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6 Habits Business Owners DON’T Want

Learn how to avoid these common small business pitfalls so you can work smarter and truly enjoy being your own boss.

Advanced Business Coaching Vision Mission and CultureAs a small business owner, you’re building a company from the ground up, and there are a lot of competing priorities and pressures. When you’re caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of running your business, it can be easy to fall into some bad habits along the way.

Below we’ll explore six of the biggest bad business habits and reveal how to break them.

1. The Habit: Wearing Too Many Hats

In a recent survey, 35% of small business owners said they wished they could take on fewer roles and responsibilities.

Numerous studies show that multitasking is harmful for a variety of reasons—it increases stress, decreases productivity, and you’re far more likely to make mistakes in your work—but many entrepreneurs find themselves trapped wearing too many hats.

How to Break It: Delegation is key, but having someone to delegate to is the first step. Building a strong team that you trust allows you to feel more comfortable placing responsibilities in their capable hands. So, take your time during the hiring process. Reach out to reliable contacts in your industry to widen your net, and consider not only work history, but also disposition and personality when interviewing.

2. The Habit: Getting Hung Up on Old Ideas

You probably dreamed about your company for a long time before you actually opened for business, and that means you have a strong vision for what you want it to be. While it’s important to have vision, trying to stick to a plan for achieving that vision—even when the plan has proven itself outdated or flawed—can cause big issues.

How to Break It: In order to change course, you have to be willing to let go of what was once a brilliant idea. As Dr. Alex Lickerman notes in Psychology Today, we tend to form biases towards our own ideas and opinions. Releasing those biases allows you the latitude to regroup and re-strategize as your company changes and grows.

3. The Habit: Over-Promising

Many small business owners have the urge to say yes to every request. However, agreeing to something that your company’s infrastructure or team can’t support ends up creating more ill will than just saying no in the first place.

How to Break It: Know your limits and stick to them. Take time to consider the request, but if it’s really something you can’t do, then offer a firm and simple “no.” Don’t go into details, as that invites the requestor to push the issue, and try to decline in-person or over the phone, since the tone of an email can sometimes be misconstrued.

4. The Habit: Not Taking Risks

The flip side of over-promising is not taking enough risks. Whether it’s fear of rejection, embarrassment, or financial failure, some small business owners lose their nerve just as their company is on the brink of a big breakthrough, thereby becoming their own worst enemies.

How to Break It: The first step to overcoming fear of failure is acknowledging that it exists; speak to trusted colleagues, friends, or family about your fears. The next step is focusing on things that are within your control. Turn your attention to tangibles, like redesigning your website or creating a new organizational tool for your merchandise.

5. The Habit: Micromanaging

Your business is your baby, and you want to do everything possible to make sure it succeeds. But micromanaging your employees is a guaranteed way to breed disengagement and resentment amongst your staff.

How to Break It: The urge to micromanage frequently springs from your own fear of failure or feelings of powerlessness. Facing those fears (see habit No. 4 above) will allow you to let go of those control-freak tendencies. Also strive to create a workplace culture of open communication; if your employees feel comfortable speaking to you when an issue arises, you’ll be at ease granting them more freedom.

6. The Habit: Not Taking Care of Yourself

With only 24 hours in the day, many small business owners aim to dedicate as many of those hours as possible to their business. Sleep, healthy eating, exercise and vacation time are de-prioritized or forsaken altogether. Not only is this dangerous for your physical and mental health, it can also take a toll on the health of your company.

How to Break It: The normative social influence, a force defined in social psychology, drives us to conform to a societal standard or preconceived notion of our role. Since the entrepreneurial role is seen as someone who works day and night, that’s what entrepreneurs feel pressured to do. Letting go of this pressure frees you up to achieve a healthy work-life balance, and to work with more focus and efficiency during the hours you do dedicate to your business.

Running your own business can be challenging, but it can also be one of the most rewarding endeavors you ever pursue. When you know how to avoid these common pitfalls, you’re able to work smarter and truly enjoy being your own boss.

Attracting High Quality Millennial Employees

Texting groupThe next time you search for something on Google, type in millennials and see what pops up.

Google’s algorithms are pretty good at helping you complete your search by pre-populating commonly used phrases. What do you get when you type millennials into the Google search bar? The answer: millennials in the workplace.

This says something about the state of today’s businesses. Companies everywhere are working to determine how to attract millennials to work for them. But, this challenge isn’t limited to just human resources professionals. It’s a marketing problem, too. Hint: Search marketing to and notice that marketing to millennials is the first thing to appear.

