Archive for Blog’ Category

18

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Handling the Holidays

Handling the Holidays

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc.

As a business leader, this is a decision that you will have to make for your company.  Your team is going to be looking to you to see what type of character you have: Will you make a decision?  Will you stand behind the decision?  How will you address people’s concerns or objections to your decision?  Your strength or weakness at this time will leave an impression on your team.

As you make your decision, I offer these thoughts:

  1. Remember what is most important.  You may find that taking an opportunity to celebrate your team or your community might be more important goal than emphasizing a holiday. 
  2. Consider your company’s values.  If your company’s values are to embrace individuality and spirituality in the workplace, make sure that your holiday message reflects these values.
  3. Keep in mind that it is important to make a decision, and stick with it. As I mention, this is one of those character building/character assassination opportunities.  Your short term decision could have a long-term impact.
  4. Don’t be insensitive to your team.  If you choose to have a Christmas Party, and present it as such, find a way to celebrate those who do not wish to participate.  Ensure that they know that they are valued members of the team.
  5. Don’t over-do it.  Over emphasizing your beliefs or practices could prove to be disruptive and offensive.  If your company chooses to celebrate Christmas, a tree might be nice.  Forcing everyone to walk around in Elf and Santa costumes might be over-doing it.  Your tea
  6. m will help you determine what is appropriate.  Consider your customers.
  7. Involve the team in the decision-making process.  If you decide to have a celebration of some sort, you’ll want to make sure that they at least have an opportunity to be involved in the decision.  Word of caution: you may wish to narrow down options to several before presenting them to the team.  Otherwise, you may find that they are going in many different directions.
  8. Don’t be afraid to give: give to your team, give to your community, give to your other stakeholders.  Find ways to give memorably.  At this time of year, people have expectations, whether they say it or not.
  9. Don’t be ashamed to receive.  Some of your stakeholders will be giving to you, as well.  Show your appreciation, not just for the gift or the card, but also, for the thought.
  10. Don’t be ashamed to wish people a Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, Happy New Years, Happy Holidays, or whatever strikes your fancy.  This is your way of showing someone that you care about them.  It is like saying, “thank you for being alive and part of my life.”  There will be those that don’t or cannot appreciate it…you cannot help that, and you cannot change them.  Simply smile and disengage.

So, all said, I wish you a Merry Christmas season, and offer you the kindest thoughts and blessings throughout the new year.  I hope that you will continue to learn and grow to create an extraordinary future for your business.  May God bless you in all that you do.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Holidays,Business Decisions,Employees,Christmas,Extraordinary Leadership,Management and Leadership,Transparency,Values,vision
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18

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Don't Wait – Plan for Success

Don't Wait – Plan for Success

Have you ever walked into a department store, gotten your items and headed toward the line, where there were 15 or so people waiting to check out?  How do you feel when you notice that there are 10 lanes that are unoccupied, and no one there to operate them?  If you are like me, you are probably thinking to yourself that someone needs to open up another line or two and get these people out the door.Still waiting?

According to several managers I spoke with, the problem arises when there are staff shortages, when large orders come in or when they simply didn’t schedule enough people for a particular shift.  Other managers I have spoken with tell me that their goal is to provide an outstanding customer experience, therefore, there is always adequate staff on hand.  The tradeoff, there, is that they have to charge a little bit more for their services.

Which company do you think plans for success?

Well, company ‘A’ is completely dependent on selling a large volume.  Their margins are very slim, their turnover is high because they don’t pay very well, and more often then not, they are running on a “skeleton crew” or the bare minimum to keep the doors open.   Customers aren’t very satisfied with the products, quality or the shopping experience.

Company ‘B’ is also dependent on selling a large volume of goods.  Their margins are also slim, but their turnover is low because they pay their employees a fair wage.  They can get a bit more from their customers because their customers appreciate the clean environment, quality products and the great customer service.  Store lines don’t get to be longer than five minutes or so, and the store has plenty of self check-out lines.

Looking at the whole scenario, it is obvious that both companies have a place in the marketplace, and they appeal to different markets.  During tough times, people may even be more likely to go to store ‘A.’  However, I would bet dollars to donuts, that their loyalty would probably be with store ‘B.’  Additionally, I would bet that when people at store ‘A’ want something nice, they will go to store ‘B.’

Still stuck?

Which store do you think would be better apt to handle a recession?  Which one do you think would be better able to handle an economic boom?  Which one do you think makes a better impact on the community?  Which one has a better shot at longevity?

I would bet that store ‘B’ has spent more time planning, learning and growing in order to get to the position their at.  The simple act of charging higher prices, and getting them, demonstrates the fact that they have a product that they know is superior to the rest of the market – they are an extraordinary business.  They plan – not to be adequate or mediocre.  They plan to be extraordinary.  While during economic recession, many stores in their industries closed – including many of the store ‘A’ type stores, the store ‘B’ – type stores continued to thrive.  As we head toward a period of economic growth, ‘B’ – type stores will continue to adapt and provide for the needs of their growing market.  At the same time, ‘A’ type stores may find that they are facing a dwindling market.

