We’ve all heard the common statistic that is often cited about the huge number of small businesses that fail in their first year. For many, this serves to put them off embarking in the amazing, inspiring and often crazy path to becoming an entrepreneur. But it really shouldn’t be that way.

With the amazing technology available at our fingertips, the laptop lifestyle is fast becoming the norm for many, and it lends itself well to coaches who are looking to spread their word to others around the world. But it’s also very easy to fall into some common traps which will prevent your entrepreneurial dreams from becoming a reality. So I’m shining a light on the 3 most common reasons why start-ups fail, and the simple strategies you can put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to you too.

  1. Lack of focus

This is really common with new entrepreneurs, and one I’ve been partial too as well. When you’re just starting out, it’s such a new and exciting time, and it’s very easy to get swept along by the tide of ideas, and not actually get anything DONE.

The solution

Concentrate on one project at a time, and make sure you finish it before you move onto the next big thing. Keep a notepad with you so that you can jot down new ideas as they come up, but try not to fall into the trap of having to instigate everything straight away. Give your ideas the time they need to develop before you make a start – you’ll find that over time some will start to lose their shiny lustre, whilst others will shine even brighter – these are the ones you should follow, they are the ideas which have real value, and most importantly the ones you’ll be able to see through to the end.

  1. Not asking for help when you need it

Think you can do it all on your own, right? Wrong, my friend. Whilst I fully understand that as bootstrapping start-ups we take on many roles in our businesses, from CEO to accountant to graphic designer, the average entrepreneur has tried their hand at them all. But there comes a point in your business when it’s really important to ask for help, whether that be from a VA, an accountant or a marketing coach, in order to see your business grow.

The solution

Start small by outsourcing a one-off task, so that you get used to employing people to work in your business. Then you can make sure you have all the systems and processes in place to ensure a smooth transition when you bring in regular help.

  1. Not devoting enough time to marketing

This is a real biggie for small business owners. The dreaded ‘m’ word! You’ve got a fantastic idea and you’ve put together some awesome packages that you KNOW will be transformational for your clients, and yet you don’t put the time and effort into getting them out there and in front of your ideal client.

Growing your presence takes time. I know social media, blogs, newsletters and the like can seem like a massive time suck when you’ve got the important work of your ACTUAL business to get on with.

And as for PR? So many entrepreneurs I work with think they’re not ready to get featured in the press, and they wouldn’t know where to start even if they wanted to. This couldn’t be further from the truth – when you’re in the start-up phase, you don’t need to invest thousands on a PR agency to get featured, so long as you follow the right process. And you don’t need to be one of the big guns to get featured – your unique story is far more important than the size of your business, and it’s one that readers will find fascinating.

The solution

Spend some time each week & month planning out your marketing so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. Start with a year planner and plot out all the important dates as they come up during the year, then work backwards. Each month, jot down the key dates for the month, then on a weekly basis you can think about the inspired action you will take that week. Focus on one key topic and activity each week, so that you save yourself time and keep ahead of the game. And if you want to get featured in magazines and blog sites, take the bull by the horns and draft a pitch email to their editor, you may just be surprised by the outcome!

Bio

RM1Rebecca Miller works with inspiring entrepreneurs to help them grow their business through soulful marketing and creative PR. She founded her business, Write & Reach, in 2013, and has created The Publicity Programme ™ where she shows entrepreneurs step-by-step how to make their business famous and get featured in top magazines and blogs. Becs is passionate about creativity and believes entrepreneurs can build it into everything they do, whatever their business.

Website: http://writeandreach.com/

The Publicity Program: http://www.thepublicityprogram.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriteAndReach/

 

 

One of the many way coaches can increase their income is via membership sites. This can be very profitable and can used as your signature program or just as an add-on.

Here are a few items to consider before you create your next membership site.

