May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 14 of 68

1 2 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Your Personal Business Trainer isfaction, employee development and retention, and ways to save money and be more efficient. If you can find the right busi- ness guru for your shop, under- stand that they won't do the work for you. Instead, they will gently guide, encourage, and train you in the skills you need to succeed. As the adage goes, coaches will teach you to fish so you can eat forever, rather than just giving you a fish so you can only eat for today. Reason #2: Business coaches can reinforce and strengthen the vision you have for your company. After I've delivered in-house business training for a client, of- ten business owners say, "I tell my people every day exactly what you just told them. Why is it that they get it when you say it and not when I do?" It's the same phenomenon that occurs when parents drone on about things their kids ought to do, but the words go unperceived. Yet, when one of their teachers, friends, or coaches reiterates it, they heed the advice. Sometimes, the value of a message is muddled or gets lost if the messenger is not held in the highest esteem by its audience. Reason #3: You can't afford to continue to do things as they've been done. Your business is primed to go to the next level. It makes little difference if your business is a recent startup or an old veteran; it has to evolve, adapt and continually move forward. The economy will always wax and wane, and entrepreneurism is eternally dynamic. Businesses cannot afford to become complacent and take for granted the status quo. Coaches can be the perfect catalyst to initiate that needed positive chemical reaction between you and your customer, and between departments and employees. A business coach can provide the special spark to ignite the fire under your operation. A PLAN TO SUCCEED When I ask business owners to name their most valuable asset, the overwhelming response is, "my employees contribute the greatest value to my business." So why is it we never see a line under the Assets portion of a consolidated balance sheet for the value of my people? In fact, the two greatest assets of any company are its employees and its customers. And every successful business knows that it should protect its assets. I submit that not having a plan to protect such an asset is like not having a preventive-maintenance program for your shop's equipment. But what kind of a plan would best nurture your human resource? Workers who participate in job-satisfac- tion surveys cite continuing education and training as the best things about their jobs and employers. They consider training a perk of their employment. But training op- tions must be considered carefully. When sending employees to outside training, avoid long training courses. I suggest selecting courses that are no more than two days in length. You will find that—as a percentage of the material pre- sented—the average employee will retain and incorporate more skills into his daily routine from the short course than the week-long seminar. Select a more focused curriculum rather than a broad-brush overview of a topic. This is true for technical as well as so- called soft people skills. Seek out and pay close attention to the course objectives when reviewing promotional literature and course descriptions. Course objectives

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