An Economic Downturn Can Drastically Affect Small Businesses: What Can You Do to Prepare?

10+ years after the Great Recession of 2006-2007, the U.S. economy is healthy. For the majority of small business owners, taking out loans to fund growth is relatively easy through conventional banking as well as alternative funding sources. Many small businesses sales are strong. But how long will this trend last? History teaches us that the economy ebbs and flows and on the heels of every boom there is an eventual downturn. Currently, there is a sense of uncertainty due to the political and economic climate here in the States and around the world. Additionally, as we come up on an election year in 2020, many people will sit tight and withhold spending. Let’s take a look at how an eventual economic downturn will affect small businesses and what small businesses can do to prepare.

Current small business trends…

Trends in the small business sector show that of recent, fewer and fewer small businesses are borrowing capital to grow and expand their businesses. More small businesses are focusing on maintaining their operations and profitability. Small businesses sense a shift in the economy earlier than large businesses and currently 43% of small and medium-sized businesses say that an economic downturn is on their radar and they are taking steps to prepare.

What to expect in a recession…

Lending comes to a halt: Traditional institutions stop lending to small businesses so credit and capital are restricted. This can spell disaster for unprepared small businesses.

Sales decline: Depending on your industry, your sales can suffer greatly. In an economic downturn, consumers reduce discretionary spending and move into a maintenance mentality. For example, if your business sells recreational vehicles or remodels homes, you will notice a sharp decrease in demand as consumers reduce spending on “extras” in order to focus on necessities.

Suppliers can’t be depended on: Supply chain disruptions are to be expected in tighter financial times. Some suppliers go out of business while others are spread thin and have a difficult time delivering on customer demands. Smaller suppliers are small businesses of their own and will be impacted more than large suppliers.

How minority-owned businesses are affected…

Even in our current economic boom, according to the PCA Index Survey Responses Trend Analysis by Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and Dun & Bradstreet, 60% of minority-owned businesses are reporting financing difficulties and as a result, a squeeze on business growth. 66% of minority-owned businesses say this squeeze will have a negative impact on hiring in 2019. When an economic downturn does come, minority-owned business who are already experiencing financing challenges will be at even greater risk.

So, what can small businesses do to prepare…

There are a handful of ways small businesses can prepare for a recession.

Diversify your client base: Because a downturn in the economy affects industries differently, make sure if at all possible, that your clients represent a wide range of industries. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

Exercise financial discretion: Operate your business finances in such a way that you’re prepared if revenue gets tight. Think twice before making long-term financial commitments such as signing a lease or hiring new employees.

Secure your financing now: Take that line of credit now when money is easier to come by. Even if you don’t need it at the moment you will have it when you do, and you should only be charged interest on the amount you use.

Consider hiring freelancers and contractors: There’s nothing more painful during tight financial times than instituting layoffs. While layoffs are often necessary to help small businesses stay afloat, consider hiring freelancers or contractors to minimize this possibility. Layoffs affect company morale and can have a devastating effect on hard-working employees and their families.

Is your small business prepared for a recession? Visit our website and sign up for a complimentary strategic coaching session. We’re here to help!

 

Empathy and Workplace Leadership

21st century leadership is moving away from the traditional leadership hierarchy of the past and embracing a more approachable leadership style. Leaders are climbing down from their lofty positions of power and forging a more human-to-human connection with their team(s). This shift in leadership styles is largely fueled by research from thought leaders such as Pat Lencioni and Brené Brown who acknowledge the value of empathy in leadership and is driven by employees who, in this age of social media, equate transparency with trustworthiness.

Vulnerability – the precursor to empathy

Our ability to be daring leaders will never be greater than our capacity for vulnerability. – Brené Brown

Empathy is putting ourselves in the shoes of another in order to truly understand their experience.  This simply cannot be done without being willing to be vulnerable. When you’re empathetic, you’re taking a risk; you risk feeling something that may be uncomfortable or even painful. The benefit for those willing to be empathetic is connection and fulfillment. Leaders who are willing to be vulnerable and extend empathy  forge a connection with their team members that cannot be created any other way.

