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Explore the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find resources. Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.
By understanding customers' needs, a product can be developed to meet these needs. This author outlines three quick and inexpensive methods to help: Be Your Own Customer, Critically Observe the Customer, and Listen to the Voice of the Customer.
After many years studying sales organizations and working as a consultant, this entrepreneur offers practical tips for ensuring your sales force and compensation plans are highly effective. His premise: start with a great salesperson and pay them what they are worth. Otherwise, your sales compensation plan won't be worth anything.
Netpreneurs--entrepreneurs who are building Internet-related businesses--are a breed apart, argues the writer. In building a new economy with vastly different attributes, these business owners must react quickly, adapt deftly, and zero in on specialties, or "niches," conducive to online commerce, says the author, who founded a software company in the 1970s and, more recently, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities take advantage of the Internet.
Bringing a technology-based product to market involves assessing customers' needs and convincing them that yours is the solution, rather than trumpeting its innovative features, writes the founder of a videoconferencing company. Included are various tactics for engaging in what the author calls "relationship selling" and likens to the venerable board game of Checkers.
Doing business in the rough-and-tumble arena of underdeveloped countries involves adhering to global business basics, such as researching markets thoroughly, while coping with surprises, writes a veteran international entrepreneur who first took his company overseas three decades ago. In entering the "emerging markets," entrepreneurs need to keep close tabs on how (and if) they will be paid, as well as on local managers overly eager to make sales.
Doing business ethically in third world countries involves providing instruction about U.S. business standards in cultures whose business fundamentals are vastly different, writes the author. Another imperative concerns the wisdom of respecting cultural differences without crossing the line to engage in practices considered inappropriate or immoral in the West.
Much of the good business information is hidden in "the invisible Web," the 80 percent of the Internet not accessible to popular search engines. Good news: there are free and low-cost ways to access business information online. This article includes valuable Web sites to visit when you need information for your business or strategic planning.
Entrepreneurs should understand the online marketing opportunities available on popular social networking sites like MySpace. Current marketers on MySpace include music and book publishers, auto companies, consumer products manufacturers, and even issue advocacy groups.
Carving a niche in a specialty business entails listening to customers for specific needs and becoming known in the industry as an expert or insider, says the cofounder of a broker-dealer that serves credit unions.
Giving back to the community-and engaging one-on-one with charitable operatives, the press, and other local constituencies-enables small businesses to increase exposure at little cost, says the founder of a national moving franchiser.
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