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Are You Addressing Barriers To Business Success? - Column #146

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Internal barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective hiring practices, poor on-boarding and training, bad teamwork, low morale and team members whose lack of desire and negative attitudes prevent them from performing at consistently high levels.

That’s not to mention less than effective systems and procedures, inferior customer service, inconsistent quality of products and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively.

These are just some of the common blockages I help business owners and managers identify and eliminate to improve performance and success.

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Are Personality Conflicts Hurting Your Business? - Column #145

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Personality conflicts hurt businesses by contributing to declines in communication, collaboration and teamwork. In turn, efficiency, productivity, retention, team member satisfaction and ultimately business growth and profits suffer. The degree to which team members don’t collaborate presents one of the greatest obstacles to business success.

The effective, efficient and smooth flow of information is critical when working to consistently meet and exceed the wants and needs of customers as well as foreseeing challenges and solving problems. Communication is also essential to the production and delivery of high quality goods and services in a timely manner. When communication is limited or even impossible because of  personality conflicts, the business weakens from within and the effects reach far and wide.

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Reduce Expenses and Improve ROI with Job Benchmarking - Column #144

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons, and the expenses associated with finding, hiring, training and developing new team members are very real.

Studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary. The costs are high because they include not only loss of revenue, productivity and training expenses, but also the time, energy and stress involved with hiring someone new.  Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high cost of turnover and maximize their return on investment in new hires.

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Are You Distracting Yourself With The Competition? - Column #143

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Over the course of my career as a coach and consultant, I’ve met with many business owners who’ve lost their way in the face of “competition” with other companies. This occurred because of their choice to take on a negative attitude toward these businesses and their owners, especially when that business was outperforming theirs or had come to town and “taken” market share they once held.

In some of these situations, I’ve even seen business owners become angry with former customers for exercising their power of choice as consumers and going with what they perceived as the better value provided by the competition. Having a negative mindset isn’t necessary or helpful and actually will lead to the loss of more customers, market share, team members and possibly even the business itself.

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Hire Intelligently and Develop Top Performers - Column # 142

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

The easiest and most effective way to build a competent, motivated and engaged team is to hire intelligently. Unfortunately, the typical path to hiring people is obstructed with biased or incorrect information and involves quite a bit of guesswork and assumptions.

How can any business successfully assemble a team of skilled, solution-oriented and motivated people without the reliable data needed to do so?

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Would You Follow Your Example of Leadership? - Column #141

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re leading at work, at home and in your community. You lead by your example in all the areas of your life.

Your team members are watching. Your spouse, children, extended family and people you don’t even know also are looking to you for guidance on how to successfully navigate the professional and personal realms of life.

Is your example a consistently solid one?

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Create Raving Fans Out of Your Team Members - Column #140

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners who want to create sound ventures that survive in challenging times and thrive in easy times should consistently endeavor to create raving fans out of their customers. If your customers like — or better yet, love — your business, they’re going to give you their patronage and also happily share their glowing recommendations with others. But, how do you turn customers into raving fans?

While there are several key components, the best way to create raving fans out of your customers is to first create raving fans out of your team members. They’re the ones who interact with your patrons and deliver customer service. They control the quality of the products and services you provide. If your team members don’t trust, respect, like and appreciate you, your business will suffer due to decreased customer satisfaction.

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Outstanding Leaders Offer Praise And Recognition - Column #139

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners and managers focused on moving their companies to ever higher levels of efficiency, effectiveness, profitability and success are always on the lookout for ways to improve their business model. To achieve this objective requires a discerning awareness regarding what is — and isn’t — working in daily operations.

Beware of a potential trap, however. If a leader’s sole focus is on what’s “wrong” in the business model, they’ll likely fail to see all that’s actually being achieved and accomplished, the effort put forth by team members and how far the business has progressed over time. These same leaders will squash the morale of their team members with an abundance of criticism and lack of praise.

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How Much Do You Care About Your Customers? - Business Times Column #138

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

The more you and your team care about customers — and consistently demonstrate it — the higher their level of satisfaction with the products and services you provide. As a result, you’ll become not only the primary solution to fulfill their purchasing wants and needs, but also the well-deserved recipient of their gracious comments and referrals.

Take a moment to recall the last time you enjoyed an exceptional customer service experience. Reflect on the feeling you had in that moment. Recognize how pleasant it was, how satisfied you were, how good you felt and how the experience affected you and your day in a positive way. I would venture to guess you’re highly likely to spend your hard-earned money with this amazing company again and tell others about the firm, too.

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Are You Epowering Your Team Members To Think? - Business Times Column #137

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners and managers frequently ask me, “How do you teach people to think?” This is a powerful question, one which can pave the way to a significant improvement in results. The answer: By learning to become a mentor and effective communicator and encouraging your team members to think for themselves.

If you want your company to operate at the highest levels, your team members must be taught — and then continually encouraged — that it’s acceptable to think their way through situations rather than relying upon you and others for answers or even guessing at a solution.

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Does Your Business Operate From A Greater Purpose? - Business Times Column #136

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

There’s a commonly held belief in business that success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible at the highest price possible to as many consumers as possible to make as much money as possible. Following this limited perspective of success, however, leaves everyone involved feeling taken advantage of; vastly undervalued; used; and, most important, unhappy.

I believe a truly successful business, one that benefits the many and not the few, strives to create as much happiness and success as possible for customers, team members, owners and the community while generating a profit in the process. This balanced approach to success takes all players into account, spreading the fruits of everyone’s labor far and wide.

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