Employees want transparent leadership

Why is transparent leadership so important? According to “5 Powerful Things Happen When A Leader Is Transparent,” a September 10, 2012 article in Forbes;

“Being transparent is a powerful thing, if you can trust yourself and be trusted by others. The reason most leaders are not transparent is because they believe they will be viewed as less authoritative; that the credentials they worked so hard to attain will lose their power, leverage and gravitas. This is the problem with most leaders, they are not aware of the reality that exists around them. People want to relate to [their] leaders. People want to know that their leaders have experienced the same problems and/or how they have overcome personal hardships.”

“We are all living during a time when people want and expect their leaders to be more human, less perfect and at times a bit vulnerable – regardless of hierarchy or rank.”

Transparency unifies teams, increases trust between team members and their leaders and increases workplace productivity. When a leader exhibits transparency, they allow others to see them without pretense. This creates an environment that fosters vulnerability – which occurs in the context of relationship – and opens up the doors for empathy.

Empathetic leaders foster healthier workplaces

“To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded. We have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.’

Conversely, ‘the greatest barrier to courageous leadership is not fear—it’s how we respond to our fear. Our armor—the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that we use to protect ourselves when we aren’t willing and able to rumble with vulnerability—move us out of alignment with our values, corrode trust with our colleagues and teams, and prevent us from being our most courageous selves.”  – Brené Brown

When leaders show up as their true selves and relate to their teams with vulnerability and empathy, a bridge of trust is built. Employees know that they are accepted for who they are, that they are indeed part of a team and that what they contribute matters. When they know that they are valued and can trust their leaders, team members are motivated to do their best and make a difference in their workplace by applying themselves more fully to their work.

How can leaders develop and increase empathy?

Regardless of the size of your business, fostering empathetic leadership will have a positive impact on morale and productivity. Here are some great ways to do this:

  • Listen: As a leader, take the time in and out of the workplace to listen to people from different walks of life who hold different opinions and have their own unique experiences. Allow your employees to voice their concerns with you in a supportive environment.
  • Slow down: Instead of shooting off that quick email, consider holding an in-person meeting. Slow down and take the time to interact face-to-face with your employees. This will give everyone the opportunity to dialogue and it will give you the opportunity to listen empathetically.
  • Ask questions: Take a genuine interest in the perspectives and opinions of your employees. “Can you tell me more about your take on that?” or “Do you see a better way to accomplish this goal?” are easy questions you can ask that give your employees permission to voice their opinions, be heard and feel valued.
  • Get involved: Consider partnering with a charitable organization. This gives you and your employees the opportunity to work alongside each other to make an impact in the community. Volunteering increases empathy and helps you put yourself in the shoes of another – identifying with their needs and meeting these needs in a practical way.

Would you like to foster more empathy and engagement in your workplace? Get in touch with us, we have tools and programs specifically designed to help you create this in your workplace!

 

Increasing Employee Engagement

We’ve acknowledged the employee engagement crisis and established the importance of engaging your employees. But how does an employer go about this? Would adding a soda machine and a ping pong table to your breakroom engage your employees and turn a bigger profit for your company? Most certainly not. Increasing employee engagement requires a clear employee engagement strategy. Here are some important components of an effective strategy:

Be transparent: In order to engage employees, it’s crucial to gain their trust and be relatable. As opposed to the temptation to appear larger than life, foster open and honest communication with those you lead. Tell the truth, admit when you make a mistake and ask for input from employees when it’s appropriate. Your employees will respect your authenticity and repay you with their hard work and dedication.

Clearly communicate expectations: This goes beyond clarifying job descriptions. Alarmingly, according to recent Gallup statistics, only 50% of employees know what is expected of them at work. Make sure your team knows what you expect of them in every aspect of their jobs. Also, set performance goals so they know what they’re working towards. This will keep them from floundering and will fuel their motivation.

Encourage teamwork: Employees who feel disconnected from their co-workers often disengage at work. Combat this by fostering an environment where collaboration and strategic thinking are encouraged and watch your employees thrive.