  • Platform: There are many plug-ins that allow you to create a membership site. One of the most common one is Wishlist. This has been trusted for years by many coaches and is one of the first ones that was created. Another great plug in is WP e-Member. If you are already an Infusionsoft user, you may want to consider using their add-on iMember360.
  • Levels: Make sure you pre-plan how many membership levels you want as well as what each level will have access to. This will making the set up a lot quicker.
  • Free vs Paid: A good way to entice people to your membership site is to either offer a limited time discount. Another idea is to offer a few pages to “free” members. This will allow them to savor what you have to offer and want to upgrade.
  • Content type: It will be important to know what content you will be sharing. Are you allowing them to view the content or download the content? Are you adding videos or PDFs? If so, make sure that they are the right size and formats. Also consider if you want to “host” the items on your website server or if you are going to use outside hosting options (You Tube, AWS, Vimeo)
  • Payment: Next you need to decide on how you are going to accept payment for your membership if you are charging. Also you will need to decide if this will be an on-going monthly price or a X-time payment.
  • Timing: Another item you will need to consider is if you want all of the access available at one time or if you want to “drip” the content. Another variation is that it is you want to move the members from one page to another. This is common for “classroom” formats. Many will have the next class “open” once the member has completed all of the steps from the previous class.
  • Branding: Most coaches will have new colors, new logos and banners for their membership site. If you are thinking about this, make sure you ask your website designer what dimensions you need to give to your graphic designer
  • Domain: Here you have the option to make a sub-domain to your main domain. This is a free option and would look like (members.yourdomainname.com). You may also want to consider purchasing a separate domain for your membership site. If you plan on buying a domain, make sure you send all the log in info to your web designer.
  • Security: This will be important now days with all of the hackers. Make sure that you have one of the many free security plug in installed or consider purchasing our favorite- iThemes Security.
  • Expiration: Lastly, you will need to consider is whether or not the content or access to the site will have an expiration date. Many programs are 3, 6 or 12 month programs allowing people to log in only during these times. Others will create a lifetime site. If do a lifetime site, you need to also decide if you are going to continually add new stuff or will it be a one-time set up and members can access the material forever.

With the proper plan and guide, you can have a membership site up and running in a few hours. The key is to have all you need in advance before you send off to your web designer. Also we would suggest talking over all of the above with them beforehand and make sure that they are needing anything else before you begin to start your site.  If you are thinking about doing a membership site, we would love to assist you. Schedule your call today and let’s talk.

We work with many Coaches that are launching events, programs or webinars.  This post is designed to give tips to those wanting to carry out a winning event launch.

Plan Ahead: There is nothing more important that a clear plan. It is important that you have on a calendar all of the stage activities for your pre-launch, launch and post launch.  Make sure you give adequate time to have all of the tasks complete and most importantly have time to test everything BEFORE the launch. Make sure you have a circle of friends or sub-contractors that you test everything for you and make sure all of the browsers are working as well as the mobile devices.

Task Assignment: Now that you have a plan, it is time to assign out the tasks. Have a team meeting and go over the plan with everyone. Make sure everyone is on the same page and they clearly know who is doing what part of the launch. Also make sure you have a BACK UP person in place. This is often forgotten and can cause great stress during a launch. Avoid the headache and have each team member know who their back up will be.

Task Tracking: All the tasks are now assigned, but how are you going to know if the work is done? A project manager or even a simple shared excel spreadsheet is perfect for this. If you are using a project manager, have someone enter all of the tasks and assign them to the appropriate people. These people will mark the tasks complete as they finish them. Reminders as well as late notices will be emailed on a daily basis. This allow you to quickly view what is done and what is pending. Also notes can be made if a team member is waiting on material or another team member to finish. Team Meetings can also be helpful when the team is behind or not progressing the way you were hoping. If you are using an Excel sheet- make sure there is a place to add notes for the team members should the require something or are having an issue.  If may also be helpful to have 1 person assigned to check the progress and report to you what is happening on the work.

Testing: Make sure you have a circle of friends or sub-contractors that can test everything for you and make sure all of the browsers are working as well as the mobile devices.  Set up discount codes so that purchases can be made to test the cart. Make sure you bump delay email times to 1 day or 1 hour so that the series can run in its entirety before it goes live. Proofread everything 1 more time. All are the colors right? Themes right? Cart theme right? Tags Applied? Emails Sent? Website seen on Firefox? Chrome? Safari? Explorer? IPad? IPhone? Android? If there is an error- fix and restart the test on the failed item. We suggest giving yourself at least 1 week to test everything.

Promotion: Testing complete and working? Great! Now you are ready to being the hard part- promotion. Now is the time you want to look at the different ways you want to promote. Make sure you give at least 2 weeks’ notice for your social media promotion and 1 Week minimum for Facebook ads. You should try to send to your list at least 2 times. If you are setting up affiliates, make sure you have given them adequate time to promote your event as well.  Also remember to make sure you have all of the materials available for them to promote your event (solo email copy, Facebook posts, hashtags, Tweets, banners, price, and anything else they will need)

Analyzing and Tweaking- Make sure you spend time analyzing your Facebook Ad numbers, Google Analytics numbers and Sales numbers.  Make sure that you leave time to be able to make tweaks and reanalyze your results.  This will give you a much more successful event.

