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A successful organization is fueled by the sum of its parts. The characteristics that define a team’s quality rely on poignancy, knowledge, professionalism and expansion. It’s no question; building a top team is hard work. With that work, however, comes an organization that can handle nearly every obstacle in its wake. Focal Point Business Coaching of PA is your guide when it comes to business coaching and advice.

The fundamentals of your business lie in its goals and objectives. They are the identities that define your organization and help set it apart from your competitors. Furthermore, they also create a priority of values for your employees. Whatever a team’s goals and values are, they should be properly infused into your employees’ routine every day.

The goals of the team also need to be shared. Input is key and good ideas should be shared by everyone. Promoting shared beliefs and ideals also make your employees feel more valued. It also establishes a direct relationship between the discussion, goals, and the established commitment to uphold them.

As a leader, nobody can see the big picture of your business better than you. You see the possibilities, the opportunities, the struggles, the potential and so much more. Because your employees don’t necessarily see this, they place their trust into you, the management. They trust that your view of the organization is the example to abide by. And while that is true, you need to remind them of your point of view every now and again, especially in times of change. When there is a sudden change of plans or processes that affect your business structure, it can overwhelm your employees so communicating is key.

Your quality of leadership will be revealed based upon how you reassure and instill trust into your employees. If you are calm and present solutions, they will begin to do the same. This system trickles down from the top, and as a leader, you need to be the spring from which that example is drawn from.

Lastly, you need to set up your team for success. Putting them in positions where they can play to their strengths will not only create confidence in themselves but result in success for your business. Putting your employees in a position of success can range from purchasing the right equipment, to making sure they are being trained correctly, to making sure they are getting the right type of work, and even providing the right feedback so they can learn from it.

Focal Point Coaching has been providing the answers for businesses’ biggest questions for over 30 years. If you require any of our services, please visit our website or call us at (610) 768-7774.

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In the interest of transparency, I want to be upfront and say that I am not an attorney and have never been one. I have never “walked a mile in your shoes”.  However, as a Career Coach that spends time working with Attorneys it seems many struggle with the same issues and fight the same demons. What is it as a profession that makes it difficult for Attorneys to transition out or think about alternatives to their career. Below is a result of conversations with many attorneys on the subject of “Career Change”

  1. The proverbial “golden handcuffs.”  Lawyers often get paid a lot of money to work a lot of hours and be constantly on demand.  The money is incredibly attractive, but the constant hours are wearing and for many, eventually soul destroying.  Even if you love the energy and excitement at first, it is very difficult for a body to sustain that level of stress for long periods of time.
  2. Lawyers are taught to “think” in certain ways.  Lawyers are taught to think “critically” and analyze every situation in a certain way.  Lawyers are always looking for the small details that could turn into a big problem for their client, as they as trying to find ways to use the law to their clients’ advantage.  This requires quite a bit of creativity, in a way, but the minutiae and details that lawyers deal with everyday often makes it difficult for them to see the bigger picture, in business as they as in life.  Without seeing this bigger picture, it can be difficult to see their life as a whole and what they actually want from it.
  3. Lawyers are taught to “think” in certain ways (continued). Lawyers are also taught the importance of extensive research, always having a source to back up your claim or legal thought.  Lawyers think carefully about a problem and use precedent to back it up.  Therefore, when it comes to the point where they are ready to do something different with their lives, they are unused to working without a precedent, or a model to follow.  In a world in which people increasingly use boiler plate language rather than drafting from scratch, they have gotten unused to spontaneity and new ideas.  It can be quite difficult to dream up a new way to do something or visualize a path not yet forged – particularly when this is to benefit themselves, not their clients
  4. Lawyers like formalities. They love their paper, whether it be a – certificate of formation, a contract, a will, or a code of statues.  They often surround ourselves with written pieces of paper that tells them where they stand.  In addition, they have a fancy degree (on handsome paper) that states they are lawyers.  It can be very hard to look beyond that piece of paper to see that, although you may be an excellent lawyer and may have some or even many of the skills and aptitudes necessary for the job, those skills and aptitudes can be useful elsewhere.  You may even have skills and talents that you have never truly had a chance to develop or even use, because they did not feed in to those things necessary to become and succeed in the law.  Realizing that you are more than just your degree, more than just a lawyer, can help you develop sides of yourself you forgot, or never knew, existed.
  5. Lawyers become lawyers for the wrong reasons. Lawyers often end up in law for reasons other than a true interest in the law and desire to become a legal professional.  Often, our families encourage us to be lawyers.  For families and indeed, for ourselves, it seems like a good, stable job.  Or, people may have told you all of your entire life that you act and think like a lawyer and should be one.  Or even more frequently, they didn’t know what else to do.  Perhaps you studied history, English, or something similar and did not know how to get a job with that degree, so you decided to become a lawyer (Latin American Studies anyone?).  This past history can be a formidable obstacle for a lawyer looking to change career, because they have already been in the position of not knowing what to do with our careers but chose a path that seemed solid.  If it does not work out, or has not made us happy and fulfilled, the idea of being back in that beginning position is paralyzing. The additional possibility of possibly getting it wrong again can be even more paralyzing.  The evil you know can seem better than the evil you do not know.  Plus, the training they receive in law school can be so thorough that you forget you once had interests outside the law and they’re good at things other than law.

