How to Find a Great Employee Using Craigslist

If you’ve ever posted on Craigslist you know: Craigslist can suck. It gets exponentially worse when posting a job position. You will get this kind of response: “I want 2 work for u.” Really? That’s how you respond to a job posting? You will also get dozens of emails from headhunters and contractors trying to sell you their service. In general, it can be a huge waste of time that many small business owners don’t have.

That’s why I was so happy about a month ago when I received the following response to the Craigslist post we put out for our repair technicians:

It’s just a cell phone repair job, dude. Relax.

Craigslist job posting success! You see, a good post has 3 major objectives:

  1. Deter people of low ambition and/or talent.
  2. Filter out solicitors so you don’t even have to bother with them.
  3. And the most important goal: Find a great employee.

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A better interview question & 5 steps to succeeding in your company.

I own a own small business and have done a lot of interviewing over the years. I’m the one sitting on the hiring side of those interviews, and there is one question that gets asked by almost every person:

“What opportunities are there for advancement?”

I hate that question because in my business, like most small businesses, there’s basically everyone doing the day-to-day work and then me. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for pre-defined corporate advancement. Yes, we have big plans as a company and hopefully those advancements will be in place some day. But I’d like to suggest, even if that happens, there is a much better question to ask: Continue reading “A better interview question & 5 steps to succeeding in your company.”


Black hatting Yelp: How to wreck a company profile photo


A few days ago I went to our Chicago Yelp page to find that someone had gamed Yelp and managed to update our company profile picture to a close-up of a young woman that has absolutely nothing to do with our business (we fix broken iPhones and iPads). It doesn’t even show her holding a phone. It looks like a profile picture.

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My Response to a Customer that Questioned My Employees’ Integrity

We recently received an email from one of our customers concerning his daughter’s iPhone which was rebroken. Our warranty policy does not cover phones that are dropped and broken again but we had a new employee working when he initially called us and he was told we would refix it for free. When he came in, the employee that actually helped him that day, a different employee, told him we don’t cover new damage. He was very upset and requested to speak to the owner.

That would be me.

Because of the confusion, I decided we’d make an exception and fix his phone again at no charge.

Then later that day he sent me a very legalistically worded email which included the following couple of sentences:

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Top Tips from a Series on Time Management

Recently I was asked to write for a great Chicago startup blog called Technori. A few weeks ago they had me do a three part series on time management. The ironic thing is, each post turned out to be pretty long and it took a fair amount of time to read all three of them. So I decided to distill the top points from each post right here in something much shorter and quicker to read.

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Applying for a Job on Craigslist

About 4 months ago I did a post on how to find a good employee using Craigslist. We’ve used the techniques discussed in that post a few times since then and hired several great, new employees. That said, we still get a lot of responses from people that make me scratch my head. So I decided to complement that first post with some advice for prospective employees.

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The Mistake Process

This is a post about dealing with mistakes. To illustrate the process we use at JCD Repair, I’m going to use an example of an iPhone 4 that we broke. Before I go any farther, I’d like to state one thing: Our repair technicians are fantastic and they do an incredible job.

I don’t say that to brag or for marketing reasons, but I want you to know that what happened here is extremely uncommon. In the past year we’ve fixed over 12,000 iPhones, iPads, and iPods with a 99.9% success rate. That said, once in a very rare while we make a mistake. That’s what this post is about. Mistakes. They are fact of life – business or personal life – and it’s what you do after a mistake happens that really defines who you are as a business or as a person.

So without further ado, a real world example of a mistake and how we dealt with it…

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How $55,000 in Missed Revenue per Year is a Significant Improvement

Want a really simple way to significantly increase the sales of your existing, appointment based business? Here it is: Call your customers the morning of their scheduled appointment. That’s it. Do that and you can expect a bump in your revenues and profits immediately. For us, we saw a decrease of about 65-70% in the number of missed appointments and an increase of about 10% in sales. This required no extra marketing costs beyond paying an employee for 30 minutes worth of work. Not a bad return on investment. Continue reading “How $55,000 in Missed Revenue per Year is a Significant Improvement”


Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads – It Was No Contest

If you’re a small business owner like me, you’re busy. You don’t have a ton of time to read this or any other articles. So let me start with the conclusion:

Google Adwords is a significantly better and more cost effective marketing tool than Facebook.

For the past 12 days, we’ve been running our first Facebook ad campaign and I’ve been comparing it to our Google Adwords (which we’ve been doing for 5+ years). We saw 42 of the people that clicked on our Google Ad became customers in that time frame. Exactly 1 person that came from a Facebook ad became a customer. I’m not missing a zero there. The score was 42-1. Not even close.

Here’s the full set of results:

Campaign Clicks Conversions (%) Total Cost Cost/Conversion
Facebook 286 1 (0.35%) $242 $242
Google Adwords 354 42 (11.86%) $295 $7.04

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