Encourage growth and development: Do your employees have the tools they need to do their jobs well? Do they have the resources to grow personally and professionally? Is there additional training you could provide for your employees that would spur them on to the next level? Stagnant employees easily become disengaged employees. Equip them with the tools and vision to develop and refine their skills and encourage them to move beyond their current roles in your company.

Allow flexibility: If the nature of the work your team members do allows them to work remotely or set their own schedules, consider offering them this flexibility, even one or two days a week. Also encourage them to step away from their desks frequently throughout the workday to recalibrate. The New York Times reports that employees who take a break every 90 minutes claim a 30% increase in focus and a 50% increase in creativity. Giving employees some control over their time will help combat burnout and create more of a sense of work-life balance.

Empower your employees: Show them that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves and give them a platform to voice their opinions on happenings within the company. When possible, allow them to weigh in on important decisions. When employees have a voice and a sense of mission, they will go above and beyond their minimum responsibilities, work with passion and experience greater job fulfillment.

Recognize employee achievements: Take every opportunity to recognize employees for their contributions, accomplishments and for meeting performance goals. This will motivate your team to continue to strive for excellence and produce quality work.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into employee engagement and learning some effective ways you can engage your team, I will be speaking at the South Florida Business Excellence Forum and Awards in Coral Gables, Florida on January 14, 2019 and we would love to have you join us! Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.sfbefa.com/#tile_tickets_anchor.

 

Employee Engagement: A Growing Problem

If employee engagement increases business profitability, why, according to 2016 Gallup statistics, is employee disengagement at an all-time high? In fact, 53% of U.S. workers are not engaged at their jobs and 17% of workers are actively disengaged. Employers must take the time to invest in formal employee engagement strategies to engage and retain their employees. Gallup also reports that, without an engagement strategy in place, teams are 21% less profitable, 17% less productive, have 10% lower customer ratings and increased employee turnover.

What does an engaged employee look like?

So what’s the goal? An engaged employee is energized by their work, passionate about their work and fulfilled in their work. They are driven by a desire to achieve excellence in all their tasks and are motivated by contributing to something greater than themselves. Engaged employees are committed to their work both cognitively and emotionally, consistently going above and beyond their basic responsibilities while maintaining a sense of loyalty to their employer.

What are the negative effects of employee disengagement?

An employee that is not engaged or is actively disengaged has a negative impact on company profit, productivity and customer satisfaction and they hamper overall business success. They only do the minimum that is required of them and they lack the motivation to pursue excellence. If a “better” job comes along they will surely take it.

So what fuels employee disengagement?

Many employers operate with a one-size-fits-all strategy and are out of touch with the unique needs and values of their employees. When employers take the time to get to know their employees individually and learn what they need from their managers and work environment and then respond accordingly, employees feel valued and employee engagement increases. Studies such as the Employee Engagement Survey by Customer Insight, indicates the importance of a healthy relationship between an employee and their manager in helping maintain engaged employees. Employees who feel like a face in the crowd are much less motivated to give their best on the job.

Another factor contributing to employee disengagement is burnout. Employees are often overloaded with tasks, particularly if they’ve proven they’re dependable. They also often find themselves uninspired by their work. This combination is the perfect recipe for employee burnout. A 2017 study by Future Workplace recognizes employee burnout as the largest threat to employee engagement.

When employers recognize the benefit to discovering and addressing their employees’ unique needs and values, they observe a pattern. Although their specific core needs look differently, they fall into four basic categories: physical needs, emotional needs, mental needs and spiritual needs. Supporting needs in each of these categories yields a more engaged team.

So what can be done?

Depending on the size of your company, regularly meeting one-on-one with employees or issuing regular employee engagement surveys are two great ways to solicit feedback. While you may not find it feasible to address every single issue that is flagged, commit to addressing the ones you can by implementing thoughtful and effective measures. This might look like increasing the number of breaks your employees are allowed each day, delivering more consistent recognition for employee accomplishments, allowing your employees to determine when and where their work gets done or allowing them to dedicate a portion of their workweek to projects that truly inspire them. Keep in mind that when employees are engaged, everything runs more smoothly, and morale, productivity and profit naturally increase.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will discuss some effective ways to increase employee engagement!