Follow up– Sending out reminders, replay links and sales information after the event is vital. Make sure that you plan on at least 3 touch follow up emails after any launch or event. Make sure you add some personal messages as well. It is important that people are buying YOU! Make sure they know why.

Final Review– now that everything is done- go over the numbers one more time. Hold a team meeting. Did you meet your goal? If yes, do you know why? If not, why not? What worked and what did not? Who on your team made a difference? What changes can be made to make the next event better? Spend time with the team and find out their thoughts and opinions.

Ask for the Testimonial- This is the most important thing. Make sure you have scheduled in the future to ask all buyers (or even attendees) for their testimonial. Try to ask for a photo or better yet, try to get them on video. Video is a great way of proving the testimonial is the real thing.

We hope these tips will help you in the future with your next event launch. If you are looking for more ideas, help, or just have a few questions, we are here to help. Have a great weekend!

It’s true: people work for money. Even people who love what they do and are willing to work for free won’t do it without a salary. The corporate world has always been perceived as a ladder with people climbing looking at the “carrot” or more money as incentive. However, there is a new generation of employees now filling up the workforce called the millenials. According to a growing body of studies, this generation is not just in cubicles for their paycheck. They are indeed looking for something more.
But with an equally growing evidence of more mature working generation’s working motivations, there is a higher demand for work and life balance, something that goes against the very nature of providing more money as it equates to more responsibilities.
What is an employer to do? Here are some ways to make a winning team that’s on the ball even without the pay increase:

1. Instead of a ladder, create a jungle.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s famous COO and author of Lean In said it best: think of one’s career and the rise to the top as a jungle, not a ladder. In it she explains that going sideways or learning laterally is the way to go, with different departments and different managers contributing to one’s capabilities.
One sure way to achieve this is by having a great mentorship program wherein managers are transformed into leaders, providing key insights to mentees when it comes to the industry. It’s true, not all employees will stay even after being mentored, but the act itself shows the employees how invested the company is in their growth.

2. Make them do personal projects—on company time.
Google is famous for their innovative nature, but innovation rarely happens during the throes of work, which is why employees there always have personal projects that they work on during company time.
For employees who have kids or who commute, money is not the problem—time is, so providing at least three hours from their 40-hour work week to work on personal projects is giving them ample time to rest and yet be productive at the same time, something that the company in the end will benefit from anyway.

3. Offer telecommuting as an option if possible.
Family first is a message every company espouses or at least they think they do. But like most mantras, this is easier said than done with a ton of deliverables on a person’s head. Telecommuting is a way to bridge the gap. This can be offered to employees who are parents to kids at least 10 years old and below for starters.
The great thing about telecommuting is that employees feel that their company values their families and at the same time trusts them to get the job done.

4. Have a cause.
Most employees spend most of their lives on the job, no doubt about it. And it is truly something that no salary can pay for. Having a solid CSR program then gives the employees the chance to work for something greater than themselves and makes all the hours worth it.
No matter what, a company’s vision to make a difference counts to attract and maintain employees who are determined to make it happen without the need for adding zeroes to their salaries.

 

When it comes to creating more business for a company, nothing beats the good old traditional business proposal. It contains the correct information as the basis of the decision to be made by the potetntial client. As a document, it provides a clear and concise opportunity for any company to present their products and services in a portable manner. It extends the opportunity to make a sale, even without a meeting.
Here are some tips to create one that not just gets kept, but more so, acted upon.

1. It comes in many forms.
Usually, the business proposals come in printed format all placed in one folder. But think of it this way: if every person in the world does it, imagine how many of those folders are found in one’s desk? Rise above the clutter by being creative. Choose other formats such as video. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it’s also more engaging and impressive.
Using other formats that are more digitally driven also gives the chance for the business development person to simply send a link to the decision makers in the company without hassle. This makes the proposal portable in different gadgets, increasing its chances of being seen in the first place.

2. Address the company’s goals.
Sue Clayton of Entrepreneur says writing a winning proposal should start with clearly understanding the client’s requirements. If the client has released a document called Request for Proposal or RFP, study it and the company’s goals, then dig deeper. Analyze what the company needs from an objective and unbiased outsider’s point of view.
What can you do to help the company achieve their goals? Do you have the experience, manpower, and other resources to meet the needs, or even better, exceed the expectations of the client if you get the project?

