June 1, 2020

Qualities and Actions That Help You Become a Successful Business Leader

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As a business leader, you’re responsible for correctly guiding those under you and delivering positive business results for the company. Being a business leader is rewarding when you approach it in the right way that is built on a set of solid guiding principles. Here are some of the most essential qualities to have and actions to take to become a successful business leader.

Treat Employees Right

It’s important to avoid different types of discrimination that can often take place in a work environment and focus on treating employees equally. You should create clearly defined rules and enforce them the same for all employees. This helps prevent the problem of appearing like you’re playing favorites.

When employees feel like you’re showing favoritism, they will become less motivated and begin to feel more resentment the longer the perceived unequal treatment of employees continues. If you ever chat with an employee about topics unrelated to work, then you’ll need to remember to talk to all employees that week. When you only talk to some employees about non-work related topics, it gives the impression that you favor them.

Show Integrity

Be honest with people in all facets of your business, including employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, regulators and investors. If you get caught lying just once, it can ruin your reputation and break trust not only with the person you lied to but others who must interact with you. Integrity goes beyond honesty. It also involves having morals and operating based on those morals.

Consumers increasingly care about where products are sourced, how employees are treated, and the ways that business leaders conduct themselves morally. Integrity is equally important to your clients as it is for your own employees, so always strive to stay focused and not deviate from your set of morals.

Master Self-Discipline

Discipline is what keeps you doing the things you need to do, regardless of how you feel. Thus, it’s one of the most important qualities you must have to become a successful business leader. Master self-discipline by committing yourself to lifelong personal development, schedule time for monthly reflection, monitor your progress toward your goals, and practice it every day.

Over time, practicing self-discipline every day and learning new ways to stay in control of yourself will help you master this key quality. You will also become a good example to others when you’re the kind of person who always keeps your word, shows up on time, stays calm in stressful situations and successfully executes plans.

When you focus on the above qualities and actions, you can shape yourself into a successful business leader. Remember that treating employees equally might require additional planning and awareness on your part. You may be genuine in your attempt to treat everyone the same, but certain actions, like only making small talk with some employees, gives the wrong impression. Also, act with integrity, and stay in control of yourself.

Check out our other business-related resources.

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Nail Your Short Presentation at Work with These 5 Tips

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Making a brief presentation at work may seem like a no-brainer, but preparing one can prove to be challenging. It’s always a good idea to iron out the details of your presentation well ahead of time so you can nail it when the time comes. Here are five easy tips that can help you give an informational, inspiring and persuasive presentation in the workplace.

Keep the Audience Interested

Few things are less interesting than having to sit through a presentation that’s given in a monotone voice. Use voice inflections and intonation to emphasize important words and transitions, and pause momentarily to let important ideas sink in. If the occasion is informal or semiformal, you might address the audience directly rather than discussing the topic in third person. Use examples and details that relate to listeners so they can feel included, making references to daily life or demographics that connect with people in the audience. Also be sure to make eye contact occasionally with the audience throughout the presentation.

Resource: https://minutehack.com/guides/5-ways-to-keep-your-audience-interested

Pace Your Presentation

Rather than choosing to simply wing it and hope for the best, practice pacing your speech beforehand. Make an outline with key points and rehearse the talk smoothly from one point to the next. Keep an eye on the time to ensure your speech stays on track. A good rule of thumb for giving presentations is that every minute is roughly 125-150 words spoken, so a 5-minute speech would usually require 625 – 700 words. That being said, it’s always a good idea to plan for a few extra minutes in case audience members wish to ask questions afterward.

Resource: https://wordcounter.io/blog/how-many-words-is-a-5-minute-speech/

Incorporate a Story

Everyone loves to hear a good story, so aim to include some type of story in your talk that illustrates one of your presentation’s principles. A good choice is to draw from current events in the news that many in the audience will have heard of and perhaps identify with. You can also use personal experience or observations about the lives of others in certain situations. Using characters, real or fictitious, and a narrative format often encourages the audience to listen more attentively, and it can stoke their interest in your topic.

Resource: https://blog.slideshare.net/how-to-tell-great-stories-during-presentations

Use Humor

Like smiling, humor is a universal element that everyone can relate to. Many successful speakers start a presentation with a humorous anecdote or a comical remark about the context for the presentation. Use lighthearted humor rather than a sarcastic tone. However be sure to avoid slapstick comedy, which can dilute the seriousness of your topic and cause the audience to feel more entertained than educated. Self-deprecating humor is another easy way to start the presentation and often helps to put the speaker on par with the audience.

Resource: https://totalcommunicator.com/vol2_2/funnymeeting.html

A short talk can feel like it is over much too soon for audiences who enjoy and appreciate what they hear. Practice beforehand and give listeners fun and interesting things to consider. By following these steps you can ensure that your talk will not only be interesting to hear but also have the desired impact on your audience.

If you feel a little lost on or anxious about leading or running a business, then let Shannon Gronich help you out!

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It’s Time to Expand! Here’s How to Do It

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Your hard work and sleepless nights are starting to pay off as your business grows rapidly. The expansion stage can bring its own set of nightmares for many businesses. Here are some tips that you will want to keep in mind.

Choose the Right Location

Chances are that you need more warehouse space as your business is expanding. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of different locations before you move your business. Think about the supplies that come into your business and choose a location where you can get those supplies in a cost-effective and timely manner. Inventory management is an essential part of fulfillment as you grow your business. While there are advantages to using offsite inventory storage, you should still look for a location that matches the warehousing needs of your company. In addition to considering the available space, take a look at security to make sure that you are relocating to a good neighborhood. Different markets can be loyal to different companies, so be sure to consider if you can adequately compete in the market. Finally, look for local, state and federal incentives to move to different locations.

