Saturday, July 26, 2014
For businesses both large and small, managing employee performance is key to establishing a productive workplace. The challenge that many small business owners face is the lack of a human resource department, specially trained in evaluating the performance of associates. Although hiring a human resource professional may not be in the budget, there are some small, simple yet highly effective ways for business owners to begin to successfully managing employees’ performance.
One of the first items to accomplish when beginning to formally review employees’ performance is setting a performance review schedule. This will help to keep the owner and the employee on track as well as keep a routine for when the employee will be reviewed. Consider a review schedule based on the business – many businesses do three reviews a year, one to set the goals for the year to come, one to check on progress toward the middle of the year and one to review the entire year’s performance. Your business and industry will help determine how often you review an employees’ performance.
It is also important to establish exactly what items will be covered during a performance review. While a lot of the topics that are important are again determined by the type of business, there are also some general items that should also be included. Some general items include talking about and setting objectives and/or goals that the employee can complete in their given position, establishing and explaining how the employee’s performance will be rated, assessing performance and work in their position and toward their goals and also allowing the employee to provide their own feedback.
Despite our best efforts, there are going to be times when an employee is not performing up to the business’s standards. Performance reviews are a great tool for uncovering when associates are just not properly matched or capable of doing their job. When it comes time to terminate an employee, there are some basic guidelines that will help keep the process smooth and civil. During performance reviews and any other interaction with the employee, make sure to keep accurate records of how they are performing so there is supporting evidence to justify and explain why the employee is being let go.
It is very important to make sure that there is a written and understood procedure in place for how terminations will be processed. Make sure that all employees are aware of this from when they get hired onward so there are no surprises if they should be terminated. Finally, make sure to approach the employee in private, with another manager or supervisor in the room for support and have all the necessary paperwork ready for the associate to sign so they are free to leave at the end of the meeting. Having these items in place makes the process less painful for both you and the associate.
Employees’ performance is vitally crucial to how a business operates. By setting up a formal performance review process and having the proper procedures in place if an employee should need to be terminated it can help to nurture and grow a culture of high performance within the business. Always make sure to give employees the opportunity to give their input during a performance review and let them know that their good performance is important to how your business operates.
Making critical business decisions is vital to any small business or work at home business owner. If you are struggling with your business management skills, Stacy O'Quinn can help! Stacy was once like you, but used Dani Johnson training tools to turn a struggling home business into a six figure income. To find out how Stacy can help you do the same, click here.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Important Tips for Engaging Your Target Market
One aspect of business that some smaller organizations struggle with is engaging and connecting with their customers. The relationship between engaged customers and sales is not a secret – customers who feel they are important to a business and who are communicated with regularly tend to make more purchases and have more interactions. Some small business owners may find it difficult to make this connections simply because they lack the resources that some, larger organizations have. Luckily there are some great ways for small businesses to truly engage with customers and help grow sales.
Offer Customer Something in Return for their Attention
Customers like to know that they matter and that their business is important. A great way to show customers that a business cares about them is to engage them in contests and giveaways. This concept may seem overwhelming – not many small businesses have it in their budget to give away big ticket items – but there are ways to use contests and giveaways on a smaller scale that yield the same results. Consider giving away a service or product from within the business instead of purchasing an item. Doing this helps to keep the contest firmly tied to your business and instead of something unrelated.
Additionally, use the giveaway to gather more information about the target audience. For example, customers who sign up to receive the business’s email newsletter are entered to win a product or service. This helps to engage customers in two ways – drawing them in with an offer and then using the information they themselves provide to interact with them again in the future. This approach is a creative way to build a strong email list for a newsletter and any other promotional messages. Doing something of this nature on a regular basis will have customers coming back again and again.
Make the Business’s Website Interactive
Many small businesses have the resources to develop their own website, whether it is professionally designed and sustained or created in-house. It is important to use this vital marketing tool to its utmost potential. An interesting way to engage customers through the business’s website is by making it interactive. Include online voting tools, polls and comment areas in your website to help encourage customers to interact with you. This will also work for building your email contact list – customers who wish to comment or vote will generally need to register or login to the website in order to participate.
Some of the most successful businesses have mastered the art of engaging their customers. While most of these businesses use professional services to do so, it is completely possible for small businesses to make the same, or possibly a larger, impact. By interacting with consumers and making them feel important to the business, it will help to drive their confidence and even sales margins. Using contests and interactive features on the business’s website will help to make consumers feel included and also help the business to build a solid contact list as well as strong relationships with their customers.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
How to Cash In on Late-Life Entrepreneurship
|They chased their dream and made it a reality!|
A large number of people have the dream of opening their own business. While this may be an easy goal to achieve for younger individuals, those in their later years of life may be hesitant to begin the process believing that the business-ownership boat has already sailed for them. The truth is that there are some cons to starting a business after the age of 50, but there are also some great pros. Before making a decision whether now is the time to start your business, take a look at some of these suggestions.
You Have the Experience and the Network
One of the biggest pros of opening a business in the later years of life is that these entrepreneurs already possess the skills and experience needed to make the company a success. Individuals who have already worked for a number of years, whether in the same industry or many different industries, have gained the real-world, tangible knowledge and experience that can help them in starting their own business. On top of that experience, many older individuals also have a wider network of contacts to help begin and maintain the business from the start. This network includes not only close family and friends but also a slew of professional contacts in which to ask for advice and even do business with.
Old Habits Die Hard
Although the pros of opening a business after 50 may be enough to convince someone it is possible, there are also some cons that should be considered. One of these downfalls is that, as an older person, you may be set in your ways and not open to changing how things are done. Part of opening a business is learning how to grow and adapt with the market – if you are unwilling to embrace the change, opening your own business may not be the best choice for you. Additionally, technology is constantly growing and changing from the cell phones we use to the cash registers we see at different stores. Staying up to date with the latest and greatest can be tough – are you sure you’re up for the challenge?
