Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
How engaged are your employees at your company? Are they vested in your company's success? Do they feel valued as employees? Research shows that employees that are given the freedom to be creative are more likely to make decisions that can help your business succeed.
Employees that are restricted and are forced to follow rules without little change are more likely to upset customers and clients. I'll give you an example. Have you ever called a cable company for service? What was the experience like? I remember calling the cable companies on many occasions and having all of the employees that I speak with tell me the same company issued line about my complaint. It was frustrating to speak with people at the company who didn't seem to be able to help me. I thought, maybe if I can get a manager on the phone that the manager could make a decision that's different from the regular agents. This is common in customer service. "May I speak to your manager" is uttered on a daily basis.
But what if the agents were given a list of things that they could do in order to take care of the customers? What if you never had ask for the manager. I think that your customers would be ecstatic that they could get their issue taken care of with the first person that they speak with.
Outstanding customer experiences can only happen if employees are given the freedom to take care of the customer and give extraordinary service.
Company leaders should foster an environment where employees are given opportunities to offer suggestions on how to solve problems or improve your business operations. This will let them know that you value their opinions. This will give them better job satisfaction and you will have higher employee engagement. No one wants to work for tyrants who don't take suggestions. If you don't give your employees freedom to be creative you can pretty much guarantee that they will be constantly on their phones or computers looking for another job. Your customers will be able to tell if your employees are happy or not and it will affect how the customer feels about your business.
Do yourself a favor and research different ways in which you can make your employees feel valued.
Here are a few links:
What are YOUR thoughts? Do you give your employees freedom to be creative? Are you an employee who feels restricted at work? Leave a comment and let's talk about it.
Until tomorrow... Go Be Great!
Founder / CEO
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
There is a well known statistic that states that 8 out of 10 businesses that start will eventually fail.
Wow. That's a large number. There are many reasons why a business may fail but one of the main reasons could be a business owner's lack of planning.
In business there is no way for you to know what may happen from one day to the next. Perhaps your customers will find other business to fulfill their needs, or maybe a natural disaster will occur and destroy some of your property, records, or client base. Who knows? Anything could happen right? But that's where planning comes into the picture. You can not only plan for things that you want to go right, you can also plan for when things go wrong.
A proper business plan will also keep a business owner on track with their goals. Unfortunately, it's very easy to get side-tracked and go into an area of business that was not planned for previously. Making a pivot in business is fine, but wild, uncontrolled swings in business objectives could cause confusion for you, your employees, and also your customers. If you don't know where you're going, no one will want to follow you into the unknown.
Even though, it's widely accepted that business owners should have a business plan, there are some "new school" entrepreneurs who say that they start businesses and never have a business plan. There are some well known success stories of people who just had an idea and hit the ground running without a plan. I'm sure that may have worked for them, but I don't think that the majority of us should put our resources and livelihood on the line on a whim. Resources and funding can be hard to come by, especially for minority business owners. Make sure that if you're gambling on other people's money that you are doing so wisely and cautiously.
Competitors can come snooping for your customers!
As an entrepreneur you should also be aware of your market. You should know if there are other businesses that are similar to yours. They may be trying to steal your customers from you.
Good customers are hard to find and they may feel like they can lure your customers away instead of finding their own. How will you address sudden new players in the market?
Remember how badly Blockbuster Video dealt with the threat from Netflix and Redbox? At one point Blockbuster had over 50,000 U.S. employees and over 9,000 retail locations. Now, they only have 1 retail location in the United States. They fell from being one of the largest U.S. businesses to one of the smallest in just 14 short years. The leadership of Blockbuster Video obviously didn't have a plan in place for observing the competition and keeping up with the needs of their customers.
My advice? Don't fall victim to poor planning. Research the internet for business plans and find knowledgeable people in your community that can help you grow your small business the right way.
Remember the old adage, "failing to plan, means planning to fail."
Blog Post: Stephen Wicks
Simply Produce, LLC is a family and Black owned produce store located in College Park, GA. They recently put out a Facebook post asking for the community to come and support their business. For some reason, it's since been deleted, but we heard the call and . we want to make sure we amplify their request and spread the word.
Many of our majority Black communities are classified as being "food deserts." This term refers to areas where you find more fast food and junk food options over fresh fruits and vegetables. Simply Produce seems to be a much needed option for the people of College Park and the south Atlanta area.
Unfortunately, I have not personally ever visited the store, however their online reviews are favorable and the pictures of their establishment represent a business that values being neat, clean, and orderly. You can visit their Facebook page and see for yourself.
Statistically, many businesses fail after being started within the first year. That's just a fact. When you add the additional hurdles and challenges that face minority business owners, those numbers get even worse.
There are many reasons that businesses fail, but at BlackBusinessList.Com we want to make sure that we assist those individuals who were bold and courageous enough to give entrepreneurism a shot.
If you live in the Atlanta area, make sure that you visit Simply Produce and let them know that we care and we appreciate the fact that they are trying to provide a much needed service in our community.
Learn more about them here.
Simply Produce Facebook Page
3375 Roosevelt Highway Suite F
College Park, Georgia
Call (404) 941-9185
December 8, 2018 - Blog Post
It is being widely reported that former NFL football player, Terrell Owens is among a group that is intending to start an alternative professional football league. The league, named The Freedom Football League, is being described as a league that will allow the players to have the freedom to express themselves in addition to simply playing the game. This stands in stark contrast to the NFL, which has been criticized for the way in which they have treated Colin Kaepernick and other players who chose to protest racial injustice during football games.
The creators of the league are Owens, Ricky Williams, and Simeon Rice. There are up to 100 former players who are listed as early founders. They said that they will initially have 10 teams. It also appears that they will be doing some sort of equity based crowdfunding in addition to private investment. They want the viewers and fans to also be able to have a stake in the new venture.
I personally applaud the players for being forward thinking enough to attempt this new league. I don't know if they will be successful but I am super stoked that they are trying. That is the essence of entrepreneurship. As a people, we must be able to see potential opportunities and take advantage of them. Perhaps that will also force the NFL to step up their efforts to address racial issues in a more positive way.
Black people are huge consumers of professional football. We spend a whole lot of money and the NFL teams are full of Black players who risk it all on the gridiron every week during the season. We are a big part of the success of the NFL and if we are not going to be treated right, then we are well within our rights to try to form an alternative avenue for our talented players.
What are YOUR thoughts? Do you think this has a chance to succeed? Would you invest in this type of effort? Let us know!
Stephen Wicks, Founder
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