3. Copyedit the whole thing.
Proper grammar can make or break a business proposal. Coherence in text can make a big difference. Remember, it is this document that makes the meeting possible. The content must be therefore polished to perfection.
No matter how beautifully printed or creatively designed a document is, it’s still nothing without accurate and on point copy. Work with a corporate communication specialist who can help you better articulate your ideas for the proposal.
In general, great copy is one that gets the message across without the need for more words. Entrepreneur recommends the following format presented by Shervin Freed, co-author of Writing Winning Business Proposals:
a. Current Situation. – outlines the needs of the company.
b. Goals – explains what you want to achieve.
c. Proposed Methodology- presents the steps you will take to achieve your goals.
d. Time and Cost – shows a detailed list of the requirements needed to complete the project, including the timeframe and the resources.
e. Qualifications – lists your experience, expertise, and strengths
f. Benefits – explains the many ways your proposal will benefit the client.

4. The success relies on the follow through.
Even if you get out reams upon reams of business proposals, it would still be for nothing if there is no strong plan for follow through. To maximize this, consider hiring virtual assistants who can do the follow up and monitoring of responses. They can also update the leads list, which the sales team can refer to for selling communications. The virtual assistant also provides a human touch to the business proposal and the fact that there is consistent communications give the potential client the impression the company is really adamant in winning their business.

With these steps, a formidable list of business leads is not far behind.

Young businesswoman writing marketing strategy concept with huge pencil

One of the first steps to successfully hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is writing the right job description. After all, it’s the right job description that attracts the right kind of applicants. This job description will be posted on job search sites, freelancing sites, your website and even your social media sites. However, no matter how many times you post your job description, you will not be able to find the ideal person for the job if it lacks the most important details.

What Should Be In the Job Description?
Writing a job description for office-based employees and virtual assistants are not very much different from each other. The description usually includes the job title, the summary, the main functions or responsibilities, skills, location, and the type of employment whether it’s full-time or part-time work. The main difference between the regular job description and the ones for VAs is you need to include the timeframe or project duration and indicate your budget for the project or the job.

Here are other tips to follow when writing job descriptions when looking for virtual assistants:

1. Write with results in mind.
Before writing anything, think of the results that you want to achieve with hiring a virtual assistant. Set your goals. Why are you hiring a VA in the first place? List the outcomes you want to see when you hire this VA. For example, if you are hiring a graphic designer, your goals can be expediting the process of creating ads or marketing collaterals, daily creation of social media graphics, and the like.

2. Make your job title as specific as possible.
The job title is the first element that the applicant sees. Make it as specific as possible to encourage the right candidate to click on it and read the entire job description. Many clients make the mistake of just writing “Virtual Assistant” as the title. Accountants, lawyers, graphic designers, writers, web developers, can all be virtual assistants. This is why you need to specify what type of virtual assistant you are looking for.

3. Start your statements with an action word.
When you write the duties and responsibilities, start with an action word. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends beginning statement with an action word, followed by your subject, then mentioning the specific activities.
An example is: Write blogs monthly by suggesting topics to write about, finding two to three keywords per blog, and submitting them for approval and posting by the 4th Friday of the month.
The action word here is “write”
The subject is “monthly”
The tasks associated with this subject are “suggesting topics to write about,” “finding two to three keywords per blog,” and “submitting them for approval and posting by the 4th Friday of the month.”

4. Write the skills and qualifications you are looking for.
What kinds of skills and qualifications are you looking for in a VA? Your answer should depend not only on the requirements of the job, but also your company’s culture. Would you like someone who is passionate about learning and communication because your business is all about teaching English as a second language to Asian students? Or would you like someone who loves to travel because the task involves maintaining a travel blog?

5. Indicate the project duration, budget, and type of employment.
To save your time sorting through applicants, you can narrow down your search by indicating the project duration, how much you are willing to spend on the project or the salary, and the type of employment (whether it’s full-time or part-time work). These details are important because virtual assistants work with so much flexibility that most of them set the limits on how much they can work in a day or in a week. A lot of them also accept multiple projects at a time. It would be also good to provide a link to your website so applicants can see if they are comfortable to work in your industry. By indicating the duration of the project and the level of commitment you need from your VA, potential applicants would be able to assess whether they can take on the job.

The right virtual assistant is out there, looking for their next big project or employer. Attract the right candidates by writing a job description that conveys what you truly need. The five tips above should guide you on putting together a clear

Starting a business is one of the best and worst decisions a person can come up with. As much as being your own boss brings with it a level of freedom and independence, entrepreneurs are also the most stressed and harassed, having to deal with the needs of the business almost 24/7 without rest. While you can see business owners spend their weekdays doing activities they love other than business, it does not mean that they have fewer responsibilities.

