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Some Business Tidbits — 

Stay "Level"

Managers and supervisors must be in control of their emotions at all times. They should work hard at not letting problems get them down or angry. We refer to this as "staying level". Maintaining a calm demeanor even during difficult moments is important in terms of sending the appropriate signals and messages to employees. Most problems can be worked through and a manager must envision themselves working through problems with positive outcomes possible, if not probable. Employees must know that if they make a mistake their manager will not overreact and display anger or frustration. Certainly any employee that makes repeated mistakes must be dealt with in a more assertive manner, but anger and verbal attacks are not warranted. In short, work very hard at maintaining an even emotional level even during tough times and you will earn more respect and open communication from your employees.

Review Your Benefits Package

In today's tight labor market, it is imperative that your business remain competitive in terms of its benefit offerings. Many businesses have not kept up with changes taking place in the marketplace and are finding it difficult to attract top notch talent. Take some time to explore what other businesses in your geographical area and in your industry are offering in the way of benefits. Then compare your benefits to what seems to be a minimal standard. If you want to compete, assuming everything else being equal, your business will need to offer benefits that at least match this minimum standard. If you want your business to stand out in terms of the benefits offered, your benefit package will need to exceed this "standard".

Don't Be Afraid To Pay Your Employees Well

The old adage "you get what you pay for" is certainly appropriate when discussing the quality of people employed by a business. Being able to attract and retain high performing employees is the number one factor in determining success or failure in business. A significant issue for most prospective and current employees is their pay. In other words, in order to attract and retain top people, a business must be willing to be competitive at the very least, if not aggressive in how much it pays its employees. If a business tries to save too much in payroll expense by holding down wages, it will struggle finding and keeping the high caliber employee.

Learn How To Make Money

Making money is what being in business is all about. But it seems that many businesses do not fully understand what it takes to do so. Aside from having adequate sales levels to support overhead and operating expenses, it is critical to manage gross profit, productivity and expenses. Many businesses are too loose in their day-to-day management leading to inadequate profits or losses. An ongoing focus on controlling expenses without being overly stingy, managing gross profit, hiring good people, instilling accountability for high level results, managing the product/service mix, pricing appropriately, delivering great customer service, and managing processes for efficiency will help immensely in putting more money to the bottom line.

Look To The Manager First

When an employee is having performance problems, the natural tendency is to blame the employee. In many cases, the blame must be shared with the employee's manager/supervisor. In fact, we believe it is critical to assess how effective the manager or supervisor is in identifying and helping to correct performance deficiencies. In many cases, the manager or supervisor is causing some or all of the employee's problems. Management is not for everyone yet virtually all businesses continue to hire and promote people into management who do not have the skills or personalities to be effective in mentoring and coaching employees to higher levels of performance. When this is the case, the employees suffer as a result. In the case of the employee that is struggling, they could end up losing their job as a result of ineffective management.

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