The time to plan is now. Don’t wait until the market starts to change. If that means you should start looking for new employees, begin to do so. If it means that you should be positioned to upgrade your equipment or process, proceed with it. If it means that you need to prepare for a huge marketing or branding campaign, make it your priority.

Planning is essential to becoming an extraordinary business. Remember: being ordinary is easy. Being extraordinary takes work. Be extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Business Growth Strategies,Business planning,Management and leadership,Business Strategy,Process Improvement,Recession Buster,Small Business Consulting,Strategic Planning,Extraordinary Leadership
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18

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Handling the Holidays

Handling the Holidays

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc.

As a business leader, this is a decision that you will have to make for your company.  Your team is going to be looking to you to see what type of character you have: Will you make a decision?  Will you stand behind the decision?  How will you address people’s concerns or objections to your decision?  Your strength or weakness at this time will leave an impression on your team.

As you make your decision, I offer these thoughts:Holiday Peace

  1. Remember what is most important.  You may find that taking an opportunity to celebrate your team or your community might be more important goal than emphasizing a holiday. 
  2. Consider your company’s values.  If your company’s values are to embrace individuality and spirituality in the workplace, make sure that your holiday message reflects these values.
  3. Keep in mind that it is important to make a decision, and stick with it. As I mention, this is one of those character building/character assassination opportunities.  Your short term decision could have a long-term impact.
  4. Don’t be insensitive to your team.  If you choose to have a Christmas Party, and present it as such, find a way to celebrate those who do not wish to participate.  Ensure that they know that they are valued members of the team.
  5. Don’t over-do it.  Over emphasizing your beliefs or practices could prove to be disruptive and offensive.  If your company chooses to celebrate Christmas, a tree might be nice.  Forcing everyone to walk around in Elf and Santa costumes might be over-doing it.  Your tea
  6. m will help you determine what is appropriate.  Consider your customers.
  7. Involve the team in the decision-making process.  If you decide to have a celebration of some sort, you’ll want to make sure that they at least have an opportunity to be involved in the decision.  Word of caution: you may wish to narrow down options to several before presenting them to the team.  Otherwise, you may find that they are going in many different directions.
  8. Don’t be afraid to give: give to your team, give to your community, give to your other stakeholders.  Find ways to give memorably.  At this time of year, people have expectations, whether they say it or not.
  9. Don’t be ashamed to receive.  Some of your stakeholders will be giving to you, as well.  Show your appreciation, not just for the gift or the card, but also, for the thought.
  10. Don’t be ashamed to wish people a Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, Happy New Years, Happy Holidays, or whatever strikes your fancy.  This is your way of showing someone that you care about them.  It is like saying, “thank you for being alive and part of my life.”  There will be those that don’t or cannot appreciate it.you cannot help that, and you cannot change them.  Simply smile and disengage.

So, all said, I wish you a Merry Christmas season, and offer you the kindest thoughts and blessings throughout the new year.  I hope that you will continue to learn and grow to create an extraordinary future for your business.  May God bless you in all that you do.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Holidays,Business Decisions,Employees,Christmas,Extraordinary Leadership,Management and Leadership,Transparency,Values,vision
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16

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Only the Beginning

Only the Beginning

Do you ever think about what makes extraordinary companies extraordinary?  Not just from a financial standpoint, but from an all around standpoint.  Not looking at the size of the company, but rather the impact it makes.  Not looking at salaries and benefits, but rather employee commitment.  Not looking at growth potential but rather, a shared vision.Beginning a New Path

While I would not imply that there is a specific formula for making it work – like raising a child, each business has its own personality – it’s industry, market, leadership, management, etc., one fact that seems to have contributed, significantly, is the idea that everyone in the organization contributes.  We recall the Saturn commercials, where employees were asked to do anything it took to make things run better.  That might include stopping production for a small idea.  this was a company that was known for being owned by and run by the employees.

Seems like they have something there.  But how does this work in your organization?  By design, of course.  Through communications with your teams, you can begin to open dialogue.  Another factor is servant leadership, wherein you, as the business leader, do everything you can to make sure that the employees have everything they need to be successful.  That might look like providing them with the right resources such as up to date computers and software, finding ways to leverage their unique gifts and abilities and valuing and weighing their ideas and opinions and including them in any major change in the organization.

Sometimes that will also look like showing them how to seek opportunities in other companies and helping them prepare for them.

The reason that this is only the beginning is because moving your company to this mentality is foundational to growing an extraordinary company.  However, it is not just a flip of a switch; it is a change or enhancement in the operational culture.  It requires letting the reigns loose.  It requires courage and risk – letting go of what you are to embrace what you could become.  It is like the beginning off a whole new day.  It is like making the first footprints on a new beach, or after a new snow.

Have the courage to step out into a new beginning.  Become extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Attitude,Business Decisions,Business Growth Strategies,Business Path,Extraordinary,Employees,Vision,Management and leadership,Leadership Effectiveness,Leadership Development
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