What Can You Do to Retain Top Executive Talent?

The future success of your company is largely dependent on the upper-level hires that you make. Here’s why.

Contact
Request an Appointment

Everywhere I go, I hear one thing: “It’s an incredibly tough market out there for top talent.” However, some companies can’t staff key positions because they can’t find good people to fill them. If you’re in this situation, listen up, because I’ve got some great ideas to help you recruit and retain top talent in your business.

To have a successful company, you can’t just have one talented person. There has to be talent across the board. The problem with talent is that it’s tough to find and it’s tough to keep. It’s one thing to provide competitive compensation and benefits, but the top management people are looking for more. They want to retire healthier than just a basic salary and a basic 401(k). They want to know that if they help your company grow, there is something in it for them.

These people want to build wealth, and you can’t do that these days with your basic 401(k) plan. This is why companies are developing special incentive plans to lure top management people away from companies like yours so they can get that talent to help their business grow.

Let’s say you have a company and a young family. Someday your kids might want to come into the business, but you don’t know yet. In the meantime, you want to have an executive management team on board to help you grow. One common question that’s asked about these employees is whether you should offer them stock or not. Having other stockholders can be challenging at times. What else can you do?

“Having a plan in place makes people want to stay with you through retirement.”

 

One thing we like to do is help companies set up unique incentive plans such as phantom stock plans. Phantom stock doesn’t dilute shares from you, but it does give executives the ability to build wealth, and when they get to retirement, they can cash it in for extra money.

Another thing you can do is set up stock appreciation rights. It basically says the stock is worth a certain amount, and we’ll value it again when you retire. Then we’ll take the difference between those two points, multiply that by the phantom shares you have, and provide a big bonus to you when you retire. You can also set up deferred compensation plans to build up wealth for your top executives who hit performance benchmarks.

Having plans like this in place helps people want to stay with you through retirement, which is the goal here.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of things you can do on top of the basic salary and benefits packages that everyone else is offering. It not only helps you ensure that people stay, but also helps you recruit more top talent to your business.

If you have any questions about this in the meantime or need any help, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

How to Deal With Toxic Employees

Toxic employees can ruin a business from the inside out. Here’s what you should do in order to fix the situation.

Contact
Request an Appointment

For whatever reason, we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a number of companies who have one or two people in the organization who are toxic, but they’re not getting fired. If you have someone in your organization who is toxic, I’ve got some advice for you today.

As you know, our company does a lot of work with family-owned companies and how to transition a business from one generation to the next, and we’ve been running into many situations where there are one or two people in the organization who are toxic.

What do I mean by toxic? These are employees that either have a very bad attitude, barricade themselves in their office, have bad records and reporting, or (and) are really not accountable to anybody. For example, it could be a family member who owns stock and comes to work every day but nobody really knows what they do.

“If you have toxic employees in your company, we need to have a chat.”

 

If you have someone like this in your company, I have some important advice. First, realize that you can’t run a successful company if you don’t follow good business fundamentals. Everyone in your organization needs to have a job description that tells them exactly what they need to do to be considered valuable and productive, and it’s imperative that they’re held accountable to the team. If you’re not doing this with everyone in your organization, you’re going to find toxic employees and that will lead to a toxic culture. A toxic culture is synonymous with a lack of respect, which, in effect, can lead employees to believe they have license to get away with not performing their role.

If you have toxic employees in your company, we need to have a chat. The future of your company depends on getting rid of these toxic employees and making the work environment more healthy; work on cultivating a culture that’s positive, energetic, and a place where everyone is focused on growing the business and doing their part.

It can be difficult, but simply ignoring a toxic employee because they’re a friend or family member is a bad move.

If you have any questions for me or need help with your toxic employees, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Issues of Transitioning a Company

Here are the problems we see during company transitions and what we do to solve them.

Contact
Request an Appointment

Over the last year, we’ve worked with many stockholders and business owners who’ve been trying to figure out how to transition their companies. Even after lots of time and expense with financial advisors and lawyers, they still can’t seem to come to a good decision.

