Category Archives: Strategy

Have you ever heard someone say “yes, Fundraising time!”? If you have you would be one of the few because typically nobody wants anything to do with fundraising. It makes us uncomfortable and many times isn’t worth the hassle when all is said and done. So let’s talk about 4 that are worth it and 3 that probably are not.

Worth it:

  • Car Wash –  yes a good ol’ fashion car wash on a hot day can be a great way to make money if you have access to a good spot and a couple of outgoing teammates willing to flag down cars passing by. It’s also good because the “safety in numbers” feel you get by not being the only one there trying to ask for money

  • ESPN The Magazine –  ESPN has a great fundraising program that allows the kids to sell subscriptions to their magazines online and the best part is that the team keeps $30 out of the $40 per subscription .  Most players can find at least 1 or 2 family members or friends willing to get a one year magazine subscription for charity and if you have 10 players that’s an easy $300-$450 in your team’s pocket to pay for expenses like uniforms or lodging etc.

sublimated basketball uniforms

  • Parent Jerseys – This one is the biggest no brainer of the bunch. Nearly all parents and many grandparents would love the chance to sport their kids jersey in the stands to let their boy/girl know how proud they are of them. Allen Sportswear is one company that always offers to make parent jerseys at a discount so leagues can sell them for fundraising. You can get a mock up of the parent jersey and email it out to the parents so they can see it and get excited or your league can have one made and display it during registration so the parents can reserve one on the spot.   Either way works great and it’s an easy way for the league to earn thousands in fundraising before the season even starts.

  • Donut Deliveries – Who doesn’t like Donuts? Getting neighbors and family to buy a dozen donuts for $15 and then getting Krispy Kreme donuts in the morning is easy and a sure fire winner. Just put a post on Facebook and another app like NextDoor and post that you’re delivering Donuts for $15 a dozen and before you know it you will be up $500-$1000! It’s amazing what a few determined moms can do in one day… On a side not I’d like to thank the amazing volunteers at iprevail and foster friends of Oviedo for  stealing their idea. 

 

Not worth it:

  • Cookies – Telling a kid to go out and get cookie orders “yuck”.. Nobody is excited for that, the kids feel terrible and the parents end up having to buy all the cookies because nobody else wants them. Then the parents get bitter at your league for forcing them to buy expensive, crappy tasting cookies and start thinking about putting their kids in a different league next year. No thanks.

  • Coupon Books – Another item nobody wants to buy, $10 to save 10% at some sandwich joint nobody goes to is hardly appealing.  Every time my kids bring me a stack of those things I feel depressed knowing I’d have to pay for them all and I’d never use those stupid things once. I actually did take my kid out of a football league for making me buy 5 of them. I was so angry I signed him up for a different league the next year.  So if you’re looking to lose a bunch of players just force them to sell useless coupon cards! Yeah!

  • Sponsorship runs –  I’m gonna run 20 laps at who cares field so please give me money for every lap.  It’s takes people all of 1 second to know they are being duped and get annoyed. Then the kid pleads “please help me, I have to earn $50 by next week”. You look into those sweet eyes and vow to knock the daylights out of whatever adult has put you in this incredibly awkward situation. If it’s your kid you also vow to never sign them up for that league again for as long as you live. Great, you just lost more athletes, congratulations!

 

The need for fundraisers is prevalent and real but how you go about it can make or break your team/league. So be smart, don’t put the kids and parents in awkward situations; instead do a fundraising activity that will bring your athletes, coaches and families closer together for a stronger foundation.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors.

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When it comes to sports teams nearly every league or coach is faced with the dilemma of looking great or sticking to a set budget. Sometimes you can do both but usually one or the other has to give a little (or a lot) depending on budget. Usually the person in charge will choose to skimp out on uniforms because as long as everyone looks the same what’s the difference anyway right? Wrong.

Multiple studies have shown that what uniform you wear and how you look impacts your mental state and can even impact the game.  Here are a few examples of why

 

Your Uniforms Impact The Other Team – When a team shows up looking good it has a psychological impact on the team they are playing. The other team assumes you must be good based off of your looks and will come out playing less confident. On the other hand, when your opponent sees you wearing something that looks like it was bought at Walmart and screen printed they automatically assume your team is a bunch of scrubs and they come out swinging, fully expecting to win and that gives them the psychological edge.why-uniforms-matter-2

 

Your Uniforms Impact Your Own Players – Research has shown that when a player is dressed in what they feel is a superior uniform they not only have more confidence but actually believe they can lift more and run faster. How does this translate to wins?  Belief is a power tool for a coach and will give the players the confidence they need to pull off close games in the end. The players are more likely to be aggressive and less likely to get down if you start losing. All these variables factor into more wins by your confident players.

