St. Louis, Kansas City and Phoenix business owners finished the 2016 Spring Enterprise University semester last month and will now be using the upcoming summer months to implement their new learnings.
Our speakers covered a variety of meaningful business topics in our free workshops that challenged business owners and entrepreneurs to strategically think about their business.
Whether you were unable to attend the classes you wanted or just need a little refresher, our 2016 Spring semester recap outlines top learnings from a handful of our courses across all 3 regions:
214 | LinkedIn Deep Dive - Growing Your Business Through Effective Marketing
With more than 433 million registered members in over 200 countries and territories, there’s no question that the world’s largest professional network is a powerful marketing tool.
The question is, however, how do business owners harness the power of LinkedIn to expand their business and leverage connections? Our featured speaker, LinkedIn power user and Kansas City-based Principal of Blue Gurus, Jason Terry, covered just that in our class. Here are some of his top tips:
- Your headline should include words & phrases that tell who you are and what you do.
- Personalize your invitations when trying to connect with someone on LinkedIn.
- Spend a minimum of 15-30 minutes of scheduled time each week on LinkedIn.
For more insights on how to leverage LinkedIn, check out some of our favorite articles from Blue Gurus:
- 6 Hidden LinkedIn Features That Shouldn’t Be Hidden
- LinkedIn Tips I Don’t Have Time to Waste on LinkedIn
- You Should Be Publishing On LinkedIn. Here’s Why.
Follow Blue Gurus for more information on LinkedIn and blogging:
229 | What Is Sales Management, Really?
Did you know that on average, the typical sales force is effective only 17% day to day? This is what we learned from Enterprise University featured speaker Patti Harty of Sandler Training, Stark & Associates, Inc.
In this comprehensive session, we learned sales best practices from managing and motivating to hiring and interviewing. Here are our favorite takeaways from the class:
- A manager should invest their time into further developing their A-players and B-Players instead of putting most of their time into the C-players.
- Manage people the way they need to be managed.
- When it comes to hiring, complete a comprehensive hiring template and write the killer ad that will attract the right candidates.
- Use a process when coaching salespeople – and make it collaborative. Get your sales team to discover lessons vs. convincing them.
Want to learn more from Sandler training? Check out the Sandler Training blog for more information on sales management, leadership and hiring.
301 | What Banks Look For
Seeking financing on behalf of your business requires thinking like bankers do. In this course, our own Steve Marsh, Chairman of the Board and Doug Bauche, Chief Credit Officer, provided insight and guidance on how to manage your bank’s expectations, structure financial statements and build a lifetime relationship with your bank.
The first lesson we learned in this course is the fundamental differences between how bankers and entrepreneurs think.
For more information on what banks look for, take a look at our comprehensive infographic.
405 | Building a Powerful Business Strategy
When developing a business strategy, make sure all of these key items are included:
- Strategic Priorities
- Key Initiatives/Action Plans
- Performance Scorecard
Putting your strategy into play takes:
- Action Plan
- Diagnose (“Scorecard”)
419| Fight or Flight – Or Is There a Better Solution? Working Through Conflict
“When you feel, it’s hard to think.”
This is what we learned from speaker, Pam Hager, Ph.D. As Vice President, Instructional Consulting at Psychological Associates, Pam provided useful alternative tools and techniques for effectively handling conflicts.
Here are key takeaways we learned for mitigating workplace conflict:
- Before going into a tense meeting situation, take time to pre-plan with these steps:
- Find a neutral meeting spot
- Change your thinking
- Find the benefits for the other person
- Be prepared for the other person’s emotions
- Write down effective questions
- Don’t be a judger. Be a learner. Change the way you frame your questions:
- Judger: What were you thinking? Learner: What happened
- Judger: How about me doing this for you? Learner: What have you tried?
- Judger: Whose idea was this? Learner: How can I help?
- Judger: Didn’t you try anything else? Learner: What should we do next?
Read more about improving workplace conflict from Psychological Associates:
- How to Handle a High-Potential with Behavioral Issues
- When a Sales Discussion Gets Stuck in an Argument
- Q4 Facilitation of On-the-Fly Issues
444 | Leading Change through Process Improvement
Building and defining business processes that lower production time, increase quality and boost profitability seems great on paper, but difficult in practice. Our speakers and improvement experts Mike C. Lewis and Sunti Wathanacharoen of RubinBrown provided a variety of tactics to help business owners re-engineer processes and eliminate inefficiencies:
- Document the current sales process flow
- Collect data from the current process
- Determine where the process is “out of control”
- Adjust the current state to eliminate variability or waste
- Implement mechanisms to track future activity
Follow RubinBrown on Twitter for more helpful business information: @RubinBrown
454 | Top 10 Dangerous Payroll and Wage Mistakes
Legal liability is always a top concern for business owners, which is why this course is always a popular one for our students. Whether you have 100 employees or just a few, careful planning and strategies are required for preventing and minimizing litigation with your employees.
Our speakers Eric Todd, Office Managing Shareholder, of Ogletree Deakins and Jim Paul, Shareholder, of Ogletree Deakins, provided insight on the fundamentals of the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state laws. In addition, the course covered common minimum wage, overtime, and hours worked problems and how to determine if someone is a contractor or an employee.
Here are our top tips and resources from the course:
- The Department of Labor has mobile apps available that are helpful to you and your employees.
- Here are 10 Mistakes to watch out for:
- Failing to Prevent or Know about Unauthorized Overtime Work
- Failing to Pay for “Off the Clock” Work
- Failing to Monitor and Maintain Accurate Timekeeping Records
- Impermissible Rounding or Adjusting
- Failing to Properly Record and/or Pay for Meal Periods
- Using “Comp Time”
- Misuse of Independent Contractors
- Not Paying for Training Time or Travel
- Taking Impermissible Deductions from Pay
- Thinking “Salaried” = “Exempt”
464 | Are You Building Value Into Your Business?
Building your business extends beyond revenue and profits. What really matters is the value that’s being built. Our instructors for this course included Aspire Business Development’s Shawn Kinkade, Founder/President and Chris Steinlage, Principal.
In this course, we learned the 8 key drivers that dramatically impact the worth of your business. These drivers include:
- Financial Performance
- Growth Potential
- Switzerland Structure
- Valuation Teeter Totter
- Recurring Revenue
- Monopoly Control
- Customer Satisfaction
- Hub and Spoke
For more information on how to better drive value into your business, we recommend these article’s from the Aspire Business Development blog:
- Real Businesses Have Real Systems
- What Your Business Needs to Learn from Switzerland
- Does Your Business Have Growth Potential?
502 | Planning The Retirement You’ll Want To Live In
Planning for retirement and planning for the type of retirement you want to live in are two different states of mind. In this course instructed by our own very Steve Ray, President, Trust Fiduciary Services, Enterprise Trust Company, we learned how to plan and prepare for a type of retirement you and your loved ones deserve.
Here are some of the key learnings from the course:
Define what your retirement means to you.
- How will you spend your time?
- Will your lifestyle change?
- Have you planned for large expenses? (College education, vacation home, weddings, health care, etc.)
- Have you planned for unexpected circumstances? (Health, corporate changes, poor financial market, high inflation, etc.)
All of these items can help in planning how and what to save for in the future.
Interested in our Fall 2016 semester? Sign-up to receive an email as soon as the new course catalog is available at www.enterprisebank.com/eu or follow us on social media for update-to-date information.