Category: Hot Biz Tips

BEAT THE RECESSION: DITCH THE HUNKER-IN-THE-BUNKER MENTALITY »

  I can pick winners and losers.  As the Great Recession continues to stumble along, more and more businesses are finding that there is just no more fat to be cut.  Many have pared back, cut down, reduced expenses to next to nothing, and are just holding on … hoping and wishing. Bad news:  These […]

PAIN OR GAIN: WHAT MOTIVATES BUYERS »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Pain or gain?  That is why people buy – always!  As Entrepreneur Dan Paulson points out in his book, Apples to Apples: How to Stand out From Your Competition, “every purchase is an emotional purchase.” Your product or service either takes away the pain (I need a car or else […]

POOR WRITING SKILLS HURT YOUR CREDIBILITY »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur “Thankls yo for your ordr.  We will skip it iwtnng two wbusi9ness days.”  Ever get an email, letter or memo like that?  Sure, that may be an extreme example.  However, we all see messages like this way more often than we should.  (And, yes, I admit, typos get by me […]

HEY, COACH! GET ME IN THE GAME! »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Looking for a way to accelerate your business success?   Find someone who is already in the winner’s circle and hire that person to be your coach. I’ve been in training, marketing and sales for four decades.  However, I still bump into things I do not know.  Rather than try to bull […]

BOOST YOUR VERBAL SKILLS TO BOOST SALES »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur  Knowledge and skill-building are crucial to continued business success.  We constantly watch our markets, look for ways to cut expenses, boost profits, better manage our inventory and personnel.  Plus, we update our websites, adjust our marketing materials, and look for new ways to do business.       What about our verbal […]

ASK FOR THE MONEY »

By John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Too often, in business, we’re afraid to ask for the money.  Here are two examples – one how to do it right; the other how to waste time and money doing it wrong. Example # 1:  I’ve had the same veterinarian for my dogs for about 10 years.  In […]

Review your Day’s LBs & NTs »

by John R. Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur  Fred Pryor/Career Track, the seminar people, have become one of my key clients.  I get to travel around the country and do business workshops.  Pretty neat.  Check them out at www.pryor.com.  One of their policies is to encourage their contractors to analyze the events of the day, to […]

ALL IN … OR GET OUT! »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Are you in or are you out?  Too many business owners these days (and, yes, their employees and sales people, too) are only half-committed.  They’re burned out, fed up, on the verge of going under. They coast, going through the motions of their responsibilities, both dreaming about last weekend’s football […]

YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS »

  If you’re like many business owners and dedicated managers, it has been a tough year.  I know I’ve been booking long hours to keep my business in the black.  The problem:  A lot of us are cutting into serious personal time … and there is a price you may end up paying.  Yes, work […]

MORE ON BUYING LOCAL »

Wow!  Did I ever get an overpriced truckload of criticism about my recent piece on buying local, on daring to point out that local businesses need to treat their local customers special.  So, let me try again. If you own a local business in a small town (or if you’re a small biz in a […]

A BIG NO-NO FOR THE SBO »

  “Achievement is talent plus preparation.” – Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)  Desperate times can lead to desperate measures … and I’m seeing a disturbing trend these days among small business owners.   On more than one occasion, I’ve seen businesses pad their services – add extras without authorization.  “The air filter was pretty […]

SET THE STAGE FOR THE NEXT SALE »

by John Ingrisano, President You’re a consultant wrapping up a big project.  Don’t just submit your invoice and say thanks.  Suggest that now is a good time to discuss that next project. You’re a retail vendor ringing up the sale and handing your customer his or her change.  Don’t just say thanks for shopping here.  […]

COMPETING IN A TOUGH ECONOMY »

                                              By John R. Ingrisano How to survive and thrive in a tough economy:  It’s not the big things; it’s not the little things.  It’s both the big things AND the little things that will make it a slam dunk. Example:  Recently, a friend needed a new alternator for her car.  I shopped it around.  […]

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME… »

Simple tip:  Shut up and listen.   The number one way to blow a sale is to literally talk yourself out of it by not knowing when to quit talking.  We love to talk about our products, our services, our business, ourselves.  Sure, the prospect needs to know who we are and what we do.  However, if […]

YOUR LITTLE POCKET NOTEBOOK »

If it’s the little things that count, here’s one big little thing: I’ve noticed that, of the many successful business people I’ve met over the years, perhaps half of them keep a little notebook in their shirt pockets.  Tell them something of interest or when they think of a potentially good idea, and they pull […]

IT’S A GREAT TIME TO HIRE! »

It’s a great time to hire!   If you are weathering the recession in pretty good shape, this may be the best time in decades to bring on board quality talent.  With millions of folks out of work — and sometimes the best and the brightest are being let go — you can skim off the cream […]

ADVICE ON GETTING & GIVING ADVICE »

  “You know what you should do?”  When I hear that question – which the asker is going to answer, whether I like it or not — I cringe and start looking for the exit.  That’s because the person so eager to offer advice almost invariably hasn’t a clue about what I do, need or want.    […]

SBA ARC LOANS NOW AVAILABLE »

Need an interest-free loan to help out your business?  According to Nate Kok, Assistant Vice President, at Hometown Bank in Appleton, Wisconsin, the SBA has just finalized the America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program. Whether you are pro or con on all the bailout ideas coming out of Washington, this seems to be a pretty interesting deal.  If your […]

Stop Data Security Leaks »

Data security problems keep multiplying.  According to Paula Biewer, Fond du Lac, an independent associate with Prepaid Legal Fees,  “In 2005, the website at www.privacyrights.org listed six pages of security problems.  Today,” she explained to me, “it has over 100 pages, and ID theft is the number one complaint.” The two biggest culprits, especially with […]

FOUR QUICK YEAR-END TAX PLANNING TIPS »

 Here are four ways you can cut your 2008 taxes: Push December billings into January, as long as your clients/customers have no objections.  This moves what would be 2008 income into 2009.  If you are cash shy, borrow on your line of credit and repay the loan in January.  Imagine you would normally receive $10,000 in December.  If you […]

NO WHINING, NO QUITTING »

  Let’s call it like it is:  Tough times ahead!  No, I’m not a doom-and-gloomer.  Far from it.  I am an optimist.  Besides, I truly love the challenge of tough times.  They seem to bring out all the best business instincts in me.     All I’m saying is that it pays to be ready … mentally ready.  […]

WATCH OUT FOR PREDATORS IN THESE TIGHT TIMES »

These aren’t shaping up to be get-fat-rich-and-happy times for small business owners.  With the economy losing altitude fast, many of us are tightening our belts, cutting back and hoping this doesn’t turn into a full-blown depression.    In the meantime, a breed of so-called “customers,” better described as predators, is on the prowl.  These folks are […]

OUR SECRET WEAPON: SWEAT »

  It’s early in the downturn, and I’m already seeing some companies — mostly the new kids on the block — going under.  It’s a shame.  How can you guarantee you won’t be next?  You can’t.  There are no guarantees in business!  But there is one thing you can do — work like a dog. […]

TIME MANAGEMENT »

BECOME MASTER OF YOUR SCHEDULE IN 2009  [The following article first appeared in the October edition of Corporate Report Wisconsin]   As a business owner, your work is never done.  There is always another figure to check, prospect to call, problem to solve.  If you are not careful, you will end up working seven days […]

TOUGH TIMES COMING? »

Stop shaking your head about the uncertain economy.  We’re all in the same boat.  The goal is to make darn sure that, no matter what happens, you are still afloat when the turnaround comes around.   Remember, some people made money in the Great Depression.  That’s because they refused to take a sky-is-falling attitude.   […]