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Before Going into Business with Friends, Consider These 8 Scenerios

One thing people often don't think about when going into business with a friend is the relationship itself. You’re going into business as friends. You want to remain friends.

Business is full of surprises. Discuss the possible surprises upfront, before you mix friendship and business, so you can keep your relationship strong while you’re in business.

You may think your friendship is really strong … and you’re probably right. But when you go into business together, your friendship will be tested more than it ever has been before. It’s wise to prepare for it beforehand, so you already have a lot of the answers when you’re in the middle of a tough situation.

Look at it this way – a business partnership is like a marriage. You need a pre-nuptial agreement! So find a good attorney to draw up an agreement for you.

8 “What if …” scenarios to discuss with your attorney

#1 – What if the business fails?
According to statistics, if the business fails, it’s most likely that no one will be owed any money. But what if that’s not the case – what if the business does owe money? How will you resolve that?

#2 – What if it succeeds wildly?
That may not sound like a problem, but you’d be surprised. Sometimes when a business succeeds at this level, greed enters in. Then comes the power struggles. Discuss the dream scenario upfront to avoid a nightmare.

#3 – What if one of you is incapacitated?
What if one partner is no longer able to do his or her part? How will the others handle this? Will this person get bought out? Is there formula for the price? There’s a lot to think about if this unfortunate situation happens.

#4 – What if one of you dies?
Obviously this is even more extreme than the last scenario. There’s the human side – your friend has passed and you’re grieving. But you also have business to attend to; work still needs to get done.

Many of the same questions from Scenario #3 apply here. But there’s more. For example, does the deceased partner’s family now have an ownership stake? Or do you buy them out?

#5 – What happens when one of you gets married?
Or you may already be married. What say does the spouse have in the business? Can the partner’s interest be jointly owned with a spouse or do you want to restrict ownership to your original group?

#6 – What if one of you gets divorced?
The business interest may be a significant asset. You probably don’t want a former spouse having a say in your business – even as a minority stakeholder. It can really muddy the waters, as the saying goes. What restrictions will you place on ownership?

#7 – What if one of you wants out?
How will you determine a price? What kind of notice will you require? What is the process?

#8 – What if one of isn’t pulling his or her weight?
How will you determine that this is case? What can, and will, you do about it?

These aren’t pleasant things to think about, let alone talk about. However, you’re more likely to find good solutions now when you’re thinking logically than to try to work them out in the heat of the moment.

We can’t stress this enough – get a good business attorney.
Then sit down with your partners and your attorney and work through these issues. Your attorney will probably have even more situations to discuss. Work through these issues before you start – for the sake of your friendship … and your business.

 

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How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Phil Rosenberg. Phil is the founder of reCareered, a career coaching service that helps job searchers get past the biggest challenge in today’s competitive jobs market – to get noticed.

 

Phil, what does reCareered mean?

 

 

It means someone who is seeking a job change, or trying to revitalize their career, or someone who is between jobs and wants help with how the job markets have changed in the last eight years or so.

 

How has the job market changed?

 

 

Eight years ago, the majority of resumes were delivered on paper. Around 2000, it changed to where most resumes were delivered digitally.

 

And how does that change the resume itself?

 

 

It changes it completely. The paper-based resume had to be static. The only way to customize it was by a cover letter. A digital resume can be searched. It also increased the number of resumes that went into most companies, by as many as ten-fold.

 

We always hear about search engine optimization and how you want to rank at the tops of the pages for Google. But apparently you can do the same for your resume … it can be optimized?

 

You bet, and it’s especially critical in today’s world. Most major employers get thousands of resumes for each job, but they only staff to look at twenty to thirty. That’s two to three percent. So your goal, in submitting your resume today, is getting to the top two or three percent. Through resume search optimization, you can manage that process rather than have it be random. My strategy with my clients is to make a resume a single-use document – to have it infinitely customizable so that you’re gaming the search engine and forcing it higher up the search page.

 

How do we make a good impression right upfront?