 

Your Uniforms Impact Future Teams – Getting the best players each year is a challenge for any coach. Not only do your uniforms impact your recruiting but it also impacts your retention rate. Players look around and see what everyone else is wearing, if they are always on the team that looks like garbage they will soon find a team that doesn’t. Unfortunately for that team, the player will usually find their new team by playing against them and taking a mental note of how great and confident that teams looks on the field. So you will end up losing your best player to a rival which really sucks.

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Uniforms are only one factor in a successful team but they are a much bigger factor than most people believe. “Dress like it, play like it” is more than a tagline, it’s a way of life and a key to your future success.




 

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Out Of The Ashes – Resurrecting a Struggling Business

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There are many factors that can lead to a business struggling to survive. Change in consumer attitude toward your industry or product or change in the overall economy either up or down are a few macro reasons and can spell the death of your business, but the majority of time a business fails is because it’s lost it’s first love.

 

Remember when you first started your business. you didn’t know if you would make it but you wanted your business to stand for something.  You were passionate and felt like your business did it better than anyone else. Then you got big and things changed, new people came in that do not understand your vision or love for what you do and it became more about compensation and health plans than it did about being the best in the business.

 

Before you know it life’s worries have made you forget why you got into business in the first place and that’s when things go downhill. Sometimes it’s drastic and unrecoverable but other times it’s more subtle and slowly degrades your business, product and pride in what you do at your business over time. Your baby has become a millstone around your neck with little to no options of getting out. In short, you have forgotten what got you there in the first place and you’ve lost your first love.

 

Is there hope for you and your business?  There is if you do these 3 things..

 

1. Get back to the philosophy of why you started your business in the first place and train your employees on it as well. If it’s sports uniforms, spend meeting after meeting drilling into the heads of your group  that you are here to deliver the best uniforms and the best service the customers have ever seen. Make sure they know it’s not just about making money but more importantly, it’s about making the customers ordering experience amazing while giving the athletes a uniform that will make them confident every time they hit the hardwood or the field. Your employees should be proud of what they do and sell and have the right reasons for working there. If someone does not get on board with your vision, let them go. No matter how good they are at their job you can’t have a cancer destroying your vision.

 

2. Do the things you did at first. What was your niche, what made your company unique? whatever it was get back to doing it. Maybe you own a bakery and when you started you stressed that anything your customer wanted, you could make it. This made you prosper but as you got bigger you realized the profit margins were better with simple or cookie cutter products that didn’t require as much customization so you went in that direction. That’s great, but you have to remember what made your clients loyal in the first place and make sure you still offer whatever it was that got your business off the ground in the first place. Before you know it your customer retention while be skyrocketing once again.

 

3. Start over with your personnel. I eluded to this in point one, but it’s important enough to mention all on it’s own. Everyone has to be sold out on your vision and where you’re going. Hiring good people is a constant need so you should always have an employment ad out with one or two people in waiting in case a current employee leaves or loses the vision of your company. Get rid of all clock watchers and unmotivated employees. An unmotivated employee is a like a virus in your company that can spread from one person to another and undermine everything you’re trying to accomplish.  When you do have a good employee lift them up, pay them what they are worth and keep them in the loop so they stay a good employee. If you’re struggling with paying people more, just think how much it will cost you to lose one of your best employees and train someone new. I’m sure you will find it’s better to just pay them a little more money to keep them happy.

 

Your business can be great again and will be great again if your remember your first love and do the things that made you great in the first place. Don’t let the thought of quitting enter you mind and have faith in what makes you unique. Before you know it you will be back on your feet and loving what you do all over again.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

business concept, accuracy

 

 

Every study done over the past 30 years has shown goals are one of the biggest keys to success and wealth, yet so few people actually write them down.

In the book “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School”, Mark McCormack tells a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program where graduate students were asked the question: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”  The result, only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the results were shocking.

The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down were earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!

Many times people don’t write down goals because they just don’t see the importance of them, but now that we know how important goals are I’ll give a simple example of what a goal sheet should look like:

 

2015 PERSONAL/BUSINESS GOALS

Before you start, know the golden rule of goal setting!

