Management

How to make your employees feel special this festive season
Like many small business owners, I have been totally caught up in finalizing work for the year. For the first time ever, I have not bought a single gift. I am totally behind schedule.

But like millions of others, there are many options: shopping online, late night shopping or battling through the crowds in the lead-up to Christmas.
"Blame the fact that you have attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.) or that you are an A-Type Personality - or just blame the fact that you have never been able to concentrate," said a man sitting on the plane next to me as I moved from reading a book, to reading board papers to stretching - all within 10 minutes.

"But if you keep doing that, you will achieve nothing."

I have neither A.D.D. nor do I have a strong A-Type personality (although some people may challenge that), but I do have problems from time to time focusing and for that matter being able to sleep through the night because I am thinking of a hundred things at once.
Should an entrepreneur risk it all?
The Rich 200 list is littered with entrepeneurs who have sold their businesses. 

Someone once said to me that they never wanted to be on that list because there are only two outcomes that derive from being placed on this list: 1. Telemarketers will harrass you for the rest of your life. 2. You will go broke.

Jan Cameron, the founder of successful retail chain Kathmandu knows this only too well. She built her business over 20 years to be the most successful retail business in the outdoor adventure space, selling for a reported $247 million and being placed on the Rich 200 list only to be in BRW today with the journalist reporting that she almost certainly won't be there this year. Why? She sold her business and then after a break decided to get back into the game and invested $80 million into Retail Adventures discount group. Not long after, she had to double her investment to keep the chain alive. Plagued with poor management and a bad company culture, the chain was put in Voluntary Administration in October. 
Why Brand Evolution Needs A Home
For years, I have been fascinated by design in every possible form; shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation and visual appearance. Of particular interest is architectural design.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to walk the streets of Amsterdam with one of the Netherlands most famed interior architects, Flip Verbeek. He use to be co-owner of a company called Flow that has designed some of the most amazing interiors in buildings throughout the Netherlands. As we walked the streets, looking at building after building that had been designed by Flow and the talented architects in the team, I was inspired. The passion that this man has for design and visuals that are sustainable and complement the environment in which it inhabits, is contagioius.

So contagious in fact, that on my flight home from Amsterdam, I looked up www.realestate.com.au, found a property and days later, bought it.

The property will be the new home for Marketing Eye in Melbourne. It is located in my favourite street in the city, Greville Street and fits inside my inner-city bubble that I love to live in. While I won't be here so much to enjoy it, it gives me great pride to be able to find a building with the character and potential that the one I have just bought has.
If you are being ambushed by someone you have just met, and it has you thinking twice about doing business with them, then you are not alone.

It's like relationships in life. My friend was sharing a story today on how she met this guy for 10 minutes at a business function and within minutes he has invited to stay at his home at the snow and then followed up with text messages - none of which have been replied to. Really? Do people really think that someone would go and stay at their place with them after 10 minutes? My friend and I laughed and we immediately related it back to business.
Happiness: how to change your business outcomes
Happy people are more successful, just ask Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage.

"People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of a challenge and in every area of your business, you will show improvement if your brain is positive" said Achor at a recent speech to 800 global entrepreneurs.

In fact, sales people who were happy outsell their less positive colleagues by more than 37 per cent and positive people in organisations are not only happier, they perform better and live longer, healthier lives.
What women entrepreneurs can learn from their male counterparts
Every day I meet with male and female entrepreneurs. In some ways, I would love to use these meetings in a study about human gender based entrepreneurial behaviour because it continues to fascinate me the inherent differences between men and women entrepreneurs.

As a woman entrepreneur, there has been many advantages:

1. If you are half decent looking, people of both sexes want to do business with you. After all, how many people really want an unattractive PR chick or marketer?
2. If you are young and female, better still. Everyone wants to help you. Men over 40 want to father you and help you be successful. Men your own age want to assist because they are proud that you are having a go.
3. When things are not going your way, it's easy to put on the female charm.
4. You can dress to impress or dress down when need be.
5. You can see the human side in every situation.
6. You know why people are making decisions like they do because you are interested in how people think and feel.
7. You have more compassion and empathy for those around you.
8. You don't necessarily have to be the richest. Instead, being the best will do.
9. It's very easy to blame irrational decisions or behaviour that was momentary on PMT.
10. There is no such thing as failure. Worse case, you can get married and have children.
I don't know about you, but egomaniacs scare the 'b'jesus out of me'. I am terrified of them, but still I find myself sucked into their web of soul destroying destruction.

As much as they are charming, good at 'selling a story' and surrounded by people, they are manipulative, obsessive and bullies.
Is fun allowed in the office?
At Marketing Eye, as we are a marketing consultancy firm, there is never a day whereby everyone is in the office. The other day it was quiet - a bit too quiet. Everyone was working away diligently. So, I did what any leader would do. I said to everyone "we need to have some fun". And fun, we had.

We set up a photoshoot, which the young guys in the office instantly became photographers. Everyone was asked 'to act silly' and we all laughed, played around and were back at our desk in half an hour with big smiles on our faces.

It's amazing what small things can do for team spirit.
Marketing Eye is the most exciting small business marketing concept to ever hit the US.

While we all love our Jim Janz and Seth Godin's of the world - who wouldn't - they are fantastic, knowledgeable and inspirational all rolled into one - we still need to get the work done.
Exciting job @ Marketing Eye Atlanta $100k salary
It's not often that a really cool and rewarding job becomes available, but with an exciting company like Marketing Eye expanding into the US - there seems to be an abundance of opportunities.

We are looking for a dynamic, really talented, Marketing Manager who not only can write a strategy, but can implement it with ease. A creative knack to keep our creatives in line would also be super handy, along with a firm understanding of social media, direct marketing, advertising, branding and promotions.

What keeps you awake at night?

Some say a sales manager never sleeps. Constant questions seem to plague their minds - will I make that budget? How will I close this sale? Have I got the right team for the right job?

What if there was a way to help answer these questions? Some miracle program whereby sales managers no longer have to stress about the duties and targets of their entire sales team, but just focus on their own task at hand. A program which can change those plaguing questions from “Will I make that budget?” to “we will make that budget”

I received an email from the Sales Coach Academy, who provides a powerful and proven sales coaching program for sales managers. I was asked what are my biggest sales frustrations? What traits my ideal sales team would posses? And pretty much what keeps me awake at night?

The aim of the short survey is obviously to work out the needs of Sales Managers, what frustrates them and what concerns them most about their sales team. It provides questions that more or less allow you to vent your sales frustrations, so that the Sales Coach Academy can base their coaching programs around the areas of high interest to sales managers.

I strongly suggest you take the survey if you have been involved in the sales industry throughout your career – which most of us have! Perhaps we can finally get some answers to those questions that keep us awake at night!

http://www.salescoachacademy.com/sales-coach-academy-survey.html

Alison Lovatt, Marketing Eye.



 
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Classy? Or is it Sophisticated?
Ever sat down with a group of friends from another country and felt like the odd one out? Not because you dress particularly strangely, nor due to the fact that they eat a whole different menu than what you are use to (think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - ughhh!), but because your accent and basic language is lost in translation and you are not sure whether to keep quiet to avoid embarrassment or to power through in hope of perhaps teaching your friends a thing or two about being Australian or English or whatever you may be.
Are you the Xmas Scrooge or do you bring joy to everyone around you?
Does going to work mean that you change hats and become a negative, overly opinionated, in-your-face style manager who nags your employees into being so afraid to communicate?
Do you conjure up ways to make others miserable without even knowing it?
Are you too pedantic about detail that you lose sight of the big picture?
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