Upsize Magazine http://www.yitaifood.net.cn Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:46:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Upsize Magazine Upsize Magazine Upsize Magazine http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Upsize_feed_logo.png http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/blog Freaky cool http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/letter-from-the-editor/freaky-cool http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/letter-from-the-editor/freaky-cool#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:42:15 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15101 “I firmly believe in face-to-face contact,” declared Aaron Keller, co-founder of design firm Capsule. Granted, our interview was before the freak-out over the coronavirus arrived in the United States, but the thought nonetheless holds. “The massive move to so much digital, it becomes so shallow.” I like his solution. Every month for the last 10-plus […]

The post Freaky cool appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
“I firmly believe in face-to-face contact,” declared Aaron Keller, co-founder of design firm Capsule. Granted, our interview was before the freak-out over the coronavirus arrived in the United States, but the thought nonetheless holds. “The massive move to so much digital, it becomes so shallow.”

I like his solution. Every month for the last 10-plus years, he’s been hosting a luminary to speak at Capsule, in its dramatic and colorful office space in Minneapolis. The group started with about 10 people and has grown to more than 80.

When he first mentioned the idea to a colleague, she exclaimed: “You’re doing a French-style salon!” like during the French Revolution. “They’d get together, and there was a lot of drinking and they started stirrings,” Keller said. For himself, his employees and his audience, Capsule’s version of those salons serve as inspiration, a way to think bigger about something other than the exact problem in the middle of your plate on that particular day.

Each gives a talk for 30 minutes. “My only requirement, you have to say the word ‘design’ in your speech,” Keller said. The speakers have been quite varied.

Take one recent speaker, a noted apple breeder at the University of Minnesota, who described the parentage of one of its most famous varieties, the First Kiss, which Capsule helped to name. “The mom is the Minnesota princess Honeycrisp, and the dad is a redneck from Arkansas,” is how the grower described the apple, Keller said. “It takes 18 years to get to a new apple.”

Or consider Eric Dayton, scion of the Dayton family and a restaurant owner, retailer and a livable urban design advocate. “He is an authentic entrepreneur,” Keller says, and also, yes, our “local billionaire,” but “he’s using entrepreneurship to do good. He could sit back and not do anything.”

There was the chocolate man, who’s inventing a fermentation process in a controlled environment that produces dark chocolate without the bitterness. “If it’s really dark it’s barely edible,” Keller explains about the percentage of cacao in the usual chocolate-making process. “His is a 92 percent and it tastes like a 70.”

There was the blow painter, whom Keller calls “the Kevin Bacon of the Twin Cities.”

“She’s a very interesting character, faith-driven. She did blow painting for the audience.” That’s right, blowing paint through a straw to create a piece of art. She says “the archangel Michelangelo guides her,” Keller said. “People loved it, thought it was totally different, something that you wouldn’t do on a Thursday morning.”

There was the guy that studies memory, who notes “we have really strong memories from our teens and early 20s,” then it’s all a mush. “He theorizes it’s because we get in these patterns,” Keller said that prove to dull our senses. Then he scrolls through his phone, exclaiming over a half-dozen more former and upcoming speakers. “It’s freaky cool stuff.”

Keller admits the monthly salons are difficult to keep going, and he concedes there are direct benefits to his business. Capsule gains attention from potential clients, and he and his employees get to expand their minds. “We’re selling our brains,” he explains, “so advancing our brains as a group is an important thing to do.”

But more to the point, the salons guard against everyone just staying home and YouTubing everything, “which would be a sad end to society, wouldn’t it? (of course, until the virus succumbs, that’s the only safe option)”

As Keller says about the topics, “This is not something you talk about every day,” and that is the point. What about you? How are you expanding your mind beyond the quotidian? (And if you don’t know what that means, take a brain-expanding moment to look it up.)

The post Freaky cool appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/letter-from-the-editor/freaky-cool/feed 0
Communications http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/communications-6 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/communications-6#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:41:55 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15103 As you’re reading the first few sentences of this article to decide if it’s worth finishing, an organization somewhere is in an unexpected, unwelcome event that could severely harm – or even end – its business and prospects. Chances are, that organization has done little planning to prepare, particularly in terms of how to communicate […]

The post Communications appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
As you’re reading the first few sentences of this article to decide if it’s worth finishing, an organization somewhere is in an unexpected, unwelcome event that could severely harm – or even end – its business and prospects.

Chances are, that organization has done little planning to prepare, particularly in terms of how to communicate to its employees, customers, investors, business partners, neighbors and others stakeholders. The people running the organization will do their very best; maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t.

Maybe that organization is yours.

Two truths: Even the best organizations experience crises: machines break, people make mistakes, external events intrude without warning and second, every organization will eventually encounter a crisis. Despite those realities, most don’t have a plan for how they’ll respond. Most organizations that do have a plan don’t keep it up. Most organizations with an up-to-date plan haven’t tested it recently. Many organizations that maintain and test their plan don’t activate it in an actual crisis event.

Where does your organization fall on this spectrum?

If the honest answer to that question is, “Not where we want to be,” then creating a real, useful crisis plan should be at the top of your to-do list. While that work is in progress, though, here’s a quick-start guide.

What’s a crisis?

First, what scenarios is your organization most likely to face? While every organization is different, here’s a list of some common ones:

  • Loss of key personnel
  • Loss of facilities or capacity
  • Employee misconduct
  • Product quality issues
  • Enforcement actions
  • Accidents
  • Workplace violence
  • Investigations
  • Community-wide events

What additional vulnerabilities are uniquely yours?

Next, assign responsibilities. Who takes phone calls? Who talks on behalf of the organization? Who creates content and who approves it?

Chances are you’ll run out of people before responsibilities because no organization staffs for the possibility of a full-blown crisis. Be prepared to pull in people from other departments or functions on a temporary basis and to supplement your resources with an outside agency.

