i have been in business for five years. its been real tough. im a single mom trying to support a business and a household. i have a diner in a small town in new york.it gets by and pays the bills just barely.its a good business i just have a lot of overhead.i also have some family members who work for me and like to try to do what ever they want. no one takes me seriosly in my business even my other workers. they dont do what i ask them or how i ask them. eberyone makes there own rules and when i try to straighten things out it dont work. i try to be firm yet friends. at whits end. i cant motivat myself because i have lost control over everything.dont know how to get back on track.help
I've been there before, but not with my own business. I was manager of a Pizza Hut - when I was 17 -. Employees under me were double my age. Trust me, no one took me seriously. At first, I thought "If I just decide to change and start enforcing things more often and start writing people up... I'm sure they will just revolt or even laugh at me." I had to inspire them.
Schedule a meeting, and share your most visionary goals with your employees. Make them want to boost your diner to where you want it to be. Get them as excited about business as you are. Create incintives (I did high selling waitress of the night, she was recognized in front of customers at the end of shifts.) You said there was some family involved... well, you know what they like - get them excited about being involved!
Also, let everyone know that there will be a write-up/termination process enforced. I don't know how much incoming labor you have, but if employees aren't doing it for you... THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO WILL! Don't be afraid to let employees go. Many people fear letting employees go will leave them in a rut. I ended up having to train a large group of potential hires (and they were GOOD) and letting the "veterans" have two weeks to earn a spot on our work schedule. If I had slots to fill at the end of the two weeks, we pulled from my group of trainees.
Sorry this was so long, and to summarize it - get employees excited about your business, and don't be afraid to enforce a new write-up or termination policy!
#1. Congrats. You are in the one of the businesses that has an extremely high failure rate... and you've survived 5 years.
However, seems to me that you are ready to take your self-employment to that of a business. (For more on the self-employed versus the business owner, read the book my clients all read -- "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter.) I wrote an article on the concepts he speaks about and you can find that at http://www.coachmaria.com/articles/leaveselfemployement.html
Five years ago, you had a dream and passion. You got off track and now want to get back on it. That part I've deal with myself.
But before you start making any changes with employees, I'd recommend that you first get yourself on track by creating a One Page Business and Marketing Plan. The book, One Page Business Plan is by Jim Horan and it's available on Amazon.com It's a work book. I've been one of their consulants for 4 years now and while my clients don't do their plans from the book (I send them courseware and they create a draft in less than 2 hours). Doing it from the book is a first step to get you back your vision and passion.
I'd also recommend listening to a class on the book, which you can get for free if you subscribe to my newsletter. The audio is either 60 or 90 minutes long. I teach classes both ways. The link is in the Welcome Note. Or write to me as I'm teaching a free class for The National Networking in November. You can listen in then.
The first person you need to be in control of is yourself... and your business. Once you are sure of what you really want to do, you'll start becoming more consistent. The business plan book has you recreate your business vision, mission, objectives, strategies and action plans. I've had clients in your space, and they got their passion back, just by doing the process.
I also recommend checking out the local community college, SCORE and SBA office to see if they have classes on dealing with problem employees. Cause that's what you have. They'll teach you how to start documenting problems with them, etc. You may have to fire folks -- even your family members. But I wouldn't even look at that until you decide how you want to run your business, etc.
Another book to read is the Emyth Revisted by Micheal Gerber. There is a good chance that your business will do better when you create processes and rules on how things will be done. Why? again, you'll be consistent, the clients will see that, etc. When you read the Emyth, you'll see why that is so important! And if you are unable to read it, purchase the audios or CDs but don't purchase the summarized version. Get the version where the whole book is on tape.
Go for it! And again, congrats on 5 years.
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