The Top 10 Business Tips of 2012 from Madame Noire Biz

December 19, 2012  |  
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This year has been a great year to learn more about your own finances, how to start your own business, manage your finances and be savvy while doing so, according to Madame Noire Business. From small business tips on how to create your own mobile app as a small business to tips on preparing for the next tax season, MN Biz has informed, introduced and changed the way we see the business and financial part of our lives. Yesterday, we took a look at the big issues we covered over the past six months. Today, we look back on some of the best business advice from Madame Noire in 2012.

10. It’s the one part of an interview we always forget to prepare for: “Do you have any questions for us?” We’ve prepared our answers to anything the interviewer might send our way. But then we choke, with nothing to ask in return, making it look as if we’ve done no research about the position, or even the company. 

This may be a simple piece of advice for interviewing for your next job, but Julia Austin dives in more with some great questions to ask your interviewer from her June article 10 Job Interview Questions That Will Make An Impression. Some of the questions suggested are different than the usual “Who are you looking for in an employee?” type of questions and are great talking points in order to get the job you want during the interview process, like ‘What sort of results/outcome is hoped for for the company and/or from this position.’ This article is one of our most popular stories on MN Biz, with over 178,000 views.

9. Lead Like a Woman: Don’t be afraid of being a powerful women, so forget imitating men in business. “Women think more holistically. That means, when women view a situation, they have a tendency to go beyond the specific facts and the numbers to take into account personnel and organization considerations. As a result, they identify opportunities, risks, and gaps that others often miss, strengthening their competitive edge,” reports Inc.

From Power Play: 9 Secrets of Successful Female Leaders Revealed, comes our number nine piece of great advice from Madame Noire’s business section. This whole article is full of great pieces of advice for any woman striving to be a better leader in the business world, but the piece of advice that stuck out to us the most is leading like a woman. With 2012 movies like Think Like A Man, women are sometimes programmed to get ahead by thinking more like a man, but this article shows us that being a powerful woman is just as effective, a secret we all should know and embrace wholeheartedly. Thanks writer Ann Brown for the reminder!

8. “An employer might rightly consider a low credit score to be a sign of poor decision-making, irresponsibility, or inability to meet deadlines. Plus, it [likely] won’t make you a sterling candidate for any job that requires handling money,” Forbes reports.

From our very own editor Tonya Garcia, we learn more about how a credit score impacts the hiring process in December’s MN article, Credit Report Card: How To Manage Your Credit Report and Maintain (Or Rebuild) Your Score.  This crucial piece of advice is for all who are in the process of looking for a job in the near future. Your credit score might affect those chances.

7. Just because you get along well personally doesn’t mean you share the same business sense.  Your romantic partner may not transition well into your business partner.

This tip is just the beginning of Toya Sheree’s Making Money With Your Honey: Is It A Good Idea To Work With Your Man?. In this October article, Madame Noire explores the ups and downs of being an effective business partner with your man and several important questions any woman should ask before going into business with a mate, including If you are latching onto to your partner’s dream because you aren’t sure of your own. These make for great evaluation pieces to lead you on into your next possible business venture in 2013 with your man.

6. Bosses like people who disagree with them because many feel as though a healthy debate is a good way to come to the best conclusion,” Wilson Solovic points out, author of It’s Your Biz and CEO/co-founder of, small business TV network available on the Web. “But the boss is the captain of the ship and once his/her decision has been made, saying no may be viewed as insubordination and could ultimately cost you your job. So it’s important to understand when the line has been drawn in the sand. Choose your battles wisely.”

We all love the advice in this article because at one point or another, we have all been there. Just Say No: When To Turn Down Your Boss by writer Ann Brown taught us that saying no to the boss on special occasions may be tough, but very necessary when dealing with impossible overtime, illegal transactions and pay grade dilemmas.

5. Many career websites and companies have Twitter accounts that blast open positions daily. Follow the companies you are interested in working for, get familiar with their social media presence and interact with them, retweeting and favoriting certain tweets…Just like your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, make sure your profile picture, bio and URL link are all in sync with how you want to be presented to employers.

Social media weaves tangled webs when it comes to getting and keeping a job, and writer Blair Bedford explores this in July’s MN Biz article, Tweet Your Way To The Boardroom: Social Media and Maximizing Your Job Search. From using Twitter and Facebook as platforms to search and find out more about a potential employer’s company to LinkedIn, this 2012 article is effective for the social media driven future to come.

Honorable Mention: Another great MN article this year that addresses the same issue for college students is College Admission Officers Are Judging You By Your Online Profile by business editor, Tonya Garcia.

4. Be prepared to walk away from the negotiations if you are not getting the price you want. Walking away may also make the salesperson waver because she doesn’t want to lose a sale.

We all love a great bargain or discount, and Madame Noire Business gives us some great tips and advice on how to get a great price for anything in October’s article, The Price Is Right: How To Bargain For A Better Price And Never Pay Retail by Ann Brown.

3. In the midst of less than admirable unemployment rates and even the rise of job uncertainty for those who are employed, learning to master a second skill is an option to ensure income flow in case a pink slip is waiting in your future. Finding an alternate source of income in addition to your 9-5 is highly recommended if you can find the time. Some call it a side job; others, like me, consider it a side hustle to keep you one step ahead in case of unexpected emergencies or layoffs.

From the informational MN Biz article, 7 Side Hustles You Can Do From Home, writer Erica Renee gives us a few tips on how to make time at home time for a side hustle, including jobs we have never thought of, like tutoring high schoolers to prepare them for the demands of college or becoming a virtual assistant.

2. For college students with undecided degrees, first time college go-ers, or those looking to go back to school for another college degree, this list is for you! Here are 14 of the best and most helpful college degrees in 2012. These degrees are in high-demand and are bound to present several different job opportunities.

Many college students and recent graduates alike took a page from this popular MN article, 14 Most Useful Degrees In Today’s World by writer Ashley Page, who outlines the most useful college degrees of 2012, including degrees in education, information sciences and finance. This advice will especially be useful for any high schoolers or undeclared college students looking to make the most out of their college education in 2013.

1. Lack of education is often cited as a main reason for higher rates of African-American unemployment. Yet getting an education to further your career can be a catch-22. Many people cannot afford to take a four-year break from working with little guarantee that they will be able to find a job with their bachelor’s. But this is not a reason to avoid getting a practical education. There are many lucrative careers for which qualified applicants will be in high demand in the coming years, which only require a two-year degree or vocational training. Four of the highest paying jobs are in healthcare — and almost 600,000 registered nurses will be needed in the coming years.

As the most commented MN Business article, The Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs Requiring A Two-Year Degree published in August and includes jobs like radiation therapist or even as a commercial pilot. With over 1,474,000 views, this 2012 article advises MN Biz readers to look beyond the typical college degree for a more rewarding career that only requires two years of college, and with 2013 approaching, that is a wealth of advice that could come in handy for any career change.

What are some of your favorite 2012 articles from MN Biz?

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