Third, do the work. Here are some tips I’ve garnered from doing hundreds of these events over the last quarter-decade:

  • Set your context. There is no “winning” strategy in a real crisis. The only good crisis is one that doesn’t happen. Instead, your goal is to minimize the damage being done and to make the return to “normal” as quick as possible.
    ? ? Playing defense, though, is not the same as being passive. Play aggressively.
  • Don’t guess. You’ve got a finite amount of credibility. Don’t squander it by saying things you have to take back later. Don’t guess, don’t speculate or theorize.
  • Gather facts. Monitor mainstream and social media. Listen to what your employees, clients, customers and shareholders are saying. Do this in a methodical way by setting up your own monitoring function, using clipping services or outside media monitoring agencies, regular conference calls with key personnel on the frontlines, etc.
  • Get help from people who have been there. Unless your organization has a well-developed response capability of its own, consider reaching out to experienced communications counsel – someone who’s been there, done that and got the T-shirt to prove it – as a source of both strategic counsel and for frontline team members.
  • Tell the truth. It should go without saying, but don’t lie to your stakeholders. It’s bad karma and it doesn’t work in an era when every document, every action, and every statement is one click away from being everywhere. Don’t do it. Ever.
  • Don’t leak bad news over time. If you’ve got bad news, get it out and get all of it out upfront. Hiding it almost always fails, and dribbling it out in spurts only spreads the pain over a longer period of time and makes others suspicious of you.
  • Don’t waste the moment. In a crisis scenario, there’s an opportunity to connect with stakeholders that should not be wasted. When everyone is paying attention and wants to know, “What does this mean for me?” answer that question with honesty, sincerity, empathy and humanity.

Now what?

Crises are those kind of low-probability, high-risk events that are easy to ignore in the face of more urgent demands on an organization. Like many of those events, however, should the bill come due, it will fall most heavily on those organizations that neglect to prepare for such events. The good news is, with a modicum of preparation and practice, the costs of such events can be effectively reduced. It is within the reach of almost any organization.

So, get to it. Now.

The post Communications appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/communications-6/feed 0
Management http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-14 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-14#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:41:36 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15110 We are not turnaround specialists. Regardless, we are occasionally asked by intermediaries to intervene with a business in financial distress. Before accepting such an assignment, we ask ourselves, “Will CPR work for this business, or is it too late?” The answer almost always comes down to cash flow. With a troubled business, little else matters. […]

The post Management appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
We are not turnaround specialists. Regardless, we are occasionally asked by intermediaries to intervene with a business in financial distress. Before accepting such an assignment, we ask ourselves, “Will CPR work for this business, or is it too late?”

The answer almost always comes down to cash flow. With a troubled business, little else matters. If the business can be improved to produce enough cash flow to work out of the problem, applying CPR makes sense. If not, it is time to order embalming fluid.

Why cash flow? Cash flow is the lifeblood of the business. Further, projected future cash flow is the single biggest driver of the price a sophisticated buyer is willing to pay for a business. Cash flow drives value.

Improving cash flow

We typically start rehabilitation projects with benchmarking. If the business is a member of a trade organization, typically there is industry-specific benchmarking data available. Otherwise, other generic sources are available from places such as the Risk Management Association (RMA).

We use the benchmarking to compare the client’s financial ratios and key metrics to other businesses of similar size and industry. Identifying the data for which the client is in the bottom quartile, or bottom half, helps identify the areas within the business that can produce near-term improvement in cash flow.

With the benchmarking data, we typically find four areas that can be addressed by cash-starved businesses. But since cash flow drives business value, even healthy businesses should consider some attention to these four areas on a regular basis.

Overhead

Businesses in financial distress typically slash overhead, often in the form of across the board cuts. While reducing overhead is necessary for a troubled business, care should be exercised to avoid cutting into muscle or bone. Cuts to marketing can damage revenue growth at a time when additional revenue may be needed to work out of the problem. Mandatory pay cuts, especially in the current job market, can cause an unwanted loss of talent. Excessive or misdirected overhead cuts can further damage the business.

However, regular control of overhead is good business hygiene, even for a healthy company. We worked with the owner of a profitable, growing manufacturing business who conducted a head count on the first of each month. He believed his business required three employees producing goods or services to support the budget for every nonproduction or overhead employee. So, no new “overhead” position could be filled unless there was sufficient growth to add three new production personnel.

Growth

Often, financially troubled businesses attempt to grow themselves out of the problem. This is an admirable goal. The challenge is how to grow sales. If marketing and sales resources are downsized through overhead cuts, growth could be a challenge.

If the strategy is to cut prices to attract more sales, will competitors match those cuts to retain their customers? If so, that strategy may only result in reducing prices to the current customers without the expected increase in total sales, and thus it may compound the cash flow problem.

If the strategy is to chase new revenue with new products or services, or in new markets, a cash strapped business will not likely have the necessary cash flow to cover the required investment.

We once worked with a client who was pursuing an opportunity with a potential new customer that would have nearly doubled his sales. Due to declining cash flow, his bank was reluctant to increase his credit line. We were asked to help him work through a cash-flow forecast. Turns out the incremental net operating profit on the new business would be just under 3% of sales, which would only modestly boost profits. But the 60-day terms required by the new customer would have essentially put him out of business due to negative cash flow.

Growth is important, but it must be strategic and profitable growth. Every business, regardless of health, should project the impact of growth not only on profit, but also on cash flow.

Gross profit

Cash-starved businesses often overlook the opportunity to improve cash flow by improving gross margin.

A business can increase gross profit by increasing its selling prices. Yes, business owners fear losing customers. But if gross profit is at 50 percent, a 10 percent increase in prices means you can lose 17 percent of your customers and be no worse off.

A business can improve gross profit by eliminating sales discounting. Using the same example as above, at the same gross profit of 50 percent, if you discount your prices by 10 percent, you need a 25 percent increase in sales just to maintain. The exception, of course, is slow-moving or unpopular (never-moving) inventory, which should be immediately discounted to convert the inventory to cash.

Shorten cash operating cycle

Perhaps the biggest short-term “bang for the buck” is the opportunity to shorten the cash operating cycle. This is the number of days required between paying for purchases, converting the inputs to product, selling them and collecting from customers. It is calculated using the average of days costs in inventory plus days sales in accounts receivable minus the average number of days in accounts payable.

If your accounts receivable averages 47 days and the days in inventory averages 31 days, and number of days in accounts payable is 25, your cash operating cycle is 53 days. Simple math of 47 plus 31 minus 25.

Shorten the cycle and cash flow improves. It improves by faster collections from customers, gaining better prices or terms from suppliers, maintaining leaner “just in time” inventory levels or some combination of all three.

In conclusion, we remind every business owner, whether cash strapped or healthy, that the eventual buyer of your business will set the price based primarily on the cash flow of the business. So, start benchmarking, manage your overhead, only grow strategically, improve gross profit and shorten your cash operating cycle.

