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Category Archives: Small business management advice

The Hiring Decision – Costs, Risks and Growth Plans

How do you determine whether it makes financial sense to hire a new employee? Let’s look at an example: Cost of investment: The main cost of the new hire will be the monthly wage costs times the number of months it will take the new hire productive.  If you pay someone $4,000 a month and it take them 6 months to become productive, the base inv... Continue reading

Expert Knowledge as a Product

How many times does the boss have to politely and respectfully deliver the same message to the same employee for them to get it? Why is it if an outside expert comes in and tells the employee the same thing, they suddenly get it? It can get really expensive hiring experts to come in and work with your employees every day.  Fortunately, the world... Continue reading

What Type of Startup are You?

There are two radically different types of startups. One type tends to have the following attributes: -          The type of business and business model exists and the startup is looking to implement it. Opening a retail store or a restaurant is an example. Buying a dump truck and a backhoe and finding customers to hire them out to is ano... Continue reading

A Video is Worth 228 Pages of Words

I just finished Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why – How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. It is a very enjoyable and worthwhile book to read. Simon Sinek also recorded a talk on ted.com as an 18 minute video.  Having read the book and watched the video, I can confirm if you watch the video you don’t need to read the book. Sinek... Continue reading

Business Meeting Tip

Why do some business owners hold up a meeting waiting for the latecomers? When you think about it, you are punishing those who arrived on time and rewarding the ones who come late. My suggestion is: Don’t wait for those who are late. Implementation of this philosophy makes for more efficient meetings, increases the respect of those that arri... Continue reading

Is Going to a Conference Work or a Perk?

The Business Therapist® Inc. sent an employee (Rich) to a conference this week. It happens to be in a nice hotel in a warm place. What expectations are reasonable when attending a work conference? The work day – How many hours should he be putting in at the conference each day? (Did he take his golf clubs?) The absorption of the content – ... Continue reading

The Four Stages of Learning a New Skill

While attending a sales training discussion at a business coaching client of ours, I learned the concept of The Four Stages of Learning. The process was developed by a psychologist named Thomas Gordon and this method is still taught by the corporation he founded, Gordon Training International. Here are the Four Stages of Learning: Unconscious Inc... Continue reading

Carrots or Sticks – How Do You Motivate and Engage Your Employees?

I have observed the spectrum of management styles. I happen to believe more in the ‘carrots’ or positive reinforcement style. I have witnessed tyrant bosses wielding a large ‘stick’ too. There is some good research reported in the best selling book, The Carrot Principle, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. They report that the practice of ... Continue reading

Hiring and Firing Employees – The Best Tip

Some business tips need a lot of explanation, support stories and other jeba – jeba. This particular piece of business advice stands on its own:  Hire slow          Fire fast Thanks to my good friend and client Martin Bates at Advanced Basement Systems for sharing it! Further discussion is available by appointment.... Continue reading

Implementing Change in Business – Understanding the J Curve

Working with business owners, we observe many businesses seeking change and implementing an action plan, then terminating the plan early on in the effort. The reason these businesses striving for change abandon their plan is: the plan didn’t work. The reality is that the plan didn’t work YET. If you could use a horizontal line to demonstrate ... Continue reading