Lessons For-Profits Can Learn From Non-Profit Businesses

For-profit business lessons from non-profits at https://whatworksforbiz.comDuring this year’s Super Bowl several commercials aired with messages focused on community, equality, equal opportunity and how business products serve the common good. These for-profit companies – Toyota, Verizon, Fiat-Chrysler for RAM Trucks, and Coke like saw value in taking a non-profit approach to connecting with consumers.

What can a for-profit learn from non-profit businesses? Maria Sentelik, Executive Director of Ohio Valley Voices, shared her story with me as to why, for 18 years, she has been able to help children who are deaf learn to talk.

In this podcast you’ll learn lessons about channeling passion, operational management, outsourcing, and hiring that can serve for-profit and non-profit businesses alike.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM MARIA SENTELIK: OHIO VALLEY VOICES

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL NON-PROFIT?  (2:34 in)

In Maria’s words – The very first thing you have to have is passion for it and a true commitment to want to change. You’re really running a small business and you have to have business knowledge

Insight – Having other people with passion and business experience is important to complement the passion of the executive director.

WHAT IS THE MAKEUP OF THE IDEAL EMPLOYEE? (4:16 in)

In Maria’s words – What is the most successful is a unique combination of an individual who wants to be a part of change, a learner, someone who is committed with a good work ethic. 

Insight – The best non-profit employees value making a difference in other people’s lives as much as receiving compensation for their work.

WHY DO SOME NON-PROFIT BUSINESSES FAIL? (5:02 in)

In Maria’s words – Continuity. If you keep changing your leadership. That leadership never has a clear vision. I’ve seen other non-profits go from executive director to executive director and they can’t move forward.

Insight – Depth of skill sets within the rank and file as well as the leadership is important because you can’t do it alone.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD FUNDRAISER? (6:39 in)

In Maria’s words – Getting out there and getting out into the community. Having the community know we exist and recognizing that we have life altering results. 

Insight – Give people a clear picture of what you do and having potential donors see your work in action cultivates the motivation to give.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS? (9:41 in)

In Maria’s words – I expect their support and skills. I use them to help me grow the organization.

Insight – Successful non-profits have a board of directors with a variety of skill sets that match up with what the organization is trying to accomplish and facilitating it to happen.

HOW SHOULD A NON-PROFIT MEASURE ITSELF? (11:34 in)

In Maria’s words – How are we doing. Unless we deliver an excellent service, we aren’t doing our job.

Insight – Fundraising and other financial measures are important too. But those are a by product of the number one priority – providing a service that gets results.

WHAT SHOULD THE FOCUS OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BE? (14:10 in)

In Maria’s words – In the beginning my focus was on developing and making a program. Now my head should be in the future. I’m looking at what’s going to happen in the classroom five years from now. What should be going on to get better.  

Insight – The sooner you can take yourself out of doing everything, the day to day tasks of the organization, the more effective you will be as an executive director.

Best Business Practices for Small Business

Best Business PracticesI’ve received some great insights and ideas on best business practices for small business in 2017. Tap into excerpts from several successful business owners and entrepreneurs here on strategy, business culture, managing employees, marketing, social media, maximizing sales, and building business value.

These men and women reflect the optimism of small business today as we approach a new year.

MAKING YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN WORK ( 1:23 in)

John Handelsman, Founder & CEO of Present Values

In John’s words – One of the things most companies miss is, they don’t put in place a performance management tool.

Insight – To achieve your strategic goals, it’s necessary to keep a scorecard of the progress or lack of that is being made on a regular basis.

STRATEGY REVIEWS (3:00 in)

In John’s words – The strategies should always be reviewed. However, the strategies should not always be changed or shouldn’t quit.

Insight – Giving up on a strategy too early is often caused by failing to discover and make an adjustment. Patience is required.

TURNING AROUND THE CULTURE OF AN ORGANIZATION (4:09 in)

Brad Brezinski, Chief Strategist, Strategy to Action

In Brad’s words – I don’t think it’s hard if leadership will commit to doing it. The pace of change is four levers – articulate, communicate, demonstrate, and tolerate.

