Attracting talent and recruitment

What Elon Musk, Richard Branson and 8 other successful people ask job candidates

One of the biggest components of a successful SME is hiring the right team to work with you. That...read more

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Attracting talent and recruitment

How to Build a High-Performance Team

Every business wants staff that performs high and efficiently. But do you know what goes into...read more

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Leadership

Sneaky Negotiation Tricks Are Your Worst Enemy: Here are 5 You Must Defeat

Do you have to deal with constant negotiations? Or are you new to them completely? Whatever your...read more

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Managing employees

4 Ways Employee Incentives Can Drive Engagement and Retention

Do you incorporate employee incentives into your business? Here are 4 ways you can create better...read more

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Attracting talent and recruitment

6 Tips to Help Any Company Connect With College Students

They're the incoming workforce, and hopefully, the new innovative thinkers of the day. But how can...read more

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Managing employees

7 Excellent Reasons to Focus on Employee Engagement

Is your business engaging with its employees? There are lots of good reasons why you should be,...read more

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Leadership

6 Common Things Good Managers Do to Create Engaged Teams

A team is only as strong as its leader. To inspire good work in their teams, leaders must engineer...read more

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Leadership

How to grow your business faster by becoming a better leader

Having the skill of innovation is the sign of a great leader. Not only can you bring new ideas to...read more

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Leadership

Why Problem Solvers, Not Whiners, Always Win in Business

It takes a leader to be a problem solver and to teach his or her employees to learn the same skill...read more

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Questions

How do you reconcile your differences in opinion as co-founders?

Asked by:
Louis Redding
Louis Redding at Phoenix Remodel Group
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think the main thing is have a written agreement for resolving disagreements. If there are 2 co-founders this can put you at a standstill since voting would be split. I highly recommend an outside 3rd party that has no equity in your company. This person should be agreed upon by all co-founders. In the case of a split vote this person fills the roll of tie-breaker. Their decision may not be popular but it will help keep moving forward.
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Questions

Is "No Buyer's Remorse" scalable ?

Asked by:
Kenyetta Knorr
Kenyetta Knorr at Nova Remodel Group
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Kenyetta,I'm not exactly sure what you mean, however, I don't believe that "no buyer's remorse" even exists. But many companies please their customers, so why would I say this?Even if the customer is pleased at the time of purchase, they may not be as happy later on (and still might return whatever they bought).The customer may have been pleased during the purchase, but may have not been as happy later even if they keep the item.Many people impulse buy but never actually open and/or use the item they purchasedEven if they are totally happy with the purchase they may have wished the item didn't cost as much as did (especially big ticket items)The customer may wish they would have spent the money on something else (other product, experience or just saved it) even though they are are happy with the product.The product may break right after the warranty, this could make the customer wish they never bought the product and they may avoid said company in the futureThe customer may have been happy at the time of the sale, but when needing help is less than thrilled by the existing or lack of customer service.If the item doesn't last as long as expected, this may negatively impact how the customer views the company (poor quality, poor exchange of value, etc.)If the company does something to damage their own reputation, customers may have buyer's remorse for being associated (even in a small way) that that company.The company may go out of business shortly after the customer's purchase, making the customer wish they would have avoided making the purchase entirely.I'm sure there are more reasons that could be added to this list, however, I feel like the 10 reasons above cover the majority of cases.You and your business can do things to minimize the above cases, but you can't completely eliminate the issue because the outcomes are based on a complex blend of customer expectations, personal baggage (issues) and human nature (psychology).You set yourself else up for success by presenting customers with detailed, accurate and transparent information about your product and services prior to the purchase. You also help yourself by guiding the customer to the product and services best suited for their needs. Also by reinforcing the value they are getting for the price helps eliminate the feeling that they aren't getting a good (or the best deal). You can also do yourself a favor by having a clear return/exchange/refund policy, a detailed knowledge base or FAQ section and helpful and timely customer service.The rest is really out of your control, but that's okay. Only focus on the aspects you can positively change.
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Questions

What is the best way to plan a Facebook marketing strategy?