Equipment

You will need a variety of equipment in the new location. Consider which pieces you can move from your current place and which you will need to secure to make different locations work. One piece of machinery that you may not have thought about but which could be helpful with business automation is a conveyor belt. If your business specializes in products, then creating an efficient assembly system will go a long way to helping you keep up with the growth of your business. The more your business grows the more you will need to implement automation which will smooth the flow of work from production to packaging. While a conveyor belt needs to fit the size, weight, and type of product you produce, it also needs to be the right length and design to work in your new location. You may even want to consider hiring an industrial engineer to help you think through different aspects of making your business more productive.

Workforce

If you are moving to a new area where your current workforce is unlikely to follow, then it is vital that you think about the availability of a well-trained workforce. Moving near a college where there is an active program within your field often gives you an advantage as recent college graduates are often reluctant to move. See if you can partner with a community college to create classes in areas where you cannot find good employees.

Financing

If your company has investors or shareholders, then make sure to keep them in the loop about your thinking as your company expands. If they are experienced businessmen, then they may have valuable feedback on what has worked for them in the past. These people may also have friends or family who can lead you to the right location for your company’s expansion.

Congratulations on building a business that is ready for expansion. Focusing on these four factors will help you make the final decision on where expansion makes the most business sense. You may need to spend some time writing it all out in a business plan that embraces your company’s promising future.

If you’re looking to continue your expansion in other ways like branding, and website design and more, keep us in mind! We want to coach you through this growth and we want to help your business thrive, but also understand that sometimes a little extra help is needed to get you on your way!

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4 Hiring Principles Necessary to Build a Motivated Team

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The research is clear; high performing employees are the most motivated employees and out produce average employees by 4 to 1! What fundamental principles are necessary to build an effective hiring process that will staff your organization with high performers and motivated teams? The highest performing organizations have cracked this code and here is how they do it.

Determine What Capabilities Will Drive Your Company’s Success

Think about those brands that you admire. What is it that they are very good at doing? Walmart differentiates itself by their expertise in supply chain management while Nordstrom is known for their customer service. How does your company differentiate itself from the competition? What qualities do you admire in the employees you already have, and what are you going to be looking for in the new hires?

Determine What Skills are Aligned with Your Organizational Skills

Personal competencies are a person’s ability, skill, character, and knowledge that develop through life experiences. Personal competencies account for nearly 90% of successful performance on the job. A partial list of the 67 personal competencies from the Lominger organization include:

  •    Action Oriented
  •    Business Acumen
  •    Organizational Agility
  •    Customer Focus
  •    Timely Decision Making

Determine What Technical Skills are Required for a Specific Role

Technical competencies represent the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in a specific job role. The majority of hiring is done with a focus on technical competencies. It is important to note, however, that technical skills only account for 10% of successful job performance.

Establish Objectives for Interview and Screening Processes

First off, you need to have great managers.If you don’t have great managers, you will never have a high performing, highly motivated team. Period.

Most hiring managers make hiring decisions based on:

  •    Their “gut”
  •    The similarity in personalities with the candidate
  •    The degree to which they “like” the candidate

Pre-employment evaluations combined with structured interview processes are critical to the screening process as they remove the subjective human biases of the interviewers while screening all candidates using a common methodology.

High performers have the personal and technical competencies that align with the desired organizational capabilities of the company. If the screening process is built with these principles in mind, the result will be a highly successful organization. For more hiring techniques and advice, check out my blog!

 

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Bare Minimum Background Checks for Hiring on a Small Budget

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handshake, business, partnership

When you are running a small business with limited resources, you may consider foregoing background checks to cut employment costs. However, personal and professional references often don’t provide enough information about a person. Even simple background checks can make candidate selection decisions faster and easier. This is especially important for a small business that might lack the resources to address problems that can arise from poor hiring decisions.

Criminal Background Checks

Running a basic criminal background check on applicants before officially hiring them can keep a small business from becoming a victim of fraud. While many issues that might come up through a criminal background check may not be relevant to the individual’s ability to perform their job, crimes related to fraud or theft should be considered during a hiring decision. While large corporations can handle some losses, one wrong employment decision can drive a small business to close. For this reason, money spent on criminal background checks is an essential insurance policy for the overall security of your business.

Credit Reports

A credit report is another background check that can offer employers valuable information about applicants. However, small employers can afford to be more discriminating with which positions require credit checks. Applicants for jobs that require a high level of financial accountability or that will have access to business finances should be screened using a credit report. Be aware that the states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington have state laws prohibiting employers from using employee credit reports in hiring decisions.

Legal Considerations

For all types of background reports, employers must be careful to follow specific legal requirements. You may not run a criminal or credit check on an individual without their written consent. Most employees will ask applicants to sign a background check consent form at a later stage in the hiring process. After viewing a background check, you must send the employee a pre-adverse action disclosure, a copy of the report, and an explanation of their rights to dispute reports if you think you may not hire them based on the report. When you make the final decision to not hire them based on information in the report, you must send applicants an adverse action notice to let them know.

Vetting

Transparency in hiring, on the part of the employer and the employee, is essential to building trust. This transparency can be achieved through proper vetting processes. Vetting assures that potential employees are who they claim to be and have done what they claim to have done so that you can choose the best talent for your business with confidence. In order to establish trust with potential employees, your business can join the Clear Business Directory by completing an annual vetting process which shows your community and potential hires that your operations are reputable and trustworthy.

Small business owners should always run a criminal background check on potential applicants; doing so can save a lot of money in the long run.

 

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