 

 

There’s been research from the University of Toledo and Stanford University that states that interview decisions are made within the first two to thirty seconds. That blew me away. The rest of the interview is just somebody justifying their initial decision. So it’s a “gut feel” decision that may occur even before you shake hands. It’s all about preparation. Learn about your client – how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally), how they dress, how they look. If you want a job, go to a place that’s close to their office and sit there during lunch. Talk to people from that company who are getting lunch there. On a Friday night, go to Happy Hour at a bar close to their office and talk to people from that company. When you talk to them, watch their body movements. What’s the tone they use? What’s the speed they use to talk? You can also do that with their written communication – their web site, annual reports, press releases. The key to all this is communicating to your audience that it seems like you already work there.

 

It reminds me of the book, Guerilla Selling. It’s all about learning about your customer, in that case, but in the case the employer you’re going after – getting as much information as you can, wherever you can. It’s amazing how much information you can gather.

 

Sure. That’s also an effective way to use LinkedIn, Facebook or your own personal network. Chances are you have contacts within that company. A lot of people only use those contacts to see what jobs are available and to ask them to pass their resume along. They leave out some of the greatest uses of a network – talking to people within an organization to find out what an organization is like and what the communication style is like. Listening for how they’re answering questions rather than just what they’re saying.

 

This is fantastic advice because you do want to fit in. It’s all about mimicking. When you’re at an interview, should you sit up straight and lean forward or should you try to have your body language be similar to the body language of the interviewer? From what I’ve read, you should try to mimic that person.

 

That’s exactly what you’re doing – it’s called mirroring. You’re trying to show that you fit in. You speak the same language. You’re really trying to act like you already work at the company. It takes a ton of preparation. A lot of people aren’t willing to put that preparation in, but the people who do get a huge, almost an unfair, advantage.

Phil's links

You can get free daily job tips from Phil at his blog or visit his main site, reCareered, the place for resume search optimization and job search 2.0. 

 

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12 Ways to Make Your Next Meeting Your Worst Meeting

Studies show that we spend about 15 percent of our work week in meetings. If you’re lucky, right? Many of these meetings are a huge waste of time … and money.

We thought we’d list some ways to make sure the next meeting you run is a bad one:

#1 – Call a meeting even if you don’t have anything to discuss.
Better yet, just call a meeting on the fly because an important issue has come up for you, and you need answers now! It’s important to you so it must be the most important thing for everyone else.

#2 – If in doubt about whether someone should attend the meeting, invite them.

Or just call an all staff meeting, even if it only affects a small percentage of the group. It may be peripheral to their jobs, but they should hear it anyway!

#3 – Make your agenda so vague that no one knows what the meeting is about.

Don’t distribute it in advance so people can come to the meeting prepared. Keep them in the dark about what’s going to be discussed. The best way to do this – don’t have an agenda at all.

#4 – Don’t start the meeting on time.
Or up the ante … don’t be on time for your own meeting. It doesn’t matter if everyone is waiting for you. Your time is more valuable than theirs.

#5 – Kick off the meeting on a negative note.
Tell everyone how bad things are. Look for scapegoats – call them out in front of their peers. People just love that.

#6 – Don’t stick to the schedule.
Or don’t have a schedule at all. Who really cares when this meeting will be over? Nothing is more important than your meeting. Nobody else has anything to do.

#7 – Don’t ever defer a conversation to a later date.
Even if a point of discussion starts eating into precious time, keep it on the table. It was on your agenda, so it must be dealt with today. The meeting can either go long or you can just give the other points less attention.

#8 – Do most of the talking.
Don’t plan for participation. People love to hear you talk. Dominate the conversation. There’s no need for you to listen during a meeting. That’s certainly won’t help solve any problems.

#9 – When someone presents an idea, be quick to shoot them down.
There will be no free flow of ideas in your meeting! You’re in control. Who do they think they are anyway?

#10 – No matter how long your meeting runs, don’t take any breaks.
People love to just sit and sit and sit. It’s best to introduce new ideas to your staff or try to find the solution to an ongoing problem after they feel lethargic from a lack of activity. And of course, no one needs to use the restroom.

#11 – Let that guy (or gal), who loves to hear himself (or herself) talk, go on and on.
Don’t cut them off. Don’t bring the meeting back to its focus.

