Outsourcing and Hiring Tips – See How You Can Easily Work Less, Play More and Earn More!

Summer is a great time to take off to explore new destinations, experience new adventures or just enjoy lazy afternoons poolside.

But, I meet business owners all the time who are either too buried in the business to get away at all or they take their work with them on vacation — which doesn’t feel like a real vacation. Growing a successful business does not mean you have to be a workaholic. You can easily work less, so you can play more this summer … all while still growing your business.

This freedom is possible when you learn how to outsource and/or hire effectively. If you have a higher level salaried position that you are struggling to fill, let me say you should first check out some staffing agencies who can provide you with an abundant supply of potential candidates.

But for those times when you’re just trying to fill an hourly job or an entry-level position, here are 9 tips to help you find your next great hire and build more freedom into your business:

Hiring Tip #1: Hire part time freelancers.

I find the biggest obstacle for many small business owners when it comes to hiring is often the fear of taking on a full time employee. If you’re just getting started, start small. You can work with someone virtually either on a one time project basis and/or just 5-10 hours a week.

Here are 3 sites I have used successfully to find and hire affordable, skilled freelancers:

  • Upwork.com
  • eLance.com
  • ContemporaryVA.com

Hiring Tip # 2. Post an ad in your local Craigslist. 

If you prefer hiring local workers Craigslist is a cheap and effective way to get the word out online for people who are looking for work locally. Not only do you want to post the ad on Craigslist, you want to take a look at how you’re wording the ad.

Hiring Tip #3.  Place an ad in your local print newspaper in the classified section. 

If you’re in a hurry to find the right employee consider implementing a multiple prong approach to get the word out both online and offline. You can also post an ad in your industry newspaper or magazine in the classified section. That way your opening is being seen by a niche audience of other professionals who are already in the industry.

Hiring Tip #4. Establish a finder’s fee program. 

You can write up a simple handwritten poster to explain your finder’s fee program. Offer a bonus. For example, $50 will be paid to the person who refers an applicant you end up hiring.

I would wait 30 days before you pay their finder’s fee to make sure the person is going to work out for you and doesn’t quit after the first two weeks.

You can also make it even better by making it a $100 finder’s fee with the stipulation that they would be paid $50 after the employee’s first 30 days and then they would be paid another $50 on that person’s six-month anniversary of working with you. That way you’re helping and motivating others to send you candidates who are likely to be more long-term for you.

A simple way to put this information out there is by putting it on a poster where they can tear off the phone number. That would be the guerrilla marketing approach. You can also transfer that same information and have it printed on a postcard, so when you meet people who would have a possible candidate in mind or perhaps even be that potential candidate, you can hand them a postcard that explains the opening and the finder’s fee offer.

Hiring Tip # 5. Promote the Finder’s Fee program at your place of business. 

If you have a brick-and-mortar business for customers where they are coming into your building, you can promote the opening to your customers. Have signage where they can see that you are offering a finder’s fee program for your opening.

For example, you can offer your customers $50 in free services as a finder’s fee after 30 days, and $100 or $50 after the first six months. Let your customers, who love you already, help you fill the position that you need.

Hiring Tip # 6. Poster locally. 

You can do a simple marketing approach and create posters – the kind with phone numbers you can tear off at the bottom that promote your help-wanted position along with the finder’s fee offer.

You might as well kill two birds with one stone and create a second poster that really describes your business. This one would be addressed to appeal to your customers. Keep a bunch of copies in your car and as you go throughout your day, you can post them at some key places where there’s a lot of traffic. Write down what those key places are so it will help trigger the reminder for you when you are in the car.

Grab an index card and write things like grocery stores, health clubs, coffee shops, churches, YMCA bulletin boards, community college bulletin boards, etc. Of course, your target list of locations will depend on the type of opening that you have and where it makes the most sense where those Ideal applicants may be hanging out.

If you want to boost this passive approach, you can either hire some high school students to go and blanket your town with these posters, or even utilize non-paid high school or college interns to do things like this for you.

Hiring Tip #7. Post your opening as an update in your LinkedIn feed. 

Let your connections know that you have an opening and let them know about your finder’s fee program. You can even post the same update several times a week to have that message to catch different people who log on at different times of day.

Another thing you can do, is utilize the specific targeted LinkedIn groups. It doesn’t cost anything when you post in the groups under the job discussions tab. If you wanted to boost visibility, yes, you can pay to purchase under the LinkedIn recruiting program.

