How to talk to problem employees

Happy employees

Nothing you tell your employees should ever come as a surprise.  This is especially important with bad news.  If you are telling an employee that they are at risk of being fired, and they had no idea, then you are the one who made a mistake, not them.  But don’t tell your employees about their…

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What is Information, and how should you use it?

What makes a small business work?  Information.  Whether it is information about clients, about projects, about people, about jobs, about plans, or about goals, that information has to move throughout the business for everybody to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  But when is information reliable? Here are…

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Three ways to measure customer satisfaction

“Our customers love us, we have never had a complaint.” Ahem.  The speaker, here, is drawing a rather unscientific conclusion. Just because clients have never complained, does not necessarily mean that they love the service they are getting.  To be able to say “Our customers love us”, collect some empirical evidence using one of the…

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When company values become harmful

I’ll get straight to the point: company values become harmful when they are not enforced.  This happens more often than you would imagine, and usually because of good intentions. But the harm is always greater than the perk.  The wrong way to use values Let’s say you claim a core value at your business is…

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Why you should have a website

I received my first garlic crusher in my later 30s. Garlic is a common ingredient in my cooking, but I could never purchase a unitasker gadget like a garlic crusher. Then I received one as a gift, proving that thoughtfulness is not about price, and not only do I crush garlic on the regular, I…

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How to stop thinking (and why)

Let’s start with the homework today: write down five things you know to be true about your business. Make them simple sentences, describing 5 facts that you know thanks to your expertise.  A realtor might write down that unexpected repairs are the biggest regret of over 33% of home buyers. A plumber might say that…

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Fix your marketing: add your brand

Pretend, for a moment, that you are in the business of pens.  Now pretend that you are planning your marketing efforts for your pens.  And you come up with the message you want to get out there: We sell pens With that message, what makes somebody buy your pens rather than somebody else’s? Price, proximity,…

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Which work should you delegate?

Delegation: it’s a chore.  Don’t you sometimes wish you could delegate the task of delegating? After all, it takes just as much time to have to explain something as it does to do it yourself.  Here’s a trick to make delegation easier and last longer: Don’t delegate tasks: delegate responsibility.  Start by deciding what you…

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Why scaling is better than growth for your business

Growing your business means adding parts. More clients, more employees, more desks, more anything.  Scaling your business means that your revenue increases, but your resources stay about the same.  More clients, but without more of everything else.  Why scaling is better than growing If doubling your client numbers means doubling the resources you need to…

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What do your clients do after you leave the room?

There is no fadeout, no ending music, no rolling credits.  After you leave the room, your clients’ lives go on, just like your life goes on.  So what are your clients doing after you leave the room? And why should you care? Nobody wants to buy your product It’s a common refrain on this blog. …

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