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Business ideas worth sharing

Meny Hoffman

Best Buy vs. Radio Shack: Why One Failed, and the Other’s Making a Comeback

A few years ago, investors and analysts had put brick-and-mortar companies like RadioShack and Best Buy on a death watch. There seemed to be no way they could compete against the giant Amazon—with its famously low prices, virtually limitless selection, and two-day delivery options—and come out alive.

Living up to expectations, RadioShack filed bankruptcy in 2015—and again in 2017, after a futile attempt at reviving itself.

Meanwhile, Best Buy managed to pull off one of the strongest corporate comebacks in recent history.

The question on everyone’s mind is, Why?

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Preparing for the Relaxation Rush

Next week, Ptex Group will be closing its doors for a few short days as our hardworking team plans to celebrate the wonderful Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover).

The benefits of taking a break are well-documented. The ability to catch our breath, to clear our minds. Revamp and re-energize.

What is often overlooked, however, is the importance of proper preparation prior to stepping away from the hustle and bustle of our business lives. Read more

Why I Stopped Making Resolutions

The calendar has recently turned, and, with the change in year comes one constant: people setting grand resolutions and failing spectacularly.

No, this isn’t some deep-seated lack of faith in humanity – it’s fact. Research shows only eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. This failure has, unfortunately, become so comically commonplace that it’s expected.

The question is, why? Read more

Beyond Wikileaks: The Dark Side of Email

Here’s a scary thought: Try and picture a world without email.

Spooky, no?

Indeed, it’s hard to fathom our world functioning as we know it without the wonder that is email. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s convenient, it’s just… easy. Few words can be as harrowing and bone-chilling for a business as “email is down.”

But for all its immeasurable benefits, there is a dark side to email. One that can eat away at the very core of any business – even the most successful.

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On Culture….& Personal Breaking News

Ptex recently received quite a compliment. As of July, we are officially certified as a Great Place to Work® business.

To receive this prestigious accolade, GPW asked our employees to participate in their anonymous survey on their feelings regarding the workplace environment, culture, management, etc. and how it affected – positively or negatively – their job performance. I myself was not allowed to take part in this.

The unanimously positive results of the survey was quite touching.

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The Art of Delegating

Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, of Stanford University, accurately summed up the responsibility of a leader:

Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions, so that the world doesn’t fall apart if you take a day off.

Perhaps no concept in business is more essential, and at the same time so colossally misunderstood, than delegation. Any rational person knows that they have strengths and limitations. It follows, that tasks should be divvied based on each employees abilities.

Yet for some reason, many business struggle to properly delegate—and the consequences are severe. Sloppy projects. Missed deadlines. Angry clients.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Kill the Manager!

Now before everyone gets up in arms, I’m certainly not advocating violence in any shape or form. But I do want to bring attention to a fundamental issue that, unfortunately, tends to get skated over a bit.

It’s no secret that company culture is a critical element to success in any business. It’s a huge reason for the success of companies such as Google, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines. Quality employees and valuable clients alike are attracted to a place with a vibrant, positive culture.

Great culture starts at the top. Those in executive and managerial positions have the power to set the tone for the workplace environment. It’s an enormous, far-reaching responsibility, because the environment they create will ultimately determine the quality of the employees and the business they attract. Guess that’s why they’re paid the big bucks.

There is a common denominator that all companies with great culture tend to share: they understand that there is a difference between managing and leading.

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You 2.0

You turn on your phone, and are greeted by a most familiar message.

An alert flashes across the screen giving you the option to update to the new and improved version of some app or software. Just a tap of the screen and presto! It’s better than ever.

This routine has become so commonplace in our mobile-centric lives. Today’s hyper-paced world has reached dizzying levels of speeds, and software developers are constantly rolling out new updates, security fixes, and improvements to their products in order to keep pace.

While there’s not much to do on our end, in reality there is a lot of work that goes into creating these updates. There is updated code to write, bugs to fix, development, testing, split testing, tweaking, consumer feedback, and more testing. It’s an ongoing, meticulous process.

Much like the phones that (unfortunately) control our lives, we, too, require periodic updates.

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Before Putting Your Business on Vacation

At the end of next week, Ptex Group will be closing its doors for a few short days.

Our hardworking team plans to celebrate the wonderful Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover) and will honor this beautiful, timeless tradition… by taking a vacation from the office.

Dozens of studies show it is both healthy and important to periodically take a break from our hectic work schedules. And the reason is quite simple.

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Put Your Profit First. Always.

As humans, we’re all creatures of habit. We have our morning routine. Our work routine. Our pre-meeting routine. We all just like to get into a rhythm and keep it that way.

After all, sticking to a routine is the key to being productive. Successful people are well-known as sticklers for routine. Routine provides structure. It establishes a sense of security.

Which makes having to change routine so hard.

It means tearing down the habits we worked so hard to create. It means demolishing the cocoon of security around us. Forgetting what we always knew.

Yesterday, I learned this lesson firsthand.

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