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SWBC's BusinessHub blog is a one-stop resource for business owners and company decision makers.


5 Tips for Creating a Culture of Learning in the Workplace

There are a lot of things in today’s workplace that can make employees feel happy and more engaged—money, rewards, or something as simple as a thank you card. The list could go on and on, but one of the ways that many companies are fulfilling this need is through developing a culture of learning in their organization that supports their employees’ professional and personal development. Companies that promote a culture of learning in their workplace have a system of organizational practices and processes that encourage employees to develop their professional expertise.

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Improve Your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Simple Steps

Many business professionals that I regularly interact with are somewhat perplexed when it comes to LinkedIn. While most people of all age groups understand the basics of social media from a personal perspective—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—LinkedIn falls into a different category where the lines of what to include in your profile and what type of content to share can become blurred. If you're using LinkedIn to build your professional network, generate leads, or search for career opportunities, there are simple updates you can make to your LinkedIn profile today to help you achieve your goals. Today, I'll cover five enhancements that will help you improve your searchability, describe your expertise, and establish your authority in your business or field of work.

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Channel Your Inner Salesperson

Many people despise the typical salesperson. If I were to ask the average person walking down the street if they were in sales, I'd probably hear a resounding and collective, "NO!" And guess what my response would be: "Oh, you're not?  Well, I hate to break it to you, but we are all in sales. Nothing happens until something is sold."

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A Checklist to Help Your Business Start the Year Off Right

Now that the dust from the busy holiday season has settled, the tree, lights, and decorations have been stored away, and you've resolved to lose those few extra pounds gained over the past couple of months of holiday dinners and parties, it's time to get back to the business of running your business.

Much like personal resolutions and goals, it's a good idea to kick off a new year with a clear vision of what you'd like to accomplish over the next 12 months. Planning an entire year can be overwhelming, so we've put together a handy checklist to help you get started and stay on track.

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Create a Winning Sales Culture in 3 Simple Steps

It’s not always an easy task to get your employees to sell the products and services your business offers, especially if you didn’t hire them for their sales experience, but rather for their customer service skills or knowledge of the industry. However, the truth is simple—your customers are going to purchase the products and services you offer from somewhere, so why shouldn’t they purchase these things from you?

If you don’t have a motivated sales staff and a positive sales environment, your customers will go elsewhere. It’s crucial that your employees realize the value of sales within your organization. But, if you’re having trouble getting them on the selling bandwagon, we have a few tips on how to get them motivated.

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How to Build a Simple But Telling Competitive Analysis

Originally featured on SWBC's LenderHub blog.

During my days as an independent consultant, companies most often asked me to help them build their strategic direction. My first question was as reflexive as swatting a mosquito on the back of my neck.  “Can I get a copy of your competitive analysis?” That was usually followed by a blank stare.

Trying to build a strategic direction without a competitive analysis is like walking barefoot through a cow pasture on a moonless night.  You have no idea where you’re going, how far you’ve gone, whether you are about to run into something, fall into something, or step into…something.

A competitive analysis is NOT determining if your product is priced effectively! It’s a determination of where your competition is best able to compete and how it is actually competing.  Believe it or not, your analysis may show your competitor is using a flawed strategy—which helps you build your winning strategy.

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7 Customer Survey Mistakes You're Making

In my last post, I gave you five ways to increase your survey results. Today, we'll dive into a few survey question mistakes you should avoid.

Well written questions are critical for a survey's success in providing you with accurate information and for its completion rate. While you may know what you want to ask in your survey, the way you ask the questions can shape your respondents' perspective on something and even cause them to unintentionally provide inaccurate answers. Good survey questions should allow thoughtful answers without leading the respondent to one answer or the other, and should not leave them feeling angry or confused. Writing an effective survey can be challenging, but if you avoid these common survey writing mistakes, you will have a great survey in no time.

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Business Growth 101: Get Out of the Weeds and Start Adding Value

When you first start a business, its not uncommon to wear all of the hats. When you're a one- or two-man shop, you very well may end up being the CEO, CFO, Director of Sales, and Senior Executive Assistant—at least initially. After all, you're going into uncharted territory, the success of your business is uncertain, and you want to run a lean operation. Hiring additional resources to help support you directly affects your bottom line, so it just makes sense to do as much as possible on your own.    

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What Grandma's Cooking Can Teach Us about Better Business Performance

When it comes to better business performance, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite fables about a generation of women whose ham recipe not only brings a few laughs, but also illustrates a valuable lesson.

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