Blog

John Boudreau

Recent Posts

How To Handle Poor Employee Performance

Posted by John Boudreau on Oct 16, 2017 1:33:18 PM

As a small business owner, poor employee performance can have a devastating effect on your business.

This is especially hard from small businesses because leadership is often wearing multiple hats and there is not a lot of time for training and assessing the true root causes of poor performance. This results is higher than average employee churn and stress.

As you read this blog, I want you to think of that one employee who is just not performing. My hope is to give you some ways in which to improve their performance and lessen your stress.

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Topics: employee performance, poor employee performance

How To Select The Right Manufacturing KPIs

Posted by John Boudreau on Sep 26, 2017 4:27:28 PM

Many companies struggle with what to measure to improve the performance of their companies. I've seen some blog posts that just give a long list of manufacturing KPIs for the reader to chose from.

Deciding on your manufacturing KPIs is as important as thinking through your system to track, review and correct.

You are choosing manufacturing KPIs in order to improve your performance. To do so, I recommend companies follow these 4 steps.

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Topics: company alignment, company goals, KPIs, Manufacturing KPIs

How To Make The Most Of The Employee Performance Review

Posted by John Boudreau on Sep 10, 2017 3:06:48 PM

Happy employees are more productive, deliver better customer service and offer a leadership pipeline that allows your business to scale. The employee performance review is one tool employers have to drive employee engagement and results. Unfortunately the employee performance review does not have a good reputation among employees or employers. 

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Topics: performance management, employee performance review

How To Create SMART Goals For Your Small Business

Posted by John Boudreau on Aug 26, 2017 1:35:04 PM

In this post on SMART goals for small business I would like to:

  • Give a little history of SMART goals
  • Define what SMART goals are
  • Make the case for why SMART goals are so important for your small business
  • Lastly, give you a template for ensuring the goals your set for your business are indeed SMART goals

I've seen many small businesses struggle with goal setting and the "SMART goals" framework can make the process less painful and much more productive.

Let's get started...

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Topics: goal setting for small business, smart goals

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

How To Build A Budget 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

How To Build A Budget For Your Small Business (Part I)

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

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

In this blog post, I am going to define how to build a simple budget (financial model) for your small business and explain why building a budget can help you improve profitability and make better decisions.

What Is A Small Business Budget?

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

According to Wikipedia - "Budgeting 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 budget 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 Single Point Of Failure 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