Six Ways To Run Your Business Better

Tips For Entrepreneurs

Looking for new ideas to keep your business booming? Whether you're looking to avoid IT channel conflict, find fabulous partners or move your offerings to anticipate customer's needs, our How To Community can help.

Here are some great ways entrepreneurs can nurture their businesses to help them reach their full potential.

How To Avoid Channel Conflict

It's as old as the hills: VARs complaining about channel conflict. When vendors view the channel as simply a fulfillment mechanism and don't offer proper programs with dedicated people and services, trouble is sure to follow.

Jay Miller, worldwide vice president, channel sales,at network security provider Crossbeam, offers a checklist for VARs shopping for new vendors.

Bring Your Business Into the Future

While not every company has to work on recession-proofing its business, all businesses should look at ways to maximize what they do and how they do it –- the ’do more with less’ mentality.

David Cuthbert, CEO at Alteva, shares how to update your business processes. These seven ways can help your business survive, especially when you might be seeing periods of lower costs and collections.

How to Implement A Disaster Recovery Plan

Small and midsize business are often so engaged in maintaining -- if not growing -- their businesses that disaster recovery is given barely a second thought. Jim Lippie, president of Thrive Networks, the IT network services business of Staples Advantage, discusses the sizable market opportunity for solution providers interested in engaging in the sector.

Lippie notes that a significant number of small- and midsize businesses are ill-prepared when it comes to disaster planning. Most are focused on staying in business the best way they know how – maintaining loyal customers and generating revenue. Lippie offers advice on preventing the crucial strike that can cripple a business.

How To Make the Most of Your Business Model

Companies that live and breathe customer service are those that build a loyal client base. The relationship is mutual: The customer knows the provider will service its needs, while the VAR knows it has a customer base it can rely on for referrals. In addition, it's far easier -- and less expensive -- to cater to existing customers than it is to find new ones. Hillel Sackstein, CEO of solution provider Virtual Graffiti, discusses how putting the focus on your customers has rewarded his company handsomely.

How To Ask the Right Questions To Unlock Customer Sales

A typical barrier for many sales people is not asking prospects the right questions. There are few responses more frustrating than, "You didn't ask me." Sometimes, you just need to know what to ask. Using the "discovery process" addresses this obstacle and also helps channel companies initiate business discussions with customers – and not be seen as just there to sell products. Bill Brikiatis, manager of corporate communications at Nuance Communications, offers tips on how to discovery exactly what your customers need.

How To Pick the Perfect Partner

The biggest challenge for any company is finding the right technology partner. It takes time and discipline to build and maintain lasting partnerships but it’s usually worth it. Jay Chaudhry, vice president of Business Development for the VAR Channel at Merchant Warehouse, a provider of credit card processing services to small businesses, offers some tips on finding the best match for your company.