Here are some common situations we see:

  • You’re looking to buy out the remaining stock of aging family members. Even if it’s not yet to the point where these relatives no longer want to work, you know you’ll need to make a buyout eventually.
  • You’ve been given the opportunity to buy into a new company, as its stockholders are retiring and they want you to buy them out.
  • You already own a company with different shareholders involved, but one of these shareholders is a problem. They may be putting in little effort, not working altogether, moving money around in unknown ways, or worse. In this case, you have a problem on your hands and are looking for a way to deal with it.
  • You’re looking to streamline a company that has way too many stockholders.
  • You own a business that makes up most of your estate’s worth, but only some of your children or relatives are in the business with you. You want to push stock to those who will be running the business, but you also want to be fair to those who won’t.
  • Instead of family, your business may have some great workers who you want to become owners and stockholders.

These are the issues our clients have on a regular basis. These clients try to come to a decision by pooling advisors, bankers, and attorneys, but it doesn’t quite work. A CPA can’t tell you what to do, due to financial liability. Lawyers can tell you about legal ramifications, but they can’t tell you what to do either.

Fortunately, our firm can give you a clear direction and show you what to do. Here’s a look at our process:

  • We sit down with stockholders to get a clear look at the state of their company.
  • We look at organizational charts, see what the management team looks like, and identify which family members are active or inactive.
  • We figure out what’s going on financially and find good valuations of the company—we want a good idea of the amount of money we’re dealing with.

We need to know the finances in depth because if you’re going to be buying out stockholders, we need an understanding of how you’re going to do it. We also assess the people in the company—we want to know how workers act, what their strengths are, where the talent is (or isn’t), and who has leadership capabilities.

What comes out of this? We build a knowledgeable proposal of what we believe you should do. This proposal demonstrates where the company is, where it needs to go, and what the steps are for reaching the final goal. What you’ll get is a strategy that achieves the best possible outcome with all things considered.

The goal is that, at the end of the day, retiring shareholders are taken care of, new management is taken care of, and buyouts can occur without bankrupting the company. If we’ve done a good job, the family won’t suffer a rift caused by financial decisions and the company will be in good hands. The best and brightest in your organization will have the chance to become owners and carry on the legacy of the company you’ve created.

If you’re going through any of these situations and need a direct, realistic plan of action, reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Upcoming Workshop: God’s Economic Strategy

Today I’d like to ask you a question: Where do you think is the most effective place in ministry for you to be? Is it being a pastor, youth group leader, or a missionary overseas? My answer isn’t actually any of the above.

Contact
Request an Appointment

I think that the most effective position in ministry is being an entrepreneur—a business owner.

That’s right! I believe that if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and God has given you the skill set to be able to run and own a company, that is a blessing from Heaven, and it’s also incredibly important for the marketplace.

I say this because I believe God uses business owners to take care of people in a marketplace. Think about it: It’s business owners who have ideas and products to manufacture that provide employment—they give people jobs and allow them to put groceries on the table, and they allow for opportunities to be trained, mentored, and to develop. I believe it’s through entrepreneurs that God executes His economic strategy on Earth.

And if that’s true, guess what else is happening?

I believe that there is spiritual warfare being waged in business today. Our spiritual enemy wants to do everything he can to ruin the entrepreneur, to take him out, to wound him, to wrack him with fear so much that he puts on dark glasses and can no longer see opportunity. This spiritual enemy of ours wants to make sure life is so difficult for the entrepreneur that it even makes sustaining a marriage tough.

On that front, I have good news: Restoration Ministries in Cozad, Nebraska, has partnered with my firm to bring an entrepreneurial purpose workshop to your area.

“After this workshop, the inspiration your company manifests will change the whole landscape of your area.”

 

In this workshop, we’ll go deep into the weeds about your purpose and your calling—why it is that you’re in business. We’ll discuss stepping into your destiny as a business owner. Instead of having those dark glasses on, you’ll begin to see the opportunity that the Lord is putting before you to grow your company and become more and more profitable.

You’ll be able to see the value that you bring into the marketplace, as well as what your role is in changing the lives of the people that work for you and whom you serve in your business.

We’ll also give you techniques to make sure that your marriage stays strong while running a business.