About the Author

With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales, management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Career/Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your career in a manner that helps you to land THE PERFECT JOB.

Driven by his passion and ability to help you communicate more effectively, Greg will give you tools you need to formulate and deliver a clear, sharp, focused message that will allow you to land the “PERFECT JOB” and “PERFECT CAREER” Greg’s 3 step process will take you from confused and unsure to focused and confident in less than 10 days

Ready to begin finding the way to make you a better communicator so you can land The Perfect Job?  Let’s get the conversation started.  Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today!

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Your business is full of complicated moving parts that all must fill their role. Synergy is the resource that your professional career hinges on for you to be successful, especially when it comes to your business. Therefore, attracting and hiring the perfect candidates becomes a staple to set yourself above your competition. Focal Point Business Coaching of PA  has all the answers and insider tips when it comes to arming your business with the best-of-the-best.

Nobody understands your business better than you. You know what you have in abundance, and what you are lacking. When creating a job description for an open position, it’s important to list the specific skill set and highlight exactly what you are looking for in the ideal hiree. It’s pivotal to make sure that candidates completely understand what is expected of them and for them to understand what their role would be in your company. Making your employees, especially your new ones, feel valued and comfortable is exemplary leadership.

Next, you want to flood the marketplace with this position and make sure that it gets seen by the public. This is where your knowledge of social media will be tested, utilizing it to your max potential. It’s best to post your openings on dedicated outlets whose mission is professional networking, like LinkedIn, Monster or Indeed, to name a few. For every single inquiry you get about your position, you should respond back as quickly as possible, even if it’s just thanking them for their time. Job seekers move quickly and won’t hesitate to drop a lead if they don’t believe they are being pursued. When you get back to them quickly, it lets them know that you are actively seeking people out and will get results fast.

Lastly, before you set up an interview, it’s a smart idea to screen your candidates during a preliminary round. How you do this process is up to you, and we can guide you with some of the best strategies to consistently hire the best candidates for your business. Of course, it helps to make sure that your face-to-face interview is with a candidate you have researched first hand. When evaluating their work history, you want to make sure they seem like someone who would adhere to your company values and serve your business well.

At Focal Point Business Coaching of PA, our business is to make sure that yours is thriving on every level. Our coaching services are from top experts in the field who have years of experience assisting small business owners. If you think we could help you and your business, contact us through our website or call 610-768-7774.

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No one sates the value, requirement and reason for a Business to have a documented Operations manual better than Michael Gerber in his book:  The E-Myth Revisited.

Gerber states:  “Documentation says, “This is how we do it here.”  Without Documentation, all routinized work turns into exceptions.”

What does exceptions do to your Business?  Time?  Employees?  Customers? You?

Documentation provides your people with the structure they need and with a written account of how to “get the job done” in the most efficient and effective way.  It communicates to the new employees, as well as to the old employees, that there is logic to the world in which we work here.  This Operations manual is the critical second item in my Model/Methodology, PROCESS, People and Technology (MPPT) solution that should run your business.

Documentation is an affirmation of order.  Remember people like order to things.  Even those who are free spirit have some sort of order to what they do.

Alvin Toffler in his book:  The Third Wave, states:  “….for may people, a job is crucial psychologically, over and above the paycheck.  By making CLEAR demands on their time and energy, it provides an element of structure around which the rest of their lives can be organized.”  The operative word here is CLEAR.  Documentation provides the clarity structure needs if it is to be meaningful to your people.

Having, implementing and ensuring a documented Ops. manual is used in your business provides structure to specific means rather than generalizations.  The Ops. Manual is the repository of the documentation and is therefore best described as a company’s how to guide.  It outlines:

  1. Purpose of work
  2. The steps needed to be taken while doing the work
  3. Summarizes the standards associated with both process and results

You want more Time?  You want more Revenue or Profits?  You want more Peace of Mind while running your growing company?  You want to onboard, train your new hires easily? You want your people to be fully engaged in their work?  Then spend the time it takes to set up your business with a proper Business Model / Methodology, Process, People and Technology solution with FULL DOCUMENTATION.

