How to Go Out of Business In 88 Hours

Tom Egelhoff  |   Friday Oct. 31st, 2014

Running a business in the current economy is certainly a challenge. Every customer is crucial to business success. It only takes one big mistake, or a series of smaller ones, and your doors could be locked permanently.

Advertising and Marketing
You spend hundreds; maybe even thousands of dollars making the best first impression you can to your customers. Radio, newspaper, TV, internet, blogs, all designed to show current and potential customers why they should do business with you.

Business owners have a hard enough time controlling what happens within their four walls during business hours — but what happens outside your four walls?

The 88 Hours You Can’t Control
What 88 hours am I talking about? I’m referring to the 88 hours your employees are not working in your business.

There are 168 hours in a seven-day week. Your employees spend 40 hours sleeping, 40 hours working in your business, and 88 hours where they are free to tell every living soul they come in contact with what a lousy boss you are and how your business and products totally suck.

All your marketing and advertising efforts go right down that drain as negative word of mouth spreads. The average number of people who attend weddings and funerals is around 150. Each employee has that sphere of influence.

Why Would They Do That?
Why would they do that? You pay them for their time, provide benefits, etc. so why would they climb on a bar stool and bite the hand that feeds them? The short answer is they feel unappreciated. That feeling may be justified and it might not be justified but it is if the employee feels that way.
Studies have shown that employees who feel they are valued by the business owner produce more, complain less, and make a much more appealing presentation to customers.

Make That 88 Hours Pay Off
What does it take to create an “Employee Positive Culture?” What can you, as a business owner, do to send employees out in the world spreading positive thoughts about your business? Here are a couple of suggestions.

1. Employees don’t work “for” you they work “with” you. They are working to pay bills, put food on the table and a roof overhead for their families. You are the conduit that makes that happen. For all intents and purposes they are self-employed. If their goals are met, so are yours. Find out what their goals are and help them meet them.

2. Recognition: Every employee should be publicly recognized for something at least once every six months. Single out exceptional people at your monthly meetings but not the same ones over and over. Everyone does positive things you as the owner never see. Encourage other employees to let you know when someone excels. Even small things are worthy of positive accolades.

Some Final Thoughts
Public postings of employee goals encourage everyone. I’m not talking about company goals. I’m talking about employee goals. Starting a family, saving for college, buying their first home, that’s why they show up each day.
Make achieving those goals a fun, learning, productive activity while they are in the workplace. When they leave they feel empowered for all they accomplished and will share that success with others. Isn’t that what we all want?

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