Getting People On-Board with Change

We have a couple disgruntled employees, who don’t like change. They’re good workers who generally support the company, and I value their overall contribution. But lately we’ve had to make some significant changes in how we do things to meet customer demands. How do I get these employees over the buy-in hurdle, so they can do their best to contribute?

Thoughts of the Day:  As owner of the business, think through your role. Build work groups that have the authority to implement Let employees work through the “how” of implementing changes. Draw on successful experiences to build confidence. Don’t be afraid to talk about the downside of sticking with the past. Show employees how personal growth links with superior personal and business outcomes.

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The Value of Maintenance Work

We add one client and then we lose one. There’s no real growth in maintenance work. We have never done a campaign push to grow the maintenance side of our business. Should we focus there? And if so, how do we do it?

Thoughts of the Day: Consider the effort that goes into getting new customers. Make sure that the business lines you’re growing have long term value. Teach your employees about how valuable repeat customers are to the business, what that means to the company’s well-being long term, and what they can do to help.

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Growing Revenue and Sustaining It

Our company is facing a growth hurdle: We’ve never averaged the level of sales / day that we have an opportunity to do this year. Worrying if I’m trying to take on too much, while excited about the opportunity for so much growth. How do I best steer my company through this challenge?

Thoughts of the Day:  Avoid the trap that too many businesses experience: up and down growth due to taking on work they cannot sustain. Be mindful of the gifts the economy will, or won’t throw your way. Plan out growth in stages.

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Who’s Right for Sales?

We have an employee who we think, perhaps, is the wrong fit in sales — or is it too early to tell? Should salespeople have more experience? (Fortunately he’s doing well in account management.) What should we be looking for in a salesperson?

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY:  Should you hire for experience or train from the bottom up? When it comes to sales positions, there is no one size fits all. Account management can be a great starting position for people who want to go into sales. Does your candidate want to go into sales?

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Pleasing the Bank

We need to get a loan to tide us over as we start to ramp up to our busy season. All the banks have been calling us saying they want our business, and so far we’ve talked to a couple. When we get into the details, we find they are hard to please. While the local reps say they want our business, the higher-ups don’t seem so eager. One bank said they didn’t want our business, another said they needed more information. Is it worth it going through the process? If we don’t get a loan it could be really tough managing cash until all our clients pay up.

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Understand what the bank wants. Be prepared to fill out a lot of forms. Ask for a realistic loan amount and repayment terms. Back up what you say with a business plan.

You need to have business experience. If you’re a startup with less than two years of history, getting any bank loan will be close to impossible. You’ll probably do better getting a personal loan and personally lending money to the company until there’s some history to show.

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