5 Ways to Sleep Better as a Business Owner!

Then, the sun would rise. You know, everything is better, clearer, easier in the light of day. And, everything is scarier in the dark. Lesson learned: Go back to sleep.

Win a Business Makeover with me!

How very cool that PHC News is hosting a contest where I get to do my favorite thing:  Hang out at your shop and help you grow your business!  That’s if you are the winner.  PHCNews will pick up all the costs.  It’s like a TV Makeover Show…starring you and me.  Fun!  Life changing.  Profit building! […]

By |November 6th, 2013|Business Planning, Consulting, Contractors, Plumbers|0 Comments

The Worst Career Advice Ever

Recently, Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Dude, was a guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time.  He was talking about his latest adventure, Profoundly Disconnected, a program to help connect those looking for great careers with real, albeit sometimes dirty, jobs.  I was on the edge of my couch!

I love dirty jobs!  I cheered as Mike shared his frustration that students are being given the Worst Career Advice Ever:   […]

Tips For Hiring the Right Employee

 “I just can’t find good employees.  Nobody wants to work for a dollar anymore.   Thank goodness for Joey.  He’s my top producer.  Customers love him and he delivers top sales every month.  If I could clone him, I would!  He is one in a million.” 

My pal Vince owns a Heating and AC company.  He’s been interviewing for salespeople and so far nobody has made the cut.

I responded,“Gosh, if Joey is one in a million, it will take you a million applicants to find him again! You are looking for a superstar. Instead of trying to find one, why not try to……create one?”

“I don’t have time for that!  I am a busy man!  Where are the self-starters?  

When I was a kid, I worked 12 hours a day for $1.25 an hour!  I was grateful to be working.”

“Yeah, yeah…and you walked six miles to school and back every day, uphill each way.”

“How did you know?” Vince shot back.


3 Business Lessons Served on CNBC’s Crowd Rules

I love watching TV!  I steer clear of bad TV.  However, there is solid programming out there.  And there is great free advice if you are building a business.  I love Restaurant Impossible and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.  (BTW, I am at the ready to host an Extreme Makeover – Service Business Edition show!)

I love it when the TV biz expert shares simple ways to fix a failing business. Why do the owners fight it so much?  Why would they rather be right…than rich?  Business is just a vehicle, for driving us in the direction of our dreams.  Terrific reality TV shows help us see the denial, and perhaps recognize it in ourselves.  So, tune in, grab the popcorn and learn how to make more money.

My latest, favorite show is Crowd Rules on CNBC.  Here are a few “Lessons Learned” from catching up on the latest episode with Rockstar Business Expert Larry Winget… […]

Post-its + a Sharpie + Excel = Your Org Chart

Does it make you cringe to think about imposing the formal structure of an Organization Chart on your small shop?  Fear not!  The Organization Chart can be a wonderful tool.  Recalling my many, many jobs, I can count on three fingers the number of times I actually knew for what I was responsible and to whom I was required to report.  I would have loved that information on every job.  It’s frustrating to not know what your responsibilities are.  It’s confusing to have someone tell you what to do just to have another person tell you to do just the opposite.

Your Own Organization Chart – The Bare Bones Basics

You will need…

A large unadorned wall or dry erase board.
A stack of Post It notes…the 3×3 inch size is good.
A sharpie!

Begin with the end in mind.  What is your […]

Career Ladder? Or Turnover Turmoil?

Sob!  My favorite thing to do is Ride Along with team members.  I love to put on the Super Hero costume and hop in the truck.  I am not very technically skilled – massive understatement! – however, I try to help by carrying things and being entertaining on the job.  Recently, I was all dressed up and ran out of time to go on a Ride Along.  Deep apologies to Matt and to Chris – see video – and I promise, next time, I am jumping in the hole!

I am working with Zoom Drain and Sewer – along with my partner, Al Levi – to help expand this awesome company.  Owners Jim and Jason Criniti have what it takes to get me involved:  They are committed to helping team members create careers, not just jobs, as we grow the Zoom empire. […]

Circulate Among the Troops – The Ride Along

What can you learn by Riding Along? You don’t even have to do the Undercover part. Just GO. Hop in the truck (or the assembly line or the phone bank) and say, “Show me what you do. I am here to learn.” One of my best biz buddies is a master of the Ride Along. I wrote about him…and how to make the most of your time in the field. If you don’t go, you won’t know…
“His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself, and allows nobody to see him; and by which he does not know what is going on in the very matter he is dealing with.”
Abraham Lincoln’s reason for relieving General John C. Fremont from his command in Missouri – September 9, 1861

President Lincoln wrote these words to the man he was appointing to replace General Fremont. The new General would make no mistake about what was required of him: Get out there and circulate among the troops. […]

In A Pinch, Try Customer Service

Crisis shouldn’t be the spur, but better late than never.

A Wall Street Journal article from a couple of summers ago caught my eye. Titled “Customer Service as a Growth Engine,” the article described efforts by large organizations such as Walgreen’s, Comcast, American Express and others to pay “more attention to customer service in an effort to increase sales and gain market share in the economic recovery.” The Journal cited a survey of more than 1,400 companies that found more than a quarter saying customer service would be the prime target of increased funding once the economy improved.

To which I silently responded, Duh!

I wonder if it occurred to executives at all those companies surveyed that had they invested more money in – or not scraped it away from — customer service activities when the downturn hit, they might already be enjoying increased sales and market share. It’s a real simple concept. People like to do business with companies that make it likeable to do business with them.

People in many lines of business are susceptible to overlooking customer service. That’s because they don’t really look at the people who pay them money as “customers” per se. Most think in terms of what they get rather than what they give. Customers come to them because they need something, goes this thinking, and for money they provide it, so ergo, customers ought to be grateful the business is there for them. […]

By |April 4th, 2012|Consulting, Contractors|0 Comments

How to Avoid Employee Theft!

Former worker admits stealing nearly $170,000 from University Plaza Hotel

edited news release from U.S. attorney’s office

2:10 p.m. CST, February 22, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former employee of University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday for stealing nearly $170,000 from the hotel. “JM”, 47, of Springfield, waived her right to a grand jury indictment and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate James England to a federal information that charges her with wire fraud. 

Every couple of months, I hear a horror story from a business owner who was ripped off…by one of his employees.  These are sad, sorry tales.  Tales of lies, misplaced trust and broken hearts.  How does it happen?  And how can you keep it from happening at your small shop?   Good questions.  Let’s take a look…