The difficult decision of whether or not to discount a service to close certain sales is an issue every service based business faces. Service businesses often have extra capacity as employees are not billing 100% of their time, and customers (and potential customers) know that the lack of complete utilization means there may be room to haggle over price. Reducing the price to close a deal is often tempting, however, it is rarely a good idea for three reasons: The Short Term Benefit is Outweighed by the Potential Long Term Damage The decision to discount a service is typically driven by whether or not the short term need for cash warrants the discounting in hopes of landing a client. While short term cash concerns seem like the most important issue for a business, the long term damage to the brand is far more important. Most service based businesses rely on… Read more!
Over the past few weeks net neutrality has become a topic of great debate. I was recently asked to explain the issue for a friend who has only heard the sound bites on the news about the government trying to “take over the internet.” For those of you still unclear on exactly what net neutrality is, I will use an analogy of the road system because it is easier to follow. Imagine if the road system throughout the United States had been built by private companies instead of the government from the beginning. Every road is privately owned and every road is a toll road. The owners of the roadways use the toll paid by travelers to pay for upgrades, maintenance and profit. As the years go by large delivery companies emerge who deliver goods by truck to their end users. These companies use the roadways more than others because… Read more!
There is a fundamental difference between software that actually works versus software that people find a way to make work. Software people find a way to make work is one of the most frequently occurring themes we see in businesses, and oftentimes one of the most hindering to productivity. Software should improve some aspect of the communication and data organization of a business. When programs are configured correctly, and the proper training is provided, the results can be magical. Unfortunately, for many companies the reality is the configuration was not complete, the training fell short and a new version of the software is necessary to function properly. When employees find a way to make software work it often chokes the growth of a company, and results in confusion that may become catastrophic. The best employees are problem solvers who believe in the company they work for, and want to find… Read more!
Barter is one of the oldest forms of trade in which one company offers its services or goods to another company for services or goods in return. These exchanges do not involve cash, are typically conducted as a private transaction between the two parties and are limited by the goods or services the trade partners offer. Barter exchanges are third parties, often organizations, whose members contract with the barter exchange to trade their goods or services with other members. While barter exchanges exist in the brick and mortar world, many exchanges (such as Bartercard) have moved their business model online to provide a faster electronic exchange for their members. Barter exchanges act as a third party facilitator and bookkeeper which manages the transactions for all of the members and keeps track of the trades. Barter exchanges often use a trade currency referred to as “barter dollars” or “trade dollars” to… Read more!