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Hire a Person with a Sense of Urgency

We have a friend in Chicago who uses a self-styled word to define the quick moves a person uses to accomplish the task at hand. He calls it “hustlative.” It stuck with us as a great descriptor for this critical attribute. It can be the difference between success and failure, especially in a start up. It can save the bottom line with the proverbial “stitch in time.”
We used to interview people to try to get a feel for… Read More

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The 9 Essential Elements of Mentoring

We’ve all had mentors who, one way or another, have encouraged us to live up to our potentials. Perhaps they recognized a natural talent in us that they wanted to help elevate. Perhaps they wanted to see us get ahead. We may have lost touch with our mentors, but we can certainly show our appreciation by passing it on and helping others the way they helped us.
As the principals of a successful start-up that became a well-known… Read More

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Landing the Perfect Job Applicant Requires Seasoned Piloting Skills

When we owned Barefoot Cellars and were recognized for our success, we had our excellent staff to thank. So, it is not surprising that people ask us how we found such good people. Probably the most stressful part of hiring is, as Forrest Gump’s mom said, “You never know what you’re going to get!” Hiring anxiety is well founded.
Suddenly you are faced with the loss of productivity caused by the vacancy and the urgency… Read More

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Put Your People on the Same Team

No matter what kind of business you think you’re in, you quickly find out you are in the personnel management business. With careful hiring, mentoring, recognition, and compensation plans, your people can be your greatest asset.
Recurrent, personnel issues can be a distraction to you and your staff. Some react to personnel problems by firing the offending parties. Occasionally this may be necessary, however the… Read More

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Find Good People – Make Great People

People always ask us what we look for in a job applicant because we had such a great staff. Sure, we looked at qualifications, but we looked beyond that.
We wanted people who were not only qualified, but also had foundational qualities we could build upon. We wanted to see our staff achieve the highest and best use of their talents – many of which did not manifest for a year or so.
We looked for enthusiasm, confidence, honesty… Read More

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A Solid Business Foundation is Necessary for Success

When you build a house, the foundation must be laid strong and straight. If it’s not, the framers try to make up for it. When they can’t, the drywall guys try to make up for it. When they can’t, the painters try to make up for it. When they can’t, you’re going to have to live with it. So rather than cause problems all the way up your structure, lay your foundations straight and true.
It’s been said that it’s not the… Read More

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Dress for Success (Especially in the Office)

Many companies these days seem to think that they are giving their office staff some kind of a benefit by letting them dress any way they want. Business casual has become casual and casual has become downright scruffy. What happens when Mr. Big walks into your company and your people are dressed in a way that doesn’t telegraph customer service and professionalism? Before you can say anything, your new client has made… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 3

This is the third part in the series about the original Barefoot culture. Culture really sets the tone, boundaries, and expectations the team has toward your company, your mission and your product.
We’ve saved the best for last because having a common cause and a common challenge forges, more than any other single factor, positive company culture.
When you are growing especially a new a brand, something… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 2

A company survives and grows due to sales and the loyalty of customers and staff. Sales are based on price, value, dependability, integrity, availability and perception. The basis of perception is image, networking, and more recently, the transparency of the producer.
Transparency is what the brand stands for, its authenticity, its identification with higher values, and the actions it takes to demonstrate those… Read More

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Beware of “Money Saving” Suggestions from Your Non-Sales Staff

Let’s start by realizing that there are really only two divisions in every company, Sales and Sales Support. Since Sales Support includes everyone not in Sales, Sales Support consists of Production, Accounting, Marketing, and so on. Without sales there is simply no money for Sales Support salaries. Still, Sales needs Sales Support to perform. 
The Sales people are doing their job out in the field. The non-sales… Read More

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