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Put a Winning Business Strategy in Place for 2013

Put a Winning Business Strategy in Place for 2013

By: Roberta Matuson

Are you ready to start the year with a strong business strategy right out of the gate?

Here’s what successful small business owners are doing to create business success in 2013 and beyond.

Access Talent via Recruiting
CEO Andrew Schrage of Denver-based Money Crashers will be sharpening his recruiting skills this year, given the availability of talent. “With unemployment rates currently at a high rate, I’ve found an overabundance of candidates whenever I need to hire additional staff.”

More importantly, says Schrage, “Employee turnover costs have a significant effect on my business, so it's important for me to prevent this whenever possible.”

Building Business Success
Tom Kulzer, CEO & Founder of AWeber Communications, Inc., is preparing for business success by increasing collaboration and planning for additional growth.

Kulzer is changing the office layout to encourage easier team cooperation, networking and speed of development. Visitors to his office are advised to look both ways before crossing, as workstations will be on wheels, allowing teams to form more organically.

“We are growing our CO-OP program to have a more formal employee training process for students that join our team,” notes Kulzer. “We are also increasing the number of CO-OP students we accept annually.”

Similarly, Chris Seman, President of Cincinnati-based Caring Transitions, believes that continued business success will require staying current with his industry by encouraging the staff to get their professional certifications.

“Investing in our current staff is seen as having the highest ROI of all the activities we can engage in for 2013, as we can more effectively continue our focus on our franchisees profit and revenue goals,” says Seman.

Create Measurable Results
Call him crazy, but Robert Hennessy; CEO of NYC-based Dashlocker, plans on doing lots more laundry this year.

Dashlocker provides lockergistics to busy New Yorkers so they can live a cleaner and more stress-free life. His company offers fully automated dry cleaning and laundromat services by using secure storage lockers for delivery.

Hennessey’s business strategy for the coming year includes less micro-management and encouraging “focus” at every opportunity.

“I've hired employees to fill specific roles, and now that the team is fully assembled, it makes sense to ensure that everyone is working hard on their role, not someone else's. I've slowly transitioned people out of all non-essential cross training so that my operations team doesn't have any impact on the sales team, and vice versa,” states Hennessey.

He adds, “On a few occasions, I've had an employee ask why they're being asked to do less and my response is, ‘You're not being asked to do less, you're being asked to just do as much in fewer areas.’”

Hennessey has noted that this approach will continue to improve his ability to measure results, since employees are more focused on their own roles.

By laying out a clear set of expectations and focusing on results instead of process, he’s able to back away from the day-to-day responsibilities of his employees and work on bigger picture items and longer-term business strategies.

Recruit Top Sales People

The Duggan Sisters, producers of Lifestinks® deodorant, and other natural products, are working frantically to make a name for themselves. This year they are vowing to do things differently by investing in the help they need to take their rightful place in the retail aisles.

“We resolve this year to hire sales people, an office manager, one additional artisan/technician, and God willing, a publicist, so we don’t miss important deadlines,” says co-founder Mary Duggan.

The sisters will start by hiring sales representatives nationwide to carry their pioneering products forward.

Increased sales performance will result in a more valuable company and will help them garner the small business financing required to achieve the business success they envision.

Compete with the Big Guys for Talent
Mike Oeth is CEO and Cofounder of OnSIP, a NYC-based company that provides Internet-based communication services to over 15,000 small and medium-size businesses.

For 2013, Oeth is working diligently to recruit and hire IT skills among such Goliaths as Google and Facebook.

“We know we have to grow and foster a team of exceptional software engineering talent.”

Oeth goes on to say, “In a recent executive call, we discussed our success in college recruiting, wherein we fortunately garnered four of our five tops prospects, all who will begin work in 2013. However, recruitment is not where human resources planning ends.”

He adds that, “In the New Year, we also pledge to do more employee development. We understand that not fostering employee development can lead to attrition. We need to do a better job in that department come the New Year.”

CEO and small-business owner of Rochester, NY advertising agency, Dixon Schwabl, Lauren Dixon, is committed to continuing to value Dixon Schwabl employees and fostering a creative and fun work culture. 

Dixon’s New Year's resolution: listening and valuing those who work for you, and fostering a company culture that enables employees to excel.

Dixon believes that, “All businesses, small and large, should make this a resolution in the New Year. Employees will be happier, be more productive at work and ultimately make the business more profitable.”

Here’s to your business success and a great year!

© 2013 Matuson Consulting LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
, who is known globally as The Talent Maximizer, is the President of Matuson Consulting and author of the forthcoming, The Magnetic Workplace (Nicholas Brealey, 2013), as well as Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Top Talent, and Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, a Washington Post Top-5 Leadership pick. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, Talent Maximizer