Welcome to Your Business Owner Blog Community

a community supported by Aileron.

Wake-up Call

April 15, 2014

In spite of all of the challenges the 2008-09 Recession has caused businesses, it has been a wake-up call for many – a call to action, a call for change, a call for survival, and, unfortunately for some, a call to bunker down.

A quote I developed years ago to help explain simulation modeling is, “Nothing is more disruptive to the current state than a change in reality.” Fortunately, for me, I recognized this at a young age, and have been able to witness first-hand both the impact of a change in reality and the resulting actions by those impacted. Interestingly, no matter what the change, most businesses react in a predictable manner.

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George James

About George James

George James is the founder of James Consulting Group, LLC, a consulting practice that helps executives and businesses develop more effective decision-making competencies (ReINVENTive Thinking!™) for improving their organization’s performance.

Eight Questions To Give You Back Some Time

April 10, 2014

Here is something you’ve probably never said to yourself: “I have so much extra time on my hands. There is no way I’ll ever be able to use all of it.”

If you are like most business owners and executives, you probably feel as though the number of hours in the day will never be enough to cover the amount of work you have to do.

But you don’t have to feel this way. Take 20 minutes at the end of each day to answer these eight simple questions—honestly, of course—and watch your priorities change, your productivity increase, and your stress level fall:

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Jean Holloway

About Jean Holloway

Being the third full-time employee has its perks. Jean is the "go-to" person for all things Aileron. As Communications Manager and the “voice” of Aileron, Jean keeps Aileron’s business owner community connected through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email newsletters and special events on and off campus. Jean is a social media facilitator and consultant to business owners and senior leaders.

Why Smartphones Can Hurt A Business

April 2, 2014

The smartphone can hurt a company from truly soaring to their potential. Unfortunately, many businesses do not enforce the rules for their personal use during work hours.

Companies know that using smartphones keeps employees distracted from effectively doing their best work, but they feel powerless to do anything about it. They don’t want to intrude into their employees’ personal lives and realize how attached most of them are to their phones. However, they can’t help believe this activity does not allow them to focus on their job. They worry about the employee backlash if they don’t let them use their phones. They want to give their employees the room to get their job done, but smartphone usage is not creating an environment that is conducive to this.

In 2005, Hewlett-Packard and the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London completed a study where employees who were distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ. A 2013 study by Michigan State University confirms that interruptions of 2.8 seconds double the likelihood that an employee will make an error. If the distraction is lengthened to 4.4 seconds, the number of mistakes triples. Microsoft found that it took 15 minutes for employees to return to serious work tasks after responding to an incoming email or text.

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Barry Moltz

About Barry Moltz

Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He is a speaker, author and radio talk host. He can be found at www.barrymoltz.com.

We Can’t Afford

March 25, 2014

We can’t afford… When you hear these words what do you think?

If you are an employee who has asked for a raise, you think: “Oh well, it was worth trying.” Or, maybe, “That’s the last time I asked, I’m going somewhere else.”

If you are a business owner listening to the CFO, you think: “Maybe he is right, we can’t overextend ourselves.” Or, maybe, “Who is the boss here, it’s my money.”

If you are a vendor trying to sell an upgrade of an existing software system to a CIO, you think: “Is he just playing hardball or is he just too cheap?” Or, maybe, “Is he going somewhere else with his business?”

If you are a CEO asking his Board for approval of a capital investment project, you think: “Oh boy, I did not make my case clear enough.” Or, maybe, “I think I need a new Board.”

Either way, these are dreaded and fateful words. And, while there are instances where these words reflect the reality, more often than not the opposite is true. This is particularly the case in hiring situations. It comes up when, in the interview process for the filling of a key position, one candidate stands out head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, but is already making more than the salary offered for the job and seeking to improve. To illustrate: you have budgeted $60,000 in total annual compensation for this position, but the stand-out candidate is already making $65,000 and wants to make at least the same in base compensation plus some incentive compensation. You may be short $15,000 to $20,000.

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Frans Jager

About Frans Jager

Frans Jager is a retired CEO who has made a career in a number of large multi-national corporations in the field of rnanufacturing, distribution and trade of fertilizers and other supplies to the Turf, Horticulture and Landscape Industry.

New York Times Event At Aileron

March 19, 2014

In July of 2013, as part of the media tour to launch Clay Mathile’s new book, Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You, we had the opportunity to meet with Loren Feldman, the Small Business Editor at the New York Times. Instead of focusing on getting a story about the next overnight success, he was interested in the real stories, challenges and needs of our business owners. He exhibited a sincere interest and passion for helping small business owners.

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Kelly McCracken

About Kelly McCracken

Kelly McCracken is the former Marketing Manager of Aileron. She currently serves as the Manager of Shared Services for Franciscan Media in Cincinnati.