Want to some MORE in your Business?  Reach out to a Business Coach who knows what to do and work with you to get you and your business to this level.

by:  Mark R. Steinke

Elite Business Coach

www.businesscoachingofpa.com

1.610.768.7774

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Referencing Michael Gerber in his best selling book:  The E-Myth Revisited states very clearly: ” At the core of the rule, The Model of your business stands out as a Place of Impeccable Order is the irrepressible fact that in a world of chaos, most people crave order.”

Additionally in Alvin Toffler in his revolutionary book, The Third Wave he states: “…;most people surveying the world around them today see only chaos.  They suffer a sense of personal powerlessness and pointlessness.  Individuals need life structure.  A life lacking in comprehensive structure is an aimless wreck.  The absence of structure breeds breakdown.  Structure provides the relatively fixed points of reference we need.”

It is these “relatively fixed points of reference” that an orderly business provides its customer and its employees in an otherwise disorderly world.   Therefore a Business Owner needs to ensure his/her business is created, operated and implemented with order in all aspects of Business.  According to Michael Gerber there are five reasons a Business Owners needs to ensure their business has “Impeccable Order”.

  1. “A Business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they’re doing.”
  2. “A Business that looks orderly says to your people that you know what you’re doing.”
  3. “A business that looks orderly says that while the world may not work, some things can.”
  4. “A business that looks orderly says to your customer that he can trust in the result delivered and assures your people that they can trust in their future with you.”
  5. “A Business that looks orderly says that the structure is in place.”

So take a realistic look at your Business.   Does your MPPT (Business Model/ Methodology, Process, People and Technology) scream order to your customers?  Your Employees?  Your Competition?

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All Business need employees.  In our Business Model of MPPT (Model / Methodology, Process, PEOPLE and Technology) People are required to operate within the Business Model / Methodology while administering the Processes that run your business.

Too many Business Owners hire highly skilled, over qualified people who are more expensive, causing the Owner to raise prices and therefore have an impossible time replicating their business.  Business Owners need to hire according to the Carnegie triangle of success!

The Carnegie triangle of success has determined that out of the three components for success:  Experience, Attitude and Skills, 85% of Success is Attitude and Skills and only 15% of success is Experience.  How many Business Leaders when recruiting talent hire for Experience?  Typical qualifications from these Leaders are:  “give me someone who has been there and done that.”

Hire to Experience? or Hire to……

The question the business owner needs to ask themselves is: “How can I give my customer the results he/she wants systematically rather than personally?”.  In other words, “How can I create a business whose results are systems dependent rather than People dependent?”.  This does NOT mean People are not needed or important.  People bring the systems or processes to life.  When a Business is Expert / People dependent, what happens when that Person is on vacation?  Takes a sick day?  Has a Bad day? or worse yet resigns?  You see People make it possible for things that are designed to work to produce the intended results.

Building a Business that can be replicated thousands of time, even if you do not want to expand, ensures you have a Business that runs on Model / Methodology, Process, PEOPLE and Technology.  This means you have a business that works without YOU or anyone (expert) having to be there all the time, doing everything and ensuring everything.  When Process and Systems run your business you have a business that allows you the Owner or Leader to take a vacation without panic.  You can leave at 3PM in the afternoon to watch your son or daughter at their High School play, sporting event, etc.

Building a Business hiring People based on Attitude and Skills vs. only experience allows the Owner to lower payroll costs, Provide growth to employees and Ensure you clients experience a consistent, valuable benefit / service based on a system / process operated by a person.  The Business Owner’s job is to develop the tools, processes and systems to teach your employees how to use them.  Your business now is consistent in how work is done, how clients are experiencing your business and provides growth and opportunity to your employees.

Strong Businesses, according to Michael Gerber in his book:  The E-Myth Revisited : “…great businesses are not built by extraordinary people but by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

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Creating your Business MPPT (Model/Methodology, Process, People and Technology) solution is the critical first step when a business owner wants a business that will work for you vs. the Owner working for the business.

From the post outlining the six rules to follow when developing a business that is replicable:  http://businesscoachingofpa.com/blog/2018/03/15/work-on-your-business-vs-in-it/ The first rule to ensure the Business Owner must understand and develop is:

The Business will provide consistent value to the Business Customers, Employees, Suppliers and Lenders, beyond what they expect!

