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Archive By Author - J.C. Smith

Smith: Written plan points business in right direction, keeps it from getting lost

Recently I was reminded about the importance of maps. While sitting in a class with eight or nine other people, I noticed that one couple was missing from the group. I assumed that the missing couple would not be in the class that night since they were generally punctual.

April 08, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: What should you do with inconsiderate, negative customers? Fire them

On more than one occasion I have written in this column: The customer is always right. Certainly that is the conventional wisdom.

March 31, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Take control of service in your business

Global warming, the greenhouse effect, Mother Nature. No matter what you care to blame it on, during the past year or so, the weather has been interesting. Look at any lake in North Georgia and the evidence of the drought is clear.

March 25, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Small-business people are unique; here’s how to tell if you are one

For some number of years comedian Jeff Foxworthy has entertained audiences with his brand of redneck humor. Lines such as "You know you're a redneck if your momma served SPAM shaped like a possum at your after rehearsal dinner" conjure up vivid images.

March 25, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Surround yourself with competent colleagues

For many years, I have believed that history is an excellent teacher to anyone who is involved in business.

March 18, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Take a clue from the railroad industry — keep your business relevant

Recently while visiting a friend's home, I admired a 4-by-8 feet model train layout that occupied space on the den floor. An HO scale model train configuration sits in my basement. The fascination of trains, their aura and history offers valuable lessons to business owners.

March 11, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: When spending money on advertising, speak the customer’s language

There seems to be no end to it. It seems to multiply faster than past copies of National Geographic. At every turn, we all see and hear it. Though we may try to tune it out, it stills makes its presence known subliminally.

March 11, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Take a tip from Sgt. Joe Friday — get the facts about your customers

In the 1950s and 1960s, one of the more successful television programs was "Dragnet." Even today, television stations that feature yesteryear reruns often show this police drama of Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon solving crimes.

March 07, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Well-written plan serves as business road map, helps with financing

A story was once told about a pharaoh who wished to build a temple for himself. As the slaves were milling around waiting to begin construction, one said to another, "Do we have any blueprints for this project? Or are we supposed to just fly by the seat of our chariot?"

March 01, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: No more one size fits all: Consumers demand customized products

Once upon a time when businesses wanted to reach customers, their method was quite simple. Cast a broad net and bring in as many people as possible. After all, back then people were people.

February 23, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Business takes common sense

Common sense.

February 16, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Frank Green, founder of Green’s Grocery, knew how to run a business

Obituaries are noted in the news every day. I suppose that once a particular age threshold is crossed we start to pay more attention to these news items. In the past day or so, the local death notice of a true entrepreneur caught my eye. The man who went to his reward was Frank Green.

February 02, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: This year, decide to be more resolute in your business resolutions

I am a big believer in tradition. What day of the year is filled with more tradition than Jan. 1?

January 20, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: In business, as in baseball, the ‘norm’ has changed

As a lifelong follower of baseball, I watched the findings of George Mitchell's report of drugs in baseball with interest. Was I surprised at the list of names? Not particularly. It reminded me that today's world is no longer business as usual.

January 20, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Smith: Expect the unexpected

Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. Don't get caught watching the paint dry. Take care of your own knitting. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pulling the fat out of the fire. Plan on how to cross the bridge before you arrive.

January 20, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

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