 

How to Attract Top Talent to Your Company

Transcript:
How to Attract Top Talent to Your Company

I think you’ll agree that most business owners say they’re struggling to attract top talent to their company. Many of them tell me they’re struggling to attract ANY talent to their company. However, what if I share with you in this video what top-talented people are looking for in an employer? I’m going to share with you the four things that top-talented people are looking for when they go to join the company.

Hi, this is Jody Ann Johnson with ActionCOACH – Team Sage, where we work with small business owners and their teams to help them grow their businesses, keep more of the money they make, be more profitable and free up their time. If you’re new here and you’re looking for best practices and how to grow your business, please subscribe to my channel and be sure you click the bell so you don’t miss anything.

To begin with, it’s important to know that there are more jobs available than there are people to fill them. That’s not even taking talent into consideration. That is strictly looking at the numbers. Even though AI has come in as well as other different kinds of technology, it’s still projected that we will have a massive shortage in the number of people who are available for any kinds of jobs that are out there right now. So what is top talent looking for? Number one: Top-talented people are looking to belong to an organization that’s great. They want to be a part of a winning team and they want to be a part of a company that’s wildly successful.

Nobody ever said, “Hey, when I grow up I’d like to work for a mediocre company.” People really want to be involved in something great. So that’s number one. The second thing that people want to know is that they’re actually contributing to the success of that company. That their opinions matter and that what they do actually makes a difference for the company and for the company’s customers. Number three: They want to be fairly compensated and know that there are opportunities for them to grow and develop along a career pathway where they have the opportunity to do what they do best. Number four: They want to work for a company that’s congruent with its core values and its brand promise. They want to belong to a company that they’re proud of – that they can talk with their friends, their neighbors and their colleagues about with pride. Lastly – and this is a bonus – they want you to be in communication with them. They want to be informed about what’s going on in the company both good and bad. People have a great capacity for navigating when things aren’t going well. It’s just when we’re not in communication with them that they make up stuff and things get off track. So they really want to know what’s happening. As a business owner, if you’re actively managing these things and people are aware that you’re doing that, you will go a long long way toward attracting top talent to your company and you may do that through the people who are actually working for you right now.

My question for you is what is one thing that you can do out of what we’ve been discussing that can improve your ability to attract top talent? Pick just one thing and then implement that this quarter. If you have questions, comments on this topic or suggestions for how I can improve these videos please leave them here. Thank you very much for watching this video. And before you go, please subscribe to this channel and click the bells so you don’t miss a thing.

 

A Family-Owned, Generational Business Challenge

In an all-too-familiar scenario, a well-known family business in our area recently suffered a significant breakdown in family dynamics and consequently, business operations. I often say and have lived it myself, “When the family dynamics are strained, it puts the lid on a business’s ability to grow,” not to mention the negative impact on family relationships.

Sometimes children come straight into the family business from high school. Other times, they go off and pursue their own careers and dreams and come into the family business later in life. Owning and operating a family business requires a special kind of attention to detail. It also requires an immense amount of planning and strategizing to successfully integrate new family members into an existing set of family members within the business framework. While this can be an exciting time, it can also be unsettling and leave you scrambling for solutions. How does one find a role for and integrate a banker, a manager or a therapist into the business?  What about those who have outgrown their roles? Worse yet, what about when the role has outgrown the adult child? Roles and functions can get confusing and seeds of discord can be sown.

In this two-part series, I’ll be sharing ideas to support you in discovering ways to proceed both in your business and with your family.

Part One – Key Strategies for Business Success

One of the tools we use extensively with our clients in order to identify a person’s natural wiring is a profile assessment. This is distinct, although natural wiring is often confused with skills. Skills are defined and developed as things we learn through our experience. Natural wiring is the propensity to natural ways of thinking and being. These profile assessments point to certain roles in which a person will naturally do well. People still require training to develop in their role. However, they will easily grasp the concepts.  

Clearly defined, accurate positional agreements, or job descriptions, are critical. When presented properly, the responsibilities and duties along with the key performance indicators of effectiveness in those tasks create clarity and the ability to objectively review one’s performance.