Simply put, choosing to be in business is hard work and it takes a lot of commitment from a person when they finally take the plunge. Here are some ways to break into the jump and make it more manageable:

  1. Know the market.

The last thing a person can do is invest all their hard earned savings on a whim. It is important to remember that getting into business is part intuition and part calculated risk, but is never about gambling. Following one’s passion can be great, but it also makes for very risky business decision basis. Knowing your market is one of the first crucial steps that you should do when starting your own business.

Today however, an article on Entrepreneur suggests that knowing your market today shouldn’t be limited to getting details on their income, gender, ethnicity or education. Entrepreneur suggests taking your marketing strategies to the next level through personalization and customization and that means understanding the lifestyle of your customers. Understand the lifestyle of the generation where your target market belongs. You can also do your research by area. There are also tools that you can use to study your target market’s behavior, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

  1. Know the underserved market.

Another good way to get into business is by knowing the underserved market. What makes your life miserable? One may be surprised to know that it’s also what makes others’ unbearable and these underserved customers are actually willing to pay for a service or product to ease off the hassle.

Being in the underserved market also makes one a highly uncontested market, something the bigger players will be very wary to get into. This translates to income at the fastest way possible. In addition to knowing the underserved market, it would also be good to think of how you can beat the competition. Jim Koch of Boston Beer co. and Samuel Adams Boston Lager says in an article published in Business Insider that your business is only feasible if what you are offering is cheaper or better than the alternatives.

  1. Prepare for the worst.

Although getting into business is a true act of faith, one must also not get into it without a safety net of at least six months. Anything is possible in business, unfortunately, including bankruptcy. If the person has a family to support, blindly getting money into a business without ensuring that they can live comfortably is a reckless move.

Preparing should also include the right paper work to protect the name, the finances, and the assets of the business from unscrupulous people.

  1. Delegate.

Budget may be a concern when you are starting a new business. However, multitasking just to accomplish everything that needs to get done from accounting to financials would not be beneficial for your business. If hiring is not an option at the moment, consider outsourcing to virtual assistants. It is best to outsource tasks that are repetitive in nature, those that are time-consuming, and technical tasks that are not part of your skills set. As a business owner, it is important that you oversee all processes without losing your focus on growing and grooming the business to reach its full potential.

Coaching may be one of the most rewarding jobs out there. After all, what can be more fulfilling than making a living doing what you do best, leading others to accomplish their own goals and watching them grow and flourish as you nurture them? It comes as no surprise that coaching is also one of the fastest growing industries, with an annual revenue amounting to $2 billion.
However, the benefits of working as a coach do not come without challenges and this is where hiring virtual assistants can make a huge difference in how you conduct business. Whether you’re a life, business, health, career, sports, or a personal coach, you can benefit from having a virtual assistant. Read on to find out how hiring virtual assistants can add value to your coaching practice.
1. Increase productivity.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with business-building activities, especially when you are just starting out as a coach. You have to find the time for every important aspect of the business—accounting, administration, marketing, planning and strategizing, coaching your clients, and finding new clients. Delegating time-consuming tasks like scheduling, bookkeeping, research, managing emails, or even updating your social media pages to virtual assistants can help you maximize productivity and achieve the elusive work-life balance for busy coaches.
2. Focus on growing your business.
The more you delegate repetitive and administrative tasks to virtual assistants, the more you’ll be able to focus on growing your coaching practice. Finally, you can have more time to attend training and learning sessions for your career growth, work on growing your network, and strategize to attract more clients.
3. They can do it better than you.
The point of outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants is not just to help you save time by taking several tasks off your load, but also to ensure that these tasks are done in an efficient and excellent manner. If you hire reliable virtual assistants, you can count on them to deliver high-quality work because they specialize in the type of task you assign to them. This is advantageous for you and your virtual assistants because you’re both focusing on tasks that you enjoy doing.
4. Save money.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of hiring a virtual assistants is it the cost-savings. This is a lot cheaper than having a full-time salaried employee. You just pay for the services you need and only when you need them.
Should you hire virtual assistants? Definitely yes if you want to experience the benefits listed above.

 

Interested in finding out more on how we can SAVE you money… Click here to make your appointment today and let’s talk.

You look at the time it’s already 3 P.M. Glance over your to-do list and see that nothing’s been crossed out!

