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5 Things to Make Your Business More Money

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OK, you’ve started your business, things are running, you’re making some money, but you aren’t quite where you want to be.  You find yourself chasing things that aren’t productive, the bottom line isn’t consistently meeting expectations, customers are having issues with your product or services, you’re struggling with what the proper product mix should be for your business, and your pipeline isn’t staying filled.

It’s time to take a serious look at what’s going on within your company and start making some changes.  A straightforward way to approach this look consists of five steps to get you started.

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WHY PEOPLE MATTER IN YOUR BUSINESS

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In business, people are your most valuable assets. Finding the right people with the right skills that are engaged and productive is key to growing a successful business.

The most recent statistics about the US workforce are telling…

  • Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year. (Source: Workplace Research Foundation)
  • Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202% (Source: Business 2 Community)
  • Companies that increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition (Source: Gallup)
  • Disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects (Source: Queens School of Business and by Gallup)

Poor management and disengaged employees in the workplace are creating a $450 billion to $550 billion annual deficit for U.S. companies.  The cost of disengagement has been estimated to be so pervasive that it costs an organization, on the average $5,000 per employee, conservatively.

What does disengagement look like?

Disengaged People:

  • Are “Checked out” – thinking about their next break or lunch
  • Show up to kill time until the next pay check
  • Have little concern for other people’s needs including customers
  • Return less than 60% of their pay in value

What does being engaged at work look like?

Engaged People:

  • Are fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work
  • Committed to their organization’s goals and values
  • Motivated to contribute to the success of the organization
  • Dedicated to their own personal development
  • Return 100% – 120% in their pay in value

What can be done?

Gallup suggest THREE WAYS TO ACCELERATE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

  1. Select the Right People
  2. Develop Employees’ Strengths
  3. Enhance Employees’ Wellbeing

 What one step can you or your company do to accelerate engagement in the workplace?

Invest in the development of your team members.

“Knowing how you matter on the job, in your business, or as an organization is key to being able to take purposeful action. Having the tools needed to effectively interact in various situations impacts the people you work with and the people you serve. Invest in your most valuable resource – people.”  Deb Sauder, CEO of InterACT4Impact, Inc. – www.interact4impact.com

Learn about creating Healthy Workplaces with Dynamic Teams  from workforce experts:

The Small Business Advisory Board is excited to offer an interactive workshop to provide owners, managers, and executive directors of small/midsize businesses and organizations, simple strategies to create a workplace everyone wants to show up for.

Presented By Our SBAB Business Experts:

Jessica Hamilton, HR Consultant, Jodi Milbradt, Employer Solutions, Deb Sauder, Workplace Strategist and Zaylore Stout, Employment Attorney

Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 9:00 am to 11:00 am

 

Seating is Limited!  Register Today!  

 

 

Hungry for More?

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Did you gain some great insight at our luncheon last month about creating a great work environment?? Are you wanting to hear MORE ?? Or maybe you missed the topic and wish you hadn’t. Well, the Small Business Advisory Board will be hosting an in-depth and interactive workshop on this topic in just a few short weeks!

Are Your Employees Excited to Come to Work Everyday and Knock It Out of the Park?

This interactive workshop will cover a variety of topics such as:

-Tips for hiring and developing a team that fits their roles and meets their goals.

-Key actions needed to create a workplace culture that supports employee engagement and productivity.

-How to address employee problems and complaints while protecting your business.

-What’s needed in today’s workplaces to keep great talent, saving both your bottom line and your sanity.

Presented by our SBAB experts Jessica Hamilton, Jodi Milbradt, Deb Sauder, and Zaylore Stout. More info or online registration can be found at https://smallbizab.com/events/healthy-workplaces-with-dynamic-teams/.

2017 is done – what do we do differently in 2018?

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With 2017 behind us and a new year just begun, we consider which business practices we want to continue and perhaps which need to be done differently.   As ghoulish as it may seem, part of my planning includes learning more about how many disasters happened during the past year, problem trends, and how well businesses are prepared for recovery.