You Have the Time and Finances Needed
Another important pro is that you will have the time that needs to be committed to the business! Many young entrepreneurs are juggling children, husbands or wives, sports, family, and friends while also trying to get their business off the ground. Older individuals are usually free from younger children who need care, meaning they have the time that is needed to make a business a true success. Additionally, older individuals usually have more or better access to the required financial resources for a business – stocks, bonds, collections and retirement accounts are all financial assets that younger individuals simply do not have to fund their business which can be a huge advantage to older business owners.
It is clear to see that the pros of opening a business later in life in outweigh the cons. While business ownership is not for everyone, it is important, regardless of age, to chase your dreams and make them a reality. By using the experiences that were gained throughout your working life and utilizing the professional and personal network you have created, opening a small business over 50 is almost a no brainer. It is important, however, to be open to change and harness the power of those changes. With determination, hard work, and a little luck, anyone, regardless of age, can become a business owner.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Coming to California this August
|Stacy at Dani's First Steps to Success Seminar|
Dani Johnson is a renowned public speaker who holds a number of seminars in order to help individuals take control of their financial life. One of her most popular discussions, “First Steps to Success” is being presented in Long Beach, California August 23 through the 24. This cannot-miss seminar is, as it states, one of the first steps in transforming your financial future and becoming not only financially stable but also increasing your income and earning power overall. The tools that Miss Johnson presents in the seminar are ones that she has used herself and have helped her to gain the success she holds today.
About Dani Johnson
Dani Johnson has lived through the financial struggles that many of us face today. At the lowest point in her life, Miss Johnson was living out of her car with less than five dollars to her name. By working to overcome adversity and implementing the tools she now shares with thousands of individuals, Miss Johnson not only earned her first million dollars by the young age of 23 but also has been able to maintain an average income of over $250,000 a year! Since her own success, she has committed her life to sharing her tools with others in hopes that they too can take control of their earning potential.
Why Should You Participate in Dani Johnson’s “First Steps to Success”?
While the general focus of Miss Johnson’s work is helping individuals earn money they need and want for their financial life there is also a focus on improving the quality of their lives overall. In her “First Steps to Success” two day training seminar, Miss Johnson helps participants to find and explore their full purpose in life and helps to reveal how they too can increase their earning power while also teaching what types of people both help and hinder personal success. While this is reason enough not to miss this seminar, there are a number of other topics covered that are important to those looking for a change.
Dani Johnson teaches participants the secrets of positioning, marketing and promoting themselves in order to achieve higher results in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, participants learn to explore what may be holding them back from reaching their goals or stopping them from seeing continual success in their chosen business area. This seminar also covers more technical tools such as building a bigger, more loyal client base, creating and presenting knock-out professional presentations and how to attract and motivate the right personalities within others to help further personal successes.
The “First Steps to Success” seminar covers these topics and so much more! But Dani Johnson does not just speak about these topics, actions and tools – she has lived them for herself and has proven through her own life how they can work for others. If Miss Johnson can go from living in her car to making $250,000 a year, why can’t you? This seminar is guaranteed to change your life, skyrocket your career and increase your earning potential. So, what do you have to lose? Join Dani Johnson in Long Beach, California this August and see how her techniques and tools can change your life today!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
How to Protect Information in Your Home Office
Almost every company, especially those who work in the retail industry, are concerned about theft. When we think of this topic it generally revolves around individuals outside the company taking things that are valuable or important to the organization. But the statistics surrounding employee theft are staggering – almost 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employer and over 30% of all company bankruptcies are caused by employee theft. Small business owners should also be concerned about theft from within their business, especially if they are working from a home office.
Do Thorough Background Investigations on Applicants
When looking to hire an employee to work in a home office, it is usually most important for small business owners to find someone who they feel comfortable having in their home. While a gut reaction is usually a pretty good indication, it is also important to do thorough background investigations on anyone you are considering bringing aboard. Gender, educational level and economic background as well as past criminal records can all be indicators of whether or not someone is likely to consider stealing from the business. It is important to remember, however, that pre-employment background check laws vary so make sure to be abreast of the most recent rules on the subject.
Pay Attention to Employee Dispositions
Even if an applicant has passed the background check process with flying colors, it is also important to observe how they act when they begin working for you. Employees who are unhappy with their job, the company they work for or their boss are generally more likely to steal from the company as an act of revenge. Pay attention to warning signs such as a drastic change in behavior, being overly territorial of working space or working long hours when the business owner is not around. Additionally, keep a close eye on important documents such as financial records – if something goes missing or an unexplained charge arises make sure to investigate the situation fully.
Make Fraud Protection a Culture
Hiding concerns about theft and fraud will make employees feel as though they can steal from the organization easily. Make sure to express concerns about these topics and breed a culture of vigilantly protecting against it. When new employees are hired, make sure to fully communicate what is considered theft and what the consequences for these actions are. If employees who are prone to stealing know you are on the lookout they may be less likely to commit the crime. It is also important to make employees feel comfortable and confident about reporting suspicious behavior – employee tips are usually the best way to catch fraudulent actions before they get out of hand.
Theft and fraud are serious crimes against a company, and they are more impactful and distressing when they come from an employee. Making sure to screen applicants before hiring, explaining the company’s policy on theft and keeping a close eye out for strange behavior are all effective ways to help reduce or eliminate the threat of these crimes happening within your business. While it is not productive to be suspicious of every employee that walks through the door it is vitally important to protect your business and your livelihood from those individuals who wish to hurt it.