SPECIFIC

MEASUREABLE

ATTAINABLE

REALISTIC

TIME BOUND

Goals Concept 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS GOALS – Whether you are the owner of a company, a manager or an up and coming rep it’s important to have things you want to achieve each year. Below is an example of a manager or owner writing out a business goal

– What I want to Achieve

1. x% growth in revenue over last year

– How am I going to Achieve it?

1. Raise up a new sales manager

2. Hire x additional entry level sales reps

3. Raise up x number of reps to senior level

4. Generate x% Leads by running a Referral campaign

5. Bring Back x% of lost clients via a new Win-Back Campaign

– What I want to Start

1.  I need to inspire my people during weekly meetings with great training on self improvement and specific skill sets.

– What I want to Stop

1. Being negative when we don’t hit out goals (ie Get rid of specific words that are morale busters)

– What I want to Keep Doing

1. Raising up new leaders

2. Showing up to the office ahead of everyone else

 

PERSONAL GOALS – Work hard, play hard. It’s important to set attainable personal goals for the year as well

 

– What I want to Achieve

1. Get my pilot’s license

– How am I going to Achieve it?

1. Save up $x for it

2. Pick out a great school and take up x classes

3. Start reading flight manuals by x date so I can get through course quicker

4. Set a realistic training schedule

– What I want to Start

1. Reading and discussing at least one marriage and one parenting book a year

– What I want to Stop

1. Yelling and making threats

– What I want to Keep Doing

1. Encouraging my kids to the best they can be by utilizing a great point system for them and me

 

There are many ways to create written goals. In business we usually start by identifying where are are at, our key issues, key priorities, and then setting quantifiable goals, which we then flesh out by brainstorming strategies then tactics. As a small business owner, I encourage my team members to keep it simple! Remember, complexity is the enemy of execution. Write it down in a way you understand. Grab a notepad, or start writing in your note taking app. Just remember, no matter how simple you want to keep it, make sure your goals are measurable and not vague and open ended.

The keys to success are simple to do but many times hard to follow, so keep your eyes on the road ahead and not on your rear view mirror. It’s easy  to get distracted and defeated by past failures but with written goals you will keep your eyes and mind on the future and not on the past.

Goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

I’ve been hiring people for over 10 years now and I’m still blown away about how clueless most people seem to be when it comes to job hunting. What I find is that the older generation usually have pretty good resumes but lack great cover letters while the newer generation lack pretty much everything. It’s like nobody has ever taught our youth that one day they are going to have to grow up and get a job. Our families and colleges have completely failed the past couple of generations and now 85% of graduating seniors do not have jobs coming out of college. Some people are just lazy and there’s not much you can do for them but if you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you are not one of them.  I’ve come up with a few tips to help people get back into the workplace.

Hire Me Concept

I’m going to break this up into different parts for easier reading.

Below are five tips on how you can get in the door:

 

1. When looking for a job, that is your job – Get up early, dress in a button down shirt or polo and slacks, then go to a coffee shop with wifi, sit down and get started. You need to be going to all the major job site providers such as monster.com, indeed.com, careeerbuilder.com and snagajob.com just to name a few. There are also local job fairs you can go to and places like craigslist.com. If you are a college grad, most colleges have job boards you can visit online., where employers are actually looking for recent grads. Leave no stone unturned because 99% of the companies out there will only post their job listing in one or two places max!

 

2. Set goals for yourself – It’s easy to do step one and come home feeling like you accomplished a lot when in reality you didn’t do very much. Busy work is work that takes a lot of time but accomplishes very little. A great way to make sure you don’t fall victim to this mistake is to set daily goals of no less than 20 resumes sent. This may not sound like a lot but if you do it right it will take all day; More on that to follow…

 

3. Tailor each resume for the job – In a sea of resumes one of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending a generic resume with the heading (I’d like to get a job with a company I can grow to my potential in, yadayada, whatever). First of all, it’s not about you! In a world of self indulgence and entitlement this may come as a shock but if you haven’t heard this yet it’s time you did. Write a heading that pertains to the job at hand and how you will help the company, not the other way around. Then only include jobs on the resume that will strengthen that conviction. If you are lacking in jobs in that field include internships or any other activity that pertains to that position. Whether it is a software, a gatekeeper, or the hiring manager, the first one reading your resume will be short listing for the most likely match. MATCH is the keyword, not generic.

