Retaining Your GREAT Employees

Week 6

Business owners know that every once in a while, you hire a great one.  Whether they were great straight out of the gate or they grew to be great while working for you, you don’t want to lose them.  According to How to Hire A-Players written by Eric Herrenkohl, there are some ways to keep those A-Players.

People want to work where they have a strong leader that lets them know when they are successful and important to the company.  It is important for the company to have some kind of recognition for these key employees.  Many times we get so caught up in running the company that we forget the people that are helping us become successful.   Employees need to know where they stand with the company.  Sketch out a quick organizational chart to let them know where they stand in the company and the role or roles that they hold.  Spend time with your A-Players teaching them how to fit into their role.  This time will be well spent as you are developing the players that will make your job easier and your company prosper. 

Know who the A-Players are with your company, but more importantly let them know that they are important.  Take the time to let them know what they mean to the business.   Let these key players know that they have a future and can grow with your company.  While you can’t make an employee stay, you can make them WANT to stay. 

Herrenkohl, E. (2010). How to hire A-players: Finding the top people for your team–even if you don’t have a recruiting department. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Role Dilemmas ENT 600

Reflection from The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noah Wasserman

Week 5

Being the founder of a company is not easy.  Being a co-founder of a company is harder.  One would think that working with a partner would make things easier.  In addition to the division of the work, you also must decide who gets which title.  Quite simply put, who is the CEO?

Sometimes deciding who does what comes naturally.  You will have two founders that have totally different skill sets.  You may have a founder that is a natural born leader with the charisma, confidence and passion for your company.  They may be accepted as the CEO.  When you have multiple founders that do not name a CEO, they may adapt to an egalitarian approach.  They will work together as a team and make decisions together.  Some founders end up working together as joint chief executives.  This tends to work if they use complimentary skills to get the job done.  Some of the disadvantages to the egalitarian approach are lack of accountability and time-consuming decision making.  Using the hierarchical approach can speed up the decision-making process and offer clear accountability. 

To avoid the conflicts associated when assigning the title, the choice could and should be made in the initial planning for the company.  Do this well before the ball is rolling.  Choosing the right leader for the company is the key to establishing confidence in your brand and company.

Wasserman, Noam. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

ENT 600 Hiring an A-Team

ENT 600 Week 4

If you are trying to build a successful business, hire people that can help you build it.  Hiring A-Players not only helps you build your company, it also allows you to have a life. If you hire people that can run the company without you, the value of your company even goes up.  Everyone should look for A-Players, not just the human resources department.  To build a great team, you don’t just hire any employee.   Recruiting great team players is your competitive advantage.

As you begin to hire your A-Team, you must find employees that mesh with the culture of your business.  If you do hire an employee that does not fit, it is important to the business to resolve issues with the employee quickly.  Having an employee that disrupts your team can destroy a good work environment, company reputation, and the success of your company.  Many times a small company will try to only hire people that they know; also known as hiring from your inner circle.  As an entrepreneur, you should look outside your inner circle to hire the most qualified, skilled employees that you can find.  Building a great team can make or break your business.  Find an A-Team, your business is counting on it.

Herrenkohl, E. (2010). How to hire A-players: Finding the top people for your team–even if you don’t have a recruiting department. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Wasserman, N. (2013). The founder’s dilemmas: Anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a startup. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

ENT 650 Week 3 Importance of Financial Statements

The importance of financial statements to entrepreneurs.

As I embark on reading Entrepreneurial Finance by Steven Rogers,  I realize the importance of financial statements to an entrepreneur.  Financial statements are a picture of the company in its present state of financial health that can be used to project the future of the business.  

Each statement will give a different snapshot.  The Income statement is sometimes referred to as the profit and loss statement.  It shows the reader if the company has the ability to earn a profit.  It is an organized summary of the company income (sales) and expenses.  The income statement can also be used to analyze sales trends over time.  The income statement is also used to calculate a company’s cash flow(Rogers, 2020).  After all, we all want to know if we are making money. 

Balance sheets show a great representation of a company’s assets, liabilities, and stockholders equity at a specific time.  These sheets are used by lenders to determine a company’s creditworthiness.  The assets and liabilities can be separated into long-term and short-term categories.  Short-term assets can be converted into cash within one year.  Long-term assets can be depreciated over time.  Liabilities are the debt that a company owes.  Short-term debt will be repaid in one year.  Stockholders equity is the difference between what the company owns (Assets) and what the company owes (liabilities).  