The key concept in this is Value.  What is it for your Business?  Every Business owner must understand what is it that provides value to their Customers, Employees, Suppliers and Lenders beyond their expectations.  How does the Value impact their lives!  Yes their lives.  The goal is to explode value that not only enhances but significantly impacts the lives of your Customers, Employees, Suppliers and Lenders.

Value can take the form of simple or complex areas.  Each Business Owner needs to come up with what is the Value their Business delivers.  A few examples of Value are:

  • Value can be a word said at the door of the Business as a customer leaves
  • Value can be an unexpected gift from the business arriving in the mail
  • Value can be a word of recognition to a new employee for a job well done
  • Value can be an employee award to a seasoned sales person who landed a big client
  • Value can be the price of your products
  • Value can be the dedication shown in the process of explaining your products to a customer who needs more help than usual
  • Value can be a simple word of thanks to your banker for his support
  • Value can be demonstrating Fair, Consistent sound decisions based on Metrics, Facts, Information vs. emotional feelings

Basically Business Owners who have a business running today and do not have it set up to run itself and is experiencing all the frustrations of the Business Running them vs. them running the Business, need to start setting up a MPPT now.  The first step is ensuring your Business Model / Methodology, Process, People and Technology system has a cleared defined Value understanding to your key stakeholders.

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What does this mean to Work ON ones business vs. IN ones business?  How does one do this?    What about all the day to day work that needs to be accomplished?  The activities that need to be accomplished that “Pay the bills”.  Sound Familiar?

It is critical  that a business owner drives his/her business by working ON it vs. IN it.  It is the only way the Business Owner can say they have a business vs. a company that is dependent on them only!  You see “YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT YOUR LIFE”.  These are two separate things that need to stand alone yet interact.  Too many business owners operate their business AS THEIR LIFE.

Your Business should be operating as a part of you rather than you.  Your business should have its own rules, own purpose and it own “life”.  Once a business owner realizes this is the motivation to make this happen.  It is then time to start Working ON your Business vs. IN it.  The most effective way to do this is again in the book:  The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

In this book Gerber states:  “Pretend that the business you own – or want to own – is the prototype, or will be the prototype, for 5,000 just like it.  Not Almost like it, but just like it. Perfect replicates if not Clones.  In other words, PRETEND that you are gong to build this prototype.”   Gerber goes on to say:  “I said pretend.  I’m not saying that you should.”

I have called this prototyping in Business building an MPPT (Business Model / Methodology, Processes, People and Technology) that runs your business and you Conduct or Orchestrate the MPPT.  Let’s go over six simple steps that I ensure my clients enact in their business.  Again using Gerber’s thoughts:

  1. The MPPT will provide consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers and lenders beyond what they expect.
  2. The MPPT will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
  3. The MPPT will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
  4. All work in the MPPT will be documented in Operations Manuals.
  5. The MPPT will provide a uniformly predictable service to the customer.
  6. The MPPT will utilize a uniform color, dress and facilities code

Each of the six requires strong work by the owner to “get off the shop floor” and start to work ON their Business building the MPPT.  It is NOT hard but it is time driven with skills.  The How is the most important.  Over the next few weeks I will go into detail on how a business owner can implement these six guidelines to build their MPPT.

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According to Michael Gerber in his book:  The E-Myth Revisited, “Over the course of one year, Business Format Franchises have reported a success rate of 95% in contrast to the 50+% failure rate of new owned businesses.  Where 80% of all business fail in the first five years, 75% of all Business Format Franchises succeed!”

The reason for this success is that Franchises have a proven MPPT (Business Model, Methodology, Process, People and Technology) solution.  This MPPT and Franchising is where all assumptions are put to the test to see how well they work before becoming operational in the business.  Without this developed, tested MPPT  the franchise would be as chaotic and undisciplined as any business.  Once having proven the Business Model, Methodology, Process, People and Technology solution a franchisor says to the potential Franchisee:  “Let me show you how it all works.”

This Does work!  Systems / Process runs the business and People run the systems / processes.

Now if you did not buy a Franchise and have not set up your MPPT you can still do this.  It is not rocket science!  It is not quick however.  It takes time to design, develop, and implement your MPPT while you are running your Business.  This is what Business Coaches do for you!

What you need to do is engage one and start to think and act like an Entrepreneur.  You see the MPPT is the medium through which the Entrepreneur uses to take the Vision, Mission, Purpose and Values to the real world.  To the Manager the MPPT provides the order, predictability and the system / process which is so important to the manager’s life.  Lastly to the Technician, the MPPT is the place in which they are free to do the things they love to do – Technical work.