Hiring Tip #8.  Look for local job boards online. 

You can do a search using a variation of keywords like the name of your city, help wanted, and job openings. You can also search the exact position that you offer and see where competitors have posted their ads.

There are many Facebook groups, as well, that may have targeted communities of business owners in your local area. Share your post or your announcement about your finder’s fee program to other business owners who would likely also have past and current applicants that they have in their files.

Hiring Tip #9. Direct recruiting. 

You may have a hard time filling a position, particularly if it requires a degree of industry specific experience. In this case, you can go out and meet those types of people directly as a customer.

You can do direct recruiting right in LinkedIn by searching for variations of the job title you are looking to fill. LinkedIn is a great way for you to view people’s resumes for free. You can short list your top picks and then reach out to the ones you’re most interested in to invite them to apply for your position. This is a great practice because statistics have shown that often the best hires are the people who were not actively looking for work, but were recruited.

Utilize these nine steps listed above, you will be well on your way to not only filling your position quickly, but finding a candidate that is a good fit for you and your business. It is possible to easily work less, play more and earn more through your business.

Outsourcing your tasks and hiring other people is your pathway to building a thriving freedom business you love.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to finding and hiring great help?

© Copyright 2016

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change, Part 2

Overcoming employee resistance to change is a common challenge business both small and large have to contend with.  In Part 1 we looked at 5 surefire strategies like:

1.) Check your attitude.

2.) Commit to being a leader.

3.) Have clear player positions.

4.) Have clear player expectations.

5.) Don’t “pass the buck”.

In Part 2, let me share three more tips and techniques for creating successful change in your business; and even explore how you can benefit from them in all areas of your life!

#6. Hold firm expectations.

Once you set your expectations, you need to hold firm to them.People can tell whether you’re firm or fake. They can smell that fear a mile away. Overcoming employee resistance to change will only continue to be a challenge if managers continue to waver on setting clear, firm expectations.

abc   What are the non-negotiable expectations you have for each employee?

abc   What is the language you use to communicate those expectations?

abc   What is the tone you project? What does your non-verbal communication say?

#7. Build relationships.

Overcoming employee resistance to change doesn’t come from focusing on their behavior; but from focusing on your relationship.

Employee resistance occurs when there’s no respect.

There’s no respect because there is no trust.

There’s no trust because there’s no relationship.

There’s no relationship because there is no consistent one-on-one time.

Remember that: relationships are NOT built in groups. Relationships are built one-on-one

abc   How often do you schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports?

abc   Do you critique your employees more than you appreciate them?

#8. Find out their WHATand their WHY.

As business owners and managers, we all want a team of players who are highly self-motivated. Self-motivated people are naturally self absorbed. But, in this case, being self absorbed is not a bad thing.

If you want your people to care about what you care about (growing the company), then you need to first care about what they care about.

Why? Because creating success is about creating a win-win situation for everyone.

When you’re struggling with overcoming employee resistance, remember:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

abc   How much do you know about each employee?

abc   Have you ever asked what motivates them?

abc   Have you ever asked what their goals are, in both their professional and personal lives?

abc   Have you ever asked why? What would achieving that goal allow them to do, be or have, that they don’t have right now?

Benefiting from these skills in all areas of your life

These same strategies for overcoming employee resistance to change can be applied to our personal lives as well.  These leadership skills, coaching skills and management skills are also lasting life skills that you’ll benefit from in all types of relationships.

As a parent, I want to raise my three kids to be highly self-motivated people. Like most parents, I want my kids to dream big and reach their full potential.

Despite this, I started noticing that I was nagging my son, Thomas, to get out there and practice his soccer drills. I was annoyed that I was investing time and money into his soccer training, but he was RESISTING the advice of his coach.

I decided to apply these same strategies at home. When he was around 12 years old, I sat down with my son and asked him: ‘What’s your dream?’

His answer – to become a professional soccer player. 

We talked about his why, and defined what would that allow him to achieve his desires in life. Then, all I had to do was show him what separates the extraordinary soccer players from the less extraordinary soccer players.

We defined what the extraordinary soccer players did to get there —(exceeding expectations)

We defined what lesser soccer players did —(meeting expectations)

We defined what failed soccer players did —(below expectations)

‘Thanks for believing in me

My son Thomas will soon be turning 15, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had to nag him since that conversation when he was 12. In fact, I truly admire how highly self-motivated he has become. The snow or rain does not stop him from running outside or practicing his shots on net.  He is not only disciplined in his cross training routine at home, he’s also surprisingly disciplined in choosing what he eats as an athlete.

