Most businesses invest in marketing and advertising each month but overlook another vital investment that they are already making–that investment is their employees. Your employees can make or break your company, and recently I ran into a very poignant example of that fact.… Read the rest
Companies and organizations often use part time employees to serve in a limited role. They are not paid as well as full-timers, sometimes do lower level work, and may have a limited career track. They may be moms who have priorities at home, seniors who no longer want a 40 hour work week, or college students looking to earn some money to supplement expenses. They are hired to reduce operating costs, fill leftover hours from full time employees, deal with an economic downturn, or seasonal requirements. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of employees working part time increased by 300 % or 9 million people.… Read the rest
Start Your Year Off Right / Goals for a Successful 2016
RLS Focused Solutions, in conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, is offering an opportunity to help you achieve a more successful 2016. The workshop will be offered on Friday January 15th. They will be held at the Chamber Conference. Room It will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude no later than 2:00 PM. A working lunch from the Purple Onion will be included.… Read the rest
I recently read the book, Boys in the Boat. It was a true story of a sculling team from the University of Washington, who through hard work and discipline became national champs and went on to win the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s a great story, set against the dramatic background of the Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolf Hitler. It describes how a rowing team developed into the fastest in the world. Of course, the members of the team need to be strong and fit, but there comes a point when all come together in harmony to maximize their performance. It is said that the team is only as fast as its slowest rower, but once they reach that synchronized harmony, they outpace the rest of the competitors.… Read the rest
There are many important steps to consider when developing a business plan for your company, but the first step is to fully understand the main uses of a business-plan. The four main uses of a business-plan are as follows:
A Business Plan is a written document that you can use in your search for external financing.
A Business Plan is a tactical planning and management tool for your business.
A Business Plan is a document showing the capacity of your team to control and manage all the aspects of the company.
A Business Plan brings you new ideas to refine your project by checking and estimating the induced hypothesis.
“Success is … the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief.” – Resource Associates Corporation
In real life many people get stuck in a professional or personal position where goals are defined for them. The result is frustration where no one feels fulfilled and the goals often are never reached.… Read the rest
To achieve a goal, there is a process that you should implement. This process is to streamline and analyze your objectives. Begin at the very beginning at the smallest, specific part. These are the most important steps to take to meet the guidelines. An objective is a way of knowing what action or plan is to be taken and identifying the expected results. This plan provides a set of directions so that making the decision will not be as complicated as when the goal is just being considered.
Peter Drucker documented a book published in 1954 entitled Practiced Management where in MBO, which stands for “Management by Objectives,” was introduced. This is a program that consists of simple, but very useful processes in order to meet commitments in an organization.… Read the rest
Our clients are often asking us to find better ways to motivate their staff. They are trying to get them more involved in a new challenge or are considering a financial incentive to spur productivity. They may be trying to encourage new ideas or overcome seemly insurmountable obstacles. Carolyn Dewar and Scott Keller provide us with several ideas in their Harvard Business Review Article, Four Motivation Mistakes Most Managers Make.
Realizing a compelling vision often means change, accepting new perspectives, and abandoning old habits and techniques. Many times the necessary changes require doing things differently. Lofty aspirations may involve outsourcing, merging, building strategic alliances, partnering, or acquiring other resources or organizations. It could mean selling off pieces of existing business that no longer fit strategically. It could involve restructuring your organization. What does it mean to you? There are tremendous risks in maintaining the status quo and doing it because “we have always done it that way.” It means that there is no longer validity in the expression, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” The operative phrase today is, “How can we make it better?”… Read the rest
There are many ways to improve the way you communicate. For example, you will always start things off on the right foot by opening the conversation in a way that creates mutual respect. Using phrases such as, “If you have a minute, I’d like to talk with you about something that I think will improve the way we work together,” helps set your conversation partner at ease. It tells him or her that you have positive intentions.… Read the rest
Effective leaders are known for being excellent communicators. Here’s what to do.
1) Avoid “Not.” Negative talk encourages arguments, counter attacks, and attempts to solve your problems. It also creates a negative impression. For example, when you say, “I can’t,” you appear helpless and ineffective. Instead, talk about what you can do and what you want.… Read the rest
There comes a day in the growth of a business or organization where the owner or founder must hire people with the expectation that they will help to contribute to its growth and success. This is true whether the hire will be working in the shop, taking orders at the front counter, writing software, or managing a part of the business. So often the entry of this new employee results in negative results. The manager and the new employee are frustrated and disappointed. With this hiring, comes some new skills which the leader must master to produce the desired results. Let us start with the assumption that the interviewing and selection process was done well and the new employee arrives for their first day on the job.… Read the rest
To be more responsive to customer needs, emphasize customer satisfaction, develop closer relationships with their customers and flatten the management structure, some companies have adopted Customer Teams or Customer Focus Teams. These are cross-functional, customer focused teams that exist to provide customers a one-stop shopping service.… Read the rest
It’s no longer enough to be good, you must be exceptional. It is no longer enough to have satisfied customers, you must seek to develop a loyal and delighted customer base. It’s no longer enough to maintain. You must be aggressive, responsive, and quick. Your challenge is getting everyone on your team or in your department committed and focused on achieving organizational success. As an effective team leader, your role is to build the best, strongest, most productive team possible. Your team or department’s results, or lack thereof, will be in direct proportion to the cohesiveness of your team.… Read the rest
“One day a donkey fell into a well. When the owner discovered what had happened, he frantically searched for ways to rescue the animal, with no success. Regretfully the owner decided that since the donkey was growing old, he should give up the idea of rescuing the animal and simply fill in the well. Hopefully, the donkey’s demise would be quick and painless. The farmer then called his neighbors to help with the task, and soon several men began shoveling dirt into the well. When the donkey realized what was happening, he brayed, and struggled … but finally the noise stopped.… Read the rest
“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Fr. Theodore Heshurgh Former President of The University of Notre Dame
A powerful vision provides inspiration, challenge, and purpose. It gives meaning to your work and purpose to your business. Your business gives you a place where you can satisfy your need to achieve. Everyone’s life needs a purpose, something important to strive for. One way to add both meaning and context to your vision is to establish values. Clearly defined values simplify decision making. They also help ensure consistency as well as ethical and behavioral congruence… Read the rest
While employment is a surefire way of securing your future, there are always those who believe that entrepreneurship should be a priority not only among those who are already established in life but also for students who have just finished their studies. Other people believe that getting involved with a profitable business is still the way to go if one wants to be financially successful in the future.
People who immediately go into business without any plan at all are the ones who end up with nothing at all, in terms of their capital or investment. This is because they have joined a war without carrying any weapon at all.… Read the rest
Setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving success. Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.
Setting a goal is not like a New Year’s resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn’t going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there.
When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month, or weekly goals. Also you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 to 5 times a week.… Read the rest
Yes, it’s time to start thinking about plans for the coming year. Many of the most successful businesses in our area use this period of time to develop next year’s plan for growth and success. In fact, several travel to workshops as far away as Chicago for guidance on developing their plan.
A business planning session is an opportunity to spend time on your business not in your business. It is not just something that big companies use, but has been used across the county by small business including; non-profits, landscapers, retailers, restaurants, realtors, print shops, insurance brokers, churches, independent sales representatives, and HVAC Companies.
Management guru, Peter Drucker once said, “The better a man is, the more mistakes will he make– for the more new things he will try. I would never promote a man into a top level job who had not made mistakes, and big ones at that. Otherwise, he is sure to be mediocre.” At one time or another, everyone makes mistakes, some more catastrophic than others. But the trick is to effectively manage the mistake with humility so that it’s not career ending. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you have made a mistake at work.