The post Management appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-14/feed 0
Marketing http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/marketing-7 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/marketing-7#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:41:17 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15112 Step into any sports venue and you’re immediately met by an array of corporate logos. Even before you’ve emptied your pockets at security, you’ve likely witnessed the logo of a naming rights partners on the venue, another over the gate and more on the outdoor marquee. There even might have been a sign for a […]

The post Marketing appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
Step into any sports venue and you’re immediately met by an array of corporate logos. Even before you’ve emptied your pockets at security, you’ve likely witnessed the logo of a naming rights partners on the venue, another over the gate and more on the outdoor marquee. There even might have been a sign for a corporate sponsor on the parking ramp adjacent to the venue.

Sign after sign sharing brand after brand. Sponsorship of sports competitions and venues, in its various forms, has existed since the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece. Now, 2,500 years later, teams and sponsors need each other more than ever.

Settle into your seat and you’ll notice giant brands like Target, US Bank, Pepsi and Best Buy. As a small business owner who must manage marketing resources judiciously, the idea of joining forces with a sports team seems fanciful. But sponsorship is not just the domain of big business. Small and local companies can also use it as a marketing tool to grow business and improve their standing in the community.

Companies invest in sport for a variety of motives, from the chance to leverage the passion and loyalty shown by fans to the opportunity to engage in hospitality and offer a great experience to business-to-business contacts, potential clients and customers. Key reasons typically fall into the following categories:

  • Brand building — will a sponsorship create more brand awareness for your business?
  • Driving business — can you generate business with the team’s fans, other sponsors or even from the team itself?
  • Entertainment/hospitality — are you looking to entertain top clients, prospects and employees?
  • Community — would you like to showcase your support of the hometown team?

With so many teams and events at every level in Minnesota, choosing the right sports marketing opportunity can be overwhelming. Start with your target audience. It’s the most critical component in selecting any sponsorship and it’s especially important for a small business. If the fans of the sport, team or event don’t fit with your current and prospective customers, your investment, no matter how big or small, won’t be successful.

For instance, if you have a product or service that appeals to an older demographic, baseball and golf might be a good match. If you’re attempting to reach millennials, consider soccer or college sports. A local youth sports team or venue can be an effective platform if you have a business that appeals only to a small geographic area.

Also consider the seasonality of sports. A landscape company sponsoring a hockey team may not be an ideal fit. Make sure your partner can help you during your key business season.

Other key considerations when selecting a partner include the team or event’s reputation, performance, popularity, attendance, media coverage, willingness of the partner to support your efforts and, of course, cost.

Once you’ve identified the right partner, determine what you can afford. Focus on securing the assets that are most beneficial. One of the biggest mistakes new sponsors make is purchasing lots of unnecessary options that are good for the ego yet not so great for the bottom line. Only buy what you need to make the sponsorship work for you. Sponsorship sellers will often attempt to upsell you by adding “soft” assets that won’t grow your business but will expand your budget. Don’t do it.

Your budget should also include resources to “leverage” the sponsorship. The sponsorship fee is only the starting point. Usually a sponsor will spend an amount over and above the sponsorship fee to maximize the return on their investment. A successful example of leveraging a sponsorship was when Hiway Federal Credit Union amplified its sponsorship with the Minnesota Wild by creating Hiway Hockey Kids4Kids, a program that encourages youth hockey teams throughout Minnesota to raise money for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul.

The credit union used some of the benefits it received as a sponsor of the Wild to inspire youth to community service. By doing so, they were able to engage prospective new members who hadn’t yet selected a banking partner and generate positive media exposure that increased brand awareness.

Now that you’ve established objectives, identified the right partner and developed a budget, how do you go about putting together a program that works for your company? Here are some tips:

  • Formulate a strategy. Ask yourself how the sponsorship and every benefit in it will help you accomplish your objectives.
  • Be clear about what you need. Teams and events rely on sponsors. Most will present an opportunity even for those companies with modest budgets. Skip the extras that will bloat your budget.
  • Add value to the fan/brand experience. For instance, Hiway created a “Prize ATM” that gives fans at Minnesota Wild games the chance to insert a promotional card into a special ATM that spits out a receipt for a corresponding prize. Fans enjoy a fun experience and go home with a free gift and a positive impression of Hiway.
  • Have a plan for every benefit. Let’s say you decide a partial season ticket plan could be beneficial. How are you going to use the tickets? Sweepstakes, vendor incentive programs, contests and employee awards/recognition are all appropriate. Letting them sit unused is not. In fact, 43% of all tickets owned by businesses go unused. That’s a lot of wasted dollars.
  • Use the logo. Most sponsorship sellers provide sponsors with the right to use their logo in advertising and promotional efforts. You’re paying for the right to be affiliated with a team/event and its fans. Including the logo will highlight your support, increase brand preference and set your company apart from the competition.
  • Attend sponsor events. Most teams conduct sponsorship summits and other events exclusively for corporate sponsors including golf tournaments, holiday parties and luncheons. Participation provides a great opportunity to learn best practices from other sponsors and make valuable business connections.
  • Ask the sponsorship seller for their business. Teams and events need products and services, too. Your company may be able to offset some of the cost of the sponsorship by offering in-kind services or products or selling them.
  • Be realistic. Like most marketing efforts, you may not see direct or immediate conversions. Good sponsorships are an investment that pay dividends with time.

As a small business owner, you can benefit from sports marketing. Just make sure you’ve prepared before you get in the game.?

The post Marketing appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/marketing-7/feed 0
Surviving COVID-19 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/cover-story/surviving-covid-19 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/cover-story/surviving-covid-19#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:40:40 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15114 When COVID-19’s arrival in Minnesota started forcing the closure of schools, restaurants and bars, it sent Minnesota small businesses reeling. Doom and gloom, ranging from layoffs to closings, dominated the headlines. Sarah Quickel, owner of Enchanté in Stillwater, heard all the noise and felt the same pain. But she also keeps plowing forward, finding ways […]

The post Surviving COVID-19 appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
When COVID-19’s arrival in Minnesota started forcing the closure of schools, restaurants and bars, it sent Minnesota small businesses reeling. Doom and gloom, ranging from layoffs to closings, dominated the headlines.