Insight – Among best business practices is to articulate the kind of culture you want. Communicate this to everyone in your organization. Walk the talk. Don’t tolerate actions at any level of the organization that are inconsistent with the culture and values you’re working to establish.

TREATING EMPLOYEES LIKE OWNERS (9:02 in)

Jeff Rowe, President & CEO, Q Laboratories

In Jeff’s words – It starts with recognition, finding excuses to celebrate and thank employees publicly in front of their peers for doing the little things that help you make money and win new clients.   

Insight – This is particularly important at the lower levels of the organization. Being transparent about the company’s financials and giving them monetary incentives beyond a salary are vital having them offer solutions to problems and ideas to improve company performance.

MISGUIDED MARKETING STRATEGIES  (11:25 in)

Charlene Burke, President, Search By Burke

In Charlene’s words –   Most small business owners think a marketing strategy is all around how much money am I going to be spending this year to make more money. It isn’t the bulk of your strategy.

Tip – Identify how you get your business today. Is it through referrals, your website, social media, advertising, email, events, or all of the above? It is always easier and less expensive to generate business from existing customers instead of new customers.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROI EXPECTATIONS (12:49 in)

Carol Fowler, Senior Vice President of Digital News Products, Chicago Sun Times

In Carol’s words – A lot of companies struggle with the ROI. In too many cases people complain about the ROI, but they haven’t set goals to begin with. If do don’t have consistency or a dedicated person working on it, you probably aren’t going to get results that knock your socks off.  

Insight – Make a concerted effort to measure results in order to see whether your goals are being achieved. Use scheduling tools to manage your time and address the publishing demands of the social media platforms you’ve chosen to use.

RE-MAKING YOUR SALES FORCE (15:17 in)

Gary Price, Senior VP Global Sales, Kaivac, Inc.

In Gary’s words – Be very clear on your goals. Invest in the planning upfront.

Insights– If you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, going through the planning process and executing a plan to get there is easier to achieve.

SALES PERFORMANCE GOALS (16:47 in)

Tony Cole, CEO, Anthony Cole Training Group

In Tony’s words – They’re the ones that decide this is the peak they want to attain.

Insight – Among best business practices for sales, goals are usually set to low and often are just suggestions. Goal setting from the top down is a mistake. If your sales people resist a bottom up goal setting process, you have the wrong people.

TURNING A BUSINESS AROUND  (18:50 in)

Mary Percy, President, Corporate Document Solutions

In Mary’s words –   Have a proactive mindset. Analyze trends and rates of consumption. Seek out new business opportunities in that business industry. Ask your customers what they want.

Tip – By examining objectively the totality of the business process from beginning to end, clarity is possible to move forward instead of backward.

THREE TOP DRIVERS OF BUILDING BUSINESS VALUE  (20:13 in)

Implementing some or all of these best business practices for small business will help you build business value.

If you have an interesting story you would like me to share on this podcast, let me know. Best wishes for a prosperous 2018.

Why Treat Employees Like Owners?

Treat Employees Like OwnersThere really isn’t much difference between what business owners and employees want to get out of work. Fundamentally they both want what they earn to help them provide for themselves and their families. So why shouldn’t owners or business leaders treat employees more like owners?

Jeff Rowe, President and CEO of Q Laboratories believes that if business leadership adopted this philosophy, business performance would exceed  expectations. The value of employees to a business is greater than you think.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM JEFF ROWE: Q LABORATORIES

YOU SAY THAT YOUR PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT ARE REVOLUTIONARY, WHAT DO YOU MEAN?  (1:44 in)

In Jeff’s words – Harkening back to an age in American businesses where everyone in the enterprise was able to take value from the company and win together. These days most businesses are focused on quarterly results and financials and not so much on developing people. I’d like to see more companies getting back to sharing the wealth of the company with all of their employees.

Insight – Developing a vibrant culture built on trust is critical to achieving top financial performance in order to share the wealth with employees.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE VALUABLE THAN THE PRODUCTS OR MARKET? (3:22 in)

In Jeff’s words – Developing a different culture where everyone feels like they’re part of one team and everyone’s lined up behind serving the customer the best way possible is really the key.

Insight – Sales are based on relationships. If people work in concert rather than at odds with each other unanticipated results can be achieved.

