|Business Management Information|
Big Company Intelligence on a Small Company Budget
Information is the lifeblood of the economy. That's especially true for businesses, because the ability to identify current customers and locate new prospects makes the difference between boom and bust. So how do successful companies do it? Through targeted market research, which usually means arcane computer systems, large staffs, and six-figure budgets.
That situation is ripe for change, according to the CEO of Catenate, LLC, Wendy Cobrda. "Solutions that used to sell for $100,000 plus are now available for less than $5,000. And even better, these tools are web-enabled, which allow companies of all sizes to easily access the information they need instantaneously for a relatively small investment."
Ironically, many of those companies rely on the U.S. Census Bureau data, because of its low cost, but by the time Census data is compiled and formatted, it is two to three years out of date. That data often doesn't reflect the reality of today's marketplace. And what if you need a finer-grained solution than the 10,000 foot view that the Census Bureau offers? That's where Catenate's web application, Catopshere, enters the picture. Catosphere leverages databases which include Census data, current year estimates and five-year Projections (ESRI), traffic counts, shopping centers, market potential, consumer expenditures, and lifestyle segmentation. Site guests simply carve out a subset of that data that applies to a geographical region of their choice. What results is a geodemographical study that captures the statistical "vital signs" of the target region. Surprisingly, obtaining the survey runs less than five minutes from start to finish. Once the target region and the type of study are chosen, Catosphere dynamically generates the study in either PDF or Excel format.
Although refreshingly usable (the "1-2-3" type instruction lists show up more than once), Catosphere also provides substantial flexibility. Reports can selected from ten categories, including aerial photographs. Target regions can be selected via Dbase databases, predefined geographic units, address intersections, a Mapquest-style map selector, or latitude and longitude. Reports may also be automatically branded with a business logo. In that way, Catosphere helps you convince the next level of management that you're on the ball.
The company provides two avenues to obtain geodemographic reports ? a la carte reports or subscriptions. Subscriptions range one to three years across two detail levels, Basic and Premium. Per-report prices fall in the sub-$100 range; subscriptions range from $995 (Basic) to $2500 (Premium), but allow unlimited access to national data. Subscriptions provide the most value to companies that need to keep abreast of volatile markets or require the ability to conduct speculative analyses. "I use the reports and maps to make my business case," notes Keith Chamberlain, CEO of Live Arts Today.
In the age of micromarketing, businesses need tools to ensure that their marketing campaigns strike gold. Catosphere provides an intriguing tool that may help small to medium-sized businesses do exactly that.
Hiring Your First Business Personal Assistant: Some Guidelines for Successful Hiring
Hiring the first personal business assistant is an exciting time for new business owners. It means that the business is doing well enough that the business owner can no longer keep up effectively with the demands of the new business. Sales are exploding, and time becomes of the utmost importance. Scheduling of business chores and personal chores can become very demanding and complex. This is the time new business owners often find themselves considering a personal business assistant.
Management Consultants, Creativity, Innovation
Most firms have intelligent, capable, knowledgeable managers who are very good at day-to-day problem solving. So why do they need management consultants? There are occasions when consultants bring in specialist competencies, but if that is not the case then their value only really lies in their outside perspective - their ability to frame break from the "company way" and their ability to come up with and implement good ideas that would not otherwise have been thought of.
Management & Leadership - Doing it right in the 21st Century
The Old Way ? Command and Control
Creativity and Innovation Management ? Personality Testing
Whilst tests measuring the creative or innovative personality exist, there are a number of inherent flaws. Some are noted below:
Innovation Management ? Selecting Good Ideas
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation. There are distinct processes that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialisation. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercialising those ideas will not be wasted.
Time Management Tip: Stop Micro-Managing Employees
If I was a fly on the wall what would I hear your employees say? Would it something like this? "They won't allow me to make even the simplest decisions." "The red tape here makes it very difficult for me to do my job." "Management has to sign off on everything; they don't trust me."
What to Do When Trust is Low
Trust is essential. You can't run a business without it. Customers leave. Risk taking evaporates. You find yourself surrounded by naysayers ? or worse ? yes men and women. No one dares tell the truth. Departments put up barricades creating fortresses inside your castle.
Solving the Problem Solving Problem
The meeting started like a hundred others before. There were five people sitting around the conference table, like they always did, trying to solve a problem that had popped up in the last few weeks. If you could watch and listen from another room you wouldn't find major arguments or conflicts. These people had worked together before and from all outward appearances were pretty effective as a team.
Creativity and Innovation - Large Firms Versus Small Firms
There is a pervasive assumption that small firms are more creative and innovative than larger firms. That is, they identify problems and generate ideas (creativity) and idea select, develop and commercialise (innovate) those ideas to a greater degree than larger firms. However, there is a large degree of untruth to this assumption:
Employee Retention: Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business
The retention of highly skilled knowledge workers is one of the major challenges today for all organizatons. Knowledge workers are those whose work primarily requires the use of "mental power rather than muscle power."
Hold Your Applause!
It's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit. Harry S Truman
Online Business Peace of Mind
Is your online business disaster-proof? Online businesses face a unique set of challenges. Unlike our offline counterparts, we must worry about hackers, credit-card fraud, loss of data, virus attacks, websites going down and more.
What Your Employees Want You to Know (But You Might Be Afraid to Ask)
This is a challenge for every company owner and manager. You have tremendous plans for growth and expect a lot of your employees. But do you know if the company is meeting your best employees' expectations? Are you providing the type of environment that supports high productivity and high quality? Do you really want to know?
Why Good Enough... Isnt
About a year ago, I had an opportunity to have dinner with the CEO of an engineering startup company in Pennsylvania. As we discussed engineering design matters over Chinese food, he took a few moments to talk about his business philosophy. "As far as I'm concerned," he told me, "if a product is good enough, then it's perfect." He explained that in his view, product improvements should only be performed with the specific goal of increasing sales. "Anything else," he said, "provides no benefit to the company. It's just over-engineering."
Does Your Management Style Remind People Of Something They Read In Dilbert?
With thanks to Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian who does the "You might be a redneck series of jokes.
Innovation Management ? Emotion, Habit, and Culture can be Hard to Change!
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
Using an Appraisal to Benefit Your Organization
PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS BENEFIT THE ORGANIZATION:
Why You Should Hold One More Meeting
If you are completely happy with where you and your business currently are then you can stop here. If growth and change aren't something you have any interest in, there is no need for you to read any further.
Creating a Team Working Environment
TEAM DECISION MAKING: Managers who invite participation believe that people directly affected by a decision should be involved in making that decision. The effort is toward joint, cooperative decision making. The aim is to give employees a chance to have a say about things that affect them. This means giving them more control over their own work and giving up some of your own power and control.
4 Tips on How to Avoid Communication Lines Breakdown
For example, in a small, two-person company, there is often the greatest opportunity for direct conversation and discussion throughout the day. There are only two possibilities for verbal communication and it's usually quick, easy and descriptive.
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