Finally, we’ll talk about spiritual warfare right there in the workplace, equipping you to be able to lead your business in victory and get past the evil traps of the enemy so that you become more successful and have more value in the marketplace.

After this workshop, the inspiration your company manifests will change the whole landscape of your area.

This workshop will take place January 26-27, 2019, in McCook and Lexington, Nebraska, respectively. Details on how to RSVP for this opportunity are forthcoming, so be sure to follow me on my blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Twitter for more information as it arrives.

If you have any questions about this workshop, about real estate, or about handling the “big picture” issues in your business, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help and advise you as I can.

Bond Ladders: Managing Your Company’s Stagnant Finances

If you have a large amount of money just sitting in your business, it could spell hard times ahead for your business. I have a solution that would allow you to use your money more wisely.

Contact
Request an Appointment

Now that the economy is beginning to expand, a lot of businesses out there are starting to make money but are sitting on cash—or storing it inside their companies— that could be a bad idea.

We’ve noticed a couple things that don’t make any sense:

1. The cash they have sitting in the business is either in a checkbook or in a very low interest-bearing account. With just some simple changes, you could move that money into secure investments that won’t be subject to stock market ups and downs and that will enable you to earn much higher interest rates on what you’re investing in.

It doesn’t make any sense to have your money sitting in a corporation, earning nothing. By simply putting together a bond ladder of municipal bonds, you can go from earning nothing to earning possibly 2% to 3%, depending on how you put the bond ladder together. And guess what? The interest earned is tax-free! Not to mention that they’re individual bonds, so you can sell them at any time.

“By simply putting together a bond ladder of municipal bonds, you can go from earning nothing to earning possibly 2% to 3%.”

 

2.If you’re in a business where there could be a liability claim against your company, such as trucking, construction, or some other business in which accidents are possible, and people see that you’ve got all this money sitting in your company, the lawyers are going to have a field day suing you and your business to try to get money out of you.

Depending on the type of company you have, your accountants might be able to help you distribute that money and put it on your personal financial statements. You might think you could just invest it as you would now, and if the company ever needs the money, you can always loan it back, leaving large amounts of cash inside the business—but this could turn you into a sucker for an attorney suing you because someone was hurt in your business.

These are just a couple of things to think about when you’re discussing how to manage your company finances. My firm is skilled at getting into the weeds of how you’re managing the finances of your business and how you’re investing the money inside your company. If you’d like more information about the services we can provide you, reach out to us. We can help you come up with a number of strategies to make better use of the money you have sitting on your financial statement.

How to Keep Your Family Together After You Are Gone

Maintaining a healthy relationship with the people you love can be difficult when you also want your business to thrive. I have the advice you need to be successful at both.

Contact
Request an Appointment

I work with a lot of family-run companies and have been seeing many of them run into the situation where the parents have not properly planned for the transition of their business to their children after they pass away. This creates conflict among the siblings that are left behind because the parents did not complete the necessary work prior to passing.

When you think about all the time and effort you have put into building a company, why would you not set it up properly so that it passes hands smoothly?

Imagine the following scenario: A couple has been running a business together for 30 to 40 years, and, over that time, their company’s net worth has grown significantly. Of their four children, only their youngest has been working alongside them in the business, while the other three have chosen separate career paths. However, things change when the couple pass. At this point, the three, previously uninvolved, children try to step in and reap the rewards of the company’s success.

“The best way to ensure that your children want to stay a family is by having these plans developed and worked out ahead of time.”

 

This is a common problem when family-run companies are passed down. Even if one child has a clear right to the business, like in the scenario I just outlined, the other children may disagree. Suddenly, children who previously had no involvement with a business may show interest in either growing or selling it. It is essential that parents who own and run a family business prepare clear plans for the company before their passing. If they don’t, their children may have a hard time agreeing on how to proceed. Additionally, such disagreements can be exacerbated when the children’s spouses get involved. Each child and, by extension, each of their spouses, are likely to have varying opinions on how (and by whom) the business should be run.

If you don’t have a plan for your family business after you pass, you will leave a mess behind. This planning could include moving stocks into a trust, structuring a buy-sell agreement with one particularly involved child, making executive plans to keep the management team around while transitioning from one generation to the next, and more.