Asked by:
Robert Mayer
Robert Mayer at Boston Remodel Group
Felicity LawOwner at Felicity Law
My suggestion is that you review your over-arching Marketing Plan as your SM strategies would be part of this. It will depend on your budget, product/service, defining your customer (market) and what you're trying to achieve (awareness, sales etc). Consider how you will measure the RoI of your SM strategy (cost per lead).I hope this helps.
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Questions

What is going to be the next "big thing" in the next 5-10 years?

Asked by:
James Harding
James Harding at TopInjurylaw
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
In all honesty, I think the next big thing in the time span you've mentioned will be companies abandoning or tweaking their Robotic/Drone/Artificial Intelligence presence to a more human approach.Just as currently we are seeing the most successful companies are the ones with not only the best user experience but the best customer experience. Building a "well-known" or "respected" brand amounts for very little if you dehumanize your customers.Companies will have to be very intentional and careful with their implementations of chatbots, artificial intelligence algorithms and the like to succeed. Although we all crave efficiency and profits, when humanity becomes too disconnected, we risk much more.
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Questions

What are "three key success factors" to develop a successful business in Asia?

Asked by:
Anne Jones
Anne Jones at Skylar’s Home and Patio
Marcus TjenOwner at Rugged Computing
1) contact2) contact3) contact
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Questions

What are your top tips for a job interview?

I have a job interview later this week for a small start up business as a Community Manager (Social... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Startups are vastly different than large enterprise business. They move very quickly and they typically try to squeeze as much as possible from a dollar (if they are bootstrapping) if they have funding that may not be the case.However, they may need shorter-horizon time lines for seeing measurable results. This may sound like quite a bit of pressure and it very well may be.But the positive side of startups is that they are more open to innovation and experimentation to find what works quickly. You will likely have greater access to your customer (less bureaucracy) and there tends to be a lot of excitement. Your role at a startup may also bleed into other areas that would be covered by other people at a larger enterprise so be flexible and don't cling to past expectations of what your "role" is or will be. Always be open to learning and trying things out of your comfort zone.
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Questions

What steps do I have to take to dismiss an employee?

I have an employee who is consistently tardy, talks negatively about my business to the other staff... read more

Asked by:
Meal Five
Meal Five at Meal5
General rules of procedural fairnessGeneral rules of procedural fairnessAn employer is generally required to perform the following steps to ensure that a dismissal is procedurally fair. These will apply whether it is a summary dismissal or a dismissal after warnings. You must carry out a full investigation into the alleged behaviour.The employee should be informed about the exact nature of the allegations and, where appropriate, that dismissal is a possible outcome of the disciplinary process.The employee should be given an opportunity to be heard.The employee should be given the option of having a support person or lawyer present when the hearing takes place.Unless the conduct in question justifies summary dismissal, the employee must be warned and asked to stop the misconduct or improve the poor performance. In appropriate cases, the employee should be given assistance in this. An accepted procedure is to first given an oral warning, then a formal written warning, then a final written warning.The employee should be given the reasons for the decision that you eventually reach. It is advisable that these be given before any dismissal. However, the employee has the right, within 60 days after the dismissal or after becoming aware of it, to request you to provide a written statement of the reasons; you must then provide the statement within 14 days.A dismissal should be notified in writing.An employee can be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Lisa Ormenyessy
We have used this company and recommended them to our small businesss clients where appropriate to make sure all your ducks line up and nothing comes back to bite you.http://employsure.com.au/
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Questions

How do you prefer to get feedback and/or recognition?

