Working with small business clients we often see struggles between the owner and their employees. The owner is great at what they do, but managing others they often lack the training and skill-sets required. Managing others in conducting your business can be challenging if you let it. As a small business owner with employees you can improve the effectiveness of you as a manager and ensuring employees are productive, efficient and effective. Management/supervision can be summed up in three primary activities; 1. Set Clear Expectations; 2. Reinforce Expectations; 3. Be consistent.
Setting clear expectations for what you expect from employees is the foundation for ensuring they understand and are able to complete tasks and duties as you want them to be completed. Never assume that employees fully understand your expectations without an explanation and better, a demonstration. For example; an administrative assistant is asked to create a spreadsheet of recent sales. Be clear in giving directions by starting with, "This is what I want it to look like" - showing an example or sketching it out on a piece of paper. "This is where the information comes from to complete the spreadsheet." When possible, demonstrate how to complete a line or two of the spreadsheet then have them complete one while you watch and coach them through the process. Always remembers that a majority of your employees will want to complete the work as you want it be completed, just make sure they fully understand what is expected.
Reinforce expectations with employees that appear to deviate from the process, or fail to meet your expectations. Do this quickly, don't wait for them to completely fail before you become engaged with them. Use a coaching approach to help motivate the employee. This not only helps them do better, but you save time, money as you won't have to correct work that is not what you expected. Not taking quick actions to correct improper work allows employees to develop bad habits that will be more difficult for them to correct the longer they fail to perform their duties adequately. For example; one of business owners noticed that his receptionist would answer the phone with a nice and polite, "Hello" instead of providing the business name and asking, "How may I help you?". He approached her with a coaching mindset, "You are so polite in answering the phone. That's great. Remember when answering the phone to say "Hello" just like you are doing but remember to say our business name then ask how you can help them. He made sure to listen out for the next few calls to ensure she understood.
Be consistent in setting your expectations and reinforcing them. Inconsistency is the common mistake managers make when working with employees. Being inconsistent in setting and reinforcing expectations sends mixed signals to employees, making it difficult for them to ensure they are working appropriately. In our training we warn managers and supervisors that being consistent with all employees, all of the time, not only reinforces expectations, it creates a happier work environment. What better job to have than to clearly know what is required to be successful.
Setting clear expectations, reinforcing them and being consistent will help you avoid disciplinary actions which are never fun for the owner/manager or the employee. Also, this will ensure that your business maintains a great presence with your customers.
There are many companies that advertise they will increase the visits to your website. Chances are you have received emails from "individuals' that have found issues with your website and they promise to increase the number visits to your website if you hire them. From our experience, the Pro's are they will increase visits to your website, the Con's are many of the visits are not real people, or not people interested in your business. In other words, increased website visits do not translate to sales.
It is important to understand some basic, key methods that web search engines employ for their users.
Geography - Probably the most important is relevancy of any web search you conduct as related to your specific location. Maybe you search for car repair. Chances are the search results will be for car mechanics near you at the time you conduct your search. Of course this is of great benefit for the user as they don't have to search through car mechanics that in California when they are in Georgia on the side of the road.
User information - Search engines also utilize information that is known about the user. This information includes geography, previous searches, and the type of sites you have visited in the past - which pages you opened the most based on a search. For example; yesterday you searched for "flower pots". Today you enter a search term, "10" pot". Chances are the results you receive from a search engine will be focused on flower pots instead of cooking pots, or crock pots.
Algorithms - Using various algorithms, based on the user, search engines scour the Internet for websites with the most relevant content to what they project will be what the user is looking for. This is a great advantage for the user as search results are focused on the user.
Getting additional traffic to your website is specific to the user conducting the search and the search engines interpretation of what the user is looking for. So if you sell flower pots, and you include keywords, site content specific to flower pots, you won't get web site visits for individuals looking for cooking pots. Employing a company to assist you in developing your website content so that users can find content specific to them is a great idea, but beware of companies that offer to increase your web site visits only.
Focus on your content, the text you use, and include location information if serving a specific area to help increase your web site visits by people that will be interested in what you have to offer rather than multiple website visits by individuals, or programs, that have no interest in your products. The goal is to have your website displayed in search results for users that have an interest in your products and services. A task that search engine providers are already working on.
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950 Eagles Landing Pkwy, Suite 422
Stockbridge, GA 30281