Friday, June 23, 2023

[VIDEO] Calculating Addressable Market Size vs. Industry Size

Posted By: George Deeb - 6/23/2023

I was recently interviewed by  ASBN , an online "television network" serving the small business community, about how to calculatin...

I was recently interviewed by ASBN, an online "television network" serving the small business community, about how to calculating your total addressable market size, as opposed to your total industry size.  As you will learn, your total addressable market size, which investors care most about, is a lot smaller than the industry overall.  I thought this video turned out great, and I wanted to share it with all of you, to see if it can be helpful to you in sizing your market.  I hope you like it!!

The embedded video player didn't give me the option to change the size of this video.  But, if you want to see a bigger version, simply click the expand size button in the player above.

Thanks again to Jim Fitzpatrick and the ASBN team for having me on the show.  I look forward to our next interview together.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Lesson #352: Treat Your Team Members as People, Not as Employees

Posted By: George Deeb - 6/07/2023

I have recently written about topics like  how to manage a virtual team , considering an unlimited vacation day policy and swapping “I” for...

I have recently written about topics like  how to manage a virtual team, considering an unlimited vacation day policy and swapping “I” for “We” in all corporate communications.  Do you notice a consistent theme here?  These are all policies that are very “employee friendly”—let your staff work from home, give them unlimited vacation days and let them all know how important they are as a member of the team.  Why is this so important?  Because recruiting and retaining employees are harder than ever, and the more things you can do to nurture long term loyalty to your business, the better your business will thrive and your employees will prosper.  At the core of this message is learning to treat your staff as the “people” they are, and not the “employees” you may perceive them to be.   What is the difference?  Allow me to explain.

What is an Employee?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary would say an employee is “one employed by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level”.  To me, the key words being “employed” and “below”.  This feels like an employee works FOR the company, as one its “cogs in the wheel”, and not working WITH the company on more of an even footing with their work colleagues.  Especially, when this definition starts to speak to layers of management, with employees working “below” higher layers of management.  From the vantage point of an employee, that doesn’t sound very enticing?

What is a Person?

On the other hand, that same Merriam-Webster dictionary would say a person is “the personality of a human being”.  To me the key words being “personality” and “human”.  This suggests that all people are different, with different personalities, interests and personal drivers that make them tick.  What works for one, does not necessarily work for another.  So, the more you can cater to an individual’s “personal” needs, the better they will respond and the longer they will want to stay with your team.

What is Managing Employees?

Most all of us have been managed as employees at one point or another in our careers.  Employees have very specific job descriptions, they are required to work rigid hours (most likely from a centralized office location) and report into a “boss” (who most likely feels more empowered and higher level).  Everyone is treated exactly the same, with very little flexibility in what is allowed “on the job”.    This is entirely “top down” in its design, with policies getting set by the top management.

How is Developing People Different?

On the flipside, developing people is more “bottoms up” in its design.  The people can more freely set the policies of the company that they feel will best meet their personal needs.  And, notice I used the word “develop” here and not the word “manage”.  I am trying to emphasize that this is a two-way street where both parties need to be happy with the outcome.  This could include letting your team members decide which days a week they work, for which hours each day, from whichever location they want and for however many vacation days they want (as long as their performance is good), with a culture where their ideas will be heard and potentially acted upon.  Why?  Because people have different needs, and the best companies will help them solve those needs and learn how to lean into those personal drivers as individual motivators.  Which in turn, helps instill long term loyalty, especially when they can see their own ideas becoming acted upon.

Get Rid of the Word “Employee” in Your Business

As long as we are talking about words and definitions, we might as well throw out the idea of deleting the word “employee” from our company’s internal vocabulary.  I much prefer the words “team member” or “associate”, as it speaks more to the theme we are trying to pound home in this article. It puts everyone on a more “even footing” and lets people know they are all beating to the same drum in an environment where everyone has each other’s backs.  So get rid of any words in your company that could be interpreted as having hierarchies or rigidity.  Maybe get rid of words like “boss” and “manager”, while you are at it, opting for terms like “mentor” instead.  Of course, there will be clear reporting lines, but that doesn’t mean they are not equal “people”, with unique needs and ideas of their own who should be equally respected and nurtured.

The Expected Outcome

If you implement this correctly, your team will love your business and would never want to leave.  Why would they—you have solved all their needs.  Which means if you have very little staff turnover, you aren’t wasting a lot of time with repetitive recruiting needs.  And, better yet, you are building long