Tag Archives: Management

 

Studies have shown that a company’s atmosphere is what makes the difference between being profitable and unprofitable. Companies that have an atmosphere of encouragement tend to be highly profitable while companies that have interoffice friction or simply don’t promote encouragement typically are barely making it or actually losing money. Since most people would prefer to have a wildly profitable company over a struggling one I listed six great ways to encourage in the office.

 

1. Greet each other – yes this is a profound one but simply walking in the office each day, smiling and making sure everyone is greeted in your office lifts the spirits and encourages those who are recipients.

 

2. Use praise in abundance – when someone makes a great sale go out of your way to make a big deal out of it. When a coworker gets something done on time make sure they know how much you appreciate it. If an employee is having a hard day take the time to sit down and listen. This is not rocket science it’s simply letting people know you care.



3. Talk about victories in weekly meetings - it’s easy to get caught up in numbers, bills, problems and issues during a weekly meeting. So instead of bringing up the issues and problems right away start the meeting by quickly talking about a victory they’ve had in the past week. This will allow them to reflect on how awesome that victory felt and it also allows everyone to share in the victory.

 

4. Send out testimonials for all to read - The only thing better than a testimonial is a testimonial shared. Sometimes employees forget why they are doing what they do, then they read an amazing testimonial and all of a sudden they remember why they love their job so much. Good moral creates great encouragement.

 

5. Keep an open door – People need to know you’re accessible and that you won’t judge them. So keep an open door that allows people to tell you what’s happening and even if you don’t like what you hear make sure you thank them. If employees feel you are unapproachable they will start to talk behind your back and in no time at all you will be dealing with a toxic atmosphere.

 

6. Say “THANK YOU” – yes this seems so simple but companies such as chick-fil-A have literally built their business around using those two words… Get used to saying thank you over and over again to both coworkers and clients and watch how they react, then watch how your business grows!

 

There are plenty of ways to encourage but if you can just remember this one scripture the rest will follow: Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

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

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

There are hundreds of sure fire ways to ruin your business, but there are a few things that the typical well meaning but ignorant small business owner unknowingly commit. In offices with a few employees, often times owners and employees alike start creating a family atmosphere, which is great but can also be a double edged sword because well, as we all know, families are normally dysfunctional.

Listed below are 11 great ways to wreck your business!

 1. Hire a consultant that knows nothing about your business and turn the reigns over.

 2. Hire employees that are okay with lying and cheating.

 3. Take lots of vacations and post pictures on Facebook of your amazing adventures for your employees to see.

 4. Act like you know it all and be unapproachable.. usually reminding them at least once a day how great you are helps too.

 5. Publicly criticize or put your employees down (always a crowd favorite).

 6. Delegate everything to the point you have no real function in your own company.

 7. Talk crap about ex employees that current employees actually liked. 

 8. Hire people that don’t fit in with the people you have and then keep them just long enough to ruin your company chemistry.

 9. Keep your office door closed all day while at work so people know you are more important than they are.

10. Share every confidential and proprietary information with your employees and don’t be a paranoid fool.

 11. Never, under any circumstances, listen to the advice of the people that love you (especially not your wife/husband)

 At the end of the day, your business is your livelihood. You are the owner, the CEO, the HR department,  and PR Department. Govern yourself accordingly.

 

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

Inevitably, no matter what you do, your business will go through change and turnover. Sometimes that change is the direction your company needs to take and sometimes the change is a good employee leaving at a bad time. Change in general is stressful. It can and will produce at least some anxiety and uncertainty but that does not mean that change is necessarily a bad thing, in fact, when handled right, it can be a good thing.  Whenever faced with change here are 3 tips to make it a positive for your company

 

Change just ahead

1.  Step back and evaluate – Where have you come from and where are you going? Now is the time to analyze your business and look at it objectively. In the case of a good employee leaving the question you should ask is:

  • Should I keep the position they are vacating or eliminate it? Sometimes you may not ever realize it but you will find you kept a position just because you had someone good doing it. On hindsight, that position may be able to be outsourced or become part of another position which is already in place.

  • Should I hire from within or outside? You should always hire from within if at all possible because it builds team morale and rewards loyalty. If nobody is qualified then you have no choice but to go outside for help

  • Can we make the department better? Overall, look at the department and determine if there is any way to make business processes easier, more efficient and more cost effective.

2.  Take action – Don’t be indecisive, once you’ve evaluated the situation, take the necessary steps immediately and let your team know you have a plan.

  • Meet with each team member –  meeting with each team member individually lets them know all is well and gives you a chance to talk about their future with the company as well, ensuring they go away excited and inspired instead of depressed or down.

  • Promote – Now is the best time to promote a team member and or give them new responsibility. You don’t always have to give raises either, sometimes just working out a nice bonus if they do a great job is the best solution. Again, this will boost morale, and morale is always infectious in the office

  • Re-evaluate – It sounds silly to re-evaluate after you’ve made changes but it’s important to look at your body of work and make sure the pieces are all fitting together. If not, it’s better to make a change now then 6 months from now when the damage has been done.

3. Celebrate – Whatever changes you have to make, make sure the team sees it as a positive and not a negative. Celebrate the promotions and future opportunities for the whole department and as long as the employee that’s leaving is leaving on good terms you should also celebrate how much they have helped your business and let them know you appreciate them. The goodwill you create with  the rest of your crew will be immeasurable.

In the end, face every challenge and see every change as an opportunity for growth. As the leader in your organization, you are the man or woman behind the wheel, navigating each twist or turn, no matter how unexpected, to eventually lead your team to your intended destination. You set the standard so when your team sees you as a steady rock in a sea of change they will remain confident and productive.