 

4. COVER LETTER – I’m amazed at how many resumes I get without cover letters. Covers letters are your opportunity to say what a resume never could. Show your intelligence, ability to learn and adapt, and your desire for that job in just two paragraphs! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve interviewed people I normally wouldn’t have because of great cover letters. When writing a cover letter be conversational and talk about how the skills you’ve obtained translate into you doing a great job in the position and in helping the company. End it by letting the hiring manager know what days and time you are available for interviews. Also, make sure you find out what the hiring managers name is and address them in the letter, do not say “To whom it may concern”. That just says you are either too limited mentally or too lazy to figure it out; Neither of which looks good on you.

 

5. Follow up– After submitting your relevant resume with an awesome cover letter take the time to call the hiring manager and ask if they received your resume. If they actually take your call, push for a time to come in and interview. You can’t get a job without seeing them face to face so that is the whole objective when calling in. Be aggressive but not pushy, simply say “I have time on (whatever days you can come in) to meet, do one of these days work for you?” Whether or not you actually talk to the hiring manager or just leave a voice mail make sure you do a follow up email within a few days asking if there is anything else they may need from them and thank them for their consideration.

Job Hunting

If you follow these 5 steps you will get in the door for an interview, with luck you will have multiple interviews a week. Next week I’ll be writing about how to blow the hiring manager away once you get into the door, so stay tuned!

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Prayer in the workplace

The name of Jesus has become taboo in the workplace because of an increasingly fearful and political climate. Many employees can be fired for so much as inviting someone to church and it’s safe to say the anti-Christ movement in the business community has won the war in resounding fashion. Unless you own or are a part of a faith based organization, your options can be very limited. For the purposes of this article I will assume you own or have a prominent position in your company. Here I will talk about a few ways in which you can run your business as a Christian without hiding your faith or offending others.

1. The first thing I would recommend doing is to pray at your meetings.

This can really be scary for many people but it’s important that people know you are accountable to a higher power and that you rely on Him. The bible says: Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

I have to admit this is a tough scripture to follow. It’s easy on Sundays to praise God with like minded people, but it’s a whole another story to sit in front of a bunch of guys and girls who don’t necessarily share your opinions and may even look down at you for praying and still pray. If you want a business that has honesty, integrity and character it starts at the top (Christ, not you).  You don’t want to just show up one morning and start praying unless you’re okay with a lot of weird looks and shock. Each employee needs to be taken aside privately and told what you will be doing from now on. Personally, I tell every new employee that “I’m a Christian so I like to pray over my business once a week; you don’t have to join along if you don’t want to but I want you to know what to expect.” If they are uncomfortable they can choose before ever working here to pursue other options but at least they won’t be blindsided at their first meeting. Below are a couple do’s and don’ts of praying:

 DO:
1. Lift up your employees individually for the good they are doing
2. Ask God to bless your employees
3. Admit your dependence on Christ in front of them (humility is a good thing)
4. Keep it short and to the point
 
 DON’T:
1. Insult others in your prayer
2. Put down other religions
3. Correct someone or the group during the prayer
4. Ridicule
5. Have a marathon prayer
 

2.  Next, it’s important to put up your company core values based on biblical principles. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Foster an atmosphere of honesty, integrity and respect; which is essential for any successful business but even more so the business owned by a Christian. At times it’s good to bring the core values up at meetings and ask people if they are sticking to them. Say what you mean and mean what you say!  

3. Last but certainly not least is your own example. I Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. Once you tell people you’re a Christian and pray in meetings, they will look at everything you do. You will no longer be afforded the same leniency that other owners and bosses are given; you will now be held accountable for all your actions and if you fall you will most certainly be called a hypocrite. This is what makes professing your faith at work so scary. We all fall short and God knows I’ve made my share of mistakes and said things I wish I could take back, but in the end you will be judged on the whole of your work more then anything else.

You may be wondering if all this is worth it and rightly so. I can tell you from my experiences that if done right it’s more than worth it. I don’t use God to promise people riches because I don’t believe he’s some kind of magical fairy that grants us wishes. The benefits that I do get from running a business like this is the ability to walk into the doors each day and find satisfaction in the work I do. Also, each time I pray I hope it plants a mustard seed of faith in the people around me and maybe one day it could change their life. My business is my ministry, it’s the road I have chosen to travel and I think it’s fitting to end this with the famous poem of Robert frost.