Sarah Quickel, owner of Enchanté in Stillwater, heard all the noise and felt the same pain. But she also keeps plowing forward, finding ways to meet customers’ needs in as many different ways as possible.

While there are a lot of ways she can’t compete with large retailers, she can be nimble. She’s offering through social media to meet up with customers at the Stillwater store or to display her women’s apparel offerings via Facetime. It’s not replacing all of her lost sales by a long shot, but it has made a difference. Within a day of a series of social media advertisements, she was showing shoes to a woman in Arizona over a social media channel.

“Really, honestly, you have to just keep being creative,” she says. “I’ve tried to come up with ways that we can succeed that the big stores can’t offer. You’ve got to keep it personal. What we do well is keeping it unique and personal and fun.”

Where everyone’s email inbox is inundated with messages from every list they’ve ever signed up for describing how they’re getting through the pandemic, Quickel is determined to be an oasis, a source of fun amidst the drumbeat of bad news.

“That’s not our job,” she says of the hundreds of companies out there reminding people to wash their hands and not touch their faces. “I really focus on retail therapy. Let’s just try to make people laugh and smile. They can turn to other sources for fearful information or factual information. Everyone has their different forms of therapy. What I’ve been trying to focus on is people who do like retail therapy. You’ve just got to focus on how you can remain unique.”

Sarah Quickel, owner of Enchanté, has been meeting customers one-on-one or over social media channels to retain some revenue while stores are closed due to the coronaviris.

 

Staying upbeat, finding sales

Quickel’s husband works in healthcare. She’s heard all the bad news and felt the panic. But she’s also got bills to pay and she’s determined her store isn’t going to succumb to the tough times without a fight. So, while the streetss surrounding Enchanté are mostly empty, her staff is taking videos of spring wear, getting ready to put it on social media and find some sales.

“We’re trying to find ways we can succeed that the big stores can’t offer,” she says. “We’re all in this together. Nobody needs a pity party. We’re all in this together.”

Preparing in advance

Enchanté is just one of many small businesses across the state right now trying to find ways to stay alive. St. Paul-based Deneen Pottery, which manufactures high-quality handmade mugs, shut down for a week as soon as the “social distancing” guidelines were released. The company has 60 production employees in a small space working together to manufacture the mugs through its production process, which means “a lot of people working within six feet of each other,” says Niles Deneen, president.

Plus, with a lot of restaurant, tourism and national park partners, a significant portion of its upcoming orders are on hold. Employees were sent home for a week while the executive team pondered its next moves.

“I see a contraction for the next two to four months probably,” he says. “I don’t know how the economy can bounce back when we’ve got so many small businesses operating on thin margins without a lot of cushions, with fixed costs that are not being covered. There’s no assistance that can come fast enough to business owners and I don’t think anyone is really considering how impactful it is for people who have a personal guarantee on a loan that is now going to be called in.”

That said, while Deneen has been growing by double-digit rates for several years, he also knows cash is king. He began noticing some weakness in the financial indicators he monitors and he began pulling back on growth, focusing on building up reserves and paying down debt.

Not that he predicted this. “Oh, my God, no,” he says. “This contraction is unprecedented.” But the advance preparation has him in a little bit better shape than he otherwise might have been. “This year was the year we decided to take a step back,” he says. Deneen adds that he’s also arguing losses should be covered by insurance policies that have business interruption coverage because the virus created a physical loss when governmental agencies ordered shutdowns.

Contact your team — don’t disappear

In the meantime, as businesses attempt to figure out how to work through the disastrous landscape spread by the coronavirus, experts say it’s vital they reach out and remain in contact with business partners, bankers and other members of their team.

Talk to everyone and see about working out new terms that will help get through this, says John Thwing, also known as the “SBA Guy,” at 21st Century Bank. “If you end up with more cash than you need in the short term, that’s a good thing,” he says.

That’s echoed by David Deeds, a professor at the University of St. Thomas.

“The first thing is move quick, get in front of this,” he says. “Your revenues are going to be declining substantially. Get in touch with your banks, your landlords and any creditors you’ve got. Start working out payment terms. Don’t hide. Everybody is in the same situation. Everybody should be having some forbearance.”

If you haven’t spoken with your banker about a line of credit, now might be the time. Your landlord doesn’t want to kick you out or they’d then have to re-lease the space.

“It isn’t going to get re-leased anytime soon anyway,” Deeds says. “If you need some rent forbearance, it’s probably in their best interest to work with you.”

Then think about your cash outflow. Are there expenses you can put off so you can take less out of the business for a while?

Revenues are going down. “So, you now have to get in front of the cash going out the door,” he says. “Then you can keep your business alive until we can get past this and you can keep yourself alive until we can get past this.”

Once you have done that, then take a look at whether or not there are creative ways you can find to generate any kind of revenues during the difficult time.

“You’re always balancing is it going to pay,” he says. “You may want to cull as much of your marketing back as possible.”

The big thing is to really plan — and for longer than you expect. “The point is not to thrive, for small businesses right now,” he says “The point is to survive.”

Finally, Deeds says, keep an eye out for government programs at the local, state and federal level. There will be small business disaster plans put together to help. “Take advantage of them.”

Watch out for predators, look for opportunities

The Metropolitan Economic Development Association is one among many organizations working with clients to survive the coronavirus-associated challenges. Alfredo Martel, president and CEO, has spoken with a number of consultants, loan officers and other experts to put together a list of the top steps businesses should take, ranging from checking on financing to evaluating overhead spending and communicating with employees.

Of special note, Martel says, small businesses need to be extra careful about answering any emails they receive promising fast solutions to their problems.

“Any small business owner that is receiving offers or contacts that are unsolicited, they should manage them with extreme caution as a phishing tactic,” he says.

On the upside, Martel says difficult times in the past have often brought out some of the greatest innovations. He hopes this is no different. It’s going to take leadership and creativity to get through the difficult times, but it can happen.

Already, he says, some companies have been innovating by reconcepting their core competencies to find ways to help out during difficult times and earn revenue in the process. He cited as an example Tattersall Distilling, among other distilleries, switching gears and producing hand sanitizer.

“One thing that small business owners have is agility,” he says. “We have an immense opportunity to be creative and agile in these circumstances and in creative thinking there is an opportunity to take a look and evaluate is there a new market emerging for your core competence.”

So, with some creativity and strong leadership, he says, small businesses can end up stronger on the back end of the virus situation.

