Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ No. 1 foolish behavior an obstacle to growing business ]]> Lead story image

After 16-plus years of working with small business owners and senior level executives, I have observed a lot of foolish behaviors. Yet there are seven words that consistently top all others: “We have always done it this way.” Wow! How can any business grow with a mindset and behaviors that are always the same? And what is even worse, this behavior many times starts at the top with executive leadership. How many businesses are still interviewing their applicants essentially the same way? Research has revealed that 90 percent of those doing the interviewing are not trained professional interviewers. Also, with … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:26:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Foolish behaviors drive employees and profits away ]]> Lead story image

April is a month known for practical jokes, which makes it a good time to discuss some of the foolish behaviors that some businesses continue to demonstrate. One of the truisms in business is people leave managers not organizations. Poor behaviors demonstrated by bad managers may be one reason 83 percent of North American employees will be seeking new jobs in 2014, acording to Manpower. Within my own executive coaching practice, I have and continue to observe foolish management behaviors. Take for example the sales manager for a global Fortune 500 firm who decided it made sense not only to … ]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 12:50:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ A small business leader who seeks the positive ]]> Lead story image

With March being about measurement, having Rick Gosser of Gosser Corporate Sales Inc. of Crown Point, share his thoughts makes a lot of sense. Beyond losing over 135 pounds and adopting a much healthier and positive lifestyle, Rick’s business has improved because of his change. He has much more energy and that energy is contagious. Gosser Corporate Sales Inc. is all about improving the metrics of small business marketing by having people remember your brand through quality embroidered corporate logo wear, T-shirts, business cards and those all too familiar “chackies.” Q: Rick, what five words or phrases would you use … ]]> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:36:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yes, business ethics can be measured ]]> Lead story image

When small businesses to even much larger ones look at metrics, one of the very rare and overlooked ones is the adherence to business ethics. There is documented research from organizations, such as Ethics Resource Center, Gallup and various universities measuring the impact of business ethics or lack thereof on everything from employee morale to the negative impact on workplace productivity. So the reluctance to avoid business ethics as a key metric or key performance indicator (KPI) is illogical. This begs the question of, “How does one measure ethical behavior within the workplace without being viewed as judgmental or worse … ]]> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 15:28:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Good talent is hard to find ]]> Lead story image

The business landscape has changed especially when it comes to the workforce. Beyond having three to four generations in the workplace, the ongoing Silver Tsunami along with a shrinking qualified talent pool has many employers scrambling to find good employees. Add the Manpower findings last year thaat showed 83 percent of the workforce will be looking for new jobs in 2014, maybe now is the time to establish key metrics for finding good talent. When key metrics are in alignment with the overall strategic plan, this alignment helps to close the gaps between strategy, structure, process, rewards and people. (Source: … ]]> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:20:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Attention to metrics can help build client base ]]> Lead story image

To secure new business requires people finding out about you, your company and your solutions. This discovery process is called marketing. Without solid marketing, you will remain pocket poor. What is interesting is the lack of established metrics by small businesses specific to how much does it cost to acquire a customer. So here is a quick way to begin to understand your average client acquisition costs from a 30,000-foot perspective: 1. List your annual membership fees for Chambers; professional and industry associations; civic and business to business networking groups 2. List any expenditures such as food and travel costs associated with … ]]> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Measurement a recipe for business success or failure ]]> Lead story image

“What gets measured in life, gets managed” is a tried and true statement. Count your calories and you probably will lose weight. Walk 10,000 steps and the weight starts coming off if you count your calories. Metrics for your small business are no exception. The challenge for so many small business owners and sales professionals is the only metric they may be measuring is their bank balance (cash flow). By establishing a consistent practice of measuring one’s small business activities provides a competitive advantage of being able to recognize when the market place is changing. This change in the marketplace … ]]> Sun, 02 Mar 2014 23:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Passionate leadership resonates with employees, core values ]]> Lead story image

What better way to conclude the February theme of leadership than by having the founder of Inspiration Fitness, Angela Ramos, share her insights on leadership? Ramos is a hands-on leader from being a certified international fitness trainer/coach, author of “3 Steps to Your Best Body in Record Time” and to homeschooling her children. Her business, Inspiration Fitness, is located in Crown Point. Q: What five words or phrases would you use to describe a leader? A: ● Fearless ● Passionate ● Servant ● Focused ● Dedicated Q: How much do positive core values play in the role of being a … ]]> Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:44:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Great leadership means making tough decisions ]]> Lead story image

Today is President’s Day. This is a day that originally honored George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Today, this day celebrates past and present presidents while providing a three-day mid-winter holiday for many workers. Being president of the United States or of an organization is not easy and requires tough decisions. History has chronicled many of those difficult decisions such as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s decision to land on the beaches of Normandy or President Harry S Truman’s decision to drop the H-Bomb on Japan. Here in Northwest Indiana, Porter County, the elected auditor, Bob Wichlinski, recognized he, as a leader, had … ]]> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 07:59:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Results-based leadership now preferred to bring success ]]> Lead story image