 

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

If you aim at nothing you will hit it everytime- Zig ZiglarThere is probably nothing that more graphically illustrates the importance of focusing on your goals than being in combat. Yet the same principles apply in any leadership setting. Having been in the US Navy for 19 years, I have had my fair share of military leadership and learned the discipline it takes to stay focused and help others around me do the same. In those years, I have excelled (mostly) and rose pretty fast through the ranks, despite some set backs in the early years, and have landed at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

There are many factors to successfully leading in the military that also applies to leading your business, your sports team, even your family to success. But there is one lesson that is most commonly overlooked yet most critical to creating a road map to success- and that is to establish and disseminate your Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles. Before you jump into a series of tasks and tactics and find yourself wondering why you are somehow missing the mark, draw that mark!

1. Mission Statement:
Your mission statement should be clear and concise! This statement describes what your organization or department is about. Start by asking yourself these questions: “What are you aiming for?” “What is your overall objective that will guide the actions of your organization?” “What is it that you desire to achieve and how will you achieve it?” As you work on refining your answers, don’t confuse it with short-term strategies or specific goals. When writing a mission statement think broad scale- 10,000 ft view from here! Think about including these 3 key elements:
1. Key Market. Your WHO. Your target audience, primary stakeholders, or customers.
2. Contribution. Your WHAT. What product or service are you providing to those customers?
3. Distinction Your WHY or your USP. More commonly referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition, it answers the question “What makes you unique?” or “Why would a customer choose you over a competitor?”

One example of a good Mission Statement is:“To provide the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered consistently in a low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.” I stole that one from McDonald’s! Your individual Mission Statement, whether you’re writing it for your overall organization, or just for a smaller department, may or may not include all the elements above. The Mission Statement for the US Navy Chief Petty Officer is: “Provide leadership to the Enlisted Force and advice to Navy leadership to create combat-ready Naval Forces.” You’ll notice no distinction statement, primarily because there’s nobody else that does what we do – no competition!

2. Vision:
Your vision should describe who, or what, you intend to be. Again, use as few words as possible, yet succinct, broad-term, but not too generic. Although the vision statement for the US Navy Chiefs is a little longer than some, it is concise enough and careful consideration was given to use necessary language to drive the point home to its leaders:
“A senior enlisted force that serves first and foremost as Deck-plate Leaders committed to developing Sailors and enforcing standards; remains responsive, aligned and well-connected to both Leadership and Sailors; and conducts itself in a consistently professional, ethical and traditional manner.”

3. Guiding Principles:
Although some organizations may use Values over Guiding Principles, the context is basically the same. There is a little more specific direction here for how you expect those in your organization to act. They are a set of shared beliefs that drive the priorities, behaviors, and perception, thus creating the organizational culture. I’ll share a good example from the Coca-Cola company that helps drive the point:

  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
  • Integrity: Be real
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
  • Quality: What we do, we do well

Your first challenge of being a BOSS is defining what your Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles are. What are the things that have driven your success and what can you imitate from previous leaders that you have deemed successful? You can start there, but these should be extracted from deep within your soul – and they also have to align with the larger organizational statements. Whether you are a supervisor on a factory floor that makes widgets, a mid-level manager, or CEO, you need to develop these statements and values. If you can arrive to work on your first day with these statements already in place, you’ll be ahead of the power curve. If you’re already in a leadership position, it’s never too late to do a round-turn and get these on paper. Spend some time on them. And most importantly, you need to CLEARLY communicate these to your subordinates in order to provide consistent direction and expectations. It may not be a bad idea to share your MVS to the person you report to. Again, maintaining that alignment up and down the organizational chain is fundamental to your success. It will also show your BOSS that you have a true leadership prowess, and that’s NEVER a bad thing!

By: Brandon Keener is a Senior Chief Petty Officer at the United States Navy, a leadership position where he manages people, programs and policies. Brandon and his wife have also launched a couple of successful home based businesses based in San Diego, CA.

Sales atmosphere is a tricky thing. In order for your team to be productive you need the right combination of pressure vs fun, fear vs safety, self motivation vs teamwork. Balancing the atmosphere can be a full time job, but if you pay attention every day you can stay on top of it before it gets lopsided and toxic.

Pressure vs Fun – Too much pressure creates “The Boiler Room”, too much fun creates an early 90’s dot com company. Both are bad for business and unsustainable so it’s important to find the happy medium. I have to look, listen, and feel the tempo of what’s happening on the floor. If the  atmosphere gets too tense I’ll go out and bring up some random sports news that get people to stop thinking about their problems and allows them to relax for a few minutes while discussing things like “Is Richard Sherman really a thug or not.” If the atmosphere gets too lax and everyone is having fun but practically nothing is being accomplished, then I need to go out and redirect everyone’s attention to the numbers. This usually sounds like a SONA (State of the nation address) but it jolts people out of dreamland and focuses them back on winning. Usually I will accompany this by finding additional cold call leads for each of the reps and adding it to their call list. If they can’t find any work to do, I will find it for them and once they know this they usually figure out how to stay productive.