“Everything a business owner says and does impacts not only their staff, but everyone in their ecosystem,” Martel says. “This is a moment for proactive compassionate leadership.”

 

photograph by Tom Dunn

The post Surviving COVID-19 appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/cover-story/surviving-covid-19/feed 0
Catching up http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/primer/ground-transportation-management-software-company-flying-high-in-airports http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/primer/ground-transportation-management-software-company-flying-high-in-airports#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:39:55 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15131 When GateKeeper Systems participated in the initial Upsize Growth Challenge in 2004, the company’s biggest challenge was diversification. The company was developing systems for vehicle access control at airports, such as helping them manage busy taxi queues. And it was growing slowly, but CEO Lynn Richardson was exploring other industries, from medical to manufacturing. In […]

The post Catching up appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
When GateKeeper Systems participated in the initial Upsize Growth Challenge in 2004, the company’s biggest challenge was diversification.

The company was developing systems for vehicle access control at airports, such as helping them manage busy taxi queues. And it was growing slowly, but CEO Lynn Richardson was exploring other industries, from medical to manufacturing.

In the end, Richardson, who spent nearly 20 years working at the Metropolitan Airports Commission after growing up in an aviation family before starting GateKeeper Systems, stuck with the familiar. The company has, in fact, diversified, but it’s been in a series of airport-specific enhancements that have helped the company double in revenue, add significantly to its collection of partners and weather the ups and downs of more than two decades in business.

“It’s hard to break into other industries, even if the product is a good match,” he says. “We looked at a variety of ways to use our technology and what we really found is we were better off sticking with airports and sticking with a limited number of things.”

The company has continued plugging along, never trying to grow huge, but always looking for ways to capitalize on changing technologies and how they might affect the airport. For example, GateKeeper TNC-Ops was designed to help track the activities and fees associated with the explosion of growth in transportation network companies at airports.

“It’s been a complete upheaval in who does hauling of passengers and how they do it, and we were able to offer to airports the ability to track TNC activity close to the way we had been tracking with” radio frequency identifications, Richardson says.

Additionally, its App-139 product airfield inspection product allows GateKeeper Systems to help airports fulfill the Federal Aviation Administration’s daily airfield inspection requirements.

“That activity for 75 years had been done by an airport operations or maintenance technician with a clipboard, paper and pencil going around and identifying lights that aren’t working, holes in the concrete, safety and operational issues that have to be fixed,” Richardson says. “You’d write them down and find a maintenance guy to fix them. We’ve moved that to a technology platform.”

Now, if the technician sees a hole in the concrete they touch an iPad screen with GPS coordinates so the maintenance workers know what to fix and where. The software keeps track of the inspections and allows the FAA to do an annual review.

“This helps the airport manage that activity,” he says.

Back in 2004, GateKeeper Systems was working with a small number of airports. Now the number exceeds 100 overall, with about three-quarters involved in App-139. And there is plenty of room for growth, especially since the company landed its first international opportunity with several airports in Sweden.

Another upside: More than half of the company’s revenue is now recurring, through its ongoing support and maintenance activities and subscription-based pricing for its new products, Richardson says. Initially, only around 20 percent of GateKeeper Systems’ revenues were recurring – another of his challenges from the early years.

The company’s slow, steady growth the last 15 years has worked out fine for Richardson, who had expressed to Growth Challenge experts in 2004 a frustration about not being able to land venture capital funding. In the end, growing organically has worked out well for GateKeeper Systems, as it has been able to maintain control of the business. He doesn’t reveal revenues anymore, but did say the company has 15 employees and likely will add more.

“We’re in our 22nd year, which in and of itself is a bit of a cause for celebration, weathering a couple of recessions and 9/11, which was almost a death blow to a lot of airport companies like us,” he says. “That was a particularly difficult time.”

GateKeeper survived. And it appears the company will transition to the second generation of Richardson leadership. Lynn Richardson still is CEO, but he’s ceded the title of president and most of the day-to-day leadership to his son, Brian Richardson. They’re working out the final details now.

Brian says he doesn’t foresee any major changes. The business is changing a little bit, in that it’s becoming more of a software business than the hardware business it started out as, he says.

And there may be a chance to explore some uses of, for example, the existing TNC technologies at sporting events or universities, though like his father, he sounds like he’d be fine either way. “It’s not a major focus to try and expand outside airports, but with the current landscape, you never know,” he says.

Meanwhile, Lynn is working three partial days weekly at GateKeeper on various projects and spending the rest of his time learning to play the guitar, volunteering at a Mobility Worldwide organization in the Twin Cities that makes carts for people who don’t have use of their legs, flying radio control airplanes competitively and spending time with five grandchildren.

“I got some pretty good advice once when one of my co-workers was retiring at the MAC,” he says. “‘If you really want my advice, retire to something, not from something.’ That has proven very true in my case. After 50 years of working I’m ready to do some other things and I don’t feel the obligation to be here all the time.”

The post Catching up appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/primer/ground-transportation-management-software-company-flying-high-in-airports/feed 0
Staying within the family http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/workshop/staying-within-the-family http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/workshop/staying-within-the-family#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:39:39 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15128 Whether it’s the preceding generation not wanting to let go, the succeeding generation being unwilling to acknowledge the need for outside leadership or any number of other potential problems in between, statistics show that the more generations a business stays within a family, the lesser its chances of staying successful. So, what steps can family […]

The post Staying within the family appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
Whether it’s the preceding generation not wanting to let go, the succeeding generation being unwilling to acknowledge the need for outside leadership or any number of other potential problems in between, statistics show that the more generations a business stays within a family, the lesser its chances of staying successful.

So, what steps can family business owners take in order to give their company the best chances of staying strong for the long term? A panel of experts shared their thoughts during a January panel discussion at the Minneapolis Club hosted jointly by Upsize magazine and Rick Brimacomb’s Club Entrepreneur.

Communication is key

One regular theme among the entire expert panel was the need for better communication among participants in the family business.

Those that are successful meet regularly, whether quarterly, monthly or on some different schedule, to discuss various issues of importance, says Jon Keimig, director of the Family Business Center at the University of St. Thomas.

“There are different types of meeting where they get together, but it is not talking about the day to day of the business,” he says. “It’s talking about far off into the future and planning for the family and ownership of the business.”

It’s especially important for dealing with any lingering conflicts, which can be healthy to a point, but often go unresolved and become a hindrance, Keimig says.

