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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: August 2004

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1. Not making any headway with your brainstorming sessions? Go it alone. Seth Godin cites a psychological study that shows that a team of four people, each brainstorming alone, came up with twice as many ideas as the same team brainstorming together. Best approach? Assign team members to brainstorm alone, then bring everybody together to share ? and critique ? the ideas generated.

Source: Seth Godin, Free Prize Inside

2. A bank located in Seattle, WA lets prospects know about its hot loan rates and friendly service by holding a barbecue every Friday in the bank’s parking lot. The bank manager cooks the hot dogs and hamburgers, folks come by to talk and eat, and all receive info on the bank’s services. Perhaps you might let your customers know about your ?hot? diamond deals in a similar manner?

Source: Mary Gillen, Idea Site For Business

3. When an ice-cream store in Texas ran out of job application forms, a quick-thinking employee handed each remaining applicant an empty paper bag with instructions to do something creative with it. This brainstorm forced job-seekers to show their ability to be creative and entertain others, important attributes in the ice-cream business and jewelry as well.

Source: Bob Nelson, Please Don’t Do What I Tell You, Do What Needs To Be Done

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4. Once a month, make it a practice to individually ask each of your employees. What one thing can I do better for you?? After listening to and acknowledging the employee’s ideas, then tell them the one thing that they can do better for you that month. This helps build better communication, and keep both of you focused on continuous improvement.

Source: Bob Nelson, 1001 Ways To Energize Employees

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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