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Alliances: What works, what does not
Why Alliances Fail
When do you know an alliance is falling apart?
An alliance will surely fail without good communication on both sides. It will also fail if the alliance partner is not capable of completing the tasks set out in the service level agreement. Service level agreements are usually put in place so that milestones in the process can be monitored. The agreement also helps to alleviate the number of complaints by the alliance partner (and also the complaints about the service being provided to the partner's customers). The basic premise here is that the products and services being offered are of excellent quality. If the quality is missing in the formula, your alliances will most definitely fail.
Finger pointing is one of the worst things that can happen in a relationship. The business relationship must be preserved at all costs. The saying goes "never burn a bridge as you never know when you need to cross it again". I had a partner that did not believe in that philosophy and, six years down the road, he found that he needed to deal with me again. Instead of repairing the damage, the information he needed was obtained by a mutual acquaintance. Since I did not burn bridges, I readily gave out the information. I still have not seen him again.
Alliances also fail because the return on the investment was not as promised. Relationships can be very fickle when it comes to money transactions. You need to build the relationship first and keep it intact, and then deal with the ROI. If the product or service does not live up to expectation, then a mutually agreeable term in the service level agreement should give an out to one or both parties. This will allow for an amicable departure and keep the relationship intact.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com
Trailblazer Interview with Diane J. Levin, Partnering Solutions
Today is a Red Letter Day! It's special because today is the first edition of the Trailblazer Interviews.
Do You Need Accounting Software for Your Small Business?
If you're anything like me then you dislike with a vengeance doing your accounts and taxes.
QSR Quick Service - Fast Food Restaurants Labor Situation in United States
One of the major complaints in the QSR Quick Service-Fast Food Restaurants Industry is the deplorable Labor Situation. In United States teen labor has become somewhat slim on ethical standards, showing up on time, drug use (both recreational and problematic), work ethic and trainability. Who can we blame? Well we can start by blaming ourselves. What happened? Well it is the latch key kid syndrome, lack of school funding and discipline and many other obvious issues. The ages between 17 and 28 the normal ages of employees of Fast Food Restaurants have a lot to be desired in the inherent customer service realm and desirability for employment.
Retail Customer Opportunities for Pressure Washing Companies
Pressure washing companies must look for customers in the retail industry to make sure they stay busy. Large Box Stores and Grocery Stores are often you best customers in that regard. Cleaning concrete or doing "flat work" makes sense for a number of reasons, 1.) It is not labor intensive like washing trucks; 2.) Routine scheduled customers make the work extremely easy; 3.) Generally you do not have to worry about not getting paid for work completed, as the corporate offices will pay you, even if they are sometimes a little slow to pay.
How to Compete with the Big Guns?!
Many small business startups fail within the first 2 years of existence. There are several different factors reason for the failure. One reason many entrepreneurs often under estimate the need to find a niche market and to serve it well. Instead of finding the niche market they attack the big guys head on. If you have enough money to throw at 'this problem' you might succeed, but in reality almost every small business doing this will fail and eventually shutdown operations.
How to Promote Your Business by Entering Contests
You are probably hard at work promoting your business (and if you're not, you should be!), but if you haven't submitted your profile to any contests yet, you may be missing a golden opportunity.
How to Define Business Objectives
Why does a good business relationship rely on having some common business objectives?
Is a Small Business Web Site a Wise Investment?
One of the greatest pitfalls in e-commerce is Field of Dreams thinking, the notion that all one has to do is "build it (a web site) and they will come."
Want to Grow Your Business? Make an Irresistible Offer
My clients and many of my readers are small and home-based business owners, and one of the biggest struggles they face is getting new customers.
Starting a Business in New Hampshire
Hew Hampshire car wash market. Well we have visited every city in New Hampshire over the population of 10,000 at least twice, the larger ones four and five times talking to many people in various industries. Landscapers, brick layers, Heating and Air, Plumbers, Car Dealers, Professional People, Politicians, wood be politicians, chamber of Commerce Personal, Economic Development people and just nice folks on the street. Including skateboarders; Hockey and Soccer Moms; Canadian Tourists and this last visit mourners for the Old Man of the Mountain who died in vain after a Harsh winter of snow and rain. The ceremonies were good and respectful of our fallen gentleman. But the world marches on and with more places to go and people to meet including an in depth look into what makes Nashua tick. One of the major populated cities in NH and there are not many of them. Total Population is about 1,272,600 approximately.
Small Business Mistakes: Are You Making Enough of Them?
That's right are you making enough mistakes in your business? Some of you are probably annoyed at my question; others are thinking "Geez, Rose! If I made any more mistakes I'd have to run screaming back to a day job!"
Hosted PBX, Is It Right For You?
"Order Now!" "Your Business Will Fail If You Don't Have This New Technology!" "Your Competition Has This Tool, Why Don't You?" Does any of this sound familiar? Does it make you cringe? It seems to be impossible to keep up with all the new trends in business today. It's hard to know which trends are just flash in the pan gimmicks and which are valuable tools that your business can actually benefit from. It's important to do your research. Find out what these tools can do for you and make sure it is right for your business. One of these recent trends is the hosted PBX service. These "virtual" phone systems can automatically answer, screen and route all incoming calls to your office, home and/or cell phone. Although they have been on the market for some time now, hosted PBXs have recently been getting the attention of more and more small and medium sized businesses. Is this technology right for your business?
Yeah, It IS Lonely At the Top
Sometimes when you run a business you feel as lonely as the Maytag repairman. Loneliness and isolation are very common problems for business owners. You sit at your desk wondering if you are steering your business in the right direction. When faced with a decision, you worry that you may be making a mistake or missing an opportunity. You get frustrated because you have no one to talk to about all the problems and decisions you have to make everyday. When you have a confidential matter you can't discuss with employees, family members, or friends you suffer in silence because you don't have an advisor to turn to. And unless your spouse is an MBA, he or she probably doesn't have the answers you need either.
Small Business Marketing - Clarify Success
When you hear the word "success" does it bring on visions of fame and fortune for your business? Have you clarified and articulated what that success will look like for your business and how you'll know when you've achieved it?
Franchising Pros and Cons
Last week's question from Anthony R. on how to choose the franchise that would best fulfill his life-long dream of owning his own business sparked a number of emails from other readers wanting to offer their two cents on the subject.
Self-Employment: Do you know the Difference between Rates and Wages
The difference between rates and wages is not always clear to newly self-employed people and their wage-earning clients.
Dig Deep for Small Business Ideas Before You Start the Wrong Business
If you're serious about wanting to start a business, the first thing you want to do is take the time to understand what really makes you tick. Where do you get your drive? What gets you in a "zone?"
Getting Grant Funding For Your Nonprofit Organization
Do you need grant funding for your nonprofit organization? If you do you are most certainly not alone in your needs. This combined with the fact that because of regular government budget cuts there's not as many federal dollars available as there once was. And because of our current economic recession foundation dollars are down as well. What you now have are some serious concerns facing your nonprofit organization.
FTC Report on Franchise Rule Making; What Purpose?
The Federal Trade Commission out of the blue decide in November of 2004 that they wanted to revamp the franchise and business opportunity rule; specifically addressing franchising. Now then, why now? To prove to the masses that the Federal Trade Commission is in control? After all it is nearly 10 years after the Federal Trade Commission considered revising the rule, before this report has surfaced again. Ten years?
Are You Using a Chess or Checkers Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Until the day I learned to play chess I loved playing checkers. Both games require a strategy that maximizes a player's ability to capture her opponents pieces without first losing her own. Checkers was fun. But the complexities of chess lead to more satisfying victories and defeats.
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