Transferring ownership across generations

We’re a two-generation company, and I find that ownership is very confusing. It feels like as long as the seniors are alive, we in the next generation will never own the company, even though we’re now doing the majority of the heavy lifting. On top of that, the seniors represent a huge financial drain on the company. Given what they’re taking out of the business, why would they give up control?

Thoughts of the day: Think about what control you want, and what leverage you have to get it. Figure out how to make the senior generation whole. Make sure the next generation is ready to run the business.

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How Much is Enough Marketing?

We have some solid sales prospects in the pipeline, but not enough. Not knowing where all this year’s sales are going to come from just gnaws at me. How do I find peace? I want to be able to look ahead and know there’s enough activity in the works for me to hit my goals and sleep well at night.

Thoughts of the day: Start with figuring out what marketing and sales problems you’re trying to solve; set goals. Pick a set of activities that will help you meet the goals you set. Match activity to the pipeline stage you’re trying to beef up.

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Reaching for more, with confidence

A wise person once told me that the fear of rejection is something that some people internalize – when you can let go of that fear it’s empowering; if you don’t get there it holds you back. I want to empower my people, encourage them to do more. I know I have to hold people accountable and challenge them to do more so they can earn more. How do I do that without causing them to fear?

Thoughts of the Day: It’s all about approval and a secure sense of belonging. Make sure you and your employees are clear about what’s expected. Help each employee to visualize success. Reassure your people that you will stand behind them one way or another, until they get to the other side of the problem.

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Taking time off from the business

43642131 - stressed businessman working quickly with many computer

After taking a vacation, I had to come back in on Friday to do payroll and check on things. That was instead of staying on vacation for the second weekend. Someone suggested I try to take off for four weeks?? That’s crazy!! As the owner, and person ultimately in charge, how could I ever do that??!!

Thoughts of the Day: Entrepreneurs love their work, are committed to achieving success, want to do the right thing – and end up sabotaging themselves and their companies because they don’t take enough time off. Use your breaks as a way to give people in the company a chance to show you what they can do. By focusing on the wrong metric, entrepreneurs don’t encourage their employees to take enough time off, either. Building thriving companies is all about building in work-life balance, because of the other things good work-life balance causes those companies to build.

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Pay for the right sales results

If I haven’t learned anything else about managing sales, I’ve learned this: If you want people to help develop business, they have to have skin in the game. We’ve made mistakes along the way with how we’ve paid people for sales results. What’s the best way to compensate salespeople? Appreciate the suggestions!

Thoughts of the day: It’s about more than bringing in sales. Watch that your best salespeople can be top earners relative to other options they might come across. Be mindful that even salespeople who are knocking it out of the park may want to build a career.

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