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Business

The Law of Three: You should know this!

By Business Coaching Interviews Skills

When you start the process of interviewing for new staff members, you should always refer back to the Law of 3:

  • Interview at least three candidates for a job, comparing and contrasting their qualities and characteristics. Check their suitability against your stated requirements. You would be amazed at how often people forget to do this.

  • Interview the candidate you like three different times: the true person is revealed once you get beyond the initial interview.

  • Interview the person you like in three different places. Brian Tracy of the American Management Association says that people have a “chameleon complex.” They appear a certain way in your office in the first interview and then seem to act and react differently when you move them to different environments.

  • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least three other people on your team.

  • Check at least three references from the candidate. Ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses and whether the referee can tell you anything to help you make a better hiring decision. Ask them whether they would hire the person back. If the answer is not an unequivocal “yes,” be cautious.

  • Check references three deep. Ask the given reference for the names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to those people, too. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Interviews are the start of the most important function in almost every business and should be taken seriously and never rushed.

Should you want more info on building a successful interview process, please contact me here

What Do Your Agency Staff REALLY Want?

By Business Coaching Culture Entrepreneur Motivation

When a digital agency head, asked his team what they wanted the most from him and the business, he was surprised to find out it wasn’t money.

This survey was sent out anonymously and the donut clearly shows that Training and Development is what millennial’s in the agency space really want.

Are you brave enough to ask your staff? Are you paying your team well enough to get these results?

Maybe you need us to help with the hard stuff.

Relationships are reality for Influencers

By Business Coaching Mentoring Social Media Twitter No Comments

spillly influencer marketing

Before web 2.0 and the rise of social media, influence was exclusive to a privileged few who held unrivalled sway over public opinion. Today, individuals on social media get to pick and choose who and what they listen to and those who once had little chance of being heard can now broadcast their messages across the world.

Influencers are now niche promoters and brand advocates that are active on social media sites and blogs and brands are now naturally hungry to take advantage of this phenomenon. Brands will seek to turn that influence into a marketing opportunity but aren’t always sure how best to go about this.

An influencer is the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers. For influence to take place, the influencer needs to behave authentically and when communicating about or on behalf of a brand. The balance between being seen as an online billboard and someone that is being paid to recommend a product in a credible way is often misunderstood and the value in using influence marketing lost.

There are five key understandings that allow you to define what the right influencer looks like for your brand:

  1. Context:

An influencer differs for every brand because, first and foremost, they are a contextual fit. This is the most important characteristic when targeting the right influencers for your brand. The example I always use is that Justin Bieber can’t sell insurance without looking like a fraud to his followers because they are teenager girls who aren’t interested in that.

  1. Reach:

Defined as the size of the audience or the number of followers the influencer has on a particular platform. Influence describes the ability to affect action from within that audience. When Reach and Context work together, you have success.

  1. Actionability:

This is the influencer’s ability to cause action by their audience. This characteristic comes naturally when you target individuals that are in contextual alignment with your brand and have a far enough reach.

  1. An “opt-in” network:

Influencers don’t force themselves upon an audience as their followers choose to follow them on particular channels like Twitter or a blog. Thus, their audience is engaged and is there to hear about the topic being discussed. This is why the need for a contextual fit is so important.

  1. Engagement:

Positive engagement is a great indicator that the content is interesting to their audience. This means that something about their content is evoking a reaction and that there is the potential for an action to occur.

Once you understand these, the next step is giving your influencer an image you can best match real influnecers to. Decide on what type of personality you require and if you need an activist, an informer or an authority to best promote your campaign or product. Next pick a genre. Examples include technology, fashion, travel and marketing. Niche this genre further into LSM, geographical position and age group.

Pick a topic that your ideal influencer sometimes talks about on social media or their blog and decide what type of reach and actions you will require from the influencer. Do you want likes, follows, engagement or visual content creation? Always ensure that the influencer is aware of your primary audience and your campaign objectives from the start, giving you the best chance of success.

Always remember that reach is vanity, engagement is sanity and relationships are reality.

 

<This post was originally written for Digitlab and can be viewed here>

What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

By Business Coaching Mentoring No Comments

Spillly coaching

 

 

An SOP is a procedure specific to your operation that describes the activities necessary to complete tasks in accordance with industry regulations, provincial laws or even just your own standards for running your business.

 

Any document that is a “how to” falls into the category of procedures. In a manufacturing environment, the most obvious example of an SOP is the step-by-step production line procedures used to make products as well train staff. An SOP, in fact, defines expected practices in all businesses where quality standards exist.

 

SOPs play an important role in your small business. SOPs are policies, procedures and standards you need in the operations, marketing and administration disciplines within your business to ensure success.