Also, if only one child has been involved in the business previously (as in the case of our earlier example) parents can take out an insurance policy that will allow that child to eventually take full control.

We can help you develop a plan and build a presentation that will explain your intentions for the business. This kind of preparation will make sure that your children are treated fairly, that your business is well taken care of after your passing, and that, after you’re gone, your surviving family will remain close to one another.

Don’t put off making these plans. It’s never too early to settle your business’s future.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Maintain a Healthy Marriage to Maintain a Healthy Business

Maintaining a healthy relationship with the people you love can be difficult when you also want your business to thrive. I have the advice you need to be successful at both.

Contact
Request an Appointment

To finish up my entrepreneurial series, I’d like to talk about marriage. Keeping your marriage in great shape while you are running a business can be difficult, but it is crucial to your success because your marriage is your most important partnership on the planet. I have timestamped highlights for the video below, so you can skip to the parts that apply most to your unique situation.

To start with, I’ll discuss your actions and the repercussions.

1:10 – The pressure of your business’s survival can encourage you to neglect your loved ones.
2:50 – Being close to coworkers is dangerous because of the temptation for emotional support.
3:40 – Do not let others devour your time home with your family.
4:50 – The repercussions of poor actions.
5:45 – Bitterness and our spiritual enemy create stress and collateral damage in your marriage.

Then, I’ll discuss the steps to rectify the temptations or ignore them altogether. By making your marriage your No. 1 priority, God will honor your business.

“Keeping your marriage in great shape is crucial to your business success. “

8:00 – Find a church home with other couples.
8:30 – Communicate with your spouse to encourage understanding.
10:00 – Taking your spouse with you to office events will deter attractions from others.
10:55 – Boundaries have to be set in the schedule.
13:00 – Take time to be romantic.

Finally, I’ll address what you can do to ensure you prevent ending up in a compromising position and the benefits.

15:00 – The fundamentals for maintaining a healthy marriage.
15:20 – Do not allow yourself to be alone with anyone of the opposite sex.
17:00 – Refrain from intimate conversations at work.
17:50 – The benefits of following my advice.

If you need any help working through any of the issues we talked about, I would love working with you to help your family business succeed and thrive. I would also love to speak with you if you require any coaching or guidance needs. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Entrepreneurial Purpose Part 3: Is It Time to Hit Reset on Your Business?

It might be time to set the reset button on your business. Success truly comes down to the basics.

Contact
Request an Appointment

Welcome to the third installment of my “Entrepreneurial Purpose” series. If you haven’t seen the first two installments, I highly recommend checking them out. You can find the first part here and the second part here.

Today’s installment has to do with setting the reset button on your company.

If you want to get your company on the right track, it’s time to think about revisiting your purpose. Develop a new focus for your business and figure out why it exists.

Ask yourself, how do you stay in business and continue to grow? Your business needs to provide great value to your customers and perform a greater purpose than just making money.

Aside from just setting the reset button in your business, it might be time to set the reset button on your heart. If you’ve been burnt out, worn out, and have those “dark glasses” on, it’s time to reach down and invite the Lord into your life and business.

“If you don’t follow the fundamentals, you simply won’t succeed.”

When you start re-examining your business, begin by looking at your team. Do you have the right people with the right goals working for you? Are you surrounding yourself with people who will help drive you forward or are you dragging along people who don’t have the will to improve? You can’t allow unmotivated, unfocused team members to impede your growth.

You also should look at your business structure. Are you structured for growth? Are you using the right divisions and do you have the right systems in place? These are all questions you should address as you shift toward a better future.

Another area to evaluate is your clients. It’s important to think about whether you’re attracting the kind of clients you want to draw toward your business.

On a larger scale: What about the markets? Ask yourself whether you’re utilizing the right tools and techniques to capture your share of the market.

Financial structure is another important aspect of a successful business. Examine your current structure and eliminate areas of waste while promoting efficiency. Restructuring your finances could be key to positioning you for growth.

