Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Asking The Best Interview Questions

Finding "A Players" is one of the most difficult challenges for entrepreneurs. One bad hire can damage company morale and curtail profits. Here's one important interview question and what to look for in a response. A special thanks to Susan Martin of AAIM Employers' Association for offering up the question and response.
The Question:
What did you like best about your last job?
What To Listen For:
Be alert to a "profit" mind-set. As the interviewee describes the attributes of his previous workplace, try to determine whether he appreciates the fact that most companies are in business to make money. How often does the interviewee mention efficiency or revenue-generating measures that helped the company's bottom line?
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Women Succeeding In Male-Dominated Industries

The last decade has been a great time for women entrepreneurs. Nationally, women-owned firms generated $3 trillion in annual revenues in 2009, and one in five businesses in the U.S. with revenues over $1 million are woman-owned firms.
More and more of these entrepreneurs are succeeding in male-dominated industries. Take, for example, Ann Kastendieck, owner of V.L. Clark Chemical Company. When the former accountant purchased the business in 1991, sales were $20,000. In 2009, V.L. Clark had revenue of $7 million.
This growth is partly driven by Kastendieck's desire to persevere as a woman in the chemical industry.
"There were always those people out there who wouldn't do business with me because I'm a woman," she said. "But those are the people who ended up helping me because they make me even more determined to find suppliers who will work with me and build relationships with my customers."
--Ron Ameln, SBM