While it is not necessary as an entrepreneur to be able to create these, it is necessary to understand them.  After all, behind every successful business is a great accountant.

References  

Rogers, S. (2020). Entrepreneurial finance: Finance and business strategies for the serious entrepreneur. Place of publication not identified: Mcgraw-Hill Education.

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/does-balance-sheet-always-balance.asp

https://www.accountingtools.com/articles/what-is-the-purpose-of-financial-statements.html

ENT 600 Week 3 Building Social and Financial Capital

As a founder of a company, I can certainly appreciate the importance of social and human capital.  While my company was a small endeavor, the social capital that I had built was invaluable as we needed a loan.  Imagine a young couple with a drive for doing business but very little money.  Luckily, the young couple had a prior relationship with the lending institution and a good reputation.  This allowed them to receive a loan on a business plan and an idea for a business.  The connections do not stop there.  It is necessary to have human capital as well.  Whether you need a builder quickly, an attorney on the fly, or an accountant to keep your numbers straight, you need connections!  As the book, The Founder’s Dilemmas, emphasizes age could be in your favor.  Having been around a while, I have established relationships with many professionals in my industry that can answer questions, offer suggestions, or even lend me money.  Luckily, I am an extrovert and do not meet a stranger.  I will keep making friends and acquaintances because who knows what the future holds. 


Wasserman, Noam. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

ENT650–Crowdfunding

Image result for image for crowdfunding

How did I miss the concept of crowdfunding?

Thanks to an Entrepreneurial Finance class, I happened upon these wonderful platforms. Now, all I need is an idea. Something wonderful that will solve all the worlds problems. You may be as confused as I was about this. I have reviewed several wonderful sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and fundly. Each of these sites has backers that are willing to support your endeavor. These endeavors could include a great gadget, social cause, or a new business. The backers are willing to take a chance on you and your ideas. With Indiegogo, you will pitch your idea and possibly have a perk that usually involves your product. The backer will support you in exchange for the chance to be the first to try your product. They want to help start something.

This funding does not come without a price. There is a fee for using the platform. The platform fee for Indiegogo is 5%. There is also a charge to the backer which is a payment fee.

Join me next week for more details on Indiegogo.

ENT600 Week 2-Wealth vs Control

As entrepreneurs do what entrepreneurs do, it is important to know what your ideal outcome will be.  Going into my business, I knew that I wanted a long term income.  I see many entrepreneurs establishing the business, valuing the business and selling the business.  The business is not personal to them and it is easy to let it go for a tidy profit.  Whichever you choose, let the decision guide you in developing your business.  

If you are guided in obtaining wealth, you may as well plan on losing some or all control over the business. Whether you are losing control to board members, stockholders, investors or someone that is buying your business. These people will find value in your business and want to be a part of it.  

If you are wanting to keep control of your business, you may be passing on the public offering, buy out, or capital from other sources.  What you will have is the ability to call the shots and represent your own business and where the profits go.  

It is important to note that your motives may change over time.  While you may love what you do and are passionate about it, this could change as your interests change.  You may not be physically able to continue with the business.  You may decide that you need an exit strategy.  Knowing your options and keeping them open is very important as an entrepreneur.  The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noah Wasserman emphasizes that knowing whether wealth or control is your motivation will make decision making easier.  

Wasserman, Noam. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Week 2

As I write this week’s summary of this book, I am amazed at the amount I have absorbed from this book.  I am still reeling about the ideal client.  The relief that I felt from reading the book and learning that you do not have to please everyone was overwhelming.  I have thought about my ideal client this week.  I think that it is important to know them so that my marketing is specific to this group.  I have operated the cash register this week so I really felt personally involved with their buying decisions. Being hands on helps me with ordering and deciding what products we should be carrying and maybe some that we should not.  

