Sunday, June 06, 1999

SMALL-BUSINESS DIARY


Technology marketing to be topic

        Company owners interested in cutting-edge marketing and product development should bring pen and note pad to the June luncheon meeting of the Cincinnati Chapter of American Marketing Association on Friday.

        Jack Cassidy, president of Cincinnati Bell Wireless, is on the agenda to share some of the secrets of the telecommunication company's “Go Big or Stay Home” approach to retail technology marketing.

        The company made history in 1998 with one of the most successful North American launches of a wireless business. Cincinnati Bell Wireless grabbed almost 4 percent of market share in less than seven months, and Mr. Cassidy will open the tent flap a crack to talk about how the company did it. Word-of-mouth advertising approaches and the company's telecommunications-toy-store strategy also will be detailed.

        The luncheon at the Gregory Centre, 601 E. Pete Rose Way, begins at 11:30 p.m. and concludes at 1:30 p.m. Reservations must be made by Wednesday by calling the chapter at 784-2373.

Small businesses contend with Y2K
        Small-business procrastinators are finally beginning to wake up to the threat of the millennium bug, according to the third survey on the issue of Y2K problems by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo.

        In the past month, 1 million small businesses took action to avoid potential problems associated with software or computer systems unable to handle the arrival of the year 2000. The survey of 500 small-business owners conducted in April by the Gallup Organization indicated that about half of all small employers have taken steps to protect their company from Y2K.

        Surprisingly, a significant minority is not going to do anything at all to fix company software and computers.

        About 30 percent of all small employers exposed to Y2K are not going to take any action because owners think that the problem is being “blown out of proportion.” The survey found that 40 percent of companies planning action will spend less than $1,000; 26 percent will spend $1,000 to $4,999; and 1 percent will spend more than $100,000.

Business bookshelf
        From Work Like Your Dog: Fifty Ways to Work Less, Play More, and Earn More by Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber (Villard; $22.95): “A new motto for the 21st century employee might well be, "Be funny, make money.' There is a direct correlation between having fun on the job and being more productive. ... Successful companies are learning to hire, reward and promote individuals who bring a sense of play to their work. ... At McGuffey's Restaurants, employees evaluate how much fun a manager is to work with, which can affect 20 percent of the manager's raise.”

       



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