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The Christmas Factor

The Christmas Factor

For Christians the world over, Christmas is one of the year's holiest observances, with the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ both solemn and celebratory. But it is people of all faiths and traditions that have also made Christmas the year’s single largest economic stimulus, as sales increase dramatically in almost all retail areas. The U.S. retail industry generated an astonishing $3 trillion during the Christmas holiday in 2013, 19.2 percent of the total retail sales for the year. The C...

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Increasing your margin and moving pianos

Increasing your margin and moving pianos

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: #10 Understand why customers value your products and services as well as your competitors’ products and services, and what drives their choice. When she answered she was pleasant, helpful and engaging. I needed a good quality mover that could protect my sleek black grand piano from harm as I moved from one home to a new one. She was a good sales person for Company A and was selling their standard moving services. For me, I wanted more than moving services, I ...

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Marketing trends that will impact your business in 2015

Marketing trends that will impact your business in 2015

Management guru Peter Drucker said that “attempting to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” That has stopped almost no one from doing it, and in fact we all make decisions, major and minor, in business and all of life, based on our understanding—puny though it may be—of what the future holds. With all of this in mind, we’ve scoured the business and marketing worlds to put together a list of 7 important predicti...

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This Week’s Business & Management News from the Nonprofit Sector

This Week’s Business & Management News from the Nonprofit Sector

Buzzwords to Watch in 2015 What will catch the ear of nonprofit and foundation leaders in 2015?  Perhaps Internet of Things, Smart Cities and a dozen other, one keen observer postulates. The Ups and Downs of Charity at the Checkout Counter Research indicates that, in general, checkout-donation efforts do not drive sales. But that’s not to say they don’t do good or have merit. 5 Basic Steps to the Truth Ah, how much simpler life would be if we could always get to the truth right away. Cutting thr...

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This Week’s Trending Business Stories 12-15-14.

This Week’s Trending Business Stories 12-15-14.

A quick look at popular stories on business Websites this week.  15 Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Get Stuff Done 15 techniques to fight your tendency to procrastinate. For example, don’t set unreasonably ambitious goals. Facing the impossible is paralyzing and you won’t end up doing much of anything. --Entrepreneur Business Leaders Sizing Up GOP Presidential Candidates for 2016 Some handicappers are sizing up the Republican presidential field with some expectation that it could produce a...

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For product success, make what people want

For product success, make what people want

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: #9 Develop only products and services that are high priorities for current and future customers. There are a lot of candidates for the worst product launch in American history. Rejection of the heavily promoted but underwhelming Edsel in 1957 made the name of the car synonymous with failure. New Coke broke the “do no harm to my brand” rule and was turned away in 1985. Many others rival these product busts (see our post 25 Big American Product Flops). But leave...

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25 Big American Product Flops

25 Big American Product Flops

1. Edsel In 1957, Ford launched the Edsel, a car the company billed as hot and revolutionary, Problem: It turned out to be sort of "blah."Ford was enormously successful in building high expectations for the forthcoming Edsel, but America was equally disappointed. The Edsel tanked. It became a national joke, the car that launched a million punch lines. By November 1959, when Ford finally mercy-killed the Edsel, it had lost an estimated $250 million -- nearly $2 billion in today's dollars. “As it...

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Re-inventing the mission statement.

Re-inventing the mission statement.

[Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: #8: Have a mission statement that is easy to understand with clear benefits for employees, customers and vendors.] It’s time to re-invent the mission statement. A mission statement clarifies purpose. It describes what an organization does, defines the core activity and sets the boundaries for the output of the work. It brings clarity to how you organize and do your work. But in our work with over a hundred organizations of all types and sizes, too often a mis...

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‘Giving Tuesday’ phenomenon and other nonprofit stories of the week

‘Giving Tuesday’ phenomenon and other nonprofit stories of the week

What is #GivingTuesday? We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world came together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. With a team of influencers and founding par...

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22 of the Best Mission Statements in the World

22 of the Best Mission Statements in the World

The main purpose of a mission statement is to clearly and concisely answer the question, “Why do we exist?” and to lay out your overall company goals and how you will achieve them. And it does it all in a quick, easily understood – and easily shared – statement. To write an effective mission statement:  Be short and easy to repeat Focus a product or service on a specific problem Put a unique stake in the ground Set an audacious goal Feature an action verb How do you think these 22 measure up? ...

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