From Doer to Manager

Our shop guy needs help. His hands are on the machines because he doesn’t have the right people working for him. He doesn’t give out enough warnings, says he doesn’t have time to look for people to hire. He’d rather do the work than step back and manage. What should we do?

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Managers are made, not born. You will have to help your shop guy make time to step back and assess. Recruiting is a specialized skill. Find someone in the shop who can be a great second in command.

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Building Bench Strength

We need to build depth in people who can handle critical responsibilities. If one or two of our key players were out for an extended time, we’d be in big trouble. But I’m not sure who to move up, or when. How do I do this?

Thoughts of the Day: Find out what departments are backed up. Build certification courses. Hire for capable and potential. Get organized for growth.

Building bench strength – what does that even mean? Think about a company that can expand easily by 30%, 50%, 100% or more, confident that the workload will be handled correctly and profitably. Who would need to step up? And who would back them up? That’s bench strength.

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A formula for building up sales

 

We haven’t had good experience turning things over to salespeople. We give them leads and they don’t turn that into business. Later on we find out that they didn’t do a good job on following up. Or they followed up but couldn’t turn the lead into a sale. Not sure how to better manage this.

Thoughts of the day: Your job includes managing both salespeople and sales activities. Make sure that you have the right people in place doing the right job. Save time and effort by knowing the profile of who you want to sell to. Get salespeople involved in the effort so that they place greater value on the leads. Check out the ROI on sales activities.

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Am I spread too thin?

I keep getting called on to deal with problems that crop up as we try to deliver what’s been promised. Since I know more about how things work and have a broader view of where we are going, it’s a natural request. Besides, I like being in control of the decisions about how and when we commit resources to solve problems. And I’m good at juggling. But I’m sensing a limit to what I can get to. There are a lot of sales opportunities out there that I should focus on, for example, and I can’t be in two places at once.

Thoughts of the day: Unloading the things you know how to do best helps the company grow. Avoid burnout. Know that there will be failures and that while you strive for excellence, sometimes good enough is just that. Recognize that everyone in the company will benefit from gaining experience dealing with issues on the front line — so let them.

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Keeping the Nest Egg Intact

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I don’t want to save money and then spend it to get through our slow months. Every year it feels like we give back all our profits when it gets quiet. Help!

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Savings are essential. So is fiscal discipline. Know what you can and cannot afford to do. As the business grows, be careful not to increase volatility. Consider getting into complementary business.

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