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The Right MBA Will Have Many Specializations to Choose From

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The world has changed a lot in eight years. Since the global financial crash of 2008, the popularity of MBAs has been on the wane, and their overall value is being called into question more and more. Requiring that one put a career aside, and coming with program fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, people are beginning to ask: why do an MBA? The real answer may be surprising. While the obvious assumption is that an MBA pays bigger dividends is true (after all, most MBA graduates see six figure salaries within the first five years of employment), the real value is the versatility of an MBA program. A business degree will allow you to specialize in any number of fields, setting you up for a great job immediately upon graduation. The following is a small list of the specializations available at most business schools.

Accounting

This MBA specialization covers the principal subjects in the field including financial accounting and managerial accounting, taxation as well as auditing. Financial accounting is the foundation for investment analysis, corporate or forensic analysis, as well as mergers and acquisitions breakdown. Accounting also forms the basis for external reporting up the chain to shareholders and other stakeholders. An MBA with this specialization traditionally provides information for managerial decision-making such as performance evaluation and resource management.

mba plans

MBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurship specialization will teach you how to become an entrepreneur and prepare you to play a key role in society through the relentless pursuit of opportunities that allow you to create and sustain a competitive and vibrant enterprise. Whether your goal is to own your own business or to help existing organizations grow and develop, this is the spec for you.

Operations Management

Operations management is the corporate area in charge of designing, managing and tracking the various processes that make up a successful business, which are themselves made up of interrelated, sequential. The key is that the product has a greater value than the elements pre-process. At a school like Wilfrid Laurier, MBA students who choose this specialization will apply local, national, and global focuses to stay a step ahead of companies’ current needs, giving them the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to create value for their companies in the future.

Strategic Management

The strategic problems managers face are typically unclear and do not lend themselves readily to solutions using traditional formulae or models. Strategic management as an MBA specialization will allow you to understand the practical realities behind organizational decision-making. Strategic management solutions are necessary for anyone who wants to answer questions such as: What products should our company make? Which markets should we enter? What type of organization should we be building? How should our company respond to competitors’ behavior? Choose a school with a curriculum that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach that involves sociology, psychology, and economics to develop analytical frameworks that examine the strategic issues managers face.

Marketing

Marketing as a specialization provides flexibility for students seeking careers that deal with behavioral concepts and quantitative methods in business whether from a marketing-management point of view and provide opportunities for in a wide range of profit and nonprofit situations.

With an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier, you have the option to specialize your general MBA degree. You can choose from one of the specializations listed below:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Management
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • International Business Management
  • Golf and Resort Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing
  • Financial Management
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Behaviour & Human Resource Management

The top MBA programs in Canada should offer the right combination of versatility and specialization, and allow you to focus on the precise business path that best fits your skills and desires. Business school should help broaden your possibilities, not pigeon hole you in a discipline you don’t enjoy. Before you choose which MBA to pursue, look into their specialization options.

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Deal With an Irate Customer, Don’t Lose Them

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angry customer

Irate Business Customer

Facing off with a screaming, unreasonable, irrational customer represents the ultimate test of any employee’s service skills.  It can take you to your breaking point if you’re not careful.  Staying grounded and above the fray requires you to find inner strength, and persevere beyond the initial difficulties.

Dealing with irate customers is one of the most pressure-packed experiences you will ever encounter on any job.  During every confrontation it is important to remember:

  • Every customer is a different person with a unique set of circumstances and personality traits.
  • Irate customer encounters can emerge out of nowhere—the key is to be ready.
  • You represent an opportunity to set things right.
  • Compassion is essential.
  • Despite your best efforts, sometimes there is nothing that can save a situation.

Ditch the “I’m Sorry” Script.  Sorry, just doesn’t cut it sometimes.  Saying “”I’m Sorry” is so overused it sounds insincere.  Be specific by saying “I apologize for this issue…”  Make sure your apology directly makes reference to the actual issue, and ALWAYS try to use the customer’s name when addressing them.  It adds a personal connection to them.

Get on the customer’s side of the counter.  Visualize for a moment an upset customer walking in your door and approaching you.  The first thing an angry customer does is attack you.  It’s very important to remember that you are not personally being attacked but are listening to someone who is in an attacking mode.

Partner with your customer.  Let the customer know that your job is to go to bat for them.  This tells them that you are their emissary and you want to resolve it together.

