Blog

How To Get Out of The Small Business Stress Cycle

Posted by John Boudreau on Jul 28, 2017 3:32:30 PM

Stress is a major problem and can cause all sorts of health problems. Small business owners have it worse than the general public. Studies show, small business owner's stress is two to four times higher than non business owners.

Life is stressful, so you're not going to eliminate stress completely, but there are certain stress relievers you can apply to reduce the amount of stress you experience with while running your small business. I've found that many small business owners get stuck in what I call the "stress cycle" which keeps them stressed and prevents them from truly enjoying their business.

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Topics: small business stress, problem solving, learned helplessness

How To Hold One-on-One Meetings With Your Employees

Posted by John Boudreau on Jul 19, 2017 4:03:10 PM

I've blogged about small business meetings before. Meeting on a regular basis with your employees is a critical mechanism for reducing your stress and creating a profitable business. A lack of communication can be one of the biggest profit leaks in your business.

There is also a significant external dynamic happening today. According to the Harvard Business Review blog , there is a performance management "revolution" happening.

Companies are changing the way they manage employees. Many are moving away from the annual review process toward more frequent check-ins where feedback can be given and received. According to the Harvard Business Review article, "Employers are finally acknowledging that both supervisors and subordinates despise the appraisal process—a perennial problem that feels more urgent now that the labor market is picking up and concerns about retention have returned."

A tightening job market is making hiring and retention a major problem for small businesses and the process of providing feedback is seen as a major component for driving retention.

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Topics: performance managment, one-on-ones, feedback

3 Ways To Reduce Your Stress As A Small Business Owner

Posted by John Boudreau on Jun 20, 2017 4:19:31 PM

We've all heard that stress is bad for you.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can give you headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, upset stomach and sleeping problems.

Stress can also affect your mood causing you to be anxious, restless, lack motivation, irritable, overwhelmed or depressed. If you find yourself "just having a bad day,"stress may be the reason why.

Stress can also affect your behavior in a negative way. You may overeat, have angry outbursts, abuse alcohol or socially withdraw. Again, all things that in the long-term will hurt you and the ones you love.

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Topics: Increasing Profit, small business stress, reducing stress

Building A Financial Model For Your Small Business (Part II)

Posted by John Boudreau on Jun 7, 2017 9:30:09 AM

In this multi-part series we are sharing the details behind creating a financial model for your small business. A small business financial model is critical for making good decisions and helping to build a more predictable business. Your financial model is your small business in black and white. As they say, "the numbers don't lie.”

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Topics: financial model, COGS, Opex, Sales & marketing

Building A Financial Model For Your Small Business (Part I)

Posted by John Boudreau on May 24, 2017 11:49:44 AM

A financial model is a critical tool for helping you make business decisions.

In this blog post, I am going to define how to build a simple financial model for your small business and why doing so can help you improve performance and make better decisions.

What Is A Small  Business Financial Model?

A financial model is your business in black in white. It is the financial skeleton of your business.

According to Wikipedia - "Financial modeling is the task of building an abstract representation (a model) of a real world financial situation. This is a mathematical model designed to represent (a simplified version of) the performance of a business..."

A good financial model does the following:

  1. Details the products you plan to sell and the revenue generated from those products.
  2. Details your cost of goods sold or the costs incurred when you sell those products.
  3. Details who you think you will need to hire, what they will do and what you will pay them.
  4. Details how much you will spend on sales and marketing.
  5. Details how much you will spend on general and administrative costs.
  6. Details if your business will make a profit in any given month.

Let's go through elements 1-3 in this blog post and why they are important to your business.

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Topics: budgeting, gross margin, small business financial models, COGS

Are You The SPOF In Your Business? Read This To Find Out

Posted by John Boudreau on May 4, 2017 3:10:37 PM

In this new multi-part series, I am going to speak to the common pain points that small business owners face. How do I know these are common? Because I see them over and over again in businesses from $1M in revenue to $25M in revenue. If you are a small business owner, chances are you've experienced these problems, so I thought I'd share solutions to each.

The first problem I'd like to discuss is the "SPOF" problem.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • When someone calls or emails you, it takes you forever to get back (if you ever do).
  • You are in constant fire-fighting mode.
  • You over-commit and then don't follow through on your commitments to customers, vendors, employees etc.
  • You go home each day worrying about all the many details of the business.
  • You worry if that prospect will say "yes."
  • You worry about how you will deliver on the next big project.
  • Your family is forever wanting you to take a break, but you can't seem get away.
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Topics: single point of failure, SPOF, org chart, organizational structure

How A Monthly Management Team Meeting Can Transform Your Small Business (Part III)

Posted by John Boudreau on Apr 28, 2017 9:47:27 AM

In this three-part series on small business meetings, we are trying to not only convince you of the value of small business meetings, but also give you some real practical steps to implement meetings which drive real results.

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Topics: small business meetings, monthly team meetings

Are Your Small Business Meetings All Tactics And No Strategy? (Part II)

Posted by John Boudreau on Apr 19, 2017 10:54:22 AM

In part I of this three-part series on meetings, we discussed why small business owners hate meetings so much (they see meetings as a waste of time or just an opportunity for employees to complain). We laid out a case for meetings. If you find yourself doubting the value of meetings, head over read part I and maybe I can convince you of the value of meetings.

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Topics: Meeting rhythm, small business meetings, strategic vs. tactical, meeting cadence

Why Do Small Business Owners Hate Meetings So Much? (Part I)

Posted by John Boudreau on Mar 14, 2017 3:00:37 PM

In this post, we begin our three-part series on meetings and seek to change your thinking around meetings to show the true value meetings can create. We'll do this by providing some practical guidelines to make your meetings a real value driver in your business not a time and value drain.

In Part I, We'll Discuss The Purpose Of Small Business Meetings

In a recent conversation with a new client, I heard the client say, "I hate meetings.” Why do business owners have such a disdain for meetings? It's not that many just don't like them, they "hate" them.

To many small business owners, meetings are seen as a time waster where employees complain about problems and drop them at the feet of the owner.

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Topics: company goals, monthly meetings, management meetings, fires

5 Steps To Linking Company Goals To Employee Goals (Part III)

Posted by John Boudreau on Mar 9, 2017 9:17:46 AM

In this three-part series, we've been writing about company goal setting.

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Topics: company goals, employee goals, employee initiatives