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6 Ways to Get More Value From an IT Consultant
IT consultants are many things — experts in their field, champions of the workaround and, generally, the “people persons” of the tech field. But they’re not magicians who, with the wave of a smartphone, can solve any dilemma you throw at them. Here are six ways to get more value from your company’s next IT ...

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Contemplating Compensation Increases and Pay for Performance
As a business grows, one of many challenges it faces is identifying a competitive yet manageable compensation structure. After all, offer too little and you likely won’t have much success in hiring. Offer too much and you may compromise cash flow and profitability. But the challenge doesn’t end there. Once you have a feasible compensation ...

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Is There a Weak Link in Your Supply Chain?
In an increasingly global economy, keeping a close eye on your supply chain is imperative. Even if your company operates only locally or nationally, your suppliers could be affected by wider economic conditions and developments. So, make sure you’re regularly assessing where weak links in your supply chain may lie. 3 Common Risks Every business ...

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Get SMART When it Comes to Setting Strategic Goals
Strategic planning is key to ensuring every company’s long-term viability, and goal setting is an indispensable step toward fulfilling those plans. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, trace your goals back to ...

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Trust is an Essential Building Block of Today’s Websites
When business use of websites began, getting noticed was the name of the game. Remember pop-up ads? Text scrolling up the screen? How about those mesmerizing rotating banners? Yes, there were — and remain — a variety of comical and some would say annoying ways to get visitors’ attention. Nowadays, most Internet users are savvy ...

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3 Keys to a Successful Accounting System Upgrade
Technology is tricky. Much of today’s software is engineered so well that it will perform adequately for years. But new and better features are being created all the time. And if you’re not getting as much out of your financial data as your competitors are, you could be at a disadvantage. For these reasons, it ...

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Is Your Inventory Getting the Better of You?
On one level, every company’s inventory is a carefully curated collection of inanimate objects ready for sale. But, on another, it can be a confounding, slippery and unpredictable creature that can shrink too small or grow too big — despite your best efforts to keep it contained. If your inventory has been getting the better ...

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Finding a 401(k) That’s Right for Your Business
By and large, today’s employees expect employers to offer a tax-advantaged retirement plan. A 401(k) is an obvious choice to consider, but you may not be aware that there are a variety of types to choose from. Let’s check out some of the most popular options: Traditional. Employees contribute on a pretax basis, with the ...

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Run the Numbers Before You Extend Customer Credit
Funny thing about customers: They can keep you in business — but they can also put you out of it. The latter circumstance often arises when a company overly relies on a few customers that abuse their credit to the point where the company’s cash flow is dramatically impacted. To guard against this, you need ...

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A Midyear Review Should Go Beyond Financials
Every year is a journey for a business. You begin with a set of objectives for the months ahead, probably encounter a few bumps along the way and, hopefully, reach your destination with some success and a few lessons learned. The middle of the year is the perfect time to stop for a breather. A ...

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Could a Long-Term Deal Ease Your Succession Planning Woes?
Some business owners — particularly those who founded their companies — may find it hard to give up control to a successor. Maybe you just can’t identify the right person internally to fill your shoes. While retirement isn’t in your immediate future, you know you must eventually step down. One potential solution is to find ...

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Bookings vs. Shippings: A Sales Flash Report Primer
Do bad sales months often take you by surprise? If so, don’t forget the power of flash reports — that is, snapshots of critical data for quick, timely viewing every day or week. One specific way to use them is to track bookings vs. shippings. Doing so can help you determine what percentage of volume ...

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Ask the Right Questions About Your IT Strategy
Most businesses approach technology as an evolving challenge. You don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles you’ll never fully use, but you also don’t want to get left behind as competitors use the latest tech tools to operate more nimbly. To refine your IT strategy over time, you’ve got to regularly reassess your operations ...

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4 Ways to Encourage Innovation in Customer Service
When business people speak of innovation, the focus is usually on a pioneering product or state-of-the-art service that will “revolutionize the industry.” But innovation can apply to any aspect of your company — including customer service. Many business owners perceive customer service as a fairly cut-and-dried affair. Customers call, you answer their questions or solve ...

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Cost Control Takes a Total Team Effort
“That’s just the cost of doing business.” You’ve probably heard this expression many times. It’s true that, to invoke another cliché, you’ve got to spend money to make money. But that doesn’t mean you have to take rising operational costs sitting down. Cost control is a formal management technique through which you evaluate your company’s ...

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