#12 – Make sure nothing gets accomplished.
When the meeting is finally over, there should be no plans for action, no decisions should have been made, no issues should get resolved, and no follow up should be scheduled. People love sitting around in meetings that don’t accomplish anything.

Our bigg quote today is by Steve Kaye:

“An employee who needs permission to buy a box of paperclips can spend
tens of thousands of dollars worth of employee time on bad meetings.”

Waste is waste … whether it’s paper clips or time.

What are your pet peeves about meetings? Leave a Comment and let us know.

 

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When A Co-Worker Bad Mouths You

We received an e-mail from David. He recently overheard one of his employees make some very negative comments about his management abilities.

He wants advice on how to approach this long-time employee of the company, who is about ten years older than David.

We have three recommendations for David:

  • Know your purpose before you start.
  • You want to have a conversation, not a confrontation. You want to find out if there is an underlying reason for your employee’s comments. Behave accordingly.

  • Report on what you heard.
  • Try to use the word “you” as little as possible. As in, “You said …” Instead, say “It was said …” You’ll accomplish far more by not backing him into a corner. Be as objective as possible so you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

  • Role play.
  • We talked about role playing a couple of weeks ago. David’s situation is a great example of an interaction where role playing in advance is beneficial. As part of your role playing, come up with the possible scenarios. For instance, He cops an attitude This is a bad sign. However, as nicely and unemotionally as you can, let him know that you want a discussion, not an argument. Tell him again that you’re more concerned about why it was said than what was said. Keep in mind, though, that he may have become the proverbial “bad apple”. You may need to let him go. If you do, your remaining employees will likely ask you what took you so long. He denies he said it This is probably the most frustrating. Remind him that you heard it first-hand; it’s not hearsay. Ask him if he agrees with you that effective relationships, at work or anywhere, rely on honesty. If you can’t communicate honestly, it’s going to be hard to work together. He becomes overly apologetic He may have just been having a bad day and you got the brunt of it. Then move on … we all have bad days. However, it’s possible he’s not being sincere; he just wants to get you off his back now. Only you can judge that. He admits it and tells you what’s wrong This is the desired result. Hopefully, it’s the only scenario you encounter, but you may take a detour through one of the others. Regardless, thank him for his candor. Then demonstrate what a great manager you are by working with him to solve the underlying problem!

Our quote today is by Ayya Khema.

“Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most .”

It’s difficult to see a difficult situation as an opportunity to grow. But if you do … you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss intuition – it’s not just for women anymore, you know! Until then, here’s to your big success!

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Meeting

By Bigg Success Staff
05-28-08

Leadership Skills

meeting 

It seems that meetings consume more and more of our time these days. In many cases, people come away feeling like the meeting was a waste of time.

As a leader, you want any meeting you run to be productive. So the next time you’re called upon to run a meeting, keep this in mind:

For every minute the meeting is scheduled to run,
plan to spend at least that much time preparing for it.

In other words, for a meeting that will last an hour, plan to prepare for at least an hour.

As the person running the meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure the purpose of the meeting is fulfilled. One of the primary reasons why meetings fail is because of a lack of preparation. The best meetings happen before they ever start.

Here are 5 tips for effective meeting preparation:

Be specific
Almost nothing bores people more than a bunch of vague concepts that have no tangible value to them in their jobs. Plan to keep your meeting focused on real things that will make a difference to them today.

Cover new ground
Just rehashing the same old topics meeting after meeting doesn’t have any value. Plan to cover subjects that haven’t been tackled before. Move to new areas to keep your people interested.

Stay on subject
Know what you want to accomplish before the meeting starts so you’re able to keep the conversation moving in that direction. Clearly understand the purpose of each part of your agenda so you can keep things moving along to your ultimate goal.

Plan for participation
If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get any. Know when you want your people to get actively involved. Also plan your response if they don’t step up. Thinking about this beforehand is essential. It’s also important to plan how you will keep their conversation going by mapping out some follow-up questions.

Expect distracting maneuvers

There’s at least one in every crowd … that person who loves to hear himself or herself talk. Plan in advance how you will deal with him or her to keep your conversation moving to your ultimate purpose. This isn’t easy, but it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep everyone engaged in your meeting.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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