ReputationManagement.com CEO Bill Fish is an expert is reputation management and small business, and he’s often called on for expert advice. Over the past two weeks, he’s shared advice on several topics, including REI’s Black Friday closure, what startup culture means for the future of small business, what your resume should look like, terrible ways to quit a job, business books you should read, successful habits for parent entrepreneurs, and whether you should pay yourself first.
REI’s Black Friday Closure
Last week, we highlighted REI’s #OptOutside Black Friday campaign as a major reputation boost. NBC News also examined the closure, and asked experts to weigh in on whether it was a smart move for the retailer. Bill explained that it’s no coincidence that REI, an outdoor products retailer, encouraged their customers to spend time outdoors — and that they earned massive press from the announcement.
“REI earned a great deal of brand acquisition with a press release and a huge graphic on the homepage of their website,” said Bill Fish, president of ReputationManagement.com and a former online marketer. “The story was covered by just about every media outlet out there. Guess what, they sell outdoor products, and they are asking that instead of shopping, you spend time with family and friends outdoors. That is by no means a coincidence.”
Fish said that the publicity and warm feelings generated by REI’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday closure may have compensated for the sales it is doing without, since the retailer has never been as reliant on holiday sales as Best Buy or Wal-Mart, for example.
But he doesn’t expect to see other big retailers that use Black Friday and the holiday season to catapult their annual sales into the black to mimic the move try to cash in on anti-consumerist sentiment.
“While this decision may be a great ploy for REI, as they have received all of the headlines, I don’t see other companies who close for Black Friday receiving the same benefit,” he said. “A public company’s main goal is to increase shareholder value. By closing your doors on the biggest shopping day of the year, it’s rather difficult to see how that decision would increase value.”
Scaling Back in Startup Culture and Beyond
The National Federation of Independent Businesses examined how workplace culture is evolving and how companies need to adapt to it. Bill explained that businesses should put the brakes on venture capitalist funding early on.
“What I have seen over the last five years is that people are looking for venture capitalist money far too soon in the process,” he says. “It’s becoming a bit of an idea culture, and not an idea of finding a product or service that works and then profiting from it.”
What Modern Resumes Should Include — Or Omit
Whether you’re using an old template or just recycling your resume from 10 years ago, there’s a good chance your resume is outdated. And that could cost you interviews and job offers. Levo.com found out what your resume should look like in 2015, from omitting your GPA and “references available upon request” to showing off your creative design skills.
Here’s one that might still be lingering on your resume over a year out of school: your GPA. “Unless you graduated in May, nobody needs to see that you maintained a 3.087 grade point average in college,” says Bill Fish, President of Reputation Management. “Frankly it’s irrelevant and looks tacky.” If you had a 4.0, you can have a grace period of one extra year.
Terrible Ways to Quit Your Job
We’ve all heard that it’s wise not to burn any bridges as you’re leaving a job. Well, almost all of us. There are some people who have quit their jobs without a hint of grace, and Monster.com has highlighted them. Bill shared his experience with a former sales manager who made a particularly dramatic exit.
“Roughly seven years ago, I had a sales manager that was let go and decided to leave using a scorched-earth technique. He threw a bunch of file folders against the wall, verbally trashed just about everyone on the team, and made a raucous exit as he was walked out. I’d never seen anything like it. My favorite part is that six months ago, he reached out to me via LinkedIn looking for work.”
Business Books You Should Read
While the Internet is popular for business advice and education, don’t forget that there’s a wealth of business learning available in old fashioned books as well. In this post, Bill and 20 other business leaders share the books that have been influential on their careers.
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.
I read this book well after I started my business, but I think the hardest lesson for entrepreneurs to grasp is that in order to give your business the best chance for success, you need to reinvest the profits for at least the first year. Amazon, of course, is an outlier in that they are still reinvesting their profits, but it a great lesson to anyone looking to start a business.
Smart Habits for Parent Entrepreneurs
Many parent entrepreneurs enjoy the flexibility that comes with the self-employed lifestyle. But at the same time, it can be a tough life as you juggle priorities — and possibly even struggle to stay focused on work. Mums That Work asked successful parent entrepreneurs to share their secrets for making it all work. Bill stressed the importance of blocking out important time so that you can stay on top of family and work commitments.
“Being your own boss is incredible in terms of making time for events for your kids. Whether it is a little league game that starts at 3pm or being parent reader at the school, I’m able to simply block off that time and spend those important moments with my family. It may mean that I’m sitting in front of the computer after they are in bed for the night, but having the freedom to make those decisions on my own has been a wonderful thing and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Is Paying Yourself First a Good Idea?
In business, it’s not always a smart move to pay yourself first. Rather, experts overwhelmingly recommend paying yourself last. Herald-Tribune shared the pros and cons of each in this post. Bill weighed in with his experience, encouraging businesses to hang on to profits for growth.
“Paying yourself first is the biggest mistake I see new business owners make,” says Bill Fish with ReputationManagement.com.
“Your business needs room to grow, and keeping extra capital in the business provides flexibility to make strategic investments. When the business is cash-strapped, you are handcuffing yourself. Every effort should be made to leave profits in the business.”
For more updates on reputation management, follow our ReputationManagement.com blog. We post weekly updates on reputation management as well as roundups of Bill’s quotes in the press. Need advice on a reputation management or business related topic? Get in touch! Bill is always available for expert quotes.