Finally, let’s talk about fundamentals. You know your industry and what your competitors are doing. Whatever business you’re in, there is no way for you to succeed if you aren’t paying attention to the basics. The reality is that the market doesn’t care whether you do the right thing or not. The market doesn’t care if you’re following the fundamentals. But, if you don’t follow the fundamentals, you can forget everything else I’ve said because you simply won’t succeed.

Of course, all of the things I’ve mentioned today can be extremely difficult to work through as a business owner. As an entrepreneur, you can sometimes be too close to your own business to see its flaws. It’s easy to get stuck in your mistakes. This is why I think it’s incredibly important to seek out professionals who can look at your business from the outside in. My company and I would love to provide this service for you. Let’s sit down and have a conversation. If I can help, I will.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Entrepreneurial Purpose Part 2: What Is God’s Purpose for Your Business?

Contact
Request an Appointment

Today I’m back to bring you part two of our Entrepreneurial Purpose series. Last time, we talked about the importance of being an entrepreneur. If you haven’t already, go check out the first part here.

Now, let’s dive into today’s topic. I want you to ask yourself right now if you’re locked in a spiritual battle with your business. Are you wearing the dark glasses?

The bottom line is that if you run a company, you’re going to encounter issues. This can involve everything from marketplace and industry changes to employee turnover, and more. But one issue that often goes overlooked in any business is what’s happening deep inside of the heart of the owner.

Beyond all the other issues you might be dealing with, things going on in your heart and mind could have a huge impact on your company. So, ask yourself: Are you depressed? Are you having feelings of despair? Is there a lot of fear in your heart about where you’re headed? Are you tired and burnt out?

All of these feelings can destroy your energy, creativity, and your ability to strategize. Feeling these things can also destroy the hope that anything you’re doing will have an impact. When this happens, you go into “survival mode.” You aren’t doing much beyond simply trying to make it through.

This goes back to the dark glasses I mentioned earlier. When you wear them, your sense of reality is off. The things going on in your heart and mind may be distorting your view of what’s actually occurring within your business. But, why do these things happen to business owners? I personally believe that business owners can get caught up in a spiritual battle without even realizing it.

Before I explain what I mean, I want to make something clear: It’s my opinion that if you’re in a “sin business” or if your business preys on people and their money, nothing I talk about in this series will do you any good. If taking advantage of people is the way you’re doing business, calamity is going to be at your door sooner than later. I don’t believe there is any real long-term way to succeed and have peace, happiness, and joy if you’re in a business that promotes a sinful lifestyle or makes a financial gain at others’ expense.

“What you do is important to God, and He wants you to succeed.”

So, how can you tell if you’re locked in a spiritual battle as a business owner? There are a few signs. Do you have strong leadership skills? Are you thoughtful? On the other hand, maybe you’re feeling short-fused, unable to shake a sensation of frustration, and overwhelmed with paralyzing fear and anxiety. If any of these are the case for you as a business owner, there’s a good chance you’re locked in a spiritual battle. If you’re angry, bitter, or treat people meanly, the devil is winning and God is sad. That’s not how God wants you to be in business.

He wants you to succeed. He wants you to have a positive impact on your community by giving opportunity to your employees and their families. He wants you to inspire young entrepreneurs. He may even want you to rescue people in poverty who just can’t seem to get ahead. God might be looking at you as being the source for bringing his love and energy to the marketplace.

You need to bring God into your business. I know it might sound silly, but I can tell you this: If you humble yourself and approach the lord in prayer with contrition in your heart and ask him to help heal you and get your heart in a better place, you will be the kind of leader that he wants you to be.

That being said, there is evil in the world. We see the good and evil around us every day. This evil is God’s enemy, and the evil side of life wants you to feel defeated, despaired, and living so miserably that you’re unable to see the opportunities God has given you. If you’re working hard to run an ethical company with honor, integrity, and the right principles, you can be sure the devil is going to want to keep you from being successful. On the other side of the coin, you cannot expect good things from operating on the dark side of business. Calamity will come and the money you might make simply is not worth it.

But, if God wants your business to be a beacon of hope and you are locked in a spiritual battle, there is a way out. Oppression, disrespect, greed, and anger in your environment are all symptoms of a spiritual battle. The devil will inspire you to be lustful, to be greedy, and to be evil. He wants you to drive your life and business into a ditch. The pain you suffer will make it really difficult for you to run your company and lead it like God wants you to.

