JJ Ramberg’s 5 Tips for a Better Business

Tip #177: Calendar everything.

“Put every single thing you need to do—large or small—into your digital calendar,” says entrepreneur and author JJ Ramberg in It's Your Business. She follows her own advice as the busy founder of the charitable search engine GoodSearch.com, and as weekly television host of MSNBC’s Your Business.

As a journalist, she has interviewed thousands of businesspeople and shared valuable and applicable advice. SUCCESS teamed with her for the 2013 Start Small Win Big Challenge, where she acted as a guide and shared her lessons to push small-business owners to the next level.

With topics like attracting investors, leading your team, selling your product, finding and keeping customers and marketing your message, Ramberg covers everything any small-business owner might need to know—all in simple, to-the-point tips that can be applied as soon as you close the book.

Tip #36: Keep track of your competitors: “Whatever market you’re in, you need to be aware of what the other players are doing,” Ramberg writes. The tangible advice? Set up a Google Alert to follow specific companies; subscribe to competitor newsletters; and use their products and services.

Tip #78: Keep your staff energized throughout the day: “Andrew Shapiro, founder of New York-based GreenOrder, schedules regular five-minute team stretching breaks out on the company’s terrace.” It gives people a break, but it also strengthens their company culture.

Tip #103: When negotiating, keep something in your back pocket: “The best way to impress a new client is to overdeliver. One of the surest ways to overdeliver is to underpromise in a negotiation…. Keep a little something in your back pocket that you can give your client for free once the deal is done.” A (good) surprise is never a bad thing!

Tip #134: Have your photo taken: “Make sure to have a series of professional-looking photos of yourself, your staff, your products, and your office space.” What for? you ask. Well, in case a news organization wants to profile your business, you’ll have art ready to go.

Read more about the winner of the 2nd annual SUCCESS Start Small Win Big entrepreneur challenge on SUCCESS.com.

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