Employee Retention for Trades and Construction Companies: Hire Right, Manage Well, Reward & Look Forward

The costs to a company of high turnover in skilled employees can be significant, affecting both gross revenues and expenses. Recently, one of our advisors from the Kansas SBDC sent out a request to the rest of us for suggestions that he might pass along on how to improve employee retention for trades and construction companies. Amongst us, we generated a number of tips that can be grouped into four general categories: hire right, manage well, reward, and look forward....

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Cutting Through The Noise

Modern marketing is interesting. While many people will argue that it’s evolving and becoming technologically advanced, it still usually rests on the tenants of impressions and exposure at its roots. 4,000 ads a day, that’s what most sources will say the average American is exposed to. Our brains bombarded via airwaves, billboards, display ads and the like. So, what are we to do? If you think about it personally, how many advertisements do you pay attention to or actually care...

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The Dreaded Marketing Resolution

New Year’s Day has come and gone and so has the dreaded resolution that accompanies it.  According to a study by the University of Scranton, about 8% of people actually accomplish their goals by the end of the new year. Some people love the “resolution,” but for most people, it is a source of dread. While I won’t take the time to challenge you to make your staff happier, make 300% more profit, or grow a product line (all good...

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So It’s Icy And You Work Retail, Now What?

I don’t know where you are sitting currently, but right now, I’m in the comfort of my own chair as the lovely ice rain slush junk comes down outside. However, I worked retail in high school, and similar to the hero in your favorite war movie, we never backed down. Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, we were there on the off chance that a customer would come through our door. Now, the truth of the matter is that sometimes they...

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They’ve Got It All, Right?

I’m still full. I know that’s an odd way to open up a business blog, but stick with me here. During the Christmas season, our family travels to 37.6 destinations to eat, drink, be merry, and eat again. In the aftermath, I’m left to sit here and ponder if I’ll ever enjoy food again. I’m fulfilled, full, content. I don’t want anything to eat again…ever. This leaves me thinking (oddly enough, I know), how do we market to a culture...

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Cultivating Employee Engagement for Remote Workers

One reason why employers are sometimes reluctant to pursue the potential benefits of having remote workers is that they are worried about lack of employee engagement. To elaborate, a concern for employers is that remote employees won't identify/connect with the company, its culture, its mission, other team members or with the company's clients if employees are working from home or from some other out-of-the-office location.  Consequently, employers fear that remote employees' work ethic, work performance, ability to collaborate, dedication to...

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9 Holiday Tips for Small Businesses

For many small businesses - notably, but not exclusively, those in retail and hospitality - the holiday season is an important time not only because of the impact that it has on short-term sales but also because how a business is managed during the holidays can have a lasting reflection in public perception throughout the year. So this is a time of year to shine not only in marketing but also in taking care of important relationships, e.g, by paying...

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Practicing Gratitude: A Good Habit for Small Business Owners

With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is underway and with the holidays, for many small businesses, come added pressures. One way to deal with these is to practice gratitude. Not only will it make you feel better, but the practice shows good leadership and will be appreciated by those around you. • Reflect on why you are in business and the positives you get out of business ownership. If you haven't already, write these reasons down. When things get...

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The Importance Of Failure

A life without failure would be great, wouldn't it? Like the story of King Midas, everything we touch turns to gold, and each life turns out precisely how we desire. The first girl/guy we asked to prom goes with us, the first interview we sit in lands us the job, and the first business we start makes us millions. Nothing goes wrong, nothing ever blows up in our face, everything is how it should be. How dreadfully boring. Fortunately, and sometimes unfortunately,...

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Ember Woods Sawmill Puts Down Its Roots

  Ember Woods Sawmill is veteran-owned business that recently opened for service in the city of Riley, KS. After 20 years in the army, Ret. 1SG Scott Jacobs decided that he wanted to do something about which he felt passionate, something that he enjoyed doing everyday. [caption id="attachment_4391" align="alignnone" width="960"] (photo used with permission of Scott Jacobs)[/caption] Arriving at that point involved a little bit of trial and error, but he got there when he opened Ember Woods Sawmill! Located...

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