In a report from FEMA, I found the number of major disasters declared over the past five years:

Year # % change from previous year
2017 135 +32%
2016 102 +29%
2015 79 -5%
2014 84 -12%
2013 95

These numbers account for such things as weather disasters, floods, terrorist attacks, and those caused by human actions.  Digging a little deeper, I wondered how many cyber/data breaches happened during 2017, or at least those deemed big enough to be reported.  Here’s the list I found:

E-Sports Entertainment Association, Xbox 360 ISO and PSP ISO, InterContinental Hotels Group, Arby’s, River City Media, Verifone, Dun & Bradstreet, Saks Fifth Avenue, UNC Health Care, America’s JobLink, FAFSA: IRS Data Retrieval Tool, Chipotle, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Gmail, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Brooks Brother, DocuSign, OneLogin, Kmart, University of Oklahoma, Washington State University,  Deep Root Analytics, Blue Cross Blue Shield/Anthem, California Association of Realtors, Verizon, Online Spambot, TalentPen and TigerSwan, Equifax, US Securities and Exchange Commission, SVR Tracking, Deloitte, Sonic, Whole Foods Market, Disqus, Hyatt Hotels, Forever 21, Maine Foster Care, Uber, Imgur, TIO Networks, eBay, Alteryx

That’s more than 40 companies – not a good trend.   It also leads to the questions, “Is my business vulnerable?” and  “What can I do about this?”

Here are some quick tips that I gleaned from a recent article from EverBridge:

Question your approach
Justification for the effort to define a recovery strategy on what is arguably a rare occurrence is a difficult task.  Rather, look at the need from a value-based perspective for being able to recover, such as:

1.      Regulatory compliance
2.      Competitive advantage
3.      Brand and reputation recognition
4.      Knowledge capture
5.      Increased robustness

Benchmark
Find out what others in your industry are doing and from there address the question, “What is right for us?”  Not all companies need sub-second recovery… Some companies really can convert their entire work force to remote workers…   Your solution needs to be tailored to your needs.

Work Out
Simply, plans are worthless if you don’t exercise them on a regular basis.  Leading standards on continuity planning refer to having regular exercises that increase in scope and complexity over time.  Of course, “How often?”  is a key question.  Two exercises a year is thought to be a good benchmark for exercises, with one being a tabletop exercise and the other a more in-depth simulation.

Some food for thought:  As you continue through your planning process, include your business recoverability and resilience as part of the discussion.  Being prepared for “what if” scenarios is critical for long-term success.

Huber Advisors is here to help with that planning.  We can advise on how to start the process yourself, as well as engaging with your organization to facilitate the creation of strategy and recovery plans.  Call us at 651-429-9991 or e-mail at information@huberadvisors.com  and we can help you Be Ready for Anything!

Do You Have A Superbowl Contender Team?

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What does it take to create a team that can take your business to the finish line and win the game?

The first step in creating a winning team is to determine the game and know what the team is playing for. Is your team playing football, baseball, or soccer? Let’s say they are playing football, what kind of football are they playing; touch, flag, or tackle football? What is the objective they are working towards? The NFC or AFC division championship, or the ultimate win, the Super Bowl?

Before you build your champion team you as the owner, coach, and cheerleader must answer the following questions:

  • What game will the team be playing?
  • Why is the team playing the game?
  • When is the best time to recruit the team?
  • Who do you want playing the game?
  • Where will you draft your best players from?
  • How will your team execute the key plays and how will you keep them happy, motivated, and persistent?

Make sure your organization is ready to get into the game and stay in the game.

Ultimately, it is the team that creates the win for which your organization plays. So where do you start?

  • Create a game plan you know works: have strong, consistent processes
  • Make sure you understand the gaps on the team
    • Who are your current players and are they a good fit for the team?
    • Who do you need on your team?
  • Have a plan for recruiting your team and use good hiring practices while you scout your talent
  • Assess your possible recruits to ensure they can fulfill the position
  • Determine if you need short-term or long-term players

Execute your game plan with top talent and you’ll see the results and reap the rewards!

You can’t expect the kind of results you want if you are not clear about your wins and losses. You must always be aware of what is working, what is not working, and what your options are.

  • Understand your organization’s strengths and gaps: financial, customer, processes, and people
  • Determine how well you really understand your current players and coaches
  • Consider the need for independent players to fill in some gaps: consultants, partners, expert advisors, investors etc.
  • Gain yardage by increasing your resources – time, capacity, and money
  • Pass your risk (Worker’s Compensation) and focus on what you do best – WIN!