TO MAKE EMPLOYEES FEEL MORE VALUABLE, HOW DO YOU DO THAT? (5:05 in)

In Jeff’s words – It starts with recognition, finding excuses to celebrate and thank employees publicly in front of their peers for doing the little things that help you make money and win new clients.   

Insight – This is particularly important at the lower levels of the organization. Being transparent about the company’s financials and giving them monetary incentives beyond a salary are vital having them offer solutions to problems and ideas to improve company performance.

CAN YOUR MANAGEMENT TEAM BE UNDERMINED BY ENCOURAGING EMPLOYEES TO SEEK ADVICE OR HELP FROM ANYONE IN THE BUSINESS? (6:58 in)

In Jeff’s words – If your senior team isn’t committed to creating and maintaining an open environment. You don’t want people to be afraid to approach management for fear they are going to be ridiculed or ignored.  

Insight – Make people trust you and they’ll tell you what needs to be done to make the company better.

HOW DO YOU GET EMPLOYEES TO RESPOND SO POSITIVELY TO TAKING ON ADDITIONAL WORK OR OVERTIME?  (10:32 in)

In Jeff’s words – If you truly want your business to perform at its peak potential, then make everyone in the company feel like an owner.

Insight – If the incentives you provide make them feel like an owner, they’ll be instrumental in pushing out underperforming employees and offering ideas to improve business performance.

WHY WOULD YOU RATHER RELIEVE EMPLOYEES OF THEIR JOBS WITH BAD ATTITUDES RATHER THAN WORK WITH THEM TO IMPROVE? (13:02 in)

In Jeff’s words – You can spend a lot of time and energy trying to take somebody who just doesn’t have good work habits and train them to work hard or who has a sour attitude and flip that to positive. While you’re spending all that time on that one person out of ten, you’re ignoring the nine people who are working hard and displaying the kind of attitude you would like to recruit into the company.

Insight – In hiring, screening for cultural fit is more important than screening for skill set, even at the senior level. Consider ranking your employees every year to ensure that under performers aren’t hiding in your organization.

WHAT PRIORITIES SHOULD YOU HAVE TO RUN A COMPANY SUCCESSFULLY? (17:36 in)

In Jeff’s words – Gather a great team around you. Get them in the right spots. Set the direction for the company and then get out of that great team’s way.

Insight – Focus on strategy, coach your team, don’t micro manage.

 

 

How Do You Manage Superstar Employees?

Superstar EmployeesWe label popular athletes as superstars. Ditto using the same expression for entertainers. Yet in every business there are superstar employees, those who drive the growth of the company. For a CEO the question is – how do you manage them?

The task for Andy Blankemeyer, CEO of Beacon Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, seems to be extra challenging since the superstars happen to be the business owners too – the doctors.

It requires a management style and attitude that is applicable to any group of high performers like lawyers, architects, real estate agents or superstar sales people, engineers, etc.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM ANDREW BLANKEMEYER: BEACON ORTHOPAEDICS & SPORTS MEDICINE

WHAT IS THE MANAGEMENT STYLE YOU EMPLOY FOR WORKING EFFECTIVELY WITH YOUR GROUP OF PHYSICIAN OWNERS?  (1:50 in)

In Andy’s words – It’s like managing a shopping mall. You’ve got a wide range of stores selling different products. My job is to make sure that each of those stores remain successful and that way the mall itself continues to grow and to be successful.

Insight – Management of a group of type A personalities, superstar employees, is possible if they agree to adhere to a strategic plan they all agree to upfront.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE BEACON’S GROWTH? (3:32 in)

In Andy’s words – We don’t want to grow just to grow. We have to have a strategic reason. 

Insight – Look at growing into new markets, new service or product sectors so as not to cannibalize already what you have or to upset your business culture.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HOSPITALS WHO ARE BOTH COMPETITORS AND PARTNERS? (5:55 in)

In Andy’s words – It’s having like-mined leadership on both sides of the table. If the two sides both understand the value of each other we seem to have good relationships with our hospital partners.   

Insight – By seeking to identify how both parties can benefit from a relationship, a competitive association can be mutually valuable.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATE FOR BEACON WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES? (7:50 in)

In Andy’s words – I see our relationship with insurance carriers as a true partnership. If they are looking for a way to provide value to their members and we work together on rates, programming and plan design, that’s how they can save their members money.  

