Fox Creek Spring

Fox Creek Spring

Small Business 101: Condensed

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

 

 

 

Register Now

Customer Service 101: Condensed

Tuesday April 4th 2017

 

Register Now

Price Yourself Right Workshop

Wednesday, April 5th 2017

 

Register Now

Registration is now open – Register to reserve your spot by clicking one or more of the Workshop Choices Below.

All the workshops:

  • Are free but require a $10 deposit to hold the space due to limited seating.
  • Located at Timber Ridge Inn and Suites in Fox Creek
  • From 7pm – 9pm

Small Business 101 Condensed

Monday April 3rd

By the end of this condensed version of the Small Business 101 workshop, participants will understand how to:
· start a business
· develop a business plan
· get financing for your business

Customer Service 101 Condensed

In this 2 hour condensed workshop, we’ll cover the customer service basics that will bring your customers back for more.

By the end of this session, participants will know how to:

  • Recognize how attitude affects customer service
  • Identify your customers’ needs
  • Use outstanding customer service to generate return business
  • Build good will through in-person customer service
  • Deal with difficult customers

Price Yourself Right Workshop

In this workshop, participants will learn how to juggle multiple variables to determine pricing that works for their product and service and the market they serve. Great for start-ups and expansions to determine the right pricing for satisfaction and growth.

Motivational Speakers – Should You Use Them at Work?

Motivational Speakers – Should You Use Them at Work?

Motivational Speakers - Should You Use Them at Work-Are you having a lag in productivity? Does your workforce seem stressed out and in need of a mental boost? You may be considering hiring a motivational speaker to come put some of that zip and drive back into your employees.

Motivational speakers are people who are paid to come speak at your work. You may use them just on their own, or as the key note speaker for a conference or team-building workshop. They can be someone who has succeeded in business athletics or some other field, someone famous, or someone who is just really good at getting the best out of people.

If you find the right speaker, you will see a marked improvement not only in performance but also in general morale. Instead of sitting around the water cooler gossiping or complaining about work and family, they’ll be talking about they’ve learned, coming up with new ideas, and lighting a fire under each other to get more accomplished.

In order to get the most out of a motivational speech, you need to find a speaker that meets the needs of your company or workforce. While there are some problems that show up in almost every work environment, each workplace is unique. If your workers are having problems because they aren’t working together, a speaker talking about finding motivation isn’t going to help much. You have to tailor your solution to your problems.

In addition to increasing the productivity and morale of your workforce, if used properly, motivational speakers can also help promote your company and encourage new hires to want to come aboard. Often you can take speakers and use their speeches for recruiting videos, and even as training videos for new hires. They can also be used in materials for potential investors to show how you motivate your workers and emphasize your company philosophy. Of course, use of the speech is something you need to check on with your potential speakers before you hire them.

The biggest con of hiring a motivational speaker at work is probably the money. Depending on who you hire to come in, speakers’ fees can go from reasonable to astronomical. Not only will you have to pay their fees and sometimes expenses, you will also lose profit from lack of working during their speech. And no speaker is going to guarantee a rise in productivity or profits after they’ve made their speech.

Even if a speaker does motivate your workforce and raise productivity, it’s probably not going to last forever. The luster of a speech fades with time. If you want to keep the boost going, you’re going to have to make a plan to continually remind people of the speaker (and this is hit and miss on whether it will work).

If you put thought and effort behind it, choose an appropriate speaker, and back up their presentation with further learning and support, you’re probably going to notice a big difference in your workers, and in your company as a whole.

If you are thinking about hiring a speaker for your business or service organization, consider our in-house speaker, Patrysha from Community Futures Yellowhead East. She’d be happy to create and deliver a presentation for your workspace on topics including customer service, personal growth, increasing tips and other relevant topics.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Don't Get OverwhelmedWhen working on a big project, it’s easy to look at it and think “there’s just no way I can do that”. But a big project becomes a lot more manageable if you break it down into smaller pieces – you just have to know how to divide it up.