We are all different. But I'd like some different perspectives into what makes us all feel... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
Neil HallsOwner at Clear Path Commercial Consulting
This is something every workplace must do, unfortunately in our experience most of them do it poorly!!The most important point I will make it that feedback must be a continuous conversation, whether it is for positive or negative feedback. Too often people reserve giving feedback for annual or 6 monthly performance reviews. Why is this an issue? Because you top employees who are doing a good job will feel disengaged. You know they are doing great work but they don’t, so in many instances these people will end up leaving your workplace as they feel undervalued. This is not good for you! Alternatively bad performance does not get rectified in a timely manner. The longer bad performance goes on, the harder it is to rectify. Often one of the biggest issues is that people managers lack the skills or confidence to have the hard conversations.In regards to recognition, yes things like recognition and presentation of awards and certificates in front of the team can be valued by employees. However our experience shows that often the little things have the biggest impact. Our work has show that things like a team lunch to celebrate a project milestone can go a long way to rewarding a job well done. Or for a smaller thankyou instead of just saying job well done, take them for a coffee and explain what it was you valued about their contribution. Trust me, as managers we see these things as small, but team members really value them.
Greg Rogers
Greg RogersFounder and CEO at REthink HQ
Hi Jef,I see that your a regular contributor to the site, I would like to acknowledge that. Without regular contributors like you the whole concept kinda doesnt work as well!Is that reinforcing for you? If it is the likelihood of you increasing the behaviour that is being reinforced is higher.If it's not then the likelihood is that the behaviour will decrease.Fairly simplistic answers to an area of Science as complex as us, individuals and humans!My answer is certainly not meant to be blase or condescending in anyway, the Science of Human Behaviour is a fascinating subject.Your question is actually the best answer, you need to ask the individual cos it's different strokes for different folks. The father of Human Behaviour, BK Skinner, will tell you that the biggest variables around the concept of human behaviour are actually the environment and timing.Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress...the next morning...just aint as reinforcing as when she steps into the doorway! Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of timing on behaviour. The more immediate the reinforcement, the greater influence on behaviour.Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress....in front of her work colleagues....as opposed to the privacy of your own home...is going to elicit a completely different response. Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of the environment on behaviour. The environment alone can influence or change behaviour.I enjoyed responding to this, I feel reinforced and rewarded.CheersGreg
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Leadership

Why anyone who claims to be an expert in leadership 'is a liar,' according to a bestselling author and TED legend

Why anyone who claims to be an expert in leadership 'is a liar'read more

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Questions

What are some strategies to improve employee retention?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
This question covers a lot of ground, but I'll try to give you a few concrete ideas.Genuinely thank people for their effort - don't make this a robotic process. You don't need to thank everyone every time they do their job (that's their job after all). However, when someone makes a great effort (regardless of if it works out) recognize their effort and work. When someone does something great acknowledge it (to them individually or at a team or company level - but make sure they are comfortable with public recognition before you blurt it out to everyone - so people aren't a fan of public recognition).Give people a bit of margin during the workday / work week - Perhaps its a percentage of time (like Google's 20%) or several hours a week. Give them this room to read industry related articles, take online courses to further their learning or just the time and resources to work on a personal project that fosters learning and can maybe have strategic advantages for the company down the road.Don't make failure a threat - people that take risks can definitely help keep your business going forward (I'm not speaking of anything illegal or anything that would make the company look bad). If you can teach people to learn from mistakes and failure and turn that into a better solution or process going forward, that is still a win. Treat it as such. If failure is penalized, people will only do the bare minimum and that won't be good for your business in the long run.Get to know individuals & what motivates them - First you need to know your people to create a good relationship. Second you need to understand what motivates them. This helps when it is time to give an award. They may want a monetary bonus. Perhaps they'd be happier with an extra day or two of vacation. Maybe they are just looking to make a leap from a regular position into management. Get to know everyone and reward them with what motivates them individually.
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Questions

What is the best way to attract young marketing talent for a small organization?

I am fascinated to know what is behind your desire to attract young marketing talent to a small organisation. As experience, capability and talent are not always associated with ‘young,’ also the age of your potential marketing employee may not prove to have any genuine relevance to the commercial success of your small organisation.If you are (as it would seem) a young individual planning a start-up but lacking adequate marketing skills you could do worse than to outsource to a seasoned (not so young) marketing mentor in the short to medium term. Once you have established cash-flow and some commercial stability, then you can rationally take on the expense and responsibility of up-skilling a less expensive younger (and talented) marketing employee. I would never suggest that age and talent are connected but experience will almost always trump talent (at any age).
Tania Willett
Tania WillettOwner and PR Consultant at TJW Public Relations
An ideal way to attract young marketing talent for a small organisation is to give them ownership of the marketing strategy and tactics for the organisation. Unlike larger organisations where there may be a hierarchy of managers and/or red tape, giving a young professional the chance to take charge and drive the marketing for a business is giving them the opportunity to build on their resume, skills and portfolio that may not be possible in a larger organisation. Also, providing them with the opportunity for professional development is also a great way to attract young marketing talent. For example, if a young marketing professional wants to up-skill in the area of public relations and media relations, organise for them to have one-on-one training with a PR professional or pay for them to attend an industry conference.
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