If today’s companies wish to succeed in hiring millennial employees, it requires the removal of the departmental silos that have traditionally separated human resources and marketing.

Here are three ways HR departments can partner with their marketing teams to attract millennials.

1. Make a good first impression.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. And, unless you’re a Fortune 100 company with national brand recognition, chances are that your website will be your prospective employee’s first interaction with your company. For most marketers, the Career Opportunities section of the website is an afterthought. After all, most marketing teams are evaluated based on their ability to convert web visitors into customers, not employees.

Just as it’s important to make a good first impression with prospective customers, it’s equally important to do the same with would-be job applicants. Have your marketing team build out the career section of your website. Add pictures from your company picnic or service project. Maybe even put a video together that talks about your company’s mission and culture. These additions will go a long way in attracting millennials to join your team.

2. Stop being so boring.
If you’re still using the same job descriptions you’ve been using since 1998, it’s time to update them. Today’s applicants can instantly compare your job listing with hundreds of other listings. What’s going to make your job opportunity stand out from the rest?

I get it. Job descriptions are inherently boring. But, there’s a way to make just about any job sound fun. Enlist the best copy writer in your marketing department to help make your job listings pop.

3. Make it easy to apply.
The customer journey is a critical focus for most marketing departments. How do we ensure that the customer has the best possible experience from initial contact to delivery of goods and services? And, how do we make it as easy as possible for the customer to make a buying decision? This thought process should also extend to the job applicant.

Simply put, make it easy for people to actually apply for the job. If you don’t already have a way for people to apply online, get one soon. No one wants to print off an application, scan it and email it in. Have your marketing team build an online application that users can easily complete. Or, better yet, let job applicants apply using their LinkedIn profiles.

On a related note, if you don’t have any job openings at the time, you might consider creating a career interest form where people can provide you with their name, email address and resume. You can use this list of interested candidates later down the road when an opportunity arises. Not to mention, your marketing folks can also add them to your monthly e-newsletter. That’s what we call a win-win!

These certainly aren’t the only areas where HR and marketing can collaborate, but, by enhancing your first impression, updating your job descriptions and improving your application process, you can better position your company to attract millennials.

If you would like learn more about how you can effectively attract solid and productive millennial employees , call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

How Would You Answer?… What Is Job Fit?

Onboarding New EmployeesWhat is Job Fit?

It’s the degree of congruence between an individual’s strengths, needs, and wants in a particular job and work environment. When interests align, the employee and the organization experience a good job fit. Establishing job fit helps to identify and place top performers in suitable positions.

Based on identifying innate personality traits, abilities, and behaviors, assessing for job fit determines if a person CAN do a job, HOW they will do a job, and if they will ENJOY the position. Every human being is motivated and driven by different influences. Job fit outlines the unique job-related qualities that make a person productive.

Poor job fit is costly to organizations worldwide. So much so that some businesses (in recent years) even offered employees cash to quit their jobs, if they felt it was not the right fit. Companies like Amazon and Zappos offered employees thousands of dollars to leave in an attempt to weed out those who don’t value the organizational mission. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated in his shareholder letter, “The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

Gallup research has shown that companies with a ratio of 9.3 “engaged” employees (those who are emotionally connected with their jobs) for every one “disengaged” employee, saw 147 percent higher earnings per share on average [in 2012], when compared with their competitors. Gallup estimated that “active disengagement” costs the United States $450 to $550 billion each year.

Establishing and hiring for job fit at the start of the employee lifecycle helps organizations ensure they don’t become just another business contributing to the above figures.

On an organizational level, it will become evident that employees with little or no job fit will eventually leave, or be asked to leave. Turnover hurts more than a company’s bank balance; it affects morale, the company reputation, and productivity levels.

What are the factors in determining job fit?

There are multiple parts to an effective hiring process, as well as establishing job fit:

  • Assessments, behavioral interviewing, background checks
  • Identifying the position and what is needed in the position
  • Setting clear guidelines and expectations
  • Creating a benchmark

What is benchmarking?

  1. The process of identifying the standard of top, middle, and bottom performers
  2. Identifying commonalities (indicators) between what differentiates top performers from bottom performers
  3. Looking at a company’s culture, as cultures differ across organizations
  4. Using company-specific information

How to spot a job fit problem.