Before you dive into breaking up your project and making a plan, you need to figure out exactly what needs to be done and when the project needs to be done by. This may be very easy if your client has a clear idea of what they want and a solid deadline, but they may be more flexible and want you to fill in the blanks, it which case this might take a bit longer.

Either during or after figuring out your full goal and deadline, break the job down into exactly what needs to be done. Break the job into small pieces. Don’t worry about the order yet, just make sure you have a list of all the tasks involved. Also make sure to put next to each tasks who needs to be involved and what tools and equipment will be needed to complete it.

The next step is to organize all the pieces into an order. You can do this based on several criteria including:

* Client needs

No matter what your preferences, to run a successful business, you need to put the client first. If your client needs certain parts by certain dates, then that’s going to be the first determinant of your schedule. Once that is decided, you can fill in the other blanks from there.

* Chronological considerations

While certain parts of projects can be done in any order, some activities require other portions to be done before they can be finished, or sometimes even started. Once you are done organizing things by firm deadlines, they can be ordered in this way.

* Availability of people and tools

Generally, you’re going to need certain employees, outside contractors, specific equipment, and other items. These are likely going to be different for each part of the project. Organize your timeline based on who is needed for each part. For example, if you need a certain contractor for several steps, it’s easier to do those steps one after the other instead of spreading them apart. And if a person is working on a part of the project that will take up all their time, they obviously can’t work on another project at the same time.

Once you have a general order set up, you’re ready to set up a more specific timeline with dates that specific parts of the project need to be done. Unlike the previous step, this one may be more difficult (and you may have to redo the last step). For your timeline, you need to take into account not only when things are due, but when people and equipment you need will be available.

Once you have your final plan, you’re ready to get started. But, don’t let your planning be done there. We all know that nothing goes exactly as planned. Re-evaluate your plan every so often to make sure it still lines up with client expectations and how things are going. That way there won’t be any surprises later on.

To learn more about organizing your work for maximum productivity, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below.

How to Handle Gaps in the Knowledge and Skills of Your Team

When working with a team you will sometimes notice that there are gaps in the knowledge that you need to help run your business. You have a few choices on how to handle the gaps in knowledge and skills of your team members.

* Identify Future Needs – It’s important to know what types of projects are coming up in the future so that you can identify potential gaps in the first place. If you know what types of projects are upcoming, you can let your team know so that they can also be aware of the types of knowledge and skills are going to be needed if they want to work on the project.

* Offer Training – It can be risky to offer training to contractors, but if you really like working with certain people you can offer regular training to them so that they can learn the skills needed to work on future projects. It’s best not to force them to take the training if they are contractors, however, as it may break the contractor/employer barrier for the taxing authority in your state or country.

* Hire Someone New – If you have identified knowledge and skills that are needed now or will be in the future, get serious about making a better description of the skills needed in order to find a new contractor or employee.

* Make Them Aware of Training – You don’t always have to offer training, but if you know what type of skills you would like for your team to have, you can at least tell them about training that is offered by other people. You can even use an affiliate link on your project management system and earn a little extra money while your team learns.

* Send Them Regular Industry News – Create an email list just for your team where you’ll share industry news, training, and other things that can help them learn more about the industry that you’re all taking part in.

* Offer Regular Feedback – When anyone on your team submits a project, be sure to try to send feedback about what they have done well and what they should improve upon. This is a good way to encourage their own learning on their own time.

* Encourage Team Members to Work Together – Some team members are going to know more than others. If you make it possible for them to collaborate on projects together, one can learn from the other.

* Set Expectations – It’s important from day one to set expectations for your team members. If they realize that continuing education is important to you, and they like working with you, they’re going to be a lot more likely to seek out training for themselves.

Handling gaps in the knowledge and skills of your team is something that every business owner must deal with, whether you hire only contractors or employees. There are ways to deal with it that work well without offending anyone. Just be honest and up front at all times and your team will follow your lead.