The Keys to Finding Good Help

Audrey had been looking for a Field Supervisor for months. She’d taken referrals from friends and family, posted at the colleges and on Craig’s list. So far, no one had met Audrey’s expectations. I was concerned that she would become discouraged and hire the wrong person to fill the job or would give up and continue to spend her own precious time doing the supervisor’s job. So I helped her see why she wasn’t attracting the right candidates.

The first thing she did was write out exactly what she wanted from this person. From that she created a specific and clear job description that was able to attract the right candidates. Once she posted it she finally found someone she believes will meet her expectations on the job.

The success of a small business is dependent on having good help. Without it, the business just cannot go to the next level. [Read more…]

A Small Business Community’s Success Story

I’m still high from the energy and positive feedback we’ve had from the Third Annual Small Business Summit 2008. Support and enthusiasm about making it happen was apparent from last year’s Summit, but we didn’t know we’d have a sell-out and fill the house. Last year we had 360 attendees and this year it was 450.

As a small business community in one of the nation’s major business centers, it’s clear that we are a vocal and expanding group. The Summit concept and community now has a life of its own. People tell us they look forward to attending each year and many ask what else we’re doing. Here’s a quick glimpse at how it happens and why it’s a success.

It all started in the Spring of 2005. I had read articles and posts by Ramon Ray, http://smallbiztechnology.com, for several months and finally decided to attend an event where he was speaking. I was impressed by his presentation and the fact that he focused on small business technology. It’s a critical element of any small business, but not really my strong suit. I wanted to know more about his work, so we decided to meet for coffee. [Read more…]

Clear Consistent Communication

As you know, I’ve recently joined Business Network International (BNI), where I’m getting to know a lot of entrepreneurs in a new way and even getting some new business.

I’d been a guest at two or three BNI Chapters in the past (there are 23 in Manhattan), but until n0w had not found a group that seemed a good fit. I chose to join the newest group; a nice mix of males and females who range from the professional to the storefront entrepreneur. The Chapter was established in April and already has 26 members.

Being a BNI member is a huge commitment because meetings are weekly at 7 a.m. (that’s right, 7 a.m.). I still don’t love that part of it, but I do look forward to seeing the members of the group each week.

At each meeting we have to give a 60 second stand- up intro. For each of the first 10 weeks I chose to speak about one of the C’s of Business Leadership in my 60 second stand-up. He.re are the reasons I chose this tactic.

1) There are a lot of C’s that apply to Business Leadership (courage, clarity, commitment, communication. consistency…you get the idea). [Read more…]

Groom Your Replacement

“But I don’t want a replacement”, you say. Well, maybe you will after you read this article.

Would you genuinely like to change the way you spend your business day? Is the business running you or are you running it? Are you doing jobs yourself that someone else could do because you want to hold down expenses? Or are you concerned that no one else will do the jobs as well as you?

What if you could not only delegate, but you could duplicate yourself? That means having another person who is able to manage your business in your absence. If you have aspirations of growing your business, this is a critical element of preparation. Growth always puts an additional strain on the person in charge, so you’ll want someone who can replace you in as many areas of day to day operations as possible. [Read more…]

Visibility & Credibility: What Works Now

You know there is a market for what you offer. One of your primary challenges is to increase the number of qualified prospects to whom your product or service is visible.

There have always been ways to get visibility and credibility. When the circus came to town at the beginning of the last century it paraded down Main Street to gain visibility. It worked. Today there are a lot more sophisticated ways to gain visibility. And they are evolving at a fairly rapid pace. Blogs have come on the scene and are growing in popularity for visibility and credibility. I haven’t actually used one yet myself, but am seriously considering it.

If increasing visibility and credibility is part of your overall strategy, let’s take a systematic look at how we might approach planning for it. Determining who you are trying to reach and where you will reach them is a good place to start.

Who are you trying to reach?

[Read more…]

Top Ten Rules for Building Valuable Business Relationships

Mutually beneficial relationships are the backbone of a healthy business. Are you building these relationships for your business? And what does it take to create and sustain this type of relationship?

To answer this question, I decided to identify the behaviors I see in the leaders in my own small business network.

I’m drawn to people who are friendly and treat me with respect, whether or not they want to do business with me. When I see people who don’t keep their appointments and don’t follow-up e-mails and calls from people they know, it tells me a lot about how they are to do business with.

I like dealing with people who keep their word and follow through. These people not only get my business, they get the business of others who appreciate what it takes to maintain a valuable relationship.

The business leaders I know carry out the following ten behaviors. I’m calling them “rules” to emphasize their structural nature. As you read through these, you can rate your own behavior on a percentage basis. Then do an analysis to see where you might want to improve – assuming you agree it is a behavior you find valuable.

1 – Follow through! Think before you commit to something that you don’t have time to carry out. It’s a real pain to deal with people you can’t count on. People who become known for following through are sought out. We all want to do business with people who keep their commitments. [Read more…]

The Prime Strategies to Build Any Business in Any Economy

I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs, professionals and small business executives since 1995.
When I first start working with a client I ask, “What is your most critical business concern right now?”

I hear things like:

– Cash flow is a real problem. I can’t meet my expenses.
– The market has dried up. Sales just aren’t happening.
– The market is out there, but I’m not ready to handle the business. I don’t have my systems in place and I have trouble following through.
– I often feel overwhelmed. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

What I’ve learned is that these are all symptoms of a common problem experienced by many people with business decision-making responsibilities. It boils down to disorganized, unfocused thinking and lack of business structure.

My job as coach is to help clients understand and use what I call the Prime Strategies. These prime strategies are [Read more…]

THE CALL TO LEADERSHIP

Are you taking stock of the past year and looking forward to 2003? If you’re feeling concerned about your ability to reach your goals, you’re not alone. The problem I see far too often is the business owner who feels overwhelmed because things are happening too fast and there’s not enough time to follow through. Or they’ve become immobilized because their market has dried up. What can be done to bring these challenges into perspective and gain control?

Think like a leader.

Business Leadership NOW! That’s the cry across the nation for businesses both large and small. As a business owner, by default, you are the leader of your business. You can either ignore the impact of the role and bear the consequences or grab the reins and choose your destiny.

As a coach working with small business owners for almost 8 years I’ve seen the difference it makes when entrepreneurs consciously choose to function as leader and learn to apply the fundamentals of good business practice.

I base my work on what I call the Prime Strategies. These are the strategies that lead to a strong and profitable business in any economic environment. These are also the strategies that allow the entrepreneur to gain a sense of control over business results.

Learn the Prime Strategies and how to use them.

There are six strategies I consider critical [Read more…]