A current and future organizational chart outlines who reports to who and where the company is headed in terms of the human resource requirements and opportunities.

The “onboarding” process of integrating new team members into the business is best thought of as unfolding over weeks and months rather than over the course of days. This is part of well-structured human resource practices, policies and procedures. 

Sometimes family business owners feel torn between the business and the family when issues arise. Understanding that challenges are to be expected, it’s best to think through criteria to manage them before they arise. This can lead to even greater workability and maturity within the family and can serve to develop a successful multi-generational family business.

In Part Two, I’ll go over the concept of the family business house and moving from a one-room house to a four-room house in order to operate a thriving family business.

A Family-Owned, Generational Business Challenge – Part Two

As your business grows in size and scope there are some unique roles that, when filled thoughtfully, will make a world of difference to the workability of your business, your family and your team.  

 

 

How To Attract & Retain Talented People

Transcript:
How To Attract & Retain Talented People

I think most business owners would agree that one of the biggest challenges they face today is how to attract and retain the very best people. What if I told you that it’s possible to have a strong employer brand that not only attracts and retains talent but also engages and motivates them. In this video, I will share with you what you must do in order to create a strong employer brand that DOES actually retain and engage talent.

Hi! This Is Jody Ann Johnson with ActionCOACH – Team Sage, where we help small business owners and their teams make more money, keep more of the money they make and free up their time so they can focus on the things that are most important to them. If you’re new here and you’re looking for best practices on how to grow your business then please subscribe to my channel and click the bell so you don’t miss a thing!

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenges is attracting and retaining top talent. It used to be that employees would come marketing themselves to you. Now, employers have to market themselves to employees in order to attract that talent. As a business owner, you must have a people strategy and a brand strategy that will attract them – and that’s not just for big companies. It’s actually for every company. Just a few years ago, Gallup said that approximately 78 percent of employees are disengaged and actively disengaged. Well, the report that came out just this month says that number is up to 85 percent. So there are tons of people that are actively disengaged. And there’s another probably 65 percent of that 85 percent that are just passively engaged in their jobs. Globally, trillions of dollars are lost in disengaged employees. Here in the U.S. – trillions of dollars. In our local market, millions, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even a thousand dollars – who can afford to lose that kind of money? None of us.

So how can we attract the very best talent? The answer to that question? By defining your brand strategy and your people strategy. It’s more than just your core values or your communications strategy within the company. It’s actually a lived experience and it’s one that we have to create as business owners BY DESIGN. Your team must experience what you say your brand stands for. People spend about 50 percent of their time at the workplace. So they’re very familiar with whether or not there’s congruence in what you say and what you do. There’s really no place to hide. Either you’re living it day-in and day-out and they know it…or you’re not. Every single thing about your company matters. Everything about what happens in your business matters. From the way they read the ad to their experience of being invited to an interview to whether or not they got a job description, that their core values were shared, their onboarding process, that they’re clear about what it is that they’re going to do in that role, the training and development pathway, your workflow process all the way up to how you invoice, collect and deliver on your customer service every day. ALL OF THAT is your brand promise.

And for the most part, because we’re so busy, we just go about doing what we have to do day-in and day-out and we’re not thinking necessarily about the experience. If we consider our employees and the people that we want to attract to our team as customers, we would be much more closely managing their experience and everything that happens in their interactions with us. Conscious employee branding is an absolute must and it’s experiential. The founder of Action COACH said that the most important thing a business owner does is actually to be the guardian of the culture. You could say that is another expression for your brand. That is one of the single most important things for you to manage. It drives everything in your business. So what is your brand strategy and your people strategy?

OK, so that’s it for today. I would love to hear what your brand strategy and your people strategy is. What’s working? What’s not working? Please share your thoughts, your insights and your questions with me. Thank you very much for watching this video. And before you leave please subscribe to the channel and be sure to click the bell so you don’t miss a thing!

