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4 Business Essentials to Maximize Growth

4 Business Essentials to Maximize Growth

Networking is a magical exchange of value between one individual and another.  Over the course of the past week, I’ve been fortunate enough to sit down with some amazing professionals in various industries across the greater Chicago area and converse with them about what’s working, what’s not working and what we can do for each other to boost both business and the bottom line.  I’ve come to the realization throughout this experience that really only 4 things matter when it comes to sustainable business growth.

Relationships.

They are the backbone of business and without them a company/organization ceases to exist.  Networking is essential to the growth of your net worth.  Of the 13 individuals I sat down with, each conversation lasting between 2 to 4 hours, I recognized how amazing each individual was, how much potential they had, how much value they were adding to the Chicago community and how that was impacting communities around the world. Each of these relationships was formed over a period of time, starting from a simple connection on social media, to a phone conversation, to later meeting each individual in person.  These relationships, whether I’ve personally reached out or we were connected through a mutual friend, have been vital to both my own growth and the growth of my business.  The most successful individuals grow their network so that when a problem arises, they have immediate access to the solution, allowing it to consume less time, less money and causing less stressed.  This fundamental key to success sets individuals and organizations apart.

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Product.

The product is the most essential element to a successful business.  But a product not packaged and positioned properly will always fail no matter how great it is.  Learning to sell a product isn’t difficult.  Learning to position your product with simplicity leads to greater quantity of sales in a smaller period of time.  Regardless of what the product is, what its value in the marketplace is, or how much it costs, one thing remains the same: it has to appeal to consumers’ emotions, or it won’t sell.  When consumers have an emotional attachment to your product or service, nothing else matters.  What I mean is this: let’s say, for example, you go to buy an ADT Security System–it isn’t the system you’re buying, it’s the emotion of security and peace of mind.  The same is true for all things in life; it isn’t what you’re selling, but our emotional attachment to that product or service that we, as consumers, are purchasing.

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Processes.

Each of us is a slave to convenience.  If the phone is not charged, we leave the house when it is.  If our gym bag is not packed, we won’t go to the gym.  When we’re in the store, we buy what’s convenient, not necessarily what’s healthy.  If we make the process for both ourselves and our consumers simple, easy, and convenient, our ROI automatically and dramatically increases.

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People.

There is no bigger asset to an organization than its people.  People are everything.  If you don’t take care of your people, they won’t take care of you.  Employees, contractors, and commissioned sales people are no longer just looking to hold a position within an organization; they are looking to lead, help, encourage, and set the tone of the organization’s future.  They want to be involved in decision making, have leeway on projects, be directed and guided–but not told what to do–while at the same time having flexibility when it comes to choosing their schedule.  Providing these small benefits can make a world of difference.

These 4 elements are present in every successful business, and they should be present in yours.  Learning how to build relationships, position your product, systematize your processes and take care of your people will help you build a solid foundation for long-term sustainable growth within your organization.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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