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Friday, February 1, 2008

Strong Business Foundation Leads to Company Growth

There are several key steps that an organized business owner takes when creating a solid foundation for company growth, including researching target markets, establishing a budget, implementing a strong business plan and building a client base.  However, business owners also need to keep in mind that constructing a strong framework of employees, business partners and clients allows for a seamless flow of business-building ideas that can lead to overall company success.  

Only the Best
Hiring self-motivated employees is paramount to growing a successful business.  It’s important to admit that one person cannot do it all, and as the owner of a growing business, don’t waste time bringing on individuals that require lessons in motivation.  Instead, business owners should strive to construct a strong network of support within a company.  In addition to a driven staff, assemble a pool of talent that can be tapped when the need to hire quickly arises.

It is critical for business owners to look for employees who are ready to step up, especially at small- to mid-sized businesses.  Successful business owners often advise their colleagues to, “hire slowly and fire quickly.”  One of the biggest mistakes made by business owners is not learning how to say “no” to employees.

It is also important to identify employees’ strengths and assign them to positions within the company where they will naturally excel.  Not everyone is management material, but by recognizing individual strengths, a business owner can create a work environment that fosters employee and company growth.

All Ears
Listen to employees.  Industry leaders agree that the next best idea can come from anyone at a company.  In order to encourage employee contributions and feedback, create a comfortable and open environment conducive to honest feedback and innovative thinking.  This can be accomplished by inviting employees to participate in company brainstorms or with accolades and encouraging words for winning ideas.

Another idea is to institute an employee contest or annual award program.  Offer rewards to those who produce ideas that result in company growth or contribute to office morale.

Additional Avenues of Support
Lastly, cultivating relationships with clients and mentors during periods of rapid growth is a firm way to make your company as strong as it can be moving forward.  In addition to building a strong internal team, reaching out to external resources allows business owners to have a foundation of support when looking to build expertise in areas of weakness.

When shifting into an accelerated growth mode, it is imperative that business owners established a competent team through trusting relationships with employees and business partners.  Constructing and establishing a dependable team of resources will serve as the iron-clad foundation for a company.

02/2008 Denise D. Johnson, Principal Life Financial Representative, Princor Registered Representative #690592007 This article is based on the program, “Open for Business: One Woman’s Story of    Successfully Building A Company” from the Women in Business Teleclass Series produced by the Principal Financial Group®.  For additional information on the complimentary series, visit www.principal.com/women. Denise D. Johnson is a Financial Representative of Principal Life Insurance Company and a Registered Representative of Princor Financial Services Corporation, 800/247-4123.  Principal Life and Princor are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392.  Denise can be reached at (916)773-3343 x305 or Johnson.denise@principal.com

Marinated Mixed Vegetables

To be served on top of mixed green salads or as a side dish. You can use most seasonal summer vegetables from asparagus, to green beans, carrots, even beets.
2 large carrots
1 bunch asparagus
1/4 lb. green beans
1/4 cup honey, preferably Orange Blossom honey
Dry herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Using a large (8 qt.) stockpot, fill pot approximately 2/3 full with water. Bring water to boil. Begin by blanching, rapidly cooking the vegetable for approximately 5-7 minutes in boiling water. Blanch the vegetable that will take the longest to cook (carrots usually take the longest) followed by asparagus, green beans. After blanching, drain the vegetables. While vegetables are steaming, RUB the dry herbs on vegetables. Mix by hand adding the honey and balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate overnight.

Serves 4
02/2008 - By: Gustavo A. Barron in Mexico Source: A COOKBOOK created by the Clinica Esperanza Community - Flavours from the Heart (Un LIBRO DE RECETAS creado por los miembros y amigos de la Clinica Experanze - Sabores del Corazón)

Good Manners in the Home

"Charity begins at home."

This is an old saying, but a very true one. Courtesy is an outgrowth of charity, and, hence should find its fullest expression in the home. Nowhere else are the conditions for the practice of courtesy more favorable than there. The danger, however, lies in the close intimacy which home life provides. You are apt to reserve the little niceties of life for those outside the family circle. Do your part to make your home the happiest, brightest, and most restful place in the world. Cultivate a cheerful spirit while in the house.  ..."A cheerful home is a happy home." Practice smiling at home. A smile goes a long way. So smile on the familiar faces of your family and friends. Let all enjoy the beauty and inspiring cheer of your smiling face.

02/2008 Source: Manners Make A Difference, Prepared by a Committee of Sisters of The Third Order of St. Francis of the Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Proverbs 15:30