Insight – Sharing of data about cost containment and operational efficiencies between the parties helps them find beneficial solutions.

HOW DO YOU KEEP COMPANY STAFF SPREAD OUT OVER MULTIPLE LOCATIONS INFORMED OF WHAT’S GOING ON? (10:03 in)

In Andy’s words – We use Email a lot. We have update meetings from management teams on a monthly basis.  

Insight – If you’re in an industry like healthcare where government regulations and policies change often, ongoing education via the company’s preferred communication channels is necessary.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT PHYSICIAN BURNOUT? (13:02 in)

In Andy’s words – My job is to let them be doctors and let me run the business. The more I can let them come in, treat patients well, have quality outcomes on their surgeries, and get home to see their families, that’s my way of contributing to lessen physician burnout.

Insight – Your superstar employees will be most effective when their daily lives aren’t consumed with peripheral collateral duties that divert their attention away from their primary job.

DO YOU DEVELOP WITH THE PHYSICIANS THE GROUP’S STRATEGIC PLAN OR SIMPLY EXECUTE IT? (14:40 in)

In Andy’s words – We work hand in hand. I have a good handle on market trends, where government trends are going, where orthopedics as a whole across the country is going.

Insight – When all of the key players are involved in the strategic planning process, buy-in and execution of the plan is much more likely.

Five Steps to Shape Business Culture

Business CultureWas there a time in your life when you hated to go to work? The business culture was uncomfortable. Rather than finding your work and association with colleagues engaging, you were looking for the way out.

A few years ago the co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey and global business professor-founder Raj Sisodia released a study on the performance of companies that sought to work for values, not just profit.

In that study 28 companies labeled as practicing “conscious capitalism”, outperformed the S&P 500 by 14 times during the period from 1998 – 2012. Is there a message here today about culture?

Brad Brezinski, Founder and Chief Strategist at Strategy2Action, shared with me a personal experience and a definitive series of steps leaders should take to shape or turn around its business culture.

See if you agree with Brad’s recommendation. Because culture can have a significant impact on business performance, they’re worth noting.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM BRAD BREZINSKI, FOUNDER & CHIEF STRATEGIST – STRATEGY TO ACTION

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF COMPANIES THAT HAVE A STRONG BUSINESS CULTURE? (2:27in)

In Brad’s words – An organization that communicates better, that’s going to innovate better, they’re going to problem solve better, and they’re probably going to have lower turnover.

Insight – Ask the question, how engaged are my employees? Chances are that if they are fully engaged, they have a clear understanding of the charge given by leadership.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CEO IN SHAPING THE CULTURE? (3:50 in)

In Brad’s words – Ultimately the CEO has full responsibility for the culture. The exhibited values of the leadership team are what shape the behavioral norms, are what shape the decisions that guide the culture.

Insight – Think about your decision making processes, how decisions are made, who makes them, who is recognized for the decisions made and how are people held responsible for decisions.

HOW IMPORTANT IS CULTURE TO A START UP COMPANY? (6:57 in)

In Brad’s words – Don’t think in terms of culture, think in terms of your values. Roy Disney said when your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easy.

Insight – In hiring, make sure that your values, the values you want the organization to hold and those of the people you’re seeking to hire are aligned.

WHAT UNDERMINES BUSINESS CULTURE? (8:56 in)

In Brad’s words – The first one is hollow values. These one word ideas (in wall art displaying the word – teamwork, for example) that no one can wrap their hands around. The second quite simply is weak leadership. It’s the responsibility of leadership to exhibit (values) day in and day out.

Insight – Back up values with actions and behaviors that are applied daily.

HOW HARD IS IT TO TURN AROUND THE CULTURE OF AN ORGANIZATION? (13:52 in)

In Brad’s words – I don’t think it’s hard if leadership will commit to doing it. The pace of change is four levers – articulate, communicate, demonstrate, and tolerate.

Insight – Articulate the kind of culture you want. Communicate this to everyone in your organization. Walk the talk. Don’t tolerate actions at any level of the organization that are inconsistent with the culture and values you’re working to establish.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF IN A MERGER OF TWO CULTURES? (20:10 in)

In Brad’s words – You can’t really assess culture but you can articulate the values. Then you’re looking for what values are incongruent with one another.

