How to Survive Accelerate Business Growth

How to Survive Accelerate Business Growth

  • Building a network of like-minded professionals helps with startup navigation.
  • Establishing strategic recruitment practices ensures high-quality hires.
  • Actively engaging your customer base safeguards service quality.
  • Hiring for values protects your company culture and mission.

When you run a small business, every decision you make has its consequences. Even the most benign decision can impact your reputation for years to come, so it only stands to reason that many small business owners feel a lot of pressure when hiring their very first employee, then their second, their third, and so on.

I can certainly attest to the pressure of hiring each new employee for Luxury Presence. In the beginning of my business, it was just me, my partner and a freelance developer. After six months, we brought on our first part-time salesperson. That pretty much set the pace for our internal growth for the next two years, as we racked up a total of nine employees. Then, the business took off, and we grew to 37 team members over the course of 12 months.

Growing the right way

That’s a lot of growth and a lot of decisions. It’s also a lot of room to make mistakes. Not that I wasn’t happy with the expansion, but growing at an accelerated rate exhausts your resources, placing even greater importance on your hiring practices. Every new hire has the potential of upsetting the applecart.

Recently, I had to figure out how to scale a sales team. We were shifting focus from product to sales, so I explored commission structures and staffing. With that came the need to hire a VP of sales, something we didn’t have. I taught myself how to build a sales team to be successful.

In the past, I’d be more on the defensive, reacting to whatever the marketplace threw


How to Apply Peter Drucker’s Management Theory

How to Apply Peter Drucker's Management Theory

Peter Drucker was a world-famous management consultant whose visionary management theories form the bedrock on which corporate America was built. Knowledge work, corporate social responsibility and organizational culture are just a few of the modern management concepts he conceived or propagated in the pages of his 39 beloved books.

To be clear, Drucker did not invent managers. By most accounts, however, he did invent management. When he began developing and disseminating his famous ideas in the 1940s, the “father of modern management theory” commenced a decadeslong journey during which he orchestrated a fundamental transformation of business leadership from a reactive to a proactive stance. Before Drucker, managers’ highest priority was supervising. Now, thanks to him, it’s strategizing.

“Drucker felt that all businesses need and deserve to be managed well,” said Drucker disciple Bruce Rosenstein, author of two books about the management guru and his theories: Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way and Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. “Part of that, he believed, was thinking about the future … He recognized that even if you’re really successful now, you will fail later if you’re not thinking about the future.”

In Drucker’s own words: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

It’s just one of many insights Drucker left behind for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors. For business owners and managers who take the time to learn about them, his life and work can yield many more.

Who was Peter Drucker?

Peter Drucker was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. He attended college and graduate school in Germany in the early 1930s, where he witnessed – and vocally opposed – the Nazis’ ascent to power. He subsequently fled to England


How Experiences Can Shape Your Business

How Experiences Can Shape Your Business

  • Brands have to leverage the power of experience to connect with customers, grow their competitive advantages, and, perhaps most importantly, create a happy, productive workforce.
  • The smartest companies know the importance of cultivating employee experiences, right down to the people new hires will meet and the way they’re greeted.
  • To create a more engaging employee experience, start talking about it more often, find a partner and get your leadership team behind it.

As the world has become increasingly digital, intentional face-to-face interactions hold more power than ever. People crave these in-person exchanges – they’re rarer, more memorable and more powerful. Brands have to leverage the power of experience to connect with customers and grow their competitive advantages.

Just ask the team at Disney. In a recent Game Developer’s Conference talk, leaders from Walt Disney Imagineering discussed how the same experience-based strategies that have made Disney’s theme parks so successful have bled into other areas of the company, including video games. “The qualities of making games so impactful and evocative are also the things that make our guests’ experience possible,” said Creative Director Sara Thacher.

Experiences – intentionally designed moments of human interaction – are catalysts for desired change. Companies are getting on board with this movement, with a 2018 Bizzabo survey finding that 87% of C-suite executives plan to invest more in live events.

The Power of experiential thinking

In the world of marketing, brands collectively spend billions of dollars every year to tell consumers who they are: “We’re trustworthy,” brands say. “We’re loyal, exciting and cool.” Think, though, about a few of your closest friends. You might think of them as trustworthy, loyal, exciting, or cool. But why? Is it because they told you they were? Doubtful.

Our most deeply held beliefs are the ones we develop ourselves.


How to Be a Better Leader

How to Be a Better Leader

“If you want to change somebody, don’t preach to him. Set an example and shut up.” – Jack LaLanne

No matter who, how, or why you lead, being a leader means eyes are on you: you’re looked to for answers, accountability and decisiveness. At the executive level, leading means both day-to-day and strategic decisions, but it also means existing as a symbol of your organization’s values. When you make a statement, decision or display of the values, mission, or policy of your company, these actions exist through the filter of your words, deeds and presentation.

In other words, effective leadership begins with aligning your message with your expression. Do what you say, say what you do.

I’m not saying anything radically new here; I’m simply bringing these principles of leadership to mind because effective leadership is a unique challenge when your values include digital well-being.

Leadership and JOMO

I’m in the business of joy: helping people find it, reclaim it, and keep it. The JOMO movement is centered on the essential principle of moving toward what brings joy, and moving away from what doesn’t (the “missing out” part). I’m especially excited when I have the opportunity to work with large companies or other organizations, because it represents a chance to bring this incredibly positive message to a greater number of people by transmitting it effectively to the leaders of those companies. Sometimes, the organization is small enough (or its management generous enough) that I can run workshops and presentations for each and every team member; more realistically, though, I’m presenting this information to top-level leaders, with the hope that they’ll be able to disseminate it throughout their structure and achieve the goals of greater well-being, productivity and team satisfaction.

Digital well-being is at the center of JOMO, because tech consumption


What Do Small Businesses Need to Grow?

What Do Small Businesses Need to Grow?

Autumn is here, but my mind refuses to let go of the summer memories of the beach and ocean waves. One wave that is continuing to crest, even past the months of summer, is small business confidence. The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index for Q3 shows Main Street confidence at an all-time high. Over 70% of small businesses have a positive outlook on their companies’ financial future and business environment.

When we dig deeper into the survey’s responses from 1,000 small business owners, recorded by IPSOS, the news gets even better:

  • Small business owners feel increasingly positive about their local economies, up five percentage points from last quarter.
  • Minority-owned businesses are the most optimistic about hiring, registering more than 10 percentage points higher than non-minority owned small businesses (38% versus 27%).
  • Millennials are in growth mode, with 43% planning to grow their staff compared to baby boomer or older small business owners (27%).

Small businesses are optimistic about growth

We’re seeing small business optimism across the country. The small business owners that I meet with consistently share stories of expansion, acquisition, and product and services diversification – all code words for “growth.”

I met with Natalie Kaddas, CEO of Kaddas Enterprises recently before our CO Regional Forum for Small and Growing Businesses that was hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.  It had been 13-months since my first visit to Kaddas Enterprises and at that time, Natalie had moved into a new 50,000 square-foot building that was three times larger than her old place. Kaddas Enterprises creates plastic products through a thermoform process. (And, in case you’re curious, thermoplastic molding looks identical to freezing Han Solo in carbonite.)  

The company is a family-owned business that was started in 1966 by Natalie’s father-in-law, John