Best business advice ever, Part III

 - 
07/23/2010

Here is the third installment of Best Business Advice Ever from this year's HME News Business Summit speakers.

This advice comes from former AAHomecare chairman Tim Pontius, who is now a director at the M&A firm Steven Richards & Associates. Check out Tim's bio on the Summit website. To see the other installments  in this Best Advice series, just scroll down through my blogs. I ran one on July 16 and June 24.

Now, here's Tim.

Some of the best advice I ever got came from an old Woody Hayes book, "You Win With People".

Many of us like to think we are smarter than most of the folks around us, and too often, that is simply not true. We appear to be smarter because we have better information. We choose to limit the information we provide to our employees and co-workers and the result is that we get limited performance from most of them. The better informed we can make our staff, the better their performance.

If you involve your staff in all aspects of the business, including strategic planning, you increase the likelihood of coming up with better goals and having a staff that believes in them because they have some ownership. Just because it might make sense to you, doesn't mean it will have the same meaning for the A/R staff, or the person cleaning equipment in the back room. Yet, when they participate in planning discussions and are asked for their ideas, they feel more empowered and believe that their efforts  make a difference in the big picture.

We always posted short and long term goals as part of our strategic planning efforts. Those goals included measurable milestones along the way, whether it was a cash collections goal, a sales goal, or even profitability goals.

You don't have to open the books to everyone, but sharing key performance indicators gets everyone on the same page very quickly. And don't forget to take the time to celebrate milestones. We all have different sources of motivation, some like money, some like security, and some like recognition. When you share small accomplishments along the way with each other, it makes reaching the overall goal much more probable.

Mike Moran