Insight – Determine if the values of both companies are aligned or not as it relates to its handling of employees, how it treats customers, what is its risk tolerance, etc.

 

Strategic Planning is Effective When…..

Strategic Planning

When you hear the phrase “strategic planning”, does your mind light up or does it give you a headache? There is clearly a right and a wrong way to initiate and carry out the process.

In my conversation with John Handelsman, CEO of Present Values, I realized that my previous employers approached this all wrong.

See if you agree with John on what components of leadership, teamwork, data and process are necessary to make the strategic planning exercise pay off.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM JOHN HANDELSMAN, CEO OF PRESENT VALUES:

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUSINESS PLAN AND STRATEGIC PLAN?  (1:46 in)

In John’s words – Strategy is all about choices and planning is all about execution. A strategic plan is typically much longer term. A business plan is much more operational in nature.

Insight – Think of the business plan as how are you going to execute to achieve your high level strategic goals.

HOW SHOULD A COMPANY DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN? (3:05 in)

In John’s words – It’s very important that the leader believes in the process. There needs to be data. The leader must learn to delegate responsibility. The responsibility and ownership of each part of it is shared.

Insight – Consider conducting a strategic planning “SWOT” analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Data is needed from an analysis of the company internally and the competitive environment externally.

CAN YOU CLEAR UP ANY CONFUSION BETWEEN STRATEGIES AND TACTICS? (5:45 in)

In John’s words – Strategies are high level choices relative to direction for growth and management of risk. Underneath are initiatives, projects or programs that support strategies. Tactics are activities (of initiatives) that support strategies.     

Insight – Strategies are directives intended to achieve your objectives and material goals.

HOW MANY STRATEGIES SHOULD A COMPANY HAVE? (7:24 in)

In John’s words – The number depends upon what’s going on in your business and what is your team capable of executing well.

Insight – Keep the list to a minimum but don’t miss any opportunities. Data is critical.

WHAT CAUSES A STRATEGIC PLAN TO FAIL? (8:26 in)

In John’s words – One of the things most companies miss is, they don’t put in place a performance management tool.

Insight – To achieve your strategic goals, it’s necessary to keep a scorecard of the progress or lack of that is being made on a regular basis.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR STRATEGIES BE REVIEWED? (14:11 in)

In John’s words – The strategies should always be reviewed. However, the strategies should not always be changed or shouldn’t quit.

Insight – Giving up on a strategy too early is often caused by failing to discover and make an adjustment. Patience is required.

 

How Does a Pro Buy a Business?

Buy a BusinessHave you dreamed about buying a company or perhaps you’re thinking about making an acquisition to strengthen your existing business? Mackenzie and Company, a corporate strategy and finance consulting firm, believes that to buy a business you should be able to execute one or more of five strategies.

Find out what they are and what a seasoned pro does to buy a business on this episode of What Works for Biz.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM CHIP NIELSEN, PRESIDENT/CEO OF DOSCHER’S CANDIES?

WHAT ARE SOME PRINCIPLES THAT GUIDE Y0U IN LOOKING AT A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY?  (2:01 in)

In Chip’s words –  A strategic reason and an opportunistic opportunity. Increase your size or volume, geographic expansion, lessen competition, acquire key new people. It might be fun, interesting or challenging.

Tip – Consider whether your staff is ready to take on more responsibilities or new challenges.

WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DO YOU DO TO EVALUATE PROSPECTS?  (4:02 in)

In Chip’s words – Once I’ve picked an industry or business, the research in my case goes to friends, relatives, acquaintances, who might I know and who might connect me to someone in that industry. Read trade journals in that field. Get the word out I’m looking.

Tip – The type of research you do depends a lot on what you’re looking to buy, what your capabilities are, where’s your passion, and how large or small in scope the company footprint is.

IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS YOU’RE LOOKING TO ACQUIRE?  (8:10 in)

In Chip’s words –  You’re naturally going to succeed at it faster. Those in an acquisition mode should play to your strengths. Look at the things they are passionate about. Overlay businesses they might be interested in, involved in and be able to learn fairly rapidly.

