Quoted – How to Find a Mentor to Help You Navigate Small Business Ownership – Staples.com

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A Small Business Administration study shows that business owners who had three or more hours of mentoring experienced higher revenues and stronger growth than those who didn’t. So why wouldn’t you consider mentorship for growing your business and yourself? Here’s some important information to consider when it comes to finding a mentor and building a relationship as a small business owner.

Just Look Around

Villanova University’s director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp, Dr. Scott Testa, says there’s no best place or worst place for finding a mentor than the places you already go. “It’s how you’d meet a spouse or girlfriend — at a bar, convenience store, friend of a friend,” he says. Mentors can be college professors, former bosses and partners. “Find those people you have a common bond with and like to spend time with.”

Mitchell and Testa agree that the best mentors have strengths that are your weaknesses. “The best mentors push us out of our comfort zones and force us to look at things in a different way,” Mitchell says. “You want a mentor who’s the opposite of you so that you learn and fill in some of the gaps.”

When Testa was starting a business, he looked for mentors to provide an entrepreneurial example. “I really needed someone I felt could understand the experience I was going through,” he says. “My mentors helped not just with technical stuff, but also with the psychological.”

http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/how-to-find-a-mentor-to-help-you-navigate-small-business-ownership.html

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Quoted – Yuan expected to appreciate at snail’s pace

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The appreciation of the yuan initiated in June by China’s central bank has raised concerns among investors, especially regarding the impact on China’s major exporters.

However, experts agree that the immediate impacts of yuan re-valuation will be minimal as the Chinese government is expected to realize the appreciation through a series of minor steps.

The general economic principle dictates that a stronger yuan will have negative impacts on China’s export-led companies. However, Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa., said the controlled pace of the appreciation will mitigate such impacts on China’s exporters.

“I do think it [impact of yuan valuation] will be minimal because I think it will be gradual and will give the exporters time to adjust to the new currency environment,” he said. “If it was something that would happen dramatically, it would hurt them more.”

http://medillmoneymavens.com/2010/08/25/yuan-expected-to-appreciate-at-snail’s-pace/

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Quoted – With Social Media, Who Needs Santa? – Adweek

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‘Tis the season for social media. Seventeen percent of U.S. consumers plan to leverage social media sites to assist in their holiday shopping this year. The majority (60 percent) will do so to seek discounts and sales, according to Deloitte’s 24th annual Holiday Survey.

More than half of social media users reported that they will also use these sites to research potential gift ideas (53 percent) and view their friends and family members’ wish lists (52 percent). Forty-six percent will research product reviews and 30 percent plan to share their own wish list. The study, which was conducted online by an independent research company, surveyed more than 10,000 individuals.

Mobile phones are also getting the call. Nineteen percent of consumers plan to use their mobile devices and apps to aid in their purchasing decision. Of this group, 55 percent plan to use their handsets to locate stores, 45 percent will research prices and 40 percent will look up product information. About a third will also seek discounts (32 percent) and research product reviews (31 percent), while 25 percent plan to make purchases with their mobile phones.

This is only the beginning, said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College. “The ability to do a lot of things around the shopping experience with smartphones is only going to grow and I think those numbers are going to go through the roof,” he said.

The most avid social media and mobile adopters were those aged 18 to 29 years old. However, older generations are also getting on board, as 33 percent of those 30-44 and 12 percent those 45-60 are embracing digital tools during the holidays.

http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i4cdea7d2a4bcd398938c093a21905c72

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Quoted – T-Mobile Offers Glimmer of Hope – or $100 Credit – in Data Loss Debacle – ECommerce Times

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T-Mobile Offers Glimmer of Hope – or $100 Credit – in Data Loss Debacle

T-Mobile has indicated that some of the data Sidekick users lost due to a Microsoft server failure may be retrievable after all. Those who can’t get their data back will receive a $100 credit toward purchases or bill payments at T-Mobile. All data customers will get a month of free service — and, no doubt, many more apologies as the company struggles to manage the problem.

Right now, the company is probably feeling its way through the crisis, Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College, told the E-Commerce Times. Offering customers $100 for their trouble is a good first step — but the carrier is going to have to do much more if it wants to restore faith among its customer Boost customer satisfaction + retention with Salesforce.com Service Cloud 2. Click to learn more. base, he said.

“It will have to come clean about the server failure and how it happened — and, more importantly, the steps it is taking to make sure it never happens again.” For example, he said, T-Mobile should release a detailed plan — a, say, five-point plan for backup — in the near future. “Right now, they are doing a good job managing expectations by telling customer to expect the worst. So they have some credibility in this respect.”

That appears to be the smartest game plan T-Mobile can adopt going forward.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/T-Mobile-Offers-Glimmer-of-Hope—or-100-Credit—in-Data-Loss-Debacle-68361.html?wlc=1255537135

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Quoted – What’s for dinner? – Natural Food Merchandiser

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Faced with layoffs, lower wages and a loss of confidence in the economy, cash-strapped consumers are forgoing restaurant trips, grabbing the wok and cooking at home. Restaurant visits slid 1.5 percent in the three months ending in February versus a year ago, according to Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm NPD Group. That followed a 0.8 percent quarterly dip in late 2008, the first such drop since 2003. Consumers may be leaving those pricey restaurant tabs behind, but they don’t want to scrimp on enjoyment as they aim to create restaurant-worthy experiences in their own dining rooms.

“You want to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to get everything, bring it home and prepare it,” says Scott Testa, marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

http://naturalfoodsmerchandiser.com/tabId/66/itemId/3973/Whats-for-dinner.aspx

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