As a freelance contractor, I get around to a lot of different companies. They're in all sorts of industries: finance, manufacturing, education, media, retail, transport, and even a mail order company. Wherever I go, I make a point of asking one key question: “How's business?” Sometimes it's tempting as an IT specialist to step back from the business environment and focus on the technical task at hand. Still, I find it's very helpful to ask a general question ...

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