To the Business Owner, an MPPT, provides the means through which the Owner can finally uses the three EYES in a balanced way while creating a business that works.

All this gives the Owner a business, vs. a company with their name on the door.  This also allows the Business Owner to Build a business that works while providing, MORE Revenue, MORE Time, MORE Control and the ability to exit on YOUR terms vs. the buyers terms.

Therefore are you ready to Work ON your Business vs. IN your business?

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The modern day interview has evolved tremendously from what it used to be. Gone are the days of sitting on the other side of an imposing interviewer sitting behind a huge desk with a significantly-raised chair. Nowadays, candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as they themselves are being interviewed. And why not?

The hiring process is a two way street. Both sides need to be engaged in the process and be equally excited to work with the other. Next time you find yourself interviewing for a new position, be sure you make it a two-way interview.

Here are forty questions to help you figure out if the company will be right for you.

Questions about the position

You want to understand exactly what will be expected of you and whether or not this aligns with your skills and ambitions. Be sure to have a full understanding of the position and your role in it before leaving your interview.

1) Why is this position open?

2) Is this an existing or newly created position?

3) If someone was in this position before me, why did he or she leave?

4) Beyond what I see in the job description, what will make someone successful in this role?

5) When coming into this position, what are the top 3 things the new employee must do?

6) How will you measure the success of someone in this role?

7) What keeps you awake at night? How can this role help you to sleep better?

8) What kind of ongoing training does this position require?

9) Please describe the key expectations of this role.

10) Does the position lead to future growth within the company?

Questions about the manager/coworkers

There are so many different types of leaders. Who you work with and for makes a big difference in whether or not you’ll be happy. Be sure to get a glimpse of what it might be like working for your manager or with your teammates. Ask questions that will get a reaction and open up people to reveal their true feelings towards their coworkers.

11) What makes someone successful with their manager?

12) How many levels of managers are within our department?

13) How many people will be on our team or in my immediate workspace?

14) Tell me about some of the people I’ll be working with; what are they like?

15) (Find a co-worker and ask) What is it like working for the manager?

16) What are the manager’s expectations of weekly hours worked? Weekends/evenings?

17) Tell me about a time when a co-worker did not perform to expectations and what was the outcome?

Questions about the company

Considering we spend at least one third of our waking hours working, it’s important to know as much about the company as possible.

18) What are your company’s core values?

19) Tell me about a time that someone did business according to the core values?

20) How well do employees here understand the core values?

21) Is your company growing or an established industry leader?

22) What are the company’s immediate goals toward growth?

23) Is the company publicly traded?

24) If so, how has the stock performed over the past 1-3 years?

25) Does the company offer flex-time or remote working opportunities?

26) What kind of training does the company offer?

27) Does the company offer extracurricular learning opportunities?

28) What do your competitors say about your company?

29) What do you want your competitors to say about your company?

30) What advantages do you have over your competitors in the market?

31) What advantages does your competitors have over you in the market?

32) Tell about something new and different your company tried that was successful?

Questions about the culture

Culture is important in today’s work world. Is your company more traditional or is it more relaxed? Does your company operate with a strict time clock and dress code or is there a game room, basketball court or stocked beer fridge to help relieve stress? Do the workers wear suits and ties or t-shirts and flip-flops? The company wants a fit for their culture but that culture better work with your values, as well.

33) Tell me about your company’s culture.

34) What do your workers wear to work?

35) Does your company plan events or activities to encourage employee morale?

36) Does your company offer opportunities for personal growth?

Questions about work/life balance

Being dedicated to one’s work is never a bad thing, but it can become overwhelming if we let it. Striving for a work/life balance helps keep us stable and usually a lot happier. Be sure to find out in advance if you’ll be expected to be perpetually on the clock or if you’ll be able to find your balance.

37) How is the work/life balance at your company?

38) How would you describe the stress level at your company?

39) Describe a time of year when the stress elevates at your company.

40) What is your vacation or personal time policy?

Conclusion

Chances are you will not ask all 40 questions. But these questions give you ideas to think about before your next interview. Pick the ones that resonate with you and put them on a list so you remember to ask them. The company will be impressed that you put as much time and effort into the interview and that you are showing you want to create a true, long-term connection with the company.

Most importantly, as you learn about the company and its culture, make sure it aligns with what is important to you. If it doesn’t align, then there’s a good chance that this opportunity may not be the right one for you.

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