“The problem is the family wants unity,” he says. “Those two things are tough.”

Kelly Thorp, president of Sarah Bridges Consulting, suggests using outside resources, whether it’s an advisory board, a coach or a consultant, who is trusted and objective.

“Have someone come in and mediate and coach and have the conversation together,” she says. “This does a couple things. One, it gets you to the other side, but also, two, it ensures that everybody is heard. Because we all have roles in our families outside of work that sometimes show up at work. We want to make sure that one, it’s conducted in a way where the best possible outcome occurs, and two, where everyone has a voice at the table.”

What does not work is ignoring the issues. “If there is a conflict it’s better to get it out in the open instead of bottling it up,” says Tammy Hutter, tax manager at Eide Bailly. “Everybody might get a little heated and you might have to have somebody in the room, a neutral party, which helps.”

Succession planning

One area where family businesses have traditionally struggled, both in communication and execution, is succession planning. In the past, says Doug Wolgamot, a shareholder at Winthrop & Weinstine, family business owners often waited until it was too late to take up the issue of what would happen when they wanted to move on.

“It’s really easy to kick the can with planning,” he says. “Nobody wants to talk about death and taxes. It’s really easy to push it off for another day. And that can really create problems.”

Even if they did make plans, they often put them in a drawer without informing their heirs.

“Then mom and dad would die and [the kids] would find out what the plan was,” he says. “It just didn’t work really well. Now there’s a shift toward family governance and family meetings and having those meetings early. I think that’s really the key to having a successful plan.”

That’s important, Thorp says, because business owners cannot assume their children or other relatives want to actually stay in the business.

“Sometimes we do have blinders on because it’s something we desire, we want for that person,” she says. “There are times when those blind spots can create pressure to join a family business where maybe that person is going to be better suited following a passion somewhere else.”

Add outsider help

While family business owners might be tempted to insulate themselves from the greater community around them, panelists say they should actually be more aggressive in seeking advice and assistance from the outside.

That can come in the form of a board of directors or board of advisers, says Thorp, who recommended at least a few such voices. They’ll be impartial but vested and they’ll tell you the truth.

“They’re going to care about your business,” she says. “Getting that outside perspective from a couple different people is really important.”

One note: It’s important as younger generations cycle into leadership that they bring on their own advisers.

“Sometimes you’ve got to cycle off advisers and bring new ones in,” Keimig says. “Often when there is that transition, mom and dad’s advisers are mom and dad’s age. So, how do you start integrating younger advisers that align more with the next generation?”

Or, in the case where none of the succeeding family members are ready to step into leadership roles, outsiders can help bridge the gap there until that next generation is prepared. That’s important, not just for having the right people in the right roles, but also for being able to grow and adjust as a company to new ways of doing business.

“A family member might not be the best person for that job. Even though you want to hire them, you have to be realistic,” Hutter says. “As families go down the next generation, there are going to be some members that are involved and some that aren’t. Along those lines, maybe what worked for mom and dad for 30 years isn’t going to work for the next 30 years, so they have to be open to making changes for the future.”

Adds David Lyman, principal at Lyman Executive Search: “As a family business you have to realize there is a market out there. You can’t get so insular about talent; in particular you’ve got to be an attractive employer.”

Family culture as selling point

Panelists universally agreed that hiring is one of the biggest challenges facing family-owned businesses today.

“Everyone is feeling that pressure,” Keimig says.

Lyman says family businesses and the cultures they bring with them can be an alluring selling point for bringing in leaders from larger corporations. One thing to keep an eye on, however, is the newcomer’s fit into the culture of the business.

“One thing I’ve learned is when an outside leader comes in, they soon discover it’s not all about profits, it’s about legacy, it’s about intangibles,” he says. “It surprises some people.”

Communicated well, he says, it can be a tremendous advantage for a family business. People outside a family business often times think it’s automatically going to be dysfunctional. That’s often not the case.

“I think the family dynamics are actually a real sell,” Lyman says. “They’re very attractive. For a large company person coming in, it’s less bureaucratic. It’s quicker decision making.”

But while the family dynamics can be a selling point, they can also be a challenge. You might have two or three different generations within the business under one roof, Thorp says. They’re different people driven by different motivators.

“Understanding the motivation, the thinking style, the drivers, even things as simple as the way different generations like to give feedback can help you be effective in your leadership of that family business,” she says. “Stay curious and informed on multi-generational implications.”

Transitions also bring challenges

That can be true, as long as the family dynamics don’t turn dysfunctional. Often, panelists say, parents transition ownership to their children but don’t then give them the rope to actually take over. They often haven’t saved enough for their retirements or figured out what they are going to do with their lives.

“They think their kids are going to have the money to buy them out or they need to have a salary for the next five years, even though they are only coming in on those Tuesday mornings to make those ill-advised phone calls,” Keimig says.

While a honed, family business culture can be a benefit, it can also lead to some blind spots. That may be true of non-family “sacred cow” employees who underperform at their jobs, but have tenure and relationships in their favor.

“A new leader comes in and that’s a surprise,” Lyman says.

At times, family businesses also deal with entitlement issues, such as next generation members who believe “my dad is the boss so I can do whatever I want,” Hutter says. “That doesn’t go over very well. So … boundaries are very important to have in place.”

One strategy for dealing with that might involve the elder generation requiring a certain amount of experience outside the family business before a next-generation employee is allowed in the fold. Keimig cited one company that requires a four-year degree, five years of outside experience and an invitation from an uncle to apply for an open position.

“It shows the thoughtfulness behind the family’s decision to be a business-first family business” he says. “They weren’t just going to give you a position because your last name was on your jersey.”

So, it is possible for family businesses to survive and thrive from one generation to the next. But the path is fraught with some challenges and perils not always seen by non-family businesses that take diligence to overcome.

“People don’t realize when they are coming into a family business that the next generation doesn’t automatically happen,” Hutter says. “The transitions to the next generation don’t automatically happen. It takes a lot of work and planning to make it successful.”

