Noncompete agreements should be in writing

We have a problem with noncompetes. Neither our employees nor our business partners have signed one. Just recently a friend of ours had an employee walk out and try to take clients with him. And another friend had a partner try to steal business that they had agreed to work on together. We’ve always worked on trust. We would never think of taking what belongs to someone else. We expect the same of our employees and vendors. But maybe we need more than a handshake.

Thoughts of the day: Agreements in writing define the rules of engagement. The best defense is a good offense. When you work on a written agreement, make sure you put together something that’s enforceable. If you’re planning on buying a business, get a noncompete from the seller and make sure that all of their noncompetes can be enforced.

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Communicate clearly through your marketing plan

We don’t know who we should be marketing to or how. We definitely don’t have a plan of attack. Looking for suggestions.

Thoughts of the day: Start by reading about what goes into making a good marketing plan. Define what makes your company stand out. Take a good hard look at who wants what you have to offer. Jump in by picking a few marketing efforts to focus on, but have a context into which those fit.

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Mitigating risk in your business

We have an insurance renewal coming up. We know prices are going up in general. On top of that we’ve had a couple of claims, which we’re sure will hurt us. We need help and we’re looking for recommendations.

Thoughts of the day: Know what kinds of risk you want protection from. Lower risk by making constructive changes to how you conduct business. Decide how much risk you’re willing to shoulder.

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Building a more flexible employee

Wondering about how to solve this one. Got an employee who is good at things, as long as there are no changes. But we need more. Stuff always comes up and we can’t always put him in a place where he won’t be interrupted. We can’t protect him from problems that crop up, in fact, we need him to attack the problems, not just get in a groove and do what he’s always done. There are go-getters who solve problems and he’s an obstructionist. How can we turn him around?

Thoughts of the day: Change and uncertainty are hard for some people. Flexibility and adaptability are great skills to have. Build up training programs to help your less flexible employees.

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Wins, Losses Can Build a Strong Team

It’s sad that when a guy does it right that we get excited, our expectations are so low. We expect things to go wrong and somehow they do — a lot! It’s such a struggle. What should we be doing to lead our company in a better direction, where doing it right is the norm, and we celebrate real excellence?

Thoughts of the Day: Celebrating when things go right is good, it’s the standard of excellence that needs work. Be clear about whether or not people want to play your game and give decision-making power. Know that you can’t save someone who won’t try to save themselves. Things can get so much easier.

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