Where has all that time gone?

Most people imagine that working from home is a casual affair that should not be treated with seriousness. However, if you are thinking about venturing into any form of home business, you have to acknowledge the fact that it requires as much seriousness as any other business. In as much as operating a home business allows you the flexibility to choose the time to work, you should always ensure that you manage your time well for you to get good results.

Some of the reasons why time management is important when working from home include:

1. It plays a big role in the success of your home business:
When you are writing down your business plan, you have to include time management. This is because time is one of the major resources that you have when it comes to propelling your business to greater heights. No matter how much capital you invest, if you have not internalized the essentials of time management, you will flop.
You need to realize that there are a lot of distractions for people who run home businesses. There will always be phone calls from friends and relatives who want to catch up because ‘you are always home’. You may also have children who reach for your attention simply because they see you around. You should find the right way to manage your time such that these distractions do not interfere with your business. First, start by 5 creating a work schedule and sticking to it. If your phone rings, you can either ignore it if it is not an emergency, or politely inform the callers that you are working. You should also let you friends and family know that specific hours of your day are reserved for working. Remember, nobody will take your business seriously if you do not show them that they need to.

2. It reduces stress:
The temptation to indulge in the many distractions at home can be overwhelming. Admit it, sometimes, you promise yourself that all you will do is to respond to a few Facebook messages or check out what is going on in the world of twitter. Then before you know it, you have spent a lot of your valuable time reading random things on the internet. Or maybe you decided to catch up with your friends, and hours later, it hits you that a lot of work concerning your business is undone. The result is instant stress! It can be very frustrating trying to make up for lost time. A lot of people who have not grasped the importance of time management always end up straining themselves in an attempt to meet deadlines and fulfill their clients’ needs. Think about how easier it would be if you managed your time well. You will get everything done on time, and get time to relax after everything is done.

To learn more- register below for a free copy of the eBook “Seize the Day”

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In today’s competitive business environment it is essential to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenues while keeping productivity and quality high. One of the best ways to achieve this is through hiring and retention of outstanding employees.

Far too often hiring managers rush through the hiring process due to being reactive rather than proactive when filling positions. With some preplanning in the hiring process and implementation of sound strategies once people join your organization, you will lower the cost of doing business by considerable amounts.

As you prepare to hire consider the following:

• What type of person are you looking for?
• What are the values that drive your company?
• How difficult is the job you are filling?
• Do you have anyone internally who can do the job?
• How long will it take to find the right person for the position?
• What are you willing to negotiate with the potential candidate?

In looking for potential candidates you may want to try more than the traditional employee search. Tap into your network of professional connections. Some of your best candidates may be working for your competitors. Be careful about hiring someone just because they are a friend or family member. Not that friends and family members don’t make good employees – often they can be fantastic. And yet, if you are hiring them only because they are a friend or family member, you are setting yourself up for some big problems. With the wrong choice morale with other employees can go down. With the right choice it is just as likely to go up.

Think through the compensation package. Are the wages fair for the job, industry and market? Make sure your benefit package is competitive for your industry. Find out what other companies are offering as far as compensation and consider matching or beating their offerings.

There are occasions when someone may take a position without thinking through income, benefits or fit. Once they have gotten settled in and are feeling comfortable with the position and the company, they may realize the compensation and the job is not all it could be. That can cause some discontent on their part. To avoid this, do your homework.

Another key to keeping good employees is to make sure they are treated with respect, dignity and appreciation. This may seem like common sense and yet, it often doesn’t happen. I consult with various types of organizations employee retention and how to gain more commitment from the staff. I often will meet individually, in private, with a cross section of the staff. I spend at least an hour with each employee in a confidential meeting to find out their view of the company. Inevitably, the areas that are most lacking for the employee to be fully satisfied are communication and appreciation.

Once the area of discontent has been identified I design programs for the company in which to address the problems. What is amazing is the problem is often on the way to being solved by virtue of the fact the organization has brought me in. A common comment is, “Finally, someone is listening to me.”

Often, a company’s problems can be lessened with some good coaching and training of management. It is amazing how many managers and supervisors were put into their position without any training in interpersonal skills, management and supervisory skills, and how to communicate effectively. Nine times out of ten the people who need the most training are the ones who think they need it the least. And, they are often the biggest obstacle to the success of a company.

In order to stay competitive on all fronts you must keep your entire team on the leading edge. By doing so you will be in business for years to come with a happy, dedicated and productive team. And that will equal profits