As an entrepreneur and independent businessperson, you have the coveted position of being the one in charge of — everything.
To help you succeed in business, I’m sharing my perspectives and truisms on what helped me start and manage three successful start-up businesses.
These axioms will be your coach and confidant as you reflect upon your own journey in the world of small business and will help you grow your top lines sales and bottom line profits.
Show your appreciation and write thank-you notes
The handwritten note is a lost art — pick up a pen and paper and send it U.S. mail.
It’s so easy to acknowledge your customer, your clients, and your employees with a handwritten note. Not a text or email.
Yes, an old-fashioned letter sent with a U.S. stamp goes a long way in my book.
I interview lots of employees for various positions within our company and I am fixated on watching to see if I will receive a thank-you note. If I do not receive one (and I will also accept an email), I will not hire that candidate.
Thank-you notes are a lost art. These notes truly can and will differentiate you from others, and, more importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Thank your employees, your customers, your strategic partners. Be appreciative and genuinely thank people.
Get involved in a cause
Just do something (and I’m not referring to contributing money). Dedicate time to help those less fortunate than you.
I hope most of you reading this are involved with a charity, cause or philanthropic endeavor. If you’re not, do it today! There are so many people, institutions and religious organizations needing your help.
I learned from my parents how important charity work is. Our involvement in numerous causes makes us feel good and helps educate our children and co-workers about how fortunate we are on so many levels.
Life becomes very one-dimensional if it’s only about you. Help others, whether with your time or money. It’s the right thing to do, you will feel great about yourself, and it’s a humbling experience to understand how many people need our collective help.
Do your due diligence before hiring someone
Of course their references will be good. Dig deeper.
If you are greater than a one-person organization, you have hired people for your company.
I always laugh when employers ask the candidate for a reference . Do you really think the person will give you a bad reference to call? And how many times do you as the employer really call that person and ask targeted questions to understand if this candidate is a potentially good fit?
One strategy that I have employed in my interviewing process that has worked well for me is to ask the initial reference for another reference who may also know that candidate. By digging deeper to a second level of references, you will learn more.I also believe you can understand the quality of the person by the company they keep.
Personality tests are another screening device I have used for evaluation purposes. And don’t forget, your gut intuition is critical. And, finally, did they write a thank-you note as stated in thought number one?