What’s keeping you awake at night?
Sleeplessness, caused by the inability to turn off the mind, is one of the most common side effects of business ownership. In my many years of helping entrepreneurs perform at a higher level, I’ve observed that a number of shared issues repeatedly make their way into the conversation as reasons for tossing and turning once the lights go out. Here are five questions I hear over and over again:
What is my business really worth?
Are you building wealth or just treading water? Do you have a realistic notion of the value of your business? Are you setting yourself up for disappointment when it’s time to exit? What can you do now to improve your chances of leaving with enough money to live the life you want?
Is my organization and family protected if I — or my business partner — get divorced, become disabled or die?
What is the likelihood of any of those events happening? What protections can you put into place? How much will it cost? Do you have a contingency plan? A succession strategy? Are you training the next generation of leadership?
Can I honestly measure my success in achieving my goals and aspirations?
Has the business lived up to your expectations? Is it producing the desired results? Do you own the business or does it own you? Are you focusing your time and effort where it matters most, or do you spend your days putting out fires?
How well is my strategic business plan being carried out?
Do you even have a written plan? When was the last time you updated it? Are you innovating and adapting to market changes? How do you develop new customers or clients? Are you retaining your current accounts, or is there a revolving door? Are your employees performing at optimal levels?
Why are we always short of cash?
I s making payroll a challenge? Are your customers paying on time? Do you have ready access to additional funds? Are you able to upgrade needed equipment?
My guess is that you have found one or more of these questions uncomfortably familiar. Please keep in mind that being familiar with these questions makes them no less daunting. I will address each one at greater length, including suggested plans of action, in upcoming issues.
Fundamentals:Legal Part 2
Adding value with employee handbooks
Like many business owners, you may view employee handbooks as a necessary evil, something to be stuck in a file cabinet to satisfy the attorneys and HR professionals, rather than a dynamic, working document. However, handbooks can be used as a tool to make your organization more successful.
A clearly written, easy-to-understand handbook can result in the following benefits:
- Fewer employee complaints, because people are treated consistently across the company.
- Higher morale, because supportive language reduces doubt and uncertainty, while promoting mutual respect.
- Clear boundaries that reduce micromanagement and enhance productivity.
- Employee behaviors that align with company goals.
The best handbooks focus on desired outcomes and give examples of how to achieve them. In addition, they need to provide standards and expectations, and explain who will judge or hold people accountable for the outcomes. This means management must support the policies and decisions across the organization. They must hold employees responsible for their conduct. If the handbook is consistently applied and enforced, it also can help to defend an employer from potential liability.
When developing your employee handbook, you may decide to hire a human resources specialist or an HR attorney to ensure it complies with federal and state laws, yet prior to that point, you need to internally determine your standards and expectations. Eagle Corporate Advisors can help steer you in the right direction.
Welcome to our new feature in the Navigator, “On the Case,” in which we provide case studies from our own experiences. Our goal is to offer a clear narrative that progresses from problem to strategy to solution, illustrating the manner in which a business relationship with us can prove beneficial for our clients.
Not long ago, one of our clients hired a friend who needed a job. The company didn’t necessarily appear to have a need for another employee, but they created a position to be nice. In doing so, they made no determination as to the specific role, value of the position, benefit to the company, etc. Nor did they interview multiple candidates as part of their usual vetting process, which would normally include several touch points, skills tests, and a trial period.
In the world of business, this is not as unusual as you would think. But it can lead to problems, many of which may seem unforeseen. Hiring comes with a degree of risk under the best of circumstances. Don’t let a light-hearted decision, disguised as a favor, derail you from your normal process, assuming you have created and use a sound formal hiring process.
“All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are now getting. If we want different results, we must change the way we do things.”
– Tom Northup
Chuck Mohler Commentary: Even with my perfectionist tendencies and believing I am an awesome father, I can admit that I am not fully satisfied with my accomplishments or dedication to my family. This is very similar with business, with many not getting the results the owners desire. The only way we can improve from our present condition is to change our activities. Change is hard, but it can be worth the effort, if we really want different results.
If you’d like your favorite saying featured in a future newsletter, please email it, along with a brief commentary, to ChuckM@EagleCorporateAdvisors.com
As the old saying goes, “It’s lonely at the top.” This is especially true for business owners, who often find it difficult to share their fears, frustrations and difficulties with friends, family members or even other entrepreneurs.
Trusted business advisor Chuck Mohler likens the situation to sitting across the desk from an empty chair, symbolizing the challenge of finding just the right person to not only understand the issues but assist in developing viable solutions.
Armed with more than 25 years’ experience helping organizations large and small, along with multiple professional certifications at his disposal, Chuck is the best choice to take that seat and provide the meaningful guidance you need.
Contact him today at (702) 451-3250 or ChuckM@EagleCorporateAdvisors.com.