Most importantly, make sure you understand the rules of the game. Rules and referees are an essential part of ensuring a game’s fairness. It’s critical to a team’s success to have a clear understanding of the rules and how a referee would apply and interpret those rules. As the coach of your business and team, here are two areas where you must have a very clear understanding of the rules:

  • Exempt vs. Nonexempt Classifications
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor Classifications

Following the rules can prevent costly penalties and litigation as your team pushes towards attaining that Super Bowl ring!

Don’t wait to create your Super Bowl contending team. Join the SBAB team experts on February 21st. They understand the game you are playing, they know some trick plays that lead to touchdowns, and they can’t wait to cheer you on towards your biggest win yet!

SBAB Contributors: Jessica Hamilton, HR Consultant; Jodi Milbradt, Employer Solutions; Deb Sauder, Leadership Strategist; Zaylore Stout, Employment Lawyer.

Rolling Out GDPR – Are you ready for May 25th?

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First question… What is GDPR?

It stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it’s a new standard for the way in which companies manage and maintain their customers’ data within the European Union.  It goes into effect on May 25th.  Second question, as a U.S. based company, do you really care?

You probably should.   As a starting point, I’d suggest reading the following article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/12/04/yes-the-gdpr-will-affect-your-u-s-based-business/#4b1592dd6ff2

A quick summary of the article is that any U.S. based company that has a web presence and sells products as the result of web contacts needs to review their data practices and how the GDPR might impact them.

In a recent webinar hosted by BrightTalk, entitled “Getting Ahead of the Compliance Curve”, the presenters stressed that full implementation requires a combination of technical and organizational measures to protect your data.   Part of that could be encryption, but operational processes are also required to ensure complete compliance.  As part of that, two key implementation points are the “right to be forgotten” feature, and the requirement that all data breaches must be reported within 72 hours.

Once in place, the GDPR is positioned to impose significant fines for non-compliance.  One report indicates that fines can be up to 4% of your annual global revenue.  Another example is that if a company is breached and credit card information is accessed, the fine could be in the neighborhood of $3/card breach.  Simple arithmetic shows how quickly the fine can go up based on the size of your breach.

Confused? Concerned?  It all starts with understanding current practices within your environment, assessing them against the requirements of GDPR, and determining what needs to happen next.    When in doubt, ask for help – call Huber Advisors at 651-429-9991 to see about getting an assessment of the impact and how to address any shortcomings within your business.

Find more customers? I’d rather be fishin’: A Minnesota Approach to Marketing in 2018

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Just like that, 2018 is here and in full-swing. If you’re like most businesses, you’re looking to grow. And if you’re like most of those businesses, growing means gaining more customers. There are many marketing analogies out there. We’re in Minnesota so we’re going to use fishing to help explain how to “catch new customers.”

Fishing for Customers in 4 Steps:

  1. What category of fish? Saltwater or freshwater. Big fish or pan fish. Identify your ideal customer personas.
  2. What type of fish and what lure? Sunny, northern, swordfish, or trout. Craft a marketing message that attracts and connects with your target personas.
  3. Where to fish? What pond? What area of the lake or ocean? Market where your personas live.
  4. Go fish. What’s your technique? How are you working the lure. You have the tackle box and the spot picked out – put it to action and adjust as needed.

Ok, those are four, easy-to-understand steps. But, as you probably know, there’s a lot of info to cover in each of those steps. Fishing is an art. It takes experience, knowledge, and the right gear.

At the January 17 Small Business Advisory Board Lunch and Learn event, we’ll help you to answer the question, “Where Can I Find More Customers?” Join us to hear our panel of marketing and sales “fishing guides” present great information on how to get started and answer any questions in our Q&A session. Register here.

Please Join Us!

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You wont want to miss this! Coming in February, The Healthy Workplace: 10 Ways to Build a Great Work Environment That Produces Meaningful Results

Meet with our experts Jessica Hamilton (HR Consultant), Deb Sauder (Leadership Strategist), and Zaylore Stout (Employment Attorney) while they dive into the topic of corporate culture. This will be an interactive workshop!

Wednesday, February 7th, 9:30-11:30 am

Officenters-International Plaza

7900 International Drive, Suite 300

Bloomington, MN 55425

Questions? Send us an email at info@smallbizab.com ! Register at: https://smallbizab.com/events/the-healthy-workplace-workshop/