In my new book Fix Your Business, one of the coolest things about pulling this book together was interviewing top business experts at the end of each of the chapters. The book is based on my 12Ps of Running a Successful Business: Preparation, Purpose, People, Profit, Processes, Productivity, Performance, Product, Presence, Prospects, Planning and Perserverance. All of the experts featured in book are people who I have called on for advice in my business including Barry Moltz, Oginga Carr, Mike Michalowicz, Laura Posey, Laura Stack, Misty Young, Stephanie Chandler Jay Baer, Barbara Weaver Smith, Tim Berry and Twyla Garrett. I have grabbed one question and answer from each of them just to give you a sneak preview of their valuable insight.
These are success secrets from America’s Top Business Experts, Part I
SmallBizLady: What are you three top strategies for managing stress in the business?
Barry Moltz: The only way small business owners should manage stress is to decide each day what their top priorities are and do those first. They need to turn off all the other distractions that get in the way of being productive, not just busy. Quarterly, they should look into the future to plan where they are going, but daily, they need to work on what is in front of them and not think about all the possible things they could do in their business. It becomes too overwhelming.
SmallBizLady: How can business owners set up new employees for success?
Oginga Carr: How do I spell success? T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G. We do not invest enough in our most valuable assets: our employees. We must immerse our new employees in the training, coaching, and mentorship within our organization; it fast tracks their success in the organization. With the proper hiring process, we should know that they have the skill set to do the job. Now when they start within the organization we should be able to give them 5 goals for success at their position. We should be able to quantify what success looks like and then give them a road map to get there. The biggest issue in employee retention is communication. The next issue is engagement. By keeping your employees engaged in their work and in the environment, we set them up for success.
SmallBizlady: You are a big advocate of small businesses having a profit account. What is it that?
Mike Michalowicz: The profit account is the foundational component of Profit First. It is a dedicated savings or checking account where you allocate a percentage of your income to profit before you do anything else. Yes, you take a pre-determined percentage be it 5 percent or 10 or 20 percent, or whatever. Every time a deposit comes in you transfer that percentage of money into the profit account and then work with the rest. But you must be focused to do this. To start building a profit account, you need to remove your profit income before you even have access to it and “hide” it from yourself. That’s why I call the system Profit first and that’s the money that the profit account stores. I would suggest using the Profit First system, and then use your Income Statement to discover what is making you money (and do more of that) and what is costing you money (like unnecessary expenses and remove them.)
SmallBizLady: How should you document your signature systems for training for employees?
Laura Posey: It depends on what kind of system it is. For anything that is online, I like to use a video to record the process. For step-by-step systems, I like to use a checklist format, followed by a short description of each step. I’m big on creating templates and checklists that can be used over and over so steps don’t get skipped. Everything can be stored in Google Docs or Dropbox for each access.
SmallBizLady: Email is a big nightmare for many business owners. How do you suggest we get email under control?
Laura Stack: Use my 6D System©: Discard, Delegate, Do, Date, Drawer or Deter. I suggest setting hours for yourself for when you will check email. When you’re done with the work day, be done checking email. Maybe turn off email notifications on your phone. When you check email, spend say, an hour, then go on to other activities. This will help you focus 100% on the task you’re doing, rather than switching back and forth between tasks.
I hope that hearing from these experts has gotten your appetite wet for more business advice next week. If you are ready to turn things around in your business, grab my book Fix Your Business. Inside, you’ll learn my 90-day turnaround plan to help you live your dream life as an entrepreneur. I am excited about your business future.