Knowing how little time we have to train new employees, how infrequently we get to do it, and the fact that we aren’t sure what to teach them – what’s the right interview question?
There are two things that really irk me: Being tricked and making mistakes. My penchant for purchase orders started when I was tricked because I made a mistake.
Early in my career, our company PO system was six digits (the date) and buyer initials (TS). An industrial supply company had the ac extension cables we wanted to use and the sales rep pried an order out of me on the phone.
There is a direct correlation between companies that are suspicious of freelancers and stagnant growth. You may be happy with how large your company has become, but have you noticed that your profits are shrinking every year?
Business owners often contact me when they are on the verge of doing something drastic. They are usually frustrated with themselves or their team and have tried everything they know how to do.
In most cases, they need to try again. Only this time, the team needs to go back to the fundamentals. You can hire me, but here’s what I am going to do first…
Many years ago I found myself in search of the proper title for my position. Job titles were not a big thing at my employer, but we had a business reason to devise one for me. A preferred provider agreement needed a key organizational contact and “Tom” was not going to cut it.
I thought about the daily tasks I seemed to be responsible for. I sold things. I defined operational processes. I tried to herd salespeople. The warehouse supervisor reported to me. What am I? I could not find a parallel in other companies like ours. Everyone was either “Sales” or “Operations”.
For most production rental companies, sub-rentals represent some sort of failure. I look at the issue differently. Sub-rentals are a sign of success. I love everything about them. They signal profit and opportunity – two things that every business owner should strive for.
Learn to love sub-rentals and all they represent.
Based on my unscientific observations, most managers struggle with hiring employees and a majority seem to have no proclivity for firing. If I could fix one thing for my clients, it would probably be to instill in them the confidence to trust their instincts and overcome their fears when it comes to who they hire or keep.
The struggle is real. I have spent most of my professional life managing the tendencies of sales and operations teams to conflict with one another. I have a mantra and it goes like this:
“Sales’ job is to sell what Operations can support. Operations’ job is to support whatever sales sells.”
The battle field is much more sophisticated than it was when I started. We no longer rely on paper files and clip boards to do our work. I can’t just stroll over to a salesperson’s desk and find a phone number in his Rolodex or search his phone messages for the latest changes in projects. Likewise, it is nearly impossible for a salesperson to monitor all the operation and logistics processes that touch their projects.
My old boss has a saying, “We are in business for fun and profit. If we are not making a profit it’s not any fun.” All projects start out fun and profitable. What happens next is really up to us.