Fear vs Safety – Personally I like my office to feel like a family atmosphere but that can backfire at times. Managers will tend to either make their employees feel too safe or too fearful and I’m definitely on the safe side. This can be good and bad; good because people like coming to work and enjoy the atmosphere which in turn creates camaraderie and loyalty, and bad because they can tend to get lazy, not hit their sales numbers and feel like it’s okay because their job is safe. To stop this from happening, it’s important to have regular meetings with your reps to go over their numbers along with plans to get them moving if they are behind. If for some reason their numbers stay down you need to nip it in the bud quickly by putting them on probation. Don’t let bad habits sink in or you will end up losing a good employee in the end.

Self motivation vs Teamwork – Every sales rep needs to be self motivated (this is a must). At the same time if you want to have a great team, the reps need to have some selflessness and be able to help the team. A good sales rep many times will hit their number a week or two before the end of the month and this is great but it also makes them tempted to sandbag deals to get the next month started off hot. I put individual numbers up on the board but I stress what the team goal is often to try and prevent this. In order to hit your team goals each month all the reps need to put that extra effort into helping the team and not just worry about themselves. A sure sign you have a sandbagger is that he/she always has a slow last week of the month followed by a bunch of sales turned in the first couple of days of the next month. This is a person you need to talk to about being a team player before it becomes a problem. You want every rep giving 100% each month, when they don’t, other reps see this and it becomes a cancer that has to be cut out.

Atmosphere is not hard to regulate as long as you stay on top of it each day. If you as the manager let this go too long, you will suffer one way or another, which usually means losing sales reps and costing you money to hire and re-train. To effectively run a company and keep your bottom line, it is important to avoid unnecessary expense and turnover. Take these tips to the bank and enjoy a prosperous year.

 

Successful Business Team

Successful Business Team

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.

Having friends with benefits can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do. I’m not talking about having a “friend” who will roll in the sheets with you whenever you are bored; the downside of those kind of arrangements are too many to count (talk about mixed messages)… I’m actually talking about real friends with benefits and why it will make the difference between whether you become successful in business or not.

Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits

“You can have everything in life that you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”-Zig Ziglar. This is a great quote that talks about the first benefit of a good friend. Over the years I have learned that when a friend is in need I have to be there for them, it’s not an option. This can cause a lot of inconvenient times, especially when you have a business and a wife and kids and, well, you get the point. The reason I do this is not to get something out of them but to let them know they are important to me. Inevitably though, whether you believe it’s God (which I do) or some other cosmic force, when I’m in need someone is always there to help. Without the help of friends I would have failed long ago and not had the strength to get up. So the next time you have a friend in need, take the time make a difference.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” I think out of all the quotes and sayings going around these days, nothing can be closer to the truth than this one. Over the years I have gained many friends and believe they all have value in my life but there are always those friends that have the ability to actually make things happen for you when you need it. It’s important to build a network of influential people that can make a difference in your life. I have different circles of friends for different things and by far my most important circle is my advice circle. These are guys I can be honest with and I know that when they give me advice it will be wise and unbiased. I’ve had countless times over the past 10 years where I was stuck at a crossroad and if I didn’t have men like this in my life I would have taken the wrong path, and that’s the difference between running a company or looking for a new job on an endless cycle of failed jobs. It’s hard to find friends like this so when you do, let them know you appreciate them and all they do for you.

“Bad company corrupts good character”the Apostle Paul. This is the hardest of my friends with benefits tips. Nobody wants to tell a buddy to bug off, because, well, they are your buddy. In the end though, every friendship you have should be evaluated and if for some reason every time you are around this particular person, bad things happen then it’s time to break off your BROmance and find friends that will not get you in trouble. If you don’t know how to do this I’ll give you a helpful hint, ask your significant other. My wife can spot a bad influence friend a mile off and after I get done fighting with her about it, I usually come to my senses and see what she had seen long ago. When I don’t come to my senses fast enough though, I know she will repeatedly remind me of my mistake for the next decade or two. So my advice is to act swift or face the consequences.

Friends are a touchy subject for many people but if you want to succeed and become more than you are today, make sure the friends you want to keep in the future are helping you get there.

By: Todd Marinshaw owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.