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4-Step Approach to Deal with Difficult Employees


Every business owner encounters difficult employees – commonly referred to as jerks – in the course of running his business. These difficult employees are easy to spot in an organization. They complain about any task you give them, spread around rumors, slack on their jobs and bully their peers and subordinates. In general, they drain lot of energy from everyone, particularly the managers and business owners.
How you deal with them can help you minimize the impact on you and your business. As a business owner, avoiding them is not an option for you, as much as you would like. This will only delay the problem for later and make it even more challenging to address. Rather than avoiding them it is better to nip the problem in the bud and address the situation head on. From our own experience and after talking to fellow business owners we have come up with a 4-step approach that can help you deal with this problem in an appropriate manner.
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When is a Good Time to Increase Your Payroll?


This blog post was created by Bert Deorhoff, CPA, who specializes in small business bookkeeping in Jefferson City.
If you are running a small business, then you are making a lot of big decisions daily. As your business grows, you will need to start thinking about increasing your payroll and hiring new employees.
The first thing you need to do is start planning. You will have to do quite a bit of number crunching in terms of how another employee will affect monthly, quarterly and yearly expenses.
Ask yourself, “Do I have enough work to justify hiring another person? Am I meeting the needs of my customers?”
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How to Ensure You are Working ON your Business, not FOR it


In the previous post we explained that there is a subtle, but important difference between working ON your business and FOR it. The difference stems partly from how the business owner is thinking about the future of his business. Is he preparing the business for long-term success or worrying about day-to-day cash flow? Great companies are created when the founders focus on long-term viability of business and lay strong foundation, even if it means sacrificing short-term gains. Just look at the examples of great companies of today – Microsoft, Dell, Facebook, Apple and so on! All of their founders worked didn’t focus on short-term gains in the early stage of their companies.
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Are you Working FOR or ON your Business?


On the surface this sounds like a trivial question to ask. After all, when you own your business you are expected to take care of everything. Whether you do it by working FOR or ON your business should not be relevant. However, when you read the question carefully you realize that there is a subtle difference between the two. How you approach it can have long-term implications for you and your business.
So what is the difference between working FOR and working ON your business?
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How to Measure the Success of Onboarding Process

Organizations invest a lot in their workforce, and it’s no surprise that they expect to see a return on their investments (ROI). But as business leaders look for the best ways to maximize the ROI of their workforce, the onboarding process is often overlooked. For many, the onboarding experience is reduced to a mere checklist of tasks to be completed and forms to be submitted. The fact that such organizations fail to understand, though, is that an employees that experience a smoother onboarding process will be more connected to the organization, better trained and, thus, quicker to produce.

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10 Things (Bad) Franchisor will not Tell you (Franchisee)


When buying a franchise business you should make sure the franchise you are looking to get into is good and will make you successful as well. After all, selecting the wrong franchise can hurt you and may even wipe out your hard earned savings. Below we have listed traps many novice business buyers fall into when choosing a franchise.
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How to Team up with Cool Businesses and Improve Sales by 10%


In the previous post we mentioned that small businesses can improve brand and increase sales by 10%-20% by teaming up with “cool” businesses. Subway’s partnership with American Heart Association to position them as a healthy food purveyor by teaming with an organization that promotes heart health is a great example. Recently, Ford announced partnership with a Zipcar to improve their brand perception in the minds of college students based on the same principle.
Small businesses such as yours can also realize benefits from such partnership. It can improve the brand image of your company by “rubbing some the coolness” from your partner to your business. In the process, it can bring new customers and increase sales from those new as well as existing customers. The association can also teach you a great deal about how to work with and attract different customer base.
The key to successful partnership is to understand your overall objectives as well as the target customer base you want to attract and find businesses that are deemed as “cool” by those customers. This needs careful planning on your part. We have come across number of ways in which businesses have gone about implementing this. Below we explain some of the tactics based on our experience and observations.
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Improve Sales by 10% by Teaming up with Cool Businesses


Small business owners can improve their brands, while increasing sales by 10-20% by teaming up with the “cool” businesses! On August 31 Ford announced partnership with Zipcar by which Ford will sell cars to Zipcar at a discounted rate for them to use for their rental fleet. For those not in the know, Zipcar is a next generation car rental company with a very different business model. They typically rent their cars on a per-hour flat fee that includes fuel and insurance to mostly young customers, college students and such, who do not own a car. By associating with Zipcar, Ford will improve their brand image and get more sales from the younger generation. This is a brilliant move on Ford’s part to attract buyers at an early age who typically tend to stick with them for years to come. You can find similar tie-ups at many places in the business world.
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Wildly Successful Companies that Decided NOT to do Everything


We have highlighted virtues of focus in the last couple of posts. The decision NOT to pursue something is the most important decision small business owners will make to be successful. You can use the framework described in the previous post to get better understanding of how to apply this principle in everyday decisions.
In this post we want to show examples of companies that have used this principle and have become wildly successful. They are the companies whose products we use every day. After studying their business model and decision making we have come to appreciate the way they go about doing their business. Here they are:
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Framework for Deciding What NOT to do


In the previous post we highlighted that the most difficult decisions you will ever make are the ones where you decide NOT to move forward. By focusing your resources and energy on narrowly you can achieve number of benefits and get higher return on your investment of time, money or effort. We mentioned how Apple has succeeded to become the most valuable company in the U.S. by applying this principle, while GM had floundered by spreading resources over multiple brands with lot of overlaps.
You should use this approach in decision making every step of the way. If you take a step back and think about the decision in terms of cost vs. benefit of the current choice and evaluate it against alternatives you can improve the odds of making the right choice. You can use this principle in number of different areas as shown below.
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