Don’t over think customer service

Anyone who is even remotely tuned in to the small business world quickly realizes that customer service plays a dominant role in making a business successful. Yet, when I hear ideas about how complicated people want to make their customer service process, I am dumbfounded. It is as if people want customer service to be rocket science with complex formulas and instruction manuals. Customer service is not, and it never should be, that complicated.

How to … Select an advertising agency

An effective advertising campaign can pay off big-time, but an ineffective one will have you paying out big money with little to show in return. Your choice of advertising agency can make all the difference. Before you search for an agency, think about what you want to accomplish. Are you looking to increase sales? Promote a new product? Brand your company? Determine your advertising budget and your target market. Also consider whether you’re in the market for a long-term relationship with an agency or just a one-time campaign.

How to … Choose a property-casualty insurer

Owning your own company is risky business. And as your business grows, your risks grow, too. While most companies are prudent enough to hand over much of the risk to an insurance company, some are less diligent about performing regular insurance checkups to determine whether their insurance coverage remains adequate for their changing company.

How to … Plan an IPO

Considering taking your company public? Think carefully whether this is really something you want to do. While an initial public offering raises money for a company, it also brings in a slew of new players – investors and analysts with whom you, as the head of the company, will have to deal. Planning an IPO takes considerable time, trouble and expense, so it’s important to gauge early on in the process whether your company will be attractive to investors and therefore generate the necessary interest to raise capital. Does it fall into a category that is currently hot with investors? Do you have a track record of profitability in your corner?

Medical Pavilion at Briargate breaks ground

Located across from the new Memorial Hospital North, Healthcare Realty Trust’s two-building, 170,000-square-foot office Medical Pavilion complex officially broke ground this month. The move represents the firm’s entry into Colorado. The publicly-traded real estate investment trust which focuses on medical and outpatient facilities reported a portfolio net worth of $826 million in 2006. It currently manages or holds 249 medical properties in 28 states across the country.

How to … Prepare for a disaster

As a business owner, you hope for a long and prosperous life for your company. But as you hope for the best, you must prepare for the worst to ensure your company’s survival in the event of total or partial disaster. No one likes to think about the possibility of the company’s facilities being destroyed by a fire or the sudden death of a key employee. Every business can potentially be disrupted by a natural or man-made disaster, and while the thought is unpleasant, the scenarios must be considered.

Col. Elizabeth Anderson

Her day job combines Col. Elizabeth Anderson’s dual talents as a leader and work force organizer. With responsibility for more than 6,000 officer, enlisted, civilian and contract employees as well as 7,000 family members who are part of 44 units assigned to the world’s largest U.S. Air Force base, she carries an impressive workload.

Mary Francis Cowan

A Tennessee native who moved to Colorado Springs in the mid-1970s, commercial real estate broker Mary Francis Cowan finds opportunity during both up and down cycles. A licensed real estate professional since 1979, before joining Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Inc., Cowan was a partner and owner in Commercial Properties Group, a full-service commercial brokerage company.

Best Wealth Advisor

Strategic Financial Partners

Heather Carroll

Heather Carroll not only works in the field of philanthropy, she lives it. As the Joseph Henry Edmonson Foun­da­tion's first full-time employee and executive director, Carroll dedicates her intellect, skills, leadership, time and moral energy to move the community forward.

Lyda Hill

She prefers to focus on getting the job done rather than on who gets the credit. She's created hundreds of jobs during her lifetime as a for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneur. Not surprisingly, Lyda Hill says her greatest satisfaction comes from "making it happen."

Wendy Pifher

Some women make achievement look effortless. Wendy Pifher, managing partner of the Colorado Springs office of Holland & Hart, is one such individual. During her tenure with the law firm, the office has grown from eight to 13 attorneys and has expanded into new markets, including military law, space law, government contracting, employment law and intellectual property.