If you as an owner are working so hard to drive your company that you’ve basically abandoned your family, that’s another sign of the devil. God wants you to run a good company, but he wants you to love and care for your spouse and family too. He does not want you to run a company at the expense of those you love.

So, what does God want out of your company? First of all, He wants a godly atmosphere. The speech of the office should be healthy, instead of wrapped up in gossip and negativity. God wants you to provide opportunities and leadership, so that your employees can someday go out in the marketplace and make an impact like you have. He wants you to serve your customers and provide value in such a way that they know you have their back.

I can tell you from my 38 years of business that the people who run their companies the way I’m talking about will attract blessings. It’s basically the spiritual law of physics.

If you can overcome a spiritual battle in your business by following a godly path, success and joy will come to your life and the lives of those in your business. Invite God into your business and allow him to help you examine your heart and the heart of your business. If you know you’re doing things you shouldn’t, you can be pretty sure you’re walking down the devil’s path.

Next time, we’ll talk about how you can tap into resources to become a transformed business owner.

If you have any other questions or would like more information in the meantime, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The True Value of Entrepreneurship

My company works with entrepreneurs at all levels of success.

Sometimes, starting a business is like loading an airplane at the end of the runway. Once you’re set to go with enough fuel for a long trip and start heading down the runway, you might start wondering whether the plane is actually going to take off. Eventually the plane starts to gain some altitude and you’re finally off the ground.

At this point it’s a relief to be in the air and on your way. The same is true of business. But, what happens when you notice tall trees directly in your path at the end of the runway? How do you get enough altitude to overcome these obstacles?

Things might be rough at first, but eventually you’ll find that you’ve reached a point where you can cruise a little. This new series, which will be focused on entrepreneurs, is really aimed at those who have cleared the trees and are cruising in their business.

I run into a lot of burnt-out people who have been in business 10, 15, or even 20 years and are experiencing a lot of problems. Whether it’s because of issues with employees, financial issues, growth issues, or anything else, these people have become disheartened over time. People like these have “put on dark glasses”—to them, everything is “shaded.”

Looking through such a dark lens makes hard for them to see any opportunities ahead. All they can focus on is fear and anxiety about the future. All of a sudden their hope, vision, innovation, and sense of destiny shrinks.

If this sounds like you, it’s time for a pep talk.

The first thing I want to remind you of is that as an entrepreneur, what you do is critically important to the marketplace. No civilization would be able to last without vibrant entrepreneurialism.

“Take those dark glasses off, start thinking about your purpose, and ask yourself, ‘What can I do with my gift?'”

It’s an incredible feeling to live in a country that allows you the freedom to work and create businesses. Entrepreneurs are the key ingredient to the survival of a community. Additionally, entrepreneurs play a big role in upholding our democracy.

There would be no freedom if it weren’t for entrepreneurs—who fight for liberty and equal opportunity in the marketplace. We are a free people largely thanks to entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs provide economic vitality through the job opportunities they bring. Those job opportunities lead to family stability, which allows communities and people to grow.

If you know me, you know that I believe in the spiritual power things hold in life. I truly believe that entrepreneurs are essential to carrying out God’s strategic plan. I personally believe we’re all made in God’s image and that he loves us all.

As an entrepreneur, you provide the stability He wants us to all have in life. Your entrepreneurial position provides opportunities for families, teaches people the value of work, and allows communities to thrive.

In many ways, I believe that entrepreneurs are ambassadors of God. If you have been given a skill, a passion, or talent—you have been given a gift. It’s incredibly important that you accept the destiny brought by your gift. Entrepreneurship is not all about money; it’s about the benefits and benchmarks you provide within the marketplace and community.

Finally, remember that you are instilling things in people that are the fundamentals of life. It is so important that you recognize the value of what you do as an entrepreneur.

So, I want you to do something. Take those dark glasses off, start thinking about your purpose, and ask yourself, “What can I do with my gift?”

If you can develop a vision for your future, you can achieve a lot of great things.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.