Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.
I’ve been thinking a lot about a 3-year-old book in recent days- — even more so in the aftermath of the recent study mission to Chicago. The book is Brad Feld’s Startup Communities — a how-to manual for building vibrant, connected communities of innovative companies and entrepreneurs.
I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee, I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?
The balance of power in the workplace has begun to shift subtly from employers to employees, resulting in what the Harvard Business Review dubs a “candidate-driven” economy. That means if you’re a young professional unhappy with what you’re doing, you’re in a better position than ever to make a move.
It’s an unwritten but long-standing axiom in business: You can’t get to the top alone. You need a mentor in your corner who is older and wiser. As a young, aspiring publisher almost 27 years ago, I certainly had help from all around. The business owners with whom I spoke supported me with their wisdom, as they continue to do today. I’ve received guidance, know its value and am extremely grateful.
The economy is recovering, companies are spending more on benefits, employee satisfaction and retention are being monitored. And the holiday party is declining. Could it be that people don’t like it?
It’s event season and whether you’re throwing a simple holiday party at the office or gearing up for your spring conference, there are some simple systems that can keep stress at bay.
The words “brand” and “branding” are so often used interchangeably with “marketing” and “logo” that it’s easy to feel befuddled by the difference. So, what’s the actual difference between your brand, your marketing and your logo?
Of course we care about our clients, but are they feelin’ it? You may think you are doing a great job of appreciating clients, but consider this disconnect: According to a Harvard Management Update generated by Bain and Co., 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. Obviously, it’s time to consider some appreciation tactics.
You might experience a scenario like this at the office: A colleague, boss or employee is incredibly gifted; they are technically skilled, knowledgeable, strategic and very smart. But a frustrating paradox is that they are terrible communicators: unable to take on other’s perspectives, constantly interrupting and long-winded, putting themselves ahead of others, defensive, inflexible, emotional — you get the drift.
Mention “office party,” and someone is going to have a juicy story, usually involving alcohol-impaired behavior. But according to local experts, your company’s holiday party doesn’t have to be a date that lives in infamy.
According to a recent article, millennials are not frugal when it comes to company cash. Recent research shows that millennials spend more money on business trips than either gen X or baby boomers — on costly expenses ranging from flight upgrades to hotel room service.
In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.
Traditionally, the path from law student to full-fledged lawyer has been fairly straight-forward: A student starts out with a summer internship at a law firm, graduates and passes the bar exam, then gets hired at a law firm. In a secure and supportive work environment, law graduates can make good money, meet professional mentors and learn the skills required to be a real lawyer. This is the standard route, the one most students embark on every year. But more graduates like Alexandria Goff are choosing to buck tradition in the name of independence.
I am currently handling a nasty investigation into bullying and harassment at my company. What do I do after the investigation if all parties remain with the company? The relationship has broken down — do we just have to move the employees? I think it’s too late for mediation.
Studies show that the problem isn’t bad workers as much as bad bosses, who aren’t just a nuisance — they’re expensive. They cost a company productivity and turnover. Yet for some reason they’re being hired again and again. So why are we so rotten at hiring leaders, and how can we change?
Make no mistake: The Capital Region boasts some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Many a regional leader is a proud alum of UC Davis or Sacramento State. Yet in 2015, it might behoove us to ask some scary questions: Does a 4-year college degree guarantee a good job? If so, can that good job be reconciled with the staggering debt that currently accompanies a college diploma.
Whether or not your business is in retail products, you can make the most of this momentum to promote your company and offer special promotions to existing customers and leads — making your last quarter more profitable and less stressful.
According to Fast Company, as ad blocking software becomes more ubiquitous (consider Apple’s new iOS 9, which supports ad blocking applications), the entire ecosystem of small publishers and bloggers is threatened by an inability to adequately fund their sites
Community involvement is key to a smart marketing strategy. One of the best ways to make an impact with your business is to first make an impact in your community. Not only does your business generate valuable philanthropic karma points, but you will be more likely to distinguish yourself from competitors, boost customer loyalty and have a happier workplace.