 

Out of the Weeds: Leslie V. Marenco, Esq. of Trust Counsel

Leslie’s Story…

Shortly after I met Leslie Marenco, she decided to dissolve her law firm and start Trust Counsel. Leslie, a Miami estate and trust attorney, knew she needed a total realignment of every aspect of her new firm, Trust Counsel, and asked ActionCOACH Business Coaching Team Sage to help facilitate this process. She expressed frustration over problems on every front – the workflow, the people on her team and the systems she had in place. Things weren’t working as well as she needed them to in order to operate a successful firm and Leslie knew the firm couldn’t continue on as it was.

Getting Back on Track

We knew what we had to address to help Leslie’s firm get back on track. We cleaned house, got the right people on board, put specific systems and procedures in place and got the workflow straightened out. We nailed down precise job descriptions so Leslie could focus on her job and not feel obligated to take on her teammates’ responsibilities. Through all of our efforts, we built a strong foundation and made Trust Counsel viable.

Her Experience

When we asked Leslie what she would say to someone who is considering business coaching, she responded:

I’m a huge believer in business coaching. As a business owner, you only know your limited experience. You need someone to show you other ways to see your business and to help you succeed beyond what you know. Otherwise, you’ll create the same things over and over again. I believe in business coaching because it worked for me.

Win-Win Scenario

After working with Leslie at Trust Counsel, she shared with us that our coaching helped her gain more focus. She’s no longer staying at the office until midnight and, with the big picture in mind, she’s keeping on track:

You need someone to help you get out of the weeds and that’s what the coach does.

Are you finding yourself stuck in the office till all hours of the night? If you’re ready to get out of the weeds and start enjoying life and the business you created, we can help. Call us today to schedule an exploratory call, 305-285-9264 x302!

 

How To Do Market Intelligence In Recruitment

Transcript:
How to do Market Intelligence in Recruitment

I think you would agree that most business leaders say they’re somewhat at a loss for how to get started in recruitment today. What if I told you that there’s a lot you can do in market intelligence on recruitment that can greatly improve your chances of success. In this video I will share with you the three things that I share with my business owners when they’re starting their recruitment process that help to improve their outcomes.

Hi everybody! This is Jody Ann Johnson of ActionCOACH – Team Sage, where we work with small business owners and their teams to help them make more money, keep more of the money they make, be more profitable and free up their time. If you’re new here and you’re looking for best practices on how to grow your business please subscribe to the channel and be sure you click the bell so you don’t miss anything!

I’m going to illustrate this concept through a business owner we’ll call Kathy – a busy, successful business owner who’s expanding and needs to add people to her team to support that growth. So what does Kathy do? She does what most business owners do. She writes an ad, posts it online and hopes to attract maybe 2 or 3 great candidates so she can choose. Then what happens? Well, what happens most typically with her and other business owners is that her inbox gets flooded with hundreds of unqualified candidates that she or someone on her team has to sift through to try and find one or two people qualified enough to come in for an interview.

Then she invites them in for an interview. And if they show up at all she finds that it was a big waste of time, gets discouraged and thinks, “there’s just no good talent out there.” Gallup says that 85 percent of employees are disengaged and actively disengaged in the workplace. Of the 15 to 20 percent that are actively disengaged, they may or may not be on the job boards. But most people are not on the job boards. She considers hiring a recruiter and paying those expensive fees because she doesn’t know what else to do. I don’t know about you but most of the business owners that I work with haven’t actually budgeted for a recruiter’s fee that typically is somewhere between 15 and 30 percent. And that 15 to 30 percent for the recruiter comes straight out of the profits. So it’s really a last resort. Now, what you can do is a whole lot of market research and intelligence before you go to that recruiter. You may end up having to go to the recruiter because there are certain positions that are just really hard to fill right now. But before you do, let me share with you the three things that I talk with my business owners about putting in place before they have to take that route.

First of all, we use a portal to manage all of the applications that come in. The one that I use is Hiring Steps. They have a portal that, when they send out the job ad to the different directories and online repositories such as LinkedIn or Indeed, all of those applications come back to their portal. They have keywords and an algorithm that allow them to scan those applications for relevant matches. They have an audio where I can record questions, introduce myself to the applicants and then get their responses and listen to them before I ever meet them or invite them for an interview. This greatly reduces the flood in the inbox. It greatly reduces the number of applications I have to sift through because I’m only looking at my top matches and I can get a sense of who they are by the way they answer the questions, the tone of their voice and the kinds of things that they say before I ever go to the next stage of inviting them for an interview.