Uniqueness!!!  This was a huge eye opener for me.  What makes my business unique?  Reflecting on the produce business, I would say that our freshness makes us unique.  Going to the farmer’s market everyday keeps everything very fresh.  In addition to buying it fresh, we grow our own produce so it is sold the day that we pick it in many cases.  Our competitive advantage for the CBD oil that we are producing is that we grow our own hemp.  I am able to market “local”

Finally, putting together a positional grid and conducting a survey was comforting.  I did discover that most are happy.  Only one person was not satisfied with the business, this had more to do with current events than my business.  I feel that we are doing a great job marketing our uniqueness!  I am looking forward to reading more Duct Tape Marketing this week. 

Jantsch, J. (2011). Duct tape marketing: The world’s most practical small business marketing guide. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Week 1

It took two weeks to get the book Duct Tape Marketing, but I was not disappointed.  This book is easy to read and has a nice flow about it.  There are seven fundamentals as named  by Duct Tape Marketing.  The first is developing a strategy before your tactics. 

The strategy is your plan of action to be able to reach your marketing goals.  This will be your road map to reach your ideal customers. Be different.  Claim your competitive advantage!  I always admire a marketing strategy that is so unique that you will never forget it.  Having been in the same business for twenty years, I find myself a victim of the hum drum.  I had never changed my marketing strategy.  Recently, I have acknowledged that my ideal client (target market) has changed.  My marketing strategy had to change with it. I have been developing a new marketing strategy over the last few months.  I am using daily Facebook posts, some even have a unique flair. 

I really like that the book is not all about selling online.  The book wants to give you strategies to use online for offline.  I am looking forward to digging into this book and working on a strategy to get this unique marketing thing started. 

Jantsch, J. (2011). Duct tape marketing: The world’s most practical small business marketing guide. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

ENT 640 Supporting and Harvesting

ENT 640 Supporting and Harvesting

Supporting

I think that supporting is the most important section in the book Winning Angels the 7 fundamentals of early investing by David Amis and Howard Stevenson.  I have started off small so I did not seek out capital, but I have needed advice.  The section on supporting broke it up into five roles.

Silent Investor

The silent investor is purely a financial investor.  This investor will take no active role in the company.  This person stays in the background and hopes for a return on their money.

Reserve Force

This investor will provide capital and help as requested by the entrepreneur.  This investor will provide advice and benefits from their experience if requested. 

Team Member

This investor works in the company.  If the investor has a stake or majority interest, they could possibly try to manage the entrepreneur.  This could definitely create conflict.

Coach

As an entrepreneur, the coach is probably the most important supporting role in my opinion.  The coach provides support, advice, and any assistance needed.  Having a coach is crucial to the success of a new venture.  

Controlling Investor

This is an investor that becomes the entrepreneur by buying or taking control.  This investor runs the company.

Supporting is a huge function in investing.  Having an investor that is knowledgeable and interested in your company helps an entrepreneur succeed.  An entrepreneur that is new to a business can really benefit from a coach.  Many entrepreneurs think that asking for help shows weakness.  I think asking for help is a key to success.

Harvesting

The book concludes with a section on harvesting.  Getting a return on your investment.  This is what the winning angels investors strive for.  The book outlines seven methods of harvesting. 

Walking Harvest

The company distributes cash directly to the investors regularly.  It usually takes a while to see a payment but over time could provide a steady stream of income. 

Partial Sale

This is when the investor’s stake is sold.  This is usually a quick way to exit an investment.  According to this section, the investor could realize 3-4 times profit on their investment.  The investor could also see no profit.  

Initial Public Offering

The company sells a percentage of their shares.  This makes it easier for the company to raise more capital but many times investors have their shares on hold for six months.

Financial Sale

The company is sold to buyers based on its current and expected cash flows.  The value could vary but this is pretty low risk.

Strategic Sale

This is usually the best harvest method for a company.  The buyer usually pays value above what cash flow suggests.  They are usually looking for value beyond the cash flow. The returns to the investor could range from 10 to 40 times their investment.  

Chapter 11

The company is reorganized and gets a second chance.  Investors may not fare well.

Chapter 7

The company is liquidated and the investors usually get little or nothing.

At my current age, I see the walking harvest as the most dependable return on your investment.  I am a low risk kind of investor.  It would be nice to draw dividends off of a company’s profits monthly.  

In conclusion of the book, Winning Angels the 7 fundamentals of early stage investing, I must say that it was power packed with wonderful information.  This is one for the library to refer to later.