Friday, February 03, 2006

Poll Shows Optimism For New Year

The majority of small-business owners will be focused on marketing, sales and investment in new technology in the new year to fuel continued growth in the small business sector, the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy in 2005. According to a poll by, the online television network for small business, 89.3% of small-business owners responding ranked marketing and sales as their top priority in 2006, followed by investment in new technology (25.5%).
Small firms will also increase staffing in 2006, according to SBTV poll results. Small businesses employ more than two-thirds of the American workforce and, according to national statistics, about 25% of small businesses will be increasing their staffs in the first quarter of 2006. Additionally, 60% say they will not decrease staff during the new year.

Monday, January 30, 2006

New Hires: Let Their Parents Train Them

Years ago I was writing an article on a local entrepreneur that had taken a near bankrupt company and turned it around into a thriving corporation. His biggest accomplishment was transforming the workforce from one that stole, lied and rarely showed up for work into a workforce that eventually purchased part of the company. I asked him how he turned his workforce around? This is what he said.

"Years ago I was so impressed with the customer service level of Nordstrom retail stores I decided to head to its headquarters in California and ask management how they train their employees. So, I did. Sure enough, one of the Nordstrom sons came out of the main office, greeted me and took me back to his office. I just asked him(pen and paper in hand), how do you train your employees? Their customer service is incredible. His answer: "We don't train them. Their parents train them."
I came back disappointed. I wanted the five-step process. Then, a few weeks later at my desk, I realized what Mr. Nordstrom was really saying. Parents are the role models that set the values all of us have for the rest of our lives. Great employees started with great parents. It changed the way I hired from then on. When I would find a great employee, I would ask him or her about relatives, brothers, sisters, family members, etc. I would also ask them about friends, because high achievers usually hang out with high achievers."

For more advice on hiring, check out this Business Know How article.