The 4 C’s of Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations

It’s all about:

  • Compassion – Listen carefully and react to their words, not just their behavior.  Examine the facts.
  • Calm – Remain calm and don’t lose your cool.
  • Confidence – Handle the situation knowing you are following company guidelines—and serve the customer.
  • Competence – Save the customer with your competent handling of the situation so he or she continues to be a customer.

Regardless of how a problem is solved, getting it done now is the best way to stop the venting and to bring an irate customer around.  You need to show your customer than, as an employee and as the face of your organization you are invested in solving the problem.

6 Steps to Handle Irate Customers

  1. Listen carefully and with interest. Put yourself in your customer’s place
  2. Ask questions and actively listen to the answers
  3. Suggest alternatives that address their concerns
  4. Apologize without laying blame
  5. Solve the problem quickly and efficiently.

Remember, it costs at least five times as much to gain a new customer than keep an existing one and with social media it’s even more costly.  The average number of friends on Facebook is 130.  Keeping a complaining customer, according to Tschohl, should be the top priority, and at these cost ratios you can afford to be generous in your time and effort.

Take Care Of Yourself.  Dealing with irate customers will drain you physically and emotionally and put your skills to the test.  You must find ways to take care of yourself.  As part of your “recovery time”, know that dealing with irate customers is allowing yourself to relax, recharge and assess your role.  Recovery separates you from the situation and gives you a chance to breathe.

Learn from every complaint.  Do something!  Fix the process; train staff in the issue; eliminate the fault.  Wherever possible let the complaining customer know that they have helped you resolve a problem – they’ll feel great and come back again and again (and will probably tell their friends!).

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John Tschohl, the internationally recognized service strategist, is founder and president of Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Described by USA Today, Time, and Entrepreneur as a “customer service guru,” has written several books   on customer service including his new program Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations. John’s strategic newsletter is available online

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3 Tips to Getting Your 2014 Marketing Plan Together

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business marketing success

Marketing Success in Business

It’s that time of year to make sure your marketing plan is all ready to go – just in time to kick off the sparkling New Year that’s right around the corner.

But how do you get a marketing plan together that will actually get you the results you’re looking for? Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Start with the end in mind. Make sure you figure out specific and REALISTIC goals. While I’m all for having a hit-it-out-of-the-park goal (like building your list to 10K when you have 500 on it right now), you should also have a goal that’s doable AND will make you happy if you reach it.

Knowing your goals will help guide where you need to put your focus. And I would pick no more than 3-5 top ones to get done in 2014 (plus some secondary strategies to round out your calendar). So, for instance, maybe you want to build your list, launch a high-end group mastermind program and get your book done as your main goals. And maybe as part of your high-end group program launch, you also have a smaller launch as a lead in.

So now you have 3 big rocks you can get into your calendar — a product launch, a high-end group launch and a book launch. Plus you have list-building activities that need to happen regularly. Once you’ve plugged those in, now you need to make sure you have both long-term and short-term marketing covered (which is #2).

2. Do you have a balance between long-term and short-term marketing activities? Long-term are tactics like building your list and nurturing your list (for instance sending a regular ezine). Short-term are tactics like having a sale or a launch that bring money in the door right now.

Successful businesses have a balance of both throughout the year — the long-term that will lead to a healthy business with a regular stream of leads and clients and short-term for cash flow.

So now that you have your big rocks, do you see holes in either your short-term or long-term? Do you have your cash-flow covered from month-to-month? Do you have your list-building and list-nurturing activities in there? Now is the time to adjust accordingly.

3. Are the marketing activities you’ve committed to things you enjoy? My personal feeling is the reason why entrepreneurs fail when it comes to marketing is they focus their efforts on what they feel like they SHOULD be doing, rather than what they LOVE doing. There are so many ways to market yourself — videos, podcasts, writing blogs, connecting on social networking, etc. — that I guarantee there is SOMETHING you enjoy doing. So figure out what that is and do that activity. Don’t worry about the rest. Get one thing done and get it done right, and the rest will fall into place.

(If you want some help with this, my “Internet Marketing Success Story” includes an assessment to help you figure out which marketing activity is perfect for you. You can learn more here: http://www.InternetSuccessStory.com)

Now, once you’ve figured out what you love doing, don’t forget to actually build those activities into your plan. Because it doesn’t matter how great of a plan you’ve put together, if you don’t actually implement anything in the New Year, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for.

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Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a premiere direct response copywriting and marketing company that helps entrepreneurs attract more clients, sell more products and services and boost their business. To grab your FREE “Ka-Ching! Business Kit” with a FREE CD visit http://www.MichelePW.com/freecd

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