Archive for July, 2011

work from home

Customer loyalty is the back bone of any business and this is something that any business owner can attest to. Benefits that emerge from customer loyalty are endless and will effectively determine a businesses success. How do you increase customer loyalty is the commonly asked question. Customer loyalty isn’t built out of one practice, but rather a multitude of them that can help increase it. A book that includes details on many of the facets of customer loyalty and how to employ them has been released by the Harvard Business Review.

Harvard Business Review on Increasing Customer Loyalty.

One of the main ideas behind customer loyalty is to make sure your customers are coming back and bringing new customers with them. The idea itself is rather easy to understand but executing it is another story. To start on the path towards this kind of success make sure that your employees enjoy their jobs. If your employees are happy their happiness will spread throughout your business and to your customers. Your customers will then get the feeling that something good is happening at your business.

Another step to take is to turn negative situations that arise into positive ones. Training in this skill will be needed by your employees, but since they are happy they should learn quickly. There is tremendous opportunity to deepen a relationship when a customer has a problem. Start with the idea of never saying no to a customer, make sure that they know you are making an exception just for them, and then exceed their expectations for a solution. Not only will this type of interaction will result in loyal customers, but also customers who refer.

Certain steps can be taken to increase customer loyalty, which has been learned by the Harvard Business Review through extensive research they’ve done.

The book goes into much more detail on the subject, much further than the ideas briefly listed above. Many of their suggestions are based on customer service, but customer loyalty is rooted in other arenas as well. These topics are all covered in order to provide you with a comprehensive plan.


Finding Great Places To “Work From Home” Away From Home

A lot of people think that working from home would be something like a dream, but if you have ever worked from home yourself, you understand that it is not always everything that people imagine it to be – and one of the toughest things of al about working from home is that it can sometimes be extremely difficult to focus! Many people find that they can regain their focus while working from home by changing locale; by simply switching from “home” to “away from home,” they are able to kick their focus back into gear and get a lot more accomplished.

It is not always easy to find a place away from home that is conducive to work, especially if you need internet in order to do your work, but one of the best places is such restaurants as Panera Bread or Atlanta Bread; these places usually offer a quiet atmosphere, free internet, bottomless coffee, and excellent food!

You can also, of course, fulfill your “internet and coffee” needs at most coffee shops – but if you are going to visit a coffee shop, realize that your best bet will probably be to go to a quiet, local coffee shop, as these tend to be less busy (and more conducive to work) than chain coffee shops.

The Proven Guide To Finding Out How To Work From Home


And one place that people tend to forget about – but that offers one of the best work environments of all – is your local library; “quiet” is the rule when it comes to libraries, and this means that a visit to the library can often give you everything you need in the way of a peaceful, quiet work environment, while also giving you comfortable places to sit, free internet, and (often) the availability of coffee.

Of course, it is definitely nice to be able to make money working from home – but when you hit one of those points where “working from home” is not nearly as wonderful as so many people imagine it to be, you can keep these places in mind as “escape hatches” where you can go to keep on working.

A long time ago, a pen was a beautiful thing to own; back before the advent of ballpoint pens, fountain pens were the rule of the day, and everyone not only knew how to take care of their fountain pens, but they also had a healthy adoration and respect for the fountain pen they owned. While fountain pens are certainly not a necessity these days, there are still many people – either because they are collectors, or simply because they prefer to write with a truly grand writing instrument – who prefer to use fountain pens, and while you can get a great fountain pen for under one hundred dollars, this investment will do nothing for you if you do not know the proper way to take care of your pen.


The fact that you should store your fountain pen upright (with the nib facing upward) is the very first thing you should make sure you know; if you store your pen with the nib (the writing portion) pointing down, the ink will have a tendency to coagulate – or clog – in the nib, which will make the pen rather useless.

One of the reasons many people derive great pleasure from writing with a fountain pen is that they write much more smoothly – with far less strain on the hand and arm – than does a ballpoint pen; when you write with a fountain pen, however, make sure you remember that they write more smoothly, as pressing down too hard while writing with your fountain pen will ruin the nib.

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And of course, cleaning your fountain pen periodically will be important; generally speaking, you should rinse out your fountain pen after every two refills of ink – running cold water (not hot, as this can ruin the nib as well!) through the inside of the pen and allowing it to dry for a few hours before filling it with ink again.

Taking the proper approach to caring for your fountain pen will ensure that you will be able to write the way people used to be able to write – with a priceless instrument that required attention and care, and that paid the user back with hours of pleasurable writing!


Out of all the things that are important to men, two of the things that will tend to be among the most important to men – especially to young men – is that they have the “look” they want to have, and that they also have a job that makes them feel like going to work each day is fulfilling and productive. Of course, the main problem with these two desires (again, especially for young men!) is the fact that the desires of keeping a specific, desired look and having a specific job are sometimes in direct conflict with one another; if you have found that this is the case for you, here are a few things you can consider doing in order to keep the look you have while also keeping the job you want.


If you have a beard (and if it is important to you that you be able to keep a beard!), you should be able to get away with this as long as you keep the beard trimmed, and if you want to keep the beard fairly long, keeping your hair short and styled as a counterbalance to this will help a lot.

By taking the right approach, you will also be able to get away with long hair – and can even cause long hair to look sharp; make sure you are still dressing sharp, and keep your face clean-shaven (or, at least, keep your beard trimmed close and well-manicured), and you will look great!

And if you want to keep both the beard and the long hair, realize firstly that there are some jobs for which this will be acceptable, and realize secondly that you will be far more likely to be able to get away with this if you make sure you are doing a tremendous job at work! In fact, you can get away with just about any look you want if you do a tremendous job at work – just make sure you keep up the good work, or your desire to keep a specific look just might cost you your job!


If you run a business, one of the things that can dismantale it more quickly than anything is internal conflicts. Although you cannot be in the middle of every conflict as it happens (nor do you want to be!), you can have ground rules in place for resolving conflicts. With ground rules in place for resolving conflicts, your employees will be able to solve their disputes calmly and with as little mess as possible!

One of the first things you want to do, in setting the ground rules for resolving conflicts, is to make sure that the processes are detailed and documented. When it comes to employee conflicts, your ultimate goal is for the employees to be able to police themselves and resolve the conflicts on their own. But if your ground rules are not detailed and documented, your employees will be trying to solve their conflicts without ever knowing if they are following protocol.

When it comes to communication in your business, it is important that the atmosphere is conducive to open communication, and you will need to take a personal hand in creating such an environment. Communication should start from the top and trickle down, which means that you should communicate with your employees, but it also means they should be able to communicate with you! When you establish an environment in which employees feel comfortable communicating with you and their other managers, they will also feel comfortable communicating with one another.


Of course, should there be a conflict that the employees are unable to work out on their own, it is important that you have a step in place that enables you or a manager to step in and mediate. In this way, you will be able to keep things in your business under control and have a clear view of everything that is going on.

When it comes to small businesses, conflicts among employees can be detrimental. When you learn how to set the ground rules to enable employees to take care of their conflicts on their own as often as possible, you will help your business run much more smoothly!

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