Think for a moment of a leader you appreciate or admire. Then jot down three of his or her qualities that make this person a leader to you. If you were in a group of three or more, do you believe everyone would identify the same person as a leader and list exactly the same three qualities? From my experience, the answer is a resounding no. What really needs to happen is to change the 19th and 20th century mindset about what makes a good leader. In the past, the focus was on competencies or skills. Yet we know different … ]]> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 14:10:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ineffective leadership reduces chance of business success ]]> Lead story image

Leadership is what makes or breaks any organization from the single office/home office to the Fortune 100 global firms. As those in leadership roles sift through all their corporate challenges, they are finding ineffective leadership is the root cause for these obstacles to business and even personal success. Zappos recently announced a “Holacratic Business Model,” which is a flat organization structure having no job titles, no managers and no hierarchy. To successfully implement this model requires exceptional leadership (leading others) and self-leadership (leading oneself). Within this type of organization, everyone knows what to do, when to do it, how to … ]]> Sat, 01 Feb 2014 17:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Talent management is a critical investment, not a cost ]]> Lead story image

Many, when hearing “talent management,” may think of human resources or HR. Talent management is far more than HR and probably contributes more to the bottom line than any other trend, including technology. Years ago, a mentor of mine shared a story. He was speaking with a CEO of a mid-size firm who was complaining about all the “nincompoops” employees. My mentor asked this question (knowing full well the answer): “Who hired those nincompoops?” If the right people are not placed in the right seats using the right talents to make the right decisions to ensure the right results in … ]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 22:40:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Content marketing is another small business trend with big future ]]> Lead story image

Did you know 50 percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a website? According to Yodle, in June 2013, 52 percent of small businesses surveyed did not have a website. In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed 75.2 percent of the 14,441,089 businesses surveyed did not have a website. Without a website, the evolving trend of content marketing is probably new or foreign to many small business owners. The lack of a website affects passive income and business sustainability. In basic terms, content marketing is a marketing strategy and tactic where relevant information is both created and distributed. The … ]]> Sat, 18 Jan 2014 12:36:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mobility is driving Big Data to the local-to-global market ]]> Lead story image

Human beings, as social creatures, love being connected This love has created the nomophobia, the fear of not being connected to one’s mobile devices, as well as pushing this trend of mobility deeper and deeper into daily business operations. In September, smart phones accounted for 56 percent of the U.S. market with Apple’s iPhone having 25 percent of that share. Even earlier, in August 2012, ComScore revealed that desktop search volume had declined from the previous year. The decline was directly connected to all those smart phones. Mobility through smart devices will bring Big Data directly into small business. According … ]]> Sun, 12 Jan 2014 09:04:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Paying attention to trends can pay off ]]> Lead story image

Small business owners to sales professionals sometimes spend so much time in the trenches they fail to leave those well beaten pathways to see what is on the horizon. This may explain why I hear these remarks so many times: • “I never heard about that” • “Where did you read that?” • “How did you know that?” From my research, I believe these are seven significant trends affecting small businesses especially those with under 20 employees. Big Data – This is a term that came from IT and is now far more influential than just within IT departments. As a trend, Big … ]]> Sat, 04 Jan 2014 13:22:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Visionary leadership keeps the focus on simplicity ]]> Lead story image

With the end of the year just one day away, what better time is it to have a noted and proven leader here in Northwest Indiana communicate his thoughts about leadership? Gus Olympidis is the president and CEO of Family Express Corp. with corporate headquarters located in Valparaiso. For those who may not know, Family Express was founded in 1975 with one convenience store. Today this regional business serves Northwest and North Central Indiana; has grown to 60 convenience stores and fuel stations; and employs 475 employees. What is also interesting to note that many people may not know about … ]]> Sat, 28 Dec 2013 12:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ What does Santa know that you don’t about the value of employees? ]]> Lead story image

Christmas Eve is just two days away and all those elves at the North Pole are very busy in Santa’s shop. Santa cannot afford to lose any elf right now or during the rest of the year because he’s one smart small business owner. Years ago, Santa realized that beyond the upfront costs of hiring any new elves he recognized all those hidden costs that so many other small business owners don’t take the time to reflect and understand. For example, some of those hidden costs are overworked elves who must make up for the missing elf or unhappy children … ]]> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 23:38:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Keep tabs on your sales process ]]> Lead story image

The word “sales” is so confusing. This word has multiple meanings including: • An actual transaction • A selling behavior • A marketing behavior • A role • A process Again with the year coming to an end, this is probably the best time to reflect upon this word of “sales” and specifically in regards to your “sales process.” Many large to small businesses have a sales process. Over the years, I have constructed a 3-phase sales process: 1. Marketing – Attracting attention 2. Selling – Earning the sales 3. Keeping – Maintaining customer loyalty and relationships What I noticed for my own small business back in 2005 … ]]> Sat, 14 Dec 2013 16:02:00 -0500