We are always looking for the perfect fit. We try on clothes before we buy them because clothes that fit look better. We pay to get rings resized. We even look for fit in our relationships; most of us like to build relationships with people who are compatible with us in some way. Since we take such care to find the perfect fit in other parts of our lives, shouldn’t we take the same approach in hiring to make sure candidates fit open positions?

Job fit is about more than just finding someone who has the necessary technical skills to do the job. A lack of technical skills is rarely the primary reason someone fails at a job. Job fit encompasses skills as well as a person’s reasoning ability, behavioral traits, and interests. Even when you identify an employee that may seem suitable for a particular job, interests and reasoning skills can change over time. This means another available job at your company could be the right move for an employee who no longer fits his or her current position.

It is not easy to identify employees who are up for a job change. Managers oversee numerous employees, and are often consumed by making sure everything gets done. Employees themselves often do not realize the problem is probably job-fit related. Although it can be hard, there are a few indicators to help you identify when it is time for an employee to make a job move:

1. The employee’s performance quality has decreased drastically.
If you notice that a formally stellar employee has been producing less quality work, it may be a sign that he or she needs a change. It is clear that the employee has the ability to be a star performer. Identify a job that will challenge him or her. Hopefully, the change of pace will be exactly what the employee needs to return to their previous level of engagement and work quality.

2. The employee has an updated skill set.
Many employees go back to school, seek certifications to keep themselves marketable, or switch careers completely. Instead of losing your employees to other companies once they receive more education, identify open positions you have that will match their new skill sets.

3. The employee seems bored.

If you have an employee who is still doing adequate work but seems bored, a job-fit problem probably exists. Boredom can be identified by an inability to pay attention in meetings, lack of new ideas, or a general loss of interest in company news. People prefer to be in jobs that excite and push them. Boredom is the first sign of a string of other problems, including disengagement and poor work quality. Stop the downward trend before it gets too bad by placing the employee in a new job that challenges them.
If you would like learn more about how you can create a process where you can great Job Fit in your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

12 Reasons Your Best Employees Might Leave…

05-21-10-5-ideas-that-can-accelerate-your-leadership1It’s pretty amazing how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about—few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door.
Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: People don’t leave bad companies. They leave bad bosses. They don’t leave flawed organizational structures and abandon lousy products and technology. They leave flawed leadership.

Do your employees feel like their 9 to 5 is more like 9 to eternity? Do they complain about bad or ineffective bosses who damage their emotional well-being, intimidate them, or don’t respect them? If so, achieving a good relationship with your team could be the most important move you can make at work.

Here are 12 supervisory traits that will cause employees to want to quit their jobs and look for greener pastures elsewhere. See if you recognize any of them and please feel free to add to the list with your own reasons employees quit.

  • Credit Snatcher – taking credit for someone else’s work
  • Talking Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth – sending mixed messages
  • Conclusion Jumper – responding before having all the facts
  • Know It All – believing you have all the answers
  • Over Talker – talking over others during meetings
  • Skeptic – not believing anything others say
  • Information Disseminator – not providing enough information to complete projects
  • Recognizer – not recognizing employees for a job well done
  • Late Night Worker – expecting staff to continue working from home
  • Comparer – comparing one employee to another
  • Over Committer – taking on more work despite not having the bandwidth
  • Executor – stressing out employees to look good in the boss’ eyes
The words managers speak to employees are powerful. They can either destroy employee morale or build them up. Care for your employees’ wellbeing. In some cases, you may be the only person in their lives to speak words of encouragement to them. Choose your words wisely and make them count.
If you would like learn more about how you can create a powerful team of employees that stick with you through to good times, and bad, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

A Gift To You…Top 13 Best E-Books For Hiring Managers & Talent Management Specialists

dreamstimeextrasmall_24776938Advanced Business Coaching, Inc helps our client organizations find the right people, shape them into a winning team, and lead them to their full potential, so they can help you grow your business profits.

We’ve just compiled a series of E-Books and white papers designed to provide HR Talent Management professionals, hiring managers and small business owners the best possible information they can use to identify best qualified candidates and match those candidates to the right position.  Then, keep the employees happy and engaged.

We’d like to offer these valuable list of E-Books and Whitepapers to you, as our gift.  No cost – No Obligation. They will be delivered to you every 2 weeks so that you’ll have to time to read and implement the concepts and ideas into your business.


If you’d like to get a specific book – not a problem, just email me and I will be happy to forward it to you immediately.