The best part as a parent was the day my son took me aside and said, “Mom, thanks for believing in me.  Wow! I can last on those 6 words for the next 6 years!

As a business owner or manager, it’s the same thing. When you have an employee who takes the time to say, “Thanks coach, for believing in me.” – that’s the kind of stuff that fuels your tank for many more years to come.

Not only do these strategies help you in overcoming employee resistance to change; they can benefit all areas of your life. Instituting these 8 starter strategies also nurtures fierce loyalty among your employees – creating motivated, productive players that will go over and beyond their call of duty.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to overcoming employee resistance? Please share your comments in the box below

© Copyright 2018

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change, Part 1 – 8 Simple Strategies to Creating Successful Change

The challenge of overcoming employee resistance is a hurdle both small and large business owners face.As your business grows, it has to adapt to changing circumstances. Trends and tastes change, and new challenges emerge; and it’s the most flexible, adaptive businesses that survive. This evolutionary process can be painful – especially when your employees are resistant to change.

From my experience, balancing the needs of the business, and the desires of its employees, is the most common problem facing small business owners and their managers. Implementing structural change in a business has become a dreaded necessity – but it needn’t be.

Here are 8 surefire strategies to overcoming employee resistance; the most effective, efficient and productive ways to create successful change in your business.

#1. Check your attitude.

Addressing your own attitude might sound contrarian, when it’s clearly the employees who have a stubborn attitude – but as a business owner or manager, you have to first put on the mindset that the “buck stops here”.

There’s no need to be a “barker”or a “dictator”if it doesn’t suit your personality – but if employees are resisting change, their lack of cooperation is probably because you’re letting people walk all over you. Check your attitude:

abc   Are you catering to their needs?

abc   Are you caving in to their resistances?

abc   Are you managing conflict, or are you avoiding conflict?

#2. Commit to being the leader.  

If people aren’t listening to you, they’re not following you. People follow leaders.

Eleanore Roosevelt so famously said, “If you have to tell people you’re a lady; you’re not a lady.The same applies to management. If you have to tell your people to listen to you, you’re not a leader — or at least, you’re not acting like a leader.

Overcoming employee resistance starts with committing to be a strong leader.  I often discover that managers and business owners who struggle with overcoming employee resistance hold misconceptions of what a leader is. A leader is not a dictator. A leader is not barker. A leader does not need to strong arm or threaten their people to do what you need them to do.

Reframe your definition of a leader as being more of a coach. If you were the new Head Coach of a football team and you needed to develop a group of underdogs into a championship level team, ask yourself:

abc   Have you cast an exciting, clear vision of where your company (team) is going?

abc   Are you raising the bar on their effort, performance and work ethic?

abc   Are you holding each team player accountable to follow through – or are you letting them slack?

#3. Have clear player POSITIONS.  

One of the biggest hindrances to overcoming employee resistance to change is that employees were never given clear expectations to begin with.

abc   What exactly was each person hired for?

abc   What position are they playing on your team?

If they’re hired to play wide receiver, then clearly define the role of a wide receiver. Don’t confuse and frustrate your players by having them play linebacker, quarterback, defense and wide receiver all in the same game.

People’s reactions are always based on their expectations. If you’re constantly throwing new changes to their job function it’s understandable that employees would grow increasingly frustrated. After all, they’re trying to hit a constantly moving target.

Employees end up thinking “Hey, this is not what I signed up for!–and their motivation plummets.

In order to mitigate that:

#4. Have clear player EXPECTATIONS.  

If you want to stop the reaction of resistance, start by setting clear player expectations.

abc   Do you have a written job description for each player?

abc   Is the language crystal clear in objective terms rather than subjective and open to interpretation?

abc   Does it define performance that meets expectations, falls below expectations or exceeds expectations?

#5. Dont pass the buck

If you don’t have written job descriptions, avoid the temptation to allow people to define their own roles or write their own job descriptions.

Having your employees write their own job description is only valuable as a barometer to assess their expectations of their role within the business; and how they align with your expectations.

I do not recommend taking this approach to let your players write their own player positions and expectations for you. That’s your job. These are decisions that should be made by you.