 

These can create:

  • Efficiencies, and therefore profitability
  • Consistency and reliability in production and service
  • Fewer errors in all areas
  • A way to resolve conflicts between partners and staff
  • A healthy and safe environment
  • Protection of employers in areas of potential liability and personnel matters
  • A roadmap for how to resolve issues – and the removal of emotion from troubleshooting – allowing needed focus on solving the problem
  • A first line of defence in any inspection, whether it be by a regulatory body, a partner or potential partner, a client, or a firm conducting due diligence for a possible purchase
  • Value added to your business should you ever wish to sell it

 

Developing an SOP is about systemizing all of your processes and documenting them. Every business has a unique market, every entrepreneur has his/her own leadership style, and every industry has its own best practices. No two businesses will have an identical collection of SOPs.

 

Below is a listing of just a few typical SOPs, which you will want to consider writing for your own small business.

 

  • Production/Operations
  • Production line steps
  • Equipment maintenance, inspection procedures
  • New employee training
  • Finance and Administration
  • Accounts receivable – billing and collections process
  • Accounts payable process – maximizing cash flow while meeting all payment deadlines
  • Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
  • Approval of external communications: press releases, social media, advert, etc.
  • Preparation of sales quotes
  • Service delivery process, including response times
  • Warranty, guarantee, refund/exchange policies
  • Acknowledgment/resolution of complaints, customer comments and suggestions • Employing Staff
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee orientation and training
  • Corrective action and discipline
  • Performance reviews
  • Use of Internet and social media for business purposes Legal
  • Privacy

 

 

Tips

  • Establish prior to opening; review at least annually
  • Develop procedures in the language style and format best for the establishment (your industry/operations knowledge is crucial here)
  • Write SOPs in clear, concise language so that processes and activities occur as they are suppose to
  • The level of detail in SOPs should provide adequate information to keep performance consistent while keeping the procedures from becoming impractical
  • Keep written SOPs on-site and in the cloud so that supervisors and employees can use them
  • Drafts should be made and tested before an SOP is released for implementation
  • The more decision makers, employees and complexity in the business, the more SOPs are required
  • SOP’s should be developed in existing businesses by all the stakeholders in each process.

 

In my experience, companies with well built, managed and maintained SOP’s are far less likely to make the same mistake twice and are often more resilient internally. An SOP can often be the difference between getting new work and not as clients can see the value of a well-run organisation.

 

Should you need help with your SOP or other business processes please contact us.

Thank you @CaseyNeistat.

By Business Coaching Motivation Photography No Comments

spillly beme

Dear @CaseyNeistat

For 3 months I religiously watched your YouTube channel, eager to see your daily Vlog and the beautifully curated time-lapse scenes of New York. I spent my days preaching to my clients that they have to watch your show and see how smart your marketing was.

We spoke about you on Whatsapp and debated what the product your business was going to launch and I swore that I would buy whatever it was and convert everyone I knew to do the same. I was your brand ambassador and I believed in your message.

You are entertaining and your opinions are aligned to my own. The life you portrayed was one that I aspired to and even though I knew you were building up to sell something to me, I didn’t care. It was honest. It was insightful. It was entertaining.

Then you launched Beme, your piece-of-shit mobile social media application.

It’s not even average. It’s sad and useless and not even pretty to look at. It serves no purpose and is not even doing a better job of any other app. I am still horrified and shocked that this was a result of a $2 million investment

I received my Beme code with joy and excitement and in one moment you destroyed all the value you built up in me, turning me from an advocate into a hater.

Some may say that my expectations were too high and that I was doomed to be disappointed and in hindsight and this is partly true, but Beme solves no problem, is not even remotely good and is the opposite of useful. It’s taken up space on my phone that can be better used to see my background image better.

Casey, your marketing was sheer brilliance. You had a captive opt-in audience that would spend hard earned money with you and then you released a product that was bad. I’ve unfollowed you on all social platforms and am telling this story as you have proved a valuable yet simple business lesson I will share going forward:

All the marketing in the world, as smart and innovative as it may be, is utterly useless if your product is not good, useful or solving a problem.

Casey, after writing this post I realise that you have added value to my life. Thank you. You have reminded me how important a great product or service really is.

I hope you release something that is meaningful into the world one day.

Thanks,

@Spillly.

 

The Law of Three: You should know this!

By Business Coaching Motivation No Comments

 

When you start the process of interviewing for new staff members, you should always refer back to the Law of 3:

333

  • Interview at least three candidates for a job, comparing and contrasting their qualities and characteristics. Check their suitability against your stated requirements. You would be amazed at how often people forget to do this.

  • Interview the candidate you like three different times: the true person is revealed once you get beyond the initial interview.

  • Interview the person you like in three different places. Brian Tracy of the American Management Association says that people have a “chameleon complex.” They appear a certain way in your office in the first interview and then seem to act and react differently when you move them to different environments.

  • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least three other people on your team.

