large and Small)—Patrice D’Eramo, Cisco
  • Corporate Public Sector (Large and Small)—Rebecca M. Cowen-Hirsch, Inmarsat, Inc. US Government Business Unit
  • Government—Robin A. Thomas, Headquarters Marine Corps, C4 Department
  • Rising Star—Jenny Madorsky, SRA
  • Small Business / Entrepreneur—Sophia Parker, DSFederal, Inc.
  • Technical Excellence—Lang Ly, Appian
  • Unsung Hero—Andrea Hall, CSC
  • WIT Champion—Mary Ann Glueckert, WIT, Girls in Technology Committee
  • WIT President’s Award—Alison Gonzalez, WIT, Sales and Marketing Committee
  • Women on Boards Leadership Award WGL Holdings

Classic Moves: The Business Card

ARMA Inc. - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

 

 

Over at Intuit, Barry Eitel has a piece defending the ongoing efficiency of the business card. While perhaps a straw man's argument, Eitel's four points still stand.  He tells you why right off the bat:

While networking at conferences is expected, potential leads can appear anywhere — the bar stool next to you, across the aisle on a flight, or standing next in line for a sandwich. A business card doesn’t merely provide information; it leaves an impression.

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


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