Number two: I make sure that they clearly define the skills that are needed, the job responsibilities and duties and what the attributes are of the kind of person who’s going to be successful in that role. Before they ever go to a place like Hiring Steps or place an ad, we get crystal clear on the kind of person they need in that position, how they’re going to be evaluated, what they’re going to be doing and we make sure they’re crystal clear on the job description because it’s all been laid out. We also do research on compensation and benefits and what’s appropriate for that type of role in our marketplace.

Lastly, we leverage your time by setting up a group interview. In the group interview, people have gone through a number of selection/deselection processes to actually be invited. If they show up – and sometimes they don’t – then they’ve already gone through a screening that’s going to allow you to get a sense of who they are. Evaluating them side by side also lets you know how they are under pressure. Are they great with other people? Do they pay attention when others are talking? Do they answer the questions that you’ve asked? This goes a really long way toward you knowing the kind of people they are as well as knowing their skill sets.

At the end of the day, if you’re still having trouble getting talent you may end up having to go to a recruiter. Make sure you get one that has a great guarantee. Some companies will have a very short guarantee and they won’t replace people after three months. Others that I’ve worked with actually will have great guarantees where not only will they replace them but even if you transfer that person to another role in your company they’ll give you a reduced rate on replacing them. So there is a wide range and we love working with ones that are really committed to the business owner and will back their guarantees.

Okay, that does it for today. So are you prepared in advance for effective recruitment? If you put in all of these things that we just talked about you will go a long way toward being ready and the more you’re ready the better your outcome will be. If you have questions, comments on this topic or any suggestions for me please leave them below. Thank you very much for watching this video.

And before you leave, please subscribe to the channel and remember to click the bell so you don’t miss anything!

 

Turning the Ship Around: Eric’s Outboard

Eric & Kelly’s Story

Here at our ActionCOACH Business Coaching Firm, Team Sage, we firmly believe that having the right systems in place can move your business from a place of surviving to a place of thriving. Our work with Eric’s Outboard, a certified Yamaha engines, parts and service company here in Miami, demonstrates this belief quite well. When I met Kelly and Eric of Eric’s Outboard, their part sales had plummeted from the year before, when their sales manager took their client database and opened up a location nearby. Sales were down by almost a million in parts sales. To make matters worse, they didn’t have a firm grasp on their inventory.

First Step: Assessing Their Sales

When Team Sage came onto the scene, obviously we had to stop the bleeding and started by assessing the “part sales” side of their business. First, we profiled the sales team members with a sales skills index. Then we helped the team set monthly sales goals and began tracking their progress towards their goals. We coupled this with a redesigned sales compensation package and helped each member of the team determine how to reverse engineer what sales they needed in order to reach the compensation level they wanted to reach. We nailed down the profit margin on their products and determined how much in discounts the sales team was extending to their customers. Our approach led to quite a successful outcome. Eric’s Outboard recovered those lost sales within 15 months and have grown overall sales by 54% in 3 years!

Second Step: Tackling Inventory Issues

Once the sales side was gaining momentum, we started tackling the inventory issues. We hired an experienced inventory manager who helped determine inventory par levels based on sales history. This allowed the company to make wiser purchases and take advantage of manufacturer incentives. The barcode system we installed removed the need to manually count inventory every year – a process that previously required closing the business for a week and resulted in lost sales. This was a time-consuming and costly process for a single inventory count that was used one time by the accounting department to adjust inventory levels on the balance sheet. Today, there is a dynamic, real-time inventory count at Eric’s Outboard where they maintain up-to-date inventory numbers for increased accuracy and consequently, profitability.

Third Step: Success

There are countless more stories where this one came from! If you see yourself and your business in this story we would love to connect with you to explore how we can work with you to increase the efficiency and profitability of your business. Visit our website today and sign up for a complimentary strategic coaching session. We’d love to hear from you! We succeed when we help your business succeed.

Did you like this story? If so, you might also enjoy this recent blog on managing business growth! Check it out here!

 

 
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