  • Check at least three references from the candidate. Ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses and whether the referee can tell you anything to help you make a better hiring decision. Ask them whether they would hire the person back. If the answer is not an unequivocal “yes,” be cautious.

  • Check references three deep. Ask the given reference for the names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to those people, too. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Interviews are the start of the most important function in almost every business and should be taken seriously and never rushed.

Should you want more info on building a successful interview process, please contact me here

What is ‘Influence for Sale’ and Influencer Marketing?

By Business Mentoring Motivation Social Media No Comments

 

27 dinner

I was fortunate enough to be invited by Cerebra to speak on a panel this week at 27Dinners.

 

Influencer marketing is a new hot topic in the online marketing space and having presented a few times, to brands and agencies, on the subject and having been the target of brands as an influencer, I have a strong viewpoint on this new marketing “channel.”

 

It was an honour to sit on a panel with such smart marketing thought leaders and business people.

 

Should you wish to learn more about influencer marketing, please contact me here.

 

@Spillly

8 Ways to Make Your New Staff Onboarding Process better.

By Business Coaching Mentoring No Comments

INSERT MEANINGLESS STOCK IMAGE OF NEW

 

Hiring is good–it means you’re growing. But when a company doubles or triples in size in a short timeframe, onboarding new hires can quickly derail the schedules of your managers and existing employees. How can you make sure you’re training hires to make the right decisions without slowing down the entire team?

 

1. Record your foundational materials and assign each employee a mentor.

The biggest thing is to record the foundational training that repeats for each new employee. There’s no reason to have your company’s trainer do live trainings one-on-one or even in small groups when a video can do just as well. Transcribe these video and audio recordings. Reading is still the fastest way to take in information, so organize your training library so that employees and contractors can go back through multiple times at their convenience. Repetition is the mother of all learning, but repetition has to be done right–otherwise, it’s a waste of your company’s resources.

Once the employee has gone through the foundational training material, assign them a mentor. They’ll address unique questions and give insights into the trainee’s specific role and how best to fill it.

2. Create a web-based one-stop shop for new hires.

A membership site is a great way to get new hires acclimated quickly. This should be a destination for new employees to find everything they need to know about working at your company, including standard operating procedures, what technology the company uses (e.g. performance tracking apps and communication tools), company values and even the most popular post-work hangouts among coworkers. You can also include quizzes for tracking progress.

The idea is to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible and set new employees up for success by giving them vital information before their start date. By the time they do get started, they should be able to hit the ground running.

3. Slow down and test before you hire.

Hiring is difficult. The best answer is to slow down. If you try to take on too many people too quickly, you will inevitably hire people who are not in sync with your organization’s mission and values. People are the life force of any organization, and if you make a mistake it can cost you far more than if you slow down the process to find the right people.

At my company, we rely on a best-in-class intern program that is operated in association with institutions such as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The interns have access to the executive team, the board and our partners. The program allows us to field test potential employees by offering each intern a real-world problem to solve.

4. Clearly articulate your vision on day one.

Be very explicit about your company’s vision, values and culture. By doing this you’ll know that new team members align with your vision, and they’ll be able to contribute more quickly. You need to give new employees a good foundation based on your vision and then empower them to make decisions about how to achieve that vision.

5. Train your employees to train others.

Time is the most important asset we have in our lives, and especially in the business world. Highly skilled employees can transfer their knowledge to new hires, expediting the process that it would normally take a new employee to get up to speed if they are only trained by management. Allowing new hires to “pick the brain” of senior employees is beneficial to both the employees and the company as a whole.

6. Hire multiple people at a time.

As an entrepreneur, there is nothing more important than your time. So whenever my company hires, we hire in multiples of at least two. By training multiples of the same position, you maximize your time and provide an environment that promotes sharing and learning together. We have found that these employees make a much quicker impact than hiring/training one at a time.

7. Don’t skimp on having a leader do some training too.

Your other team members can help a new hire get up to speed, especially with company culture and day-to-day basics. However, you or a manager should spend some time in the first week or two orientating the employee and drafting up the first order of business for the new hire.

While you don’t need to hand hold, it’s imperative that you invest a little time upfront to help them fit in. You’ll waste much more time and money with a high turnover rate, so it’s worth a little extra time at the beginning. In fact, many HR and retention research validates this point. After they’ve got some orientation, make sure to draft up some work they can get started on so they’re busy and feel like their work is meaningful.

8. Develop a comprehensive training program now.

Give every new employee a ramp-up period to get up to speed with your product, the market and the nuts and bolts of their specific role. You should also have comprehensive training materials ready for every employee you bring on. These materials should include information about the competition, functional learning and Q&A sessions with other relevant members of the team. Having a great training program also helps attract the best employees, as these are the ones who want to learn and grow along with your company.

 

This article originally appeared on http://www.inc.com/