Tell me … what do you do, who you do it for, why you do it and what can you do for me?
And tell me quickly.
Such is the challenge of the elevator pitch – a personal marketing spiel seldom delivered in elevators, but a staple of networking.
A skillful elevator pitch can be the foundation upon which new professional relationships are built. A not-so-skillfull pitch will make sure you are forgotten — or, even worse, leave a bad impression with a potentially valuable contact.
“The perfect elevator pitch should take no more than 30 seconds and incorporate your number of years of experience, areas of expertise, key skills and some key projects or brands that you have been associated with,” says Jessica Bedford of niche recruiting firm Artisan Creative. “If there is anything that makes you stand out, work that into your pitch as well.”
Yes, easier said than done – but doable, nonetheless.
Employers may unintentionally violate employment laws and never realize the risk they create for the company. Trying to provide some flexibility for an employee, saving money for the company, or just being nice are all ways that an act of kindness can become a business liability.
CalChamber’s “The Top 10 Things Employers Do to Get Sued” white paper details some of the mistakes that could lead to employee lawsuits. Topics include:
- Exempt and nonexempt employee classification
- Meal breaks
- Independent contractor status
- Harassment and discrimination
- Hours of work
- Leaves of Absence
- Final paycheck
- Deductions from wages
- Vacation policy
The 2010 law governing gift and estate taxes is set to expire at the end of this year. For 2013, assuming Congress does not act, the lifetime limits on gift tax will fall from $5.12 million to $1 million. That means an individual can gift, over his lifetime, no more than $1 million tax-free starting in 2013. The top gift tax rate on amounts of more than that $1 million threshold is also scheduled to rise from 35 percent to 55 percent starting next year.
It’s a mistake to think that because a customer has expressed dissatisfaction with your product or service, they will not come back to you.
They won’t return if you handle the situation badly. However, some of your most vociferous complainers could become your most loyal customers, because you handled the situation well and treated them with respect.
This means recognizing some essential traits:
• Customers want to be respected
• They want attention
• They want to be appreciated and recognized
• Most of all – they want to be understood!
U.S. small businesses that initially rushed to Chinese factories to get their products made are now dumping them for American manufacturers.
And the shift is gaining traction, said industry experts who match U.S. small companies with domestic firms.
Entrepreneurs short on marketing cash can team up with other small businesses that target the same types of customers and promote each other’s products or services.
Ask about our upcoming business directory
A computer is only as useful as the software you run on it, so you should keep your PC’s software current–and not necessarily with the latest version of a program that’s getting long in the tooth. Sometimes, switching to a new application can help you speed up your work or make your system more efficient.
PCWorld examined software tools for handling 11 categories of common (and essential) PC tasks: presentations, financial planning, note taking, file management, photo editing, email, word processing, music organizing, remote access, cleanup/optimization, and backup. In each instance, we identified the dominant program, a promising challenger, and (where applicable) an online alternative. Our category coverage invites you to consider the pros and cons of each type of contender: incumbents, up-and-comers, and Web apps.
It’s not unusual for America’s wealthiest individuals to invest through angel groups or sit on boards at venture capital firms. But these days the superrich also want to own and operate small companies where their deep pockets and powerful networks can create growth, says Mindy Rosenthal, executive director of the Institute for Private Investors in New York
San Diego’s leading economic indicators ended 2011 on a positive note, rising in December for the second month in a row, according to an index maintained by the University of San Diego.
The numbers indicate continued growth in 2012
In California, the new rules include limits on the ability of businesses to check the credit reports of workers and job seekers. Nationwide, tax deductions for equipment purchases will be sharply reduced.
Small-business owners will be greeted Jan. 1 with dozens of new laws and regulations.
In California, they will include new mandates concerning employees, including a partial ban on checking the credit reports of workers and job applicants.
And it’s no surprise that there are changes at the federal level too.
Here’s a guide to some of the new laws and regulations set to go into effect in 2012.
- Federal Taxes changes
- New federal accessibility rules
- New California laws