Web Exclusives

April 24, 2014

Made in Colorado 2014: Creative/Home/Consumer;

Tech & Electronics

By Eric Peterson

Creative / Home / Consumer Omerica Organic Body jewelry / omericaorganic.com / Denver Ryan Lorenz started Omerica Organic in 2004. A decade later, Lorenz says the company is “definitely the largest” manufacturer of wooden earlobe plugs - worn in stretched piercings - in the country. “I was in the military and served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he recalls. “When I got out, instead of looking for a job, I started eBaying random things, then I started importing body jewelry and selling it on eBay. I saw a lot of opportunity.” The opportunity was in

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April 23, 2014

Close your mouth to close the sale

Listening is the key to success

By Liz Wendling

Contrary to popular belief, selling isn’t a profession for people with the gift of gab; it’s for people with the ability to listen. Not listening is an occupational hazard for salespeople. Have you ever noticed that the same letters that make up the word listen – L-I-S-T-E-N also make up the word silent – S-I-L-E-N-T?  Silence draws people out. It’s in the silence where you get the answers you need. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is listening fully and attentively. Giving someone your full attention and actively listening to what is

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April 23, 2014

Why hotels are a DOL target

And how to avoid trouble

By Kalen Fraser

Hotels have been a specific target of the U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division in Colorado in recent years.  On a national level, hotels have a high rate of investigation by the Wage and Hour Division and they are frequently found in violation of overtime law due to a variety of unique pay practices. In fact, according to the U.S. DOL Data Enforcement website, hotels are the third most commonly investigated sector, only behind full service and limited service restaurants. Another reason for increased enforcement is that hotels employ a high percentage of what the WHD

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April 23, 2014

Best of CoBiz: A great leader has a vision…

...and other rules for life and success

By Laurence B. Valant

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from business performance improvement expert Larry Valant's book, "Stop Breaking These Rules! 100 Hard-Hitting Truths for Business Integrity and Performance."  A leader has a vision which can be quantified and communicated clearly. The good news for those who are not natural leaders, but are in positions of leadership, is you can learn skills critical to successful leadership. The most important of these skills can be summarized in one phrase: develop a clear, quantified vision of what you plan to achieve and communicate it unambiguously.

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April 22, 2014

Improving our nation’s health care system

Profitability comes when we do the right thing

By Erin Gibbs

Once in a while, we hear a deprecatory remark about running a “medical business” – as if the very idea were inappropriate somehow. It’s time to let go of the prejudice of profitability in health care and instead, embrace a new paradigm of entrepreneurialism and profitability in providing a superior service that people choose – it’s a concept as simple as supply and demand. To improve our nation’s health care system, we must move to a patient-centered model, and allow for genuine entrepreneurship in medicine. That is the tradition of excellence in

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April 22, 2014

Cold-call lessons from your garden

Approach it like you would weeding

By Sam Dobbins

With spring approaching, many of us turn to gardening as a wonderful way to enjoy our outdoors, escape from the sterile world of work, and relieve ourselves from the stresses that build up over winter. For a few weeks at least, life is good. And then come the weeds. These nasty plants invade our vegetable gardens, choke out our delicate flowers, and generally make a gardener's life miserable. Cold calls can be seen as weeds to sales representatives. The need to address them is a constant, unpleasant chore on our way to building a garden of good customers. But, just as in weeding,

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April 22, 2014

Best of CoBiz: Five simple steps to grow your creative business

Start by talking to your customers

By Neil McKenzie

When working with creative businesses, I find that most don't use one of the easiest tools to take a pulse of the market, check up on their competition and grow their business: Talking to their customers! Good organizations are in continuous contact with their customers, not just a "Hello or how are you doing?" when they make a purchase. Here is how to get started: 1. Choose which customers to survey Try to pick a random sample of your customers so you have a cross section that is representative of your business. Choose customers that are large and small, new and established, those

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