Tip – Pursuing businesses that don’t complement your skill set and background is too big a risk.

HOW IMPORTANT IS PAST PERFORMANCE VERSUS FUTURE PROPECTS OF A BUSINESS?  (11:44 in)

In Chip’s words –  (Past) It’s the best predictor of the future.

Tip – Judging the future is very important if you are already in the business and the acquisition is an add on or you’re looking to close down the business and just buy a customer list.

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR ROLE IN THAT ACQUISITION?  (14:21 in)

In Chip’s words –  You should be doing it with the purpose of building the business. I’m definitely more of the builder than the operator.

Tip – Develop a clear strategy that can be communicated effectively to those you’re relying on to execute it.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO DOSCHER’S CANDIES?  (15:20 in)

In Chip’s words –  I grew up in a family business environment. We worked that list of contacts in town. There happened to be a couple of small business brokers. It was a family business sold to Greg Clark. In meeting him we fell in love with this quaint candy business.

Tip – Consider giving a previous owner equity in the new business if the person is going to stay on and help you run the business.

SHOULD A BUSINESS BUYER HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY IN MIND WHEN PURCHASING?  (19:49 in)

In Chip’s words –  In my estimation it’s going to be a lot more situational.

Tip – If you buy a business that you’re just getting started in, formulating an exit strategy upfront is likely not as important as it is to the business owner that seeks to turn it over in three years.

How a Business Turnaround Happens

Business TurnaroundPerhaps the only thing constant in business today is change. As a famous inventor reminds us – “when you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Ironically this prophetic statement comes from Ben Franklin, not someone in need of a business turnaround today.

Change has impacted the printing industry dramatically. Yet Corporate Document Solutions has grown its business despite the hurricane going on around it. Listen to what Mary Percy, the company’s president says about the business turnaround it made. She offers some recommendations to others who face similar issues in their industries.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM MARY PERCY, PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS.

IS IT TRUE THAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU TO FULFILL THEIR NEEDS DIFFERENTLY?  (5:06 in)

In Mary’s words –   They need a very efficient way to process orders. They have to have storefronts where multiple employees can go online and order.

Tip – Examine your customer’s needs from their perspective. Seek to make it easier and better to do business with you.

HAS YOUR VISION OF THE BUSINESS CHANGED?  (7:06 in)

In Mary’s words –   We’ve clarified our mission over the years as our strengths have been revealed through experience.

Tip – Achieve clarity by understanding what the customer wants and what you can deliver.

HOW HAS CLARITY OF VISION AFFECTED THE WAY YOU OPERATE?  (7:44 in)

In Mary’s words –   We’ve invested in system management software.

Tip – Evaluate whether updated technology can improve productivity and increase profitability.

HOW HAVE THESE CHANGES AFFECTED THE WAY YOU SELL?  (10:08 in)

In Mary’s words –   We analyzed which industries were continuing to need print products for legal, technical, or logistical reasons and focused on selling to those markets.

Tip – Target sales where the opportunity exists. Accounts are won by reducing costs and improving processes.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR TOUGHEST CHALLENGES?  (14:57 in)

In Mary’s words –   We had to streamline efficiencies.

Tip – The quicker you can satisfy your customer’s needs, the stronger your relationship will be.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER BUSINESSES EXPERIENCING DRAMATIC CHANGE?  (16:30 in)

In Mary’s words –   Have a proactive mindset. Analyze trends and rates of consumption. Seek out new business opportunities in that business industry. Ask your customers what they want.

Tip – By examining objectively the totality of the business process from beginning to end, clarity is possible to move forward instead of backward.

 

How to Make a Family Business Last

Family Business
Tina & Dale Engdahl of Exciting Windows by Apollo

Family business is the bedrock of the American economy. More than half of the national GDP comes from them. However, when the reins are transferred from the first generation to the second, 70% of them perish. How do you make a family business last?

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM DALE & TINA ENGDAHL, OWNERS OF THE FAMILY BUSINESS EXCITING WINDOWS BY APOLLO

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS WORK WELL?  (2:38 in)

In Dale’s words –   We treat our customers in the way we want to be treated. We do what we say and say what we’re going to do.