The post Staying within the family appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/workshop/staying-within-the-family/feed 0
Keyes contributing exit planning book targeting women http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/back-page/keyes-contributing-exit-planning-book-targeting-women http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/back-page/keyes-contributing-exit-planning-book-targeting-women#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:39:17 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=15135 Women business owners looking for advice specific to their own challenges with business transition will soon have a resource. Julie Keyes, founder of KeyeStrategies, has written “Poised for Exit: A Woman Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Transition,” which shares advice from business owners she has advised and from other transition experts. She also shares details around […]

The post Keyes contributing exit planning book targeting women appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
Women business owners looking for advice specific to their own challenges with business transition will soon have a resource.

Julie Keyes, founder of KeyeStrategies, has written “Poised for Exit: A Woman Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Transition,” which shares advice from business owners she has advised and from other transition experts. She also shares details around her own business sale. The book is scheduled to be released soon.

Keyes joined Upsize Managing Editor Andrew Tellijohn to talk about the book.

Tellijohn: What will readers get from this book?

Keyes: They’re going to get a lot. The content is really rich. It’s formatted with stories of clients I’ve worked with over the years who have exited from their businesses, women entrepreneurs and married couples when there was a woman involved. I focused on women because there isn’t anything out there on women and there are 17 million women entrepreneurs in the country.

Each of the eight chapters has a checklist that addresses issues having to do with exit and transition planning relating to the stories I tell in that chapter. There are seven or eight questions they can utilize to think about what they need to do to get their business ready for transition.

Several local and national firms have also contributed tools in the appendix of the book on subjects like M&A, estate planning, family business. The tools are basically for the business owner to understand they can’t do it alone, it’s not a do-it-yourself project. It emphasizes the importance of having a good advisory team, a collaborative team to work with in an exit planning situation.

Tellijohn: How is selling a business different for a woman than a man?

Keyes: Logistically speaking the nuts and bolts are the same. If a man read the book he’d get as much out of it as a woman. I wrote it focused on women because women tend to have a higher emotional stake around their companies and employees than men do, so they may resist exiting their business because of that.

A lot of times their employees, their team become like family to them. They are the nurturer many times. That’s kind of our nature. The book is meant to address those kinds of feelings as well, and to acknowledge they are there, accept that they are not going to go away and to give themselves permission to move on with their lives.

Another nuance is that women business owners experience over men is women often struggle to figure out who they really are outside of the fact that they run a household, they raise kids, they are a wife and they also own and run a business. I’ve lived all that.

If that goes away, like the kids move out or the business gets sold, the woman has a big job to do figuring out who am I without all of these things in my life. The time to have this conversation isn’t after it’s over, it’s before.

Tellijohn: Where can people find the book?

Keyes: It will be on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble or they can pre-order the book by contacting me.

Contact: Julie Keyes is the founder and owner of KeyeStrategies LLC and president of the Exit Planning Institute of the Twin Cities Metro Area Chapter: 763.350.5563; julie@keyestrategies.com; www.keyestrategies.com.

The post Keyes contributing exit planning book targeting women appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/back-page/keyes-contributing-exit-planning-book-targeting-women/feed 0
Law http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/law-7 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/law-7#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 22:12:12 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=14957 On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, aka the 2018 Farm Bill, which reclassified hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural product. This law change set off a surge in businesses involving hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products … and a wave of legislative proposals at […]

The post Law appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, aka the 2018 Farm Bill, which reclassified hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural product. This law change set off a surge in businesses involving hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products … and a wave of legislative proposals at both the federal and state levels to transition laws away from prohibition and instead into regulation of this new industry.

Legalization of hemp and CBD under the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill changed certain federal authorities relating to the production and marketing of hemp, defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” Most importantly, these changes include removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means that cannabis plants and derivatives that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis are no longer controlled substances under federal law.

The 2018 Farm Bill, however, explicitly preserved the authority of the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (“FD&C Act”) and Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). FDA treats products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds as it does any other FDA-regulated products — meaning they’re subject to the same authorities and requirements as FDA-regulated products containing any other substance. This is true regardless of whether the cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds are classified as hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill.

What can legally be produced using hemp and/or CBD?

In the wake of the legalization of hemp at the federal level, the FDA is currently evaluating CBD’s safety with respect to a variety of products. For now, its stance is that products that add CBD to food or label CBD as a dietary supplement are not legal for interstate commerce.

With respect to drug products, to date the FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

As for other CBD-based products not falling under the purview of the FDA such as soaps, lotions, and the like, as well as CBD oil and tinctures, consumer demand for such products is on the rise. However, a significant challenge to those entering into this industry remains that many banks, insurance companies and merchant service companies are leery of providing services for national CBD companies and of the FDA stepping in to see whether the claimed CBD levels are present in the products and issuing warnings to companies making “egregious and unfounded claims that are aimed at vulnerable populations,” such as saying they cure Alzheimer’s, cervical cancer, fibromyalgia and more.

What about CBD-infused alcoholic beverages?

While some in the craft beverage industry pondered the idea of a CBD-infused beer or distilled spirit, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) – the Federal agency with authority to regulate the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States – foreclosed such speculation in May 2019. When dealing with the infusion of non-traditional ingredients into alcoholic beverages, the TTB defers to the FDA as to its interpretation of the FD&C Act and has thus issued guidance that use of CBD in alcoholic beverages is not legal.

What does this mean for legalization of cannabis?

At the same time as federal and state laws have changed to allow for legalization and exploitation of hemp and CBD-based products, several state legislatures have taken steps to legalize the use of cannabis (i.e., marijuana), either for medical or recreational use. At the federal level, however, the regulatory posture remains one of prohibition. During the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice issued guidance to all U.S. Attorney Offices known as the “Cole Memorandum” which stated that given its limited resources, the DOJ would not enforce federal marijuana prohibition in states that “legalized marijuana in some form and … implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana,” except where a lack of federal enforcement would undermine federal priorities.

The Cole Memorandum was rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January 2018 and, while President Trump has at times indicated support for federal legalization of medical marijuana or allowing the states to decide how to regulate marijuana use, no further progress has been made to date at the federal level. And so long as marijuana remains on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis businesses will continue to encounter barriers to growth.

For example, marijuana companies aren’t able to take any deductions on their federal income taxes, save for cost of goods sold. If profitable, this can mean paying an effective tax rate of 70% to 90%, which leaves little income left over for reinvestment and hiring. Further, and most importantly, U.S. cannabis companies have minimal access to basic banking services, including loans, lines of credit, and even checking accounts. Since financial institutions report to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the FDIC is a federally created agency, banks and credit unions fear possible financial and/or criminal repercussions for aiding cannabis companies. This has made marijuana an industry dominated by cash, which is both a security concern and an expansionary constraint.

