Archive for the ‘Tips for Launching’ Category

Busy Business Owners Have No Time

By MARK RIFFEY - The average CEO says they only spend about 25% of their day doing what they feel is meaningful work. Does that sound like your typical work day?... more

Help Them Produce Their Best Work

By MARK RIFFEY - No matter what business you’re in and what summer does to your workload – summer is a great time to implement improvements that help your staff produce their best work.... more

The Search for Mentors

By LIZ MARCHI - As I look back on my career journey, I look at the role mentors played in guiding my choices in life and work. What’s a mentor? For me, it was someone whom I admired and wanted to emulate. ... more

How Do You Create The Right Surprises? Baby Steps

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the best ways to figure out ways to transform your customers' experience is to walk through the process of doing business with you in little, tiny steps: Baby Steps.... more

Are You Uncoachable? Drips Can Help

By MARK RIFFEY - Frustrated with the rate of change or accomplishment of new work in your business? I had a conversation recently that might help. It involved coachability and drips.... more

When It Comest to Business: Start Doing the Right Things

By MARK RIFFEY - Rather than talking about 30 things to stop doing, I decided to discuss a shorter list of things to START doing in your business.... more

What Do Surprises Say About Your Business?

By MARK RIFFEY - Professionals seldom get surprised by normal things. If they are surprised, they take steps to eliminate problems before a client can see them.... more

Melanie Brock Joins Missoula Economic Partnership Staff

FYI - Seasoned leader will work with Missoula’s entrepreneurs, Partnership investors and government partners to help the Missoula community thrive.... more

How to Segment Your Customer List

By MARK RIFFEY - Have you heard that you should "segment" your customers before marketing to them? Ever wondered what that means, much less how you'd do that? ... more

Which Matters Most When Hiring: Experience or Cultural Fit?

By MARK RIFFEY - Doctor Obvious says "Hiring the right people is crucial for any small business." But what matters most when hiring? Experience? Attitude? Cultural Fit?... more

Governor Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project Launches Surveys

Montanans are encouraged to take in-depth county surveys in an effort to to build an economic development business plan for Montana. CLICK ON SURVEY.... more

The Best Surprise is Truly No Surprise

By MARK RIFFEY - Hotels often provide fuel for writing and a recent trip I took was no exception. Hospitality 101: everything that impacts a guest's stay is everyone's job - particularly simple little things.... more

The Most Expensive, Stressful Thing On Your Desk

By MARK RIFFEY - Nothing destroys a work day like distractions. Clutter doesn't help - and I mean clutter of all kinds - physical as well as electronic. These things are waiting to distract you. Eliminate them.... more

The Unexpected Message Clients Get From You

By MARK RIFFEY - Have you ever received a "new-customers-only" offer from someone that you already do business with? Is it better than what you're paying? How does that make you feel? Mad as hell? It should!... more

Are They Proud Of Their Work? It Will Show

By MARK RIFFEY. Just because it is "grunt work" doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Your employees' work and personality at 2:00 am is the face of your business to many customers.... more

Why They Don’t Answer Your Calls Or Read Your Email?

By MARK RIFFEY. Do your customers and prospects let your calls go to voicemail? Do they open your emails? It's time to get relevant and engage them in THEIR context with you – not as total strangers.... more

The Scariest, Most Painful Business Conversation

By MARK RIFFEY. The most painful (and scary) conversations I have with small business owners are about marketing.Commonly it involves how another company "stole" their business with "more aggressive" marketing.... more

Business is Personal: What’s a Core Story?

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the more common things you'll see from a business that's differentiating themselves using things other than price is their use of a unique selling proposition (USP), and a "core story" t... more

The Most Expensive Advertising Ever

By MARK RIFFEY. Are you wasting those carefully planned advertising investments? The most expensive investment we can make is one that's wasted.... more

View Marketing as an Investment, Not an Expense

By MARK RIFFEY.When something is viewed as an expense, your instinct is to reduce it to the smallest possible amount. Doing this to your marketing is not unlike choking yourself.... more

Simple Advice for Acquiring and Retaining Customers

By MARK RIFFEY. Some of the simplest advice I give is the most powerful: "Do at least one thing today to get, or keep, a client."... more

Let Your Customers Turn On the Lamp

By MARK RIFFEY -What's the first thing you do when deciding which lamp to buy? YOU TURN ON THE LAMPS. Give your customers the opportunity to see your products in a place that makes it easy for them to buy.... more

Starting a New Business – What’s Your Plan?

By MARK RIFFEY - Let's talk about business startups. Before you order those business cards, buy those supplies, determine your costs and set your prices...you need to research your market.... more

What Does a New Business Owner Do First?

By MARK RIFFEY - Let's talk about business startups. The overwhelming load at startup can freeze you in your tracks.... more

Why Much of the Internet is Blacked Out Today

By MARK RIFFEY - What is Intellectual Property? And what's it got to do with much of the Internet being blacked out this week? Mark Riffey of the Flathead Beacon explains.... more

A Letter from Georgia

By MARK RIFFEY - We almost didn't open it, thinking it was junk mail. Why would the University of Georgia send us mail way out here in Montana?... more

Business in Montana: Here’s Your Sign

By MARK RIFFEY - To connect with customers, you need to follow the signs. Some signs you must seek out, while many are buried in your existing business data.... more

What’s With the Funny Square Bar Codes? (i.e. What are QR Codes?)

By MARK RIFFEY. You may have seen those odd-looking square bar codes in newspapers and magazines, on product boxes, etc. What are they? Read on. . .... more

Differentiation in Business: Promotion Tips to Prevent Generic Marketing

By MARK RIFFEY. One of the things you have to be careful about is making your business too generic. Lesson: Business is Personal.... more

Entrepreneurial City

Dreams of being an entrepreneur? Look no further than Missoula as your new business home. Named one of the Top 10 Best Places to Launch a Business by CNNMoney.com in the small metro area category, Missoula i... more

Governor Schweitzer says “Welcome”

Greetings, I am pleased to welcome you to Missoula, one of Big Sky Country’s most dynamic cities.  Tremendous recreational opportunities available year-round and a vibrant downtown social scene make Misso... more