 

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

Defiance

 

On Valentines Day, don’t forget to “love your employees”. It’s easy to treat Valentines Day just like any other day but if you don’t do something special for your employees today, you will have missed a golden opportunity to make an impact in their lives. Yes it’s corny and yes it’s commercialized,  but it’s a harmless excuse to show some appreciation to the people who you have entrusted your livelihood with. Here are three appropriate and thoughtful ideas:

 1. Hallmark hits the heart - That’s right, write your employees cards letting them know you appreciate all they have done to make your company great and don’t make it generic. People can smell generic a mile away so make sure you think about something they’ve actually contributed to the company and don’t be afraid to mention that you have great plans for them in the future. Hope is the most powerful tool!

2. Candy it upCandy is a fun and easy way to encourage your team. Chocolate for the ladies and swedish fish or sour gummies for the guys. At least that’s the way I roll, you may not care but I feel weird giving another dude chocolates.

3. Flowers for her - Here’s one that when done right is great, when done wrong can be very uncomfortable. It’s a great idea to get some flowers for the office and if you’re really in the Valentine mood you can get each of the ladies a single rose (pink is a safe color). What you don’t want to do is get a dozen red roses for the cutest girl that works for you and a piece of chocolate for everyone else. The only exception to the rule is when the cutest girl that works for you happens to be your wife. That’s right, that’s how I roll….

If you haven’t done any of these things yet it’s not too late, run to your local grocery store and make sure your team feels loved today!

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd is married to the cutest girl in the office and he did give her a dozen red roses and a box full of chocolates, which their employees ate, along with the other chocolates and candies he gave each of them personally:-) 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.
 

Running

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

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.

7 Good Excuses To Spend Your Company Money

In the world of small business where we don’t have the luxury of multi million dollar operating expense budgets, we have learned to pay close attention to where every dollar goes, what are the “need to have’s” versus  the “nice to have’s”. Because of this chronic cost consciousness, what owners and managers often miss is that there are a few expenses that not only justify their existence in their annual P&Ls but generate an intangible return on investment that impacts all business functions.

I am talking about having fun! Think about extraordinary team building activities that will blow your employees away. There is no faster way to build camaraderie and teach real life lessons of success, failure, humility, teamwork, perseverance, focus, planning and strategy than actually engaging in activities that require them. So here are a few of my favorites:

1. Take them to a gun range - Say what!? Yes that’s right, a gun range. Obviously if you employ people that, eehemm, wouldn’t be allowed in a gun range then this would not work.  Assuming you have a team with no criminal record or other issues, this is a great team building activity. Many people love going to the range on their own, so this is a good chance to take them to the range and let them show off. Many times there is a person that always wanted to go but never had anyone to go with so they never did (they generally will be the most excited). I recommend having competitions and prizes for “best shooting”, “rookie of the year” (for the newbies) and “most improved” for the guy or gal that is horrible at the beginning but gets better. Your team will love this out of the box activity and create great memories.

2. Sailing - Sailing is a great way to build teamwork. If you live anywhere near the water, taking your team on a sailboat and learning how to catch the wind and take off can be exhilarating.  If you have a few people that actually know how to sail you may want to consider renting Hobie cats, dividing your team up and having a race.  It’s pretty simple, just assign a Captain for each boat (usually the guy that knows how to sail), let them pick their teams and off you go. The winning team gets free lunch and beer  after the race paid for by the losing team or teams!

3. Mud Run - Mud runs are one of the most popular races today. They are fun, dirty and create great memories. The best part about it is that the whole team gets motivated to work out during the weeks leading up to the race, which is never a bad thing.  With the way insurance rates are going through the roof, keeping a fit and healthy team is always a bonus. Again, it is always a good idea to hook the winner up with something afterwards, even if it’s just a beer.

4. Paintball - The first time I took my team paint balling, I was worried some of the ladies would not take to kindly to being shot at.  Boy was I wrong! Not only did everyone love going to war with each other for bragging rights, but the most fanatical competitors where the ladies!   They ate it up and wanted more when we were done. Since then I try to have at least one or two paint ball outings a year and they have never failed me yet.

5. Go Skiing - Every company has leaders and this is a “leader” activity. Even Jesus had his special 3 apart from the 12 and so should you.  Money permitting, I like to take my leaders skiing because it’s the best way to show them they mean a lot to me. If you rely on people to make your business go, then you will have to do more than give them a bonus twice a year to keep them loyal. The key to keeping good employees is doing things for  your people they wouldn’t normally do for themselves. 

6. Four wheeling - There are many places that do guided ATV tours with either go cart style vehicles with roll cages or 4 wheeling ATV’s.  This is another one of those activities that’s a lot of fun but is not something many people would ever do on their own. Nothing bonds a team faster than getting dirty and muddy together!

7. Beach Rental - Renting a house on the beach will help your stressed out team unwind and relax. Personally when I do this I tell them to go ahead and bring their significant other but unless they are married they have to sleep in separate rooms. If I’m paying I make the rules! I’ve never had a problem with this and it keeps things professional even while relaxing on the beach and letting life’s worries pass by you

I have never felt like spending on fun, coupled with some strategic planning or plain old bonding was a waste of money. What usually happens is everyone goes back motivated, more inclined to go out of their way and help another team member even if they do not have to, or just more pumped up to work and be part of a winning team. If you stay consistent and learn to practice this wisely, you will see your bottom line grow slowly but surely. Work hard and play hard, it will never get old.

 

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.

Author’s Note: Watch out for a follow up article in the next few weeks about Travel and Entertainment Tips and Secrets that Do Not Break the Bank.

Key To Keeping Employees