Minnesota’s legal landscape

Having legalized medical cannabis in 2014, the Minnesota Legislature is now poised to follow the lead of other states and act on recreational marijuana laws. With an upcoming legislative session occurring during an election year with divided government, look for recreational marijuana to be a hot topic of debate.

What does the future hold?

As noted herein, the developing legal patchwork which has replaced the prior system of prohibition when it comes to hemp, CBD (and on a state level, cannabis) requires thoughtful and comprehensive regulation from legislative bodies, as opposed to the current environment which leaves all authority for determination of what is permitted and what is not in the hands of the regulatory authorities. Much like the craft beverage boom that gave rise to increased jobs, tax revenue and economic growth, removing unnecessary restrictions on this new industry where appropriate will continue to present business opportunities in the years to come.

The post Law appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/law-7/feed 0
Management http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-13 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-13#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 22:11:46 +0000 http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/?p=14964 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health disorders are among the most burdensome health concerns in the United States. Nearly one in five Americans age 18 or older reported a mental illness in 2016. Since approximately 63 percent of Americans are part of the U.S. labor force, supporting employees’ mental […]

The post Management appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health disorders are among the most burdensome health concerns in the United States. Nearly one in five Americans age 18 or older reported a mental illness in 2016. Since approximately 63 percent of Americans are part of the U.S. labor force, supporting employees’ mental health in the workplace is vital.

Not only is taking care of our employees the right thing to do, mental health issues can also have a direct effect on businesses’ bottom lines. Unfortunately, in addition to the everyday stressors affecting employees’ mental health, over the past few years, workplaces have increasingly had to address a host of concerning behaviors, including bullying, sexual harassment, increased incidence of suicidality, anger/hostility, and overt acts of predatory violence in the form of mass shootings.

Recently, California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed a regulation requiring healthcare facilities to have a formal workplace violence plan, and we are seeing movement that similar requirements will expand to many other industries across the country. Behavioral health and workplace violence are top concerns impacting the work environment.

As employers, we have much to be concerned about, yet there are some key areas we can focus on to promote workplace safety and wellbeing:

Promote a culture of respect and integrity

This seems easy, but perhaps is the most difficult outcome to achieve. Respect and integrity are not taught or trained, they are demonstrated, daily, in everyday interactions that can seem minimal and across all levels of an organization. Nothing erodes a culture of respect and integrity as much as when leadership allows disrespectful and inappropriate behaviors to continue.

Promoting respect and integrity begins at the time of hire and continues through every interaction of an employee’s pathway in the organization. Lack of these cultural values often leads to conflict, withdrawal, fear of taking risks, and, in the most extreme cases, overt violence. In fact, the single most common reason that disgruntled employees who returned to their workplace to commit violence give for their actions is their perception of not being treated fairly and with respect.


“We don’t always recognize our resilience, and far too often in the workforce we erroneously assume others don’t have it. We assume they can’t take candor or honesty. For me, nothing is more insulting.” ?


Educate employees to improve behavioral health literacy and wellbeing

Given generational differences in attitudes around mental health, most adults in the workforce were not raised with heavy attention placed on wellbeing, self-care, emotional regulation and conflict resolution. These are learned skills. Educating employees on understanding healthy emotional functioning, recognizing early signs of behavioral health symptoms and how to self-regulate emotions is energy well spent toward building an emotionally healthy and thriving work culture.

Recognize when co-workers are struggling emotionally

Help employees recognize when they or their co-workers are struggling emotionally, to identify these problems upstream prior to the issue becoming a full-blown crisis or behavioral health disorder. Some early warning signs might include: changes in mood, emotional withdrawal, increased anxiety, irritability, hostility, growing distrust of others, rapid onset or escalation of substance use, developing apathy and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities. Early intervention is always more effective than later intervention, but that starts with awareness of the problem.

Provide useful tools to assist others in crisis

Once employees recognize a developing problem within themselves or in others, they then need to know what to do next. Where do they go? Who do they talk to? What resources are available? It’s very important to provide them the tools and pathways to get the help they need, at any level of a crisis. These can be contacting peer support groups, calling employee assistance program (EAP) resources, engaging community resources, and/or using digital support applications to assist.

An example: At R3 Continuum, where I work, we saw such a high need for this in the workplace that we developed R3SILIENCY, an artificial intelligence (AI) smartphone/tablet app that assists employees and organizational leaders navigating an emotional crisis. The app helps people maximize internal resilience by accessing best-practice treatment guidelines, offering education and training on self-care techniques, enhancing organizational connectedness at times of crisis and increasing adaptive coping at both the individual and organizational levels. ? ? ?

Empower employees and promote environmental mastery

“Environmental mastery” refers to how we interact with the world and to what extent we can shape our experiences to fit our values and priorities. It is essentially “finding your community,” and then finding your role in it in a way that helps one feel valued. That can only come through empowering employees to reach further and seize opportunities. To be clear, this does not mean giving away responsibility, authority or power to those who are not ready for such or have not earned such. Rather, it is believing enough in a person’s capabilities, strength and resilience to be open, honest and direct with them, thus allowing them to make informed choices to thrive.

Build a culture of candor

There is a great quip about resilience: “Every time you told yourself you couldn’t go on, you did.” We don’t always recognize our resilience, and far too often in the workforce we erroneously assume others don’t have it. We assume they can’t take candor or honesty. For me, nothing is more insulting.

Empowerment and candor are related. Empowerment is about honest dialogue — at times tough dialogue — that can help the person self-assess and improve. I recall years ago receiving some feedback from a supervisor, which I perceived as harsh. It was certainly negative, and I had much to improve, but the delivery was open, honest and matter-of-fact. My supervisor did not coddle me or water down the feedback and, in the process, told me “I’m sharing this because I know you can do better, you’re strong enough to take the constructive criticism, and it will help you to grow.”

The above recommendations are not an exhaustive list but serve as high-level guidelines for developing and promoting a workplace culture of respect, integrity and safety, and one in which employees thrive.

The post Management appeared first on Upsize Magazine.

]]>
http://www.yitaifood.net.cn/business-builders/management-13/feed 0

                                    explore

                                    car

                                    city

                                    constellation

                                    reading

                                    Finance

                                    game

                                    Variety show

                                    Blog