Monthly Archives: October 2013

WOW – Hiring at 730am

It’s 7:30 on a Sunday morning in October and 50+ small business people are looking at me, standing before them in a hotel convention room. What made them get up so early?

Not me, but the topic of hiring and retention.

So we started with ‘culture’. Every organization has its own culture – a potent brew of planned and defined concepts mixed with ‘the way we do things’ and internal contradictions. What is your culture?

How many cliches came to your mind as you read that question? How many wonderful, positive aspects did you dream up? And your real culture – what is it? How do you know? What do you actually want it to be?

Hiring and retention are critical issues for every organization. And culture influences them in many ways. How you do the hiring and how you treat people depends on your culture – the real one, not the dream.

There are many small organizations who do not really understand how to hire the right people. They get tangled up in personal beliefs. Hiring is fairly infrequent, so there is no process. The founder or CEO does it all – and rarely has had any help or training on how to do it. Friends and family may be hired without clear thinking about the actual position needs.   What makes people stay with your organization?  Are they the people you actually want to retain?

I had really wondered whether anyone would come despite the convention planner’s assurances – I doubt I would get up for any seminar at that hour on a Sunday myself, had I not been the speaker at NCPA 2013!

So I was delighted as we had a good conversation over our 90 minutes together. Lots of great […]

The ‘Shutdown’ – What You Can Do Now

Small organizations are at extra risk during the government shutdown – you already know that.   But what can you do?

1. Keep your fears at home.
Your employees need concrete information and clear communications. But don’t add to their burden by discussing your fears.

2. Grab control where you can.
A big part of this problem is the lack of control we all feel.

Read the rest of this post on the Alexandria SBDC blog at