Adopting a persona sounds sketchy at best, but it’s a real tool that every workplace can use. Far too often, job descriptions put people into boxes, disallowing for the natural growth that comes with the work at hand. Cultivate these 7 personas — the Gardener, the Storyteller, etc. — to help your business innovate.
by Mollie West on Fast Company
We all know what consultants are for, but do we know how to use them? Hiring a consultant isn’t a one-step process, and working with one isn’t either. Take these 5 steps along the way to develop a client-consultant relationship that nets you the most for your money.
by Colin D. Baird on Chief Executive
Email’s not dead, but your outreach strategy might be. It used to be enough to send emails to potential clients and customers, but not anymore. Forging a connection is tougher than ever in an expanding online market. These 7 tips will help you make sure you put your best email forward every single time.
by Neil Patel on Quicksprout
Crowdfunding raised $2 billion in equity last year in the US alone. It isn’t just hipsters in coffee shops anymore. Crowdfunding is a real and viable option for bringing in equity, but it’s more than just money. It brings a multitude of perspectives, providing advantages that traditional funders simply can’t. Learn why crowdfunding may be perfect for you.
by Ethan Mollick on Harvard Business Review
More than a pay check: As millennials continue to enter the workforce in droves, their wants are different from those of the generations before them. Leadership opportunities, work-life balance, and personal growth replace the number of zeros on the stub.
by Katherine Noel on Business Insider
The customer is always right. But what does that mean, really? Customer service has moved past reading from a script or promising future rewards. As long as your company has clear and set values, a holistic approach to customer service may be the best way to achieve success.
on Harvard Business Review
Become a competent communicator: Not everyone can be Cicero, but everyone can come closer. A mass data study of presentations concludes the 4 V approach (vital, verbal, vocal, visual) can improve your public speaking overnight and make you more confident in every conversation you have.
by Matt Abrahams on Stanford Business
Un-sure about un-secured? The pros and cons of unsecured loans are important to decipher if you need an influx of cash. Before you even try to decide what’s best for your company, read this article that helps you craft a business plan, shop around, and improve your credit score.
by Steve Nicastro on Huffington Post
Decisions, decisions. From the CEO to the new guy in the office, you and your employees all make important decisions every single day. Being able to make a good choice without going higher up or asking a co-worker saves time and improves confidence. Good decision-making isn’t innate — it’s a true skill that can be taught and developed. Here’s how.
by Eric J. McNulty on strategy+business
Walk the line: You know you want to keep the sale moving forward, but you don’t want to cross that invisible line into overdoing it. Or be so deferential that you lose the sale. Here are 3 strategies that will keep you on the straight and narrow — including asking the hard questions early and then really listening to the customer’s answer.
by Jeff Hoffman on Hubspot
KISS. We’ve all heard it before, but as problems and rules both get more and more complex, keeping it simple is more relevant than ever. New studies out of Stanford University suggest that keeping to a basic set of guidelines when things go south can be the key to solving any issue. Watch the video to discover just how simple it is to keep it simple.
by Kathleen Eisenhardt on Stanford Business
He just raised $100 million, with no down rounds. Can business owners who weren’t a co-founder of PayPal do that? Get his story by watching this news clip, or reading the accompanying article. What’s the money for? Online lending. Find out how to get the best online loan for your business here.
by Katie Benner on the New York Times, and Meredith Wood on Fundera
What happened to the handshake? Back in the day, good eye contact and a firm grip could seal almost any deal – now it’s hours of billable lawyer time. The art of negotiating a new partnership belongs at the table, where two sides meet and hash it out. These 5 tips will help you get back to good old-fashioned negotiating.
by Jeff Cornwall on Forbes
The newest business ideas still need to stand the old tests. When it comes to starting your business, measuring success is paramount. These old-school tricks will give you new-school results and prove time-efficient over the long run.
by Aaron HIrschhorn on Upstart Business Journal
Happiness is not a fish that can be caught, or can it? Design experts at some of the world’s leading creators of fun pool their resources to find out whether designing happiness is possible. Discover how you can design happy experiences for yourself and your customers from the people who do it every single day.
by Mark Wilson on Fast Company
All alone on loans? Lending is growing more complex while options proliferate. This can leave you without a clear understanding of how loans work, possibly deterring you from a loan your business needs, or leading you into a loan that damages your company. Learn where to start with online loans, including no-collateral financing.
by Gretchen Schmid on Fundera
Can happiness be measured? We answer that with a resounding Yes. Discover the increasingly apparent correlation between happy employees and long-term value.
by Alex Edmans on Harvard Business Review
Your weekly wrap-up of the digital universe: Discover the 9 stats that have defined the online marketing world this past week, and what they mean for you.
by Christopher Heine on Adweek
Trying to grow a bigger business with a tiny team? This company tried a lot of software (so you don’t have to) and found the 5 software tools that every business must have if they’re going to scale up in the retail industry.
by Brian Hahn on inDinero
And how will you be paying for that? No one wants to ask the question, but making sure your clients can pay is essential to your business. Here’s how to protect yourself in case they don’t.
by Paul Sullivan on the New York Times