SBDC Blog

How to have (better) hard conversations...

You know how they say “kids say the darndest things?” I think adults experience this amongst each other, too; but often it has a more contentious reaction than funny. Whether a conversation with a friend or family member, a work discussion with a colleague or a staff meeting, we’ve probably all been in those conversations that catch us off guard. For such scenarios, it’s beneficial to practice facilitation skills.

This year, I have been blessed to partake in a series of facilitation trainings and events through the... Read more

If only I would have known...

Thinking back to my undergraduate degree, I am haunted by long nights of relentless number crunching and data analysis. As an Agricultural Economics major, my capstone project required me to do an in-depth Econometric analysis. Given my background and interest in the industry, I chose to do it on the United States Dairy Industry, with data from 1910-2010.

Whew! If only I would have known how difficult that project was going to be, I may have chosen to major in basket weaving or puppetry (yes, it actually... Read more

As an MBA student, I’m definitely type A: I need to get the best grade possible, and if I don’t get it, I need to know why. Of course, knowing why is never where it stops; I also need to know how to destroy my weaknesses to earn the highest marks next time, even if it means another night with too little sleep and too much coffee (in my head, I can still hear the ghosts of gym coaches past shouting “pain is weakness leaving the body!”).

Recently, however, we were assigned a book in a marketing class that gave me a new outlook on eradicating our flaws.... Read more

Should you be using direct mail to promote your business?

Like many perplexing business questions we get here at the SBDC the answer is...it depends.

Purely from a numbers standpoint, many marketers automatically dismiss direct mail because they think it is 'too expensive' or that response rates will be too low to be worth the trouble. But I like to ask, 'compared to what?'

I often will remind clients that any advertising medium that has worked in the past can still work today...if done correctly. And that certainly applies to direct mai... Read more

As adapted and suggested by motivational keynote speaker, Jody Urquhart, consider your workplace and identify:

Do you regularly hear employees laughing or see them smiling at work?
YES    NO

When something funny happens at work, do people stop and appreciate the humor?
YES     NO

Does your workplace have a fun activity at least once per month?
YES    NO

Are employees invited or encouraged to participate in having fun at work?
YES    NO

... Read more

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