Tips – Have a clear division of responsibility. Have a definite plan for paying yourself and employees. Make sure all bases from client contact to project completion are being executed reliably and on time.

AS A HUSBAND – WIFE TEAM, HOW DO YOU HANDLE COMMUNICATION ABOUT THE BUSINESS IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? (4:34 in)

In Tina’s words – We talk about it until one or the other says, I’ve had enough. Because we’re so different we don’t think alike. A lot of thinking takes place before anything is accomplished.

Tip – Respect and understand each other’s position. Seek common ground.

WHAT ARE THE TOUGHEST BUSINESS DECISIONS? (9:12 in)

In Tina’s words – During a recession when you have to decide what you can’t spend money on anymore. In Dale’s words – on a personal level and a business level.

Tip – Saving ahead to withstand tough times is very important.

DO YOU TAKE VACATIONS SEPARATELY OR TOGETHER? (10:45 in)

In Tina’s words – It’s important to get away alone and together.

Tip – Take a break to stay strong!

HOW DO YOU RETAIN EMPLOYEES? (12:32 in)

In Dale’s words – Listen to them. Be flexible with their schedule. Pay them well. Treat them the way I would want to be treated.

Tip – Praise employees for a job well done.

HOW DO YOU INVOLVE & MANAGE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE BUSINESS? (13:40 in)

Tip – Let your kids decide whether they want to be involved in the business. If they participate, teach them to assume the responsibilities as if they were just employees.

WHAT SHOULD YOU REMEMBER TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS? (16:00 in)

In Tina’s words – Your client will always be your boss.

Tip – Realize that while you have the freedom to re-arrange your schedule for personal reasons, time away from work will have to be made up.

 

005 – What’s Missing in Business Management?

Business ManagementFrom an executive coach, mentor and peer to peer adviser we hear about where business owners, managers and entrepreneurs should focus their energy in business management. Pick up a tip on how to determine priorities and manage time better. Then ponder what is the best thing you can do for your employees and yourself.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM DAVID HABISCH, EXECUTIVE COACH, VISTAGE PEER ADVISORY GROUP CHAIR AND MENTOR

WHY DO SOME BUSINESS OWNERS/MANAGERS SUCCEED WHILE OTHERS FAIL?  (2:47 in)

In David’s words –   Those that get on top of the business are generally much more successful. Work on the business instead of in the business.

Tip – Have a vision, be able to revise that vision when necessary. Be comfortable in stepping outside of day to day activities to move the business forward.

WHAT SHOULD AN ENTREPRENUER HAVE IN STARTING A BUSINESS? (3:43 in)

In David’s words – Set down 1 and 5 year goals. Lay out a plan. You have to have a low risk tolerance because you’re willing to put it all on the line.

Tip – Have plenty of capital to start. Be fully committed. Seek advice in running a business if you haven’t done it before.

IS THERE A BETTER WAY FOR CEO’S, MANAGERS TO ORGANIZE THEIR LIFE? (8:15 in)

In David’s words – Do a to do list the night before you go back to the job the next day. Don’t open your email (first in the morning). Be proactive rather than reactive.

Tip –  Give first priority to handling those things that are important to grow the business.

WHAT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT STYLE IS MORE EFFECTIVE WITH TODAY’S WORKFORCE? (9:30 in)

In David’s words – I believe in the participatory oligarchy. 

Tip –  Don’t let fondness for your employees get in the way of making hard decisions when they need to be made.

WHAT DON’T MANAGERS / OWNERS DO WELL? (10:53 in)

In David’s words – We don’t fire the right people.  

Tip –  Firing underperformers will make you and your employees happy. In the long run it will help the person being let go as well.

 

WHAT SKILL IS MANAGEMENT NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO TODAY? (15:49 IN)

In David’s words – Leadership. You need to be knowledgeable about how to lead $15 an hour employees as well as a $100,000 employee.  

Tip –  Determine and define what leadership means to you.

HOW IMPORTANT IS A MANAGER’S PERSONAL LIFE IN ACHIEVING BUSINESS SUCCESS? (17:54 IN)

In David’s words – Take the vacation. You will think more clearly.  

Tip –  Don’t end your business life in regret for not spending enough time with your family.