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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 148 IDEA: Offer Classes in English as a Second Language

Many successful entrepreneurs offer free, onsite English as a second language (ESL) classes to employees. When David Giuliani was president of the Optiva Corporation, he faced a major challenge at his fast-growing toothbrush company: his employees spoke 15 different languages.

That's why he decided to offer English as a second language classes at work. “Taking good care of employees is required for good business,” Giuliani told me. (He's now CEO and cofounder of Pacific Bioscience Laboratories.)

Through the years, scores of employees took advantage of the free classes. Their improved English skills led to improved productivity and better communication throughout the company.

Marsha ...

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