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Skill-Builder Tips

Want to be more successful in your business? Check out these skill-building tips from WESO members and program speakers.

Do I Really Have to Do this Alone?: Creating A Thriving Advisory Board by Stephanie Hoffman
Value-Added Pricing by Cathie Izor
Delivering your "Elevator Speech" by Sandy Abell
Business Cards: Make Them Work For You by Cathie Izor
Want to Recognize Your Employees Effectively?  Think Beyond Pay by Leigh N. Schutzky, PHR
Handling Meltdown by Rob Hambleton
Self-Employment Tax by Kathleen Crawford
Tips for Participating in Trade Shows by Patricia Bean and Cathie Izor
Working the Room: Networking at Meetings and Events by Cathie Izor
Setting Fees For a Service Business by Cathie Izor
Increase Your Referral Power by Jimmie Smith
Improving Your Listening Skills: Monologue or Dialogue? by Sandy Abell
Who Is Your Market? by Sandy Abell

Do I Really Have to Do this All Alone?: Creating A Thriving Advisory Board

by Stephanie Hoffman

Create an Advisory Board that offers expertise, guidance and next-step recommendations to move forward.  You don’t have to run your business alone! Learn more...

Value-Added Pricing

by Cathie Izor

If your competition offers lower prices than yours and you just can't afford to lower your prices, you might want to try adding value to your products instead. Value-added pricing differentiates your products by adding features or services that your competitors don't have and that customers will pay more for. Learn more...

Delivering your "Elevator Speech"

by Sandy Abell, Inside Jobs Coaching Company

Your Elevator Speech is a self-introduction that you use in situations where you have only a few seconds to explain who you are and why the person you are meeting should do business with you. The name comes from the concept that you meet a person when you step into an elevator and only have the length of the elevator trip to catch their interest in the value of your business. This type of introduction is also referred to as your "30-second commercial." You prepare your Elevator Speech in advance so that you can easily and effectively use it at a moment's notice. Learn more...

Business Cards: Make Them Work For You 

by Cathie Izor

When you meet a new business contact, your business cards (and theirs) can be powerful tools to promote your business and improve your knowledge. But, you need to know how to use and design them effectively. Learn more...

Want to Recognize Your Employees Effectively? 
Think Beyond Pay

Some of the most effective, simple and low-cost ways for managers to show appreciation to their employees are through acts of recognition.  Recognition can be formal or informal, and awards can be cash or noncash items.

Too often managers think the best way to reward their employees is by giving them an increase in pay.  Granted, a company’s pay program must be fair, legally compliant and perceived as equitable by its employees.  But pay alone is rarely a satisfier.  Unfortunately, managers caught in this mindset don’t realize that true employee satisfaction is better achieved through other types of recognition. Learn more...

Handling Meltdown

"Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken." - Jean Jacques Rousseau 

There are times for all of us when all of the bad things seem to happen at onceundefinedthe planets all alignundefinedagainst us it seemsundefinedand lead to a full-on meltdown that drives us into a panic. Business results are bad or we lose several customers in a few days. Several employees suddenly decide to leave. We just get a stream of bad news. What should we do? Here are a few thoughts on how to handle things when this happens. Learn more...

Self-Employment Tax

Many self-employed individuals are shocked and dismayed when they see their annual income tax bill. This is because they must pay self-employment taxes in addition to income taxes. Many feel that they are being unfairly taxed compared to other people. However, there's more to the story. This article describes the self-employment tax and shows how it compares to the taxes paid by wage earners. Learn more...

Tips for Participating in Trade Shows

If you set up a table or staff a booth at a trade show, here are tips for making your display and participation more effective. Also, check out the photos from previous WESO events. Learn more...

Working the Room: Networking at Meetings and Events

Do you attend business events or meetings where you would like to promote your business one-on-one with other attendees? Are you unsure of the best way to do this or would you like to improve your technique? Here are suggestions to make the best use of your networking time at these events. Learn more...

Setting Fees for a Service Business

(adapted with permission from “Seven Ways to Set Fees” and “Calculating Minimum Hourly Fee” by Nancy Shepherdson)

Setting the right prices is a tough part of running a business, as I learned in a class taught by Barrington, Illinois, business writer, Nancy Shepherdson. If you sell a manufactured product, you start by tracking the cost of producing that product. It’s usually pretty easy to track cost of materials, overhead and employee labor (if your business has employees). However, you also have to consider a pesky element: your time. How much is your time worth? How much do you need to earn? Learn more...

Increase Your Referral Power

Educate Others About Your Business

Who is the easiest person for you to refer? Could it be the person whose business and/or occupation you understand the best?

Make it easy for others to refer business to you by helping them understand what you do. Then they can easily communicate that to others when making a referral to you. So work on a clear, concise “job description” for yourself and then describe how you can meet the needs of others. I think you will find a lot more people referring you when they can easily understand what you do and can communicate that to others. Learn more...

Improving Your Listening Skills: Monologue or Dialogue?

A few nights ago I was in a social situation where several people were talking in a group. I noticed that everyone had something to say, and they all couldn’t wait to say it. As soon as one person made a statement or shared some bit of information, another person jumped in and expressed their thoughts or experiences, without acknowledging what the first person had said. Then another would do the same.

Nobody responded to what others said except to use it as a springboard for their own monologue. As a result, nobody really heard what anyone else was saying. Each one was too busy thinking about and sharing his/her own thoughts to hear what the others in the group had said. Everyone thought they were having a dialogue, but what was really going on was a series of monologues. Very little communication or connection was taking place. Learn more...

Who Is Your Market?

Last week I was talking with a new client named Jennifer, who was bemoaning the fact that she does “all kinds of marketing” but just doesn’t seem to get much response.

When I asked Jennifer who she markets to, she answered, “Everyone.”

Jennifer figured that if she tried to reach “everyone”, then she’d probably score with someone. However, it wasn’t working as she’d planned. Learn more...

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