Ok, now that you’ve read this far, you’re ready to dive into

Part 2 – Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change.


You can also download my handy cheat sheet on
Creating High Performing Teams Here.

QUESTION:  What additional factors have you seen contribute to employee resistance and how did you overcome it? Please share your comments and questions in the box below.

© Copyright 2018

4 Software Solutions to Help a Busy Small Business Owner Manage

You’re competing with nearly 22 million small business owners in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. How quickly and efficiently you get something done for your customers can make the difference between earning their loyalty or losing them to the competition.

Managing your time well can get you repeat business and referrals, and these tools will help you be fast and efficient, no matter what your business.

 (1) Manage Customers

Not long ago, only large corporations could afford to use sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Now they are available through software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers on the cloud. A good CRM system lets you access and analyze customer information, get better visibility into the sales cycle and learn the business trend information that helps with forecasting. Zoho CRM is one such cloud-based tool. Use it to:

  • Get reports on customer activity every morning
  • Integrate your sales activity with customer contact information and have a complete record of how the sales cycle is progressing
  • Access customer information on the road with the Zoho mobile app

(2) Manage Accounts Receivables (AR)

Your cash flow depends on getting payment from customers, and payment from customers depends on you getting your invoices out promptly. A cloud-based invoicing tool such as Intuit Quickbooks automates many AR tasks and lets you monitor customer account activity. Quickbooks can:

  • Schedule electronic invoices for delivery and follow them up with reminders when payment is past due
  • Find your slow-paying customers, so you can send incentives to get their payments in on time
  • Generate revenue reports and tax statuses at any time
  • Access customer account information whereever you are with its mobile application

(3) Manage Your Team

Whether you have one or 100 employees, you need to manage company and project information in a way that gives people access to what they need when they need it. Expensive and complicated collaboration tools such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint were out of reach for many small businesses. Evernote Business is a better option for small businesses, and it continues to add helpful features. With Evernote Business you can:

  • Manage all company data and create notebooks that contain information for specific projects
  • Easily search for data within all project notebooks
  • Link team notes, so you can view the thread of activity and comments on any project
  • Capture data from the Web and store it in a project’s notebook for future reference
  • Access Presentation Mode, which lets you display team results and statuses directly from within Evernote without having to use other presentation tools

(4) Manage Your Social Media

If you are heavily invested in social networking for your business, use Hootsuite to manage all your social media campaigns from one place. All of the major players including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are integrated into one dashboard view. Use Hootsuite to:

  • Track your campaigns, analyze results and receive customer feedback
  • Access advanced analytics, including an integration with Google Analytics (Pro version only)
  • Save time you would spend working on each platform individually

There are hundreds of excellent software tools out there today to help you manage your staff and your time. The place to start of course is to first identify which of your tasks are tedious or recurring and then find a software solution to improve the process.

Once you’ve shortlisted the time consuming tasks in your work you can then begin searching for the right software. Or, even better why not just ask our community right here and share what you’re searching for in the comment box below.

QUESTION: What is your favourite piece of software that has helped you manage your small business?

© Copyright 2016

 

My interview in Entrepreneur Magazine

*This is a reprint from the article published in
https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/228294#7

Note from Yoon …

In case you missed the story that was published yesterday on Entrepreneur.com here it is again below as a reprint. Did you know …? that I got into business coaching to help other entrepreneurs to grow your businesses without missing out or sacrificing the quality of your family life. Let’s keep remembering those lessons from 9/11. The pursuit of business success should never overshadow relationships with our loved ones.Success and Blessings!

 

Entrepreneur_logoScreen Shot

 “As a type A personality, it was easy for me to get sucked into the ‘workaholism’ syndrome. 9/11 was a huge wake-up call that shouted the reminder to me that we never know how much time we have left here on earth.”

Yoon Cannon Business growth coach
Paramount Business Coach, LLC
Doylestown, Penn.

9/11 inspired me to completely change the business I was in. When 9/11 happened I was running three different businesses at the same time – a large performing arts center, a retail store, and a production company – with 35 people on my payroll. As a type A personality, it was easy for me to get sucked into the “workaholism” syndrome. 9/11 was a huge wake-up call that shouted the reminder to me that we never know how much time we have left here on earth.

