Friday, May 27, 2005

Protecting Your Inventions

"The Inventor's Bible"

by Ronald Louis Docie Jr.
(Ten Speed Press, $24.95)

Have great ideas but don't know how to protect them?

In today's competitive world, you need to make sure your
brilliant ideas stay your own. Check out "The Inventor's Bible:
How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas."
This book provides an all-in-one guide to help you license
and market your products and services.

According to a review by NFIB, (National Federation of
Independent Business), The best part of this book is its interactive
quality; instead of being a thick reference-book read, it includes
fill-in-the blank exercises to help you customize your
plan of action and keep you on track.

Find more book reviews, check out the Tools & Tips
section of the National Federation of Independent Business site. Click here to check it out.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Handling Customer Complaints

Here are some valuable tips for dealing with customer complaints:
* Listen to each complaint. Never mind how foolish it may sound, most people will not complain unless they feel they have a legitimate grievance. Often they are upset about something other than what they are complaining about. Try to find out.
* Try to take the customer’s point of view. If you were in the customer’s place, how would you feel?
* If investigation is necessary, do it while the customer is present.
* If investigation shows the customer is right, admit it at once. Apologize and offer to make amends then and there. An open and honest response brings you from conflict to common ground.
* Should the complaint turn out to be baseless, try to let the customer save face. Offer that the feedback has helped you to evaluate and improve your service.
Source: SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Writing A Book To Help Your Business Grow

Sales stalled? Need to gain more credibility in the marketplace? Have you ever thought about writing a book to help generate more business?
Some entrepreneurs have authored their way to more sales. Added credibility is the No. 1 benefit of authoring a book. In fact, one entrepreneur said: "It’s terrible to say, but regardless of the content, the mere fact that you’ve written a book makes you an expert."
"A book is a wonderful marketing tool," said another business owner. "People are much more likely to keep a book."
Read the linked article to see if authorship will work for you! Click here to check it out.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Bankers Offer Advice For Owners Seeking Loans

The American Bankers Association recently found that the most important step in applying for a small business loan—having all the necessary financial documentation—is also where most entrepreneurs make the biggest mistake.
According to an informal survey of its member banks, nearly 74% of the bankers responding to the survey said financial documentation was the most important aspect in securing a loan, but 67% also said applicants typically lack the documentation they need.
The survey also found that 52.3% of the participants believe a complete business plan is a key to securing a loan, and 45.5% want a completed application. Surprisingly, only 30.7% said collateral was one of the most important factors. Accordingly, the additional mistakes that applicants make include having an incomplete business plan 43.2% of the time, lacking collateral 27.3% of the time, and not having all of the application paperwork 22.7% of the time.