No one ever says on their deathbed that they wished they worked more or achieved more. When we face death and tragedy we all evaluate the relationships in our lives. As a working mother with three children (two at that time), 9/11 inspired me to create instead a lifestyle business, so that my new business could be built around my family which would allow me to be available for them on their schedule. I didn’t want to miss out on enjoying my family and loved ones.

I ended up selling all three of my businesses and started my lifestyle business which is my coaching practice. The majority of my work is virtual, allowing me to be at home in the mornings to see them off to school and available for my kids when they get home at 3pm. I choose how much I want to work each week. I can work anywhere in the world, so when we decide to pick up and travel I can work around that no problem.

My lifestyle business also comes with the added perk of no overhead. I used to have a high maintenance- high overhead 5,000-square-foot building. Plus, my lifestyle business offers me a leveraged business model which allows me to work a fraction of the time while earning 10 times more than the traditional billable hours model.

I think the anniversary of 9/11 each year serves an important reminder for us all to prioritize and cherish investing in the relationships of our family and loved ones.

*This is a reprint from the article published in
https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/228294#7

QUESTION: What about you? How did 9/11 change you as an entrepreneur? Please share your comments below:

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 
© Copyright 2016

Harvard Business Review’s Insights for Motivating Your Employees

Management books will tell you recognition, incentives, support and clear goals are essential to motivating employees. But a recent study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) says otherwise. (Read about it at HBR’s 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.)
Tracking daily activities, emotions and motivation levels of hundreds of workers, over several years, researchers found that good, ol’ fashioned – progress–not cash, not bonuses, not paid cruise vacations– is what motivates staff and keeps them engaged.

In the study, HBR asked participants to maintain and send daily email diaries. The analysis of nearly 12,000 entries combined with the writer’s own ratings of their moods and motivations showed a consistency that throws traditional management philosophy right out the window.

Here’s a typical scenario. In this case, an information systems professional was thrilled that she’d finally figured out a solution to an ongoing problem. Her daily diary entry stated, “I felt relieved and happy because this was a minor milestone for me”.

Across the board, the excitement of making progress–even baby steps–was cause for joy. As many as 76% of participants’ reported they felt happiest when they’d accomplished something.

As a business coach I can certainly vouch for that! I hear it all the time. In fact, I heard those exact words at a conference where I was the keynote speaker for a regional group of Law Firms. They unanimously felt unhappy with their productivity because there’s so much thrown at them everyday that they rarely feel as if they’ve completed and accomplished something.

Compare this response with the typical management philosophy that feeling supported or collaborating with colleagues is more important. The study showed 53% ranked their best days when collaboration occurred and only 25% ranked interpersonal support as happening on their best days. Even more surprising, only 19% ranked their “best days” as when they had work they considered important.

In a start up environment, progress is crucial to getting the project off the ground, to turning profitable and even to having a business or job a few months down the road. But more stable environments may not have that same ferocity of pace and sometimes may not seem to change all that much. A lawyer’s office may have a consistent tone from the perspective of some staff, new clients come in, cases are handled, cases are closed. But you can still help keep your staff’s motivation high by ensuring they have the support they need when learning a new skill.

When your employees encounter setbacks–and they will, it’s an inevitable part of life–find out what the obstacle is and how you or someone else can help them.

What work concerns do your employees struggle with? Ask them. Here’s an innovative approach:

Ask your staff “what are the challenges that affect your productivity and performance? … and how can I better support you to circumvent those challenges?”

At one time the response from support staff at a younger 3M replied that clutter, filing and emails were a constant challenge for the people to stay on top of their performance goals. So, what did 3M do? They instituted a company wide practice to dedicate every Friday morning for all company employees to devote to filing, decluttering and cleaning out email inboxes. Wow! So, what can we all learn from the example of 3M?

1. They asked
2. They listened
3. They demonstrated support

Some of the top challenges I hear about in both my small business and in my large corporate clients is technology — especially understanding how to use specific software programs.

There are many ways to motivating your employees. Focus on making them feel they’re making progress. According to the HBR study, your job as their boss is to offer solutions to setbacks. The other part of your job is to be decisive when you set goals or make a decision and stick to them. Being indecisive frustrates employees.

Often, a fresh, outside perspective can do wonders for diagnosing the reason for low employee engagement and offering the road map for motivating your employees. If you are struggling with developing high performing leaders in your organization, I invite you to connect with me to discuss how I can help you. Reach me at (215) 292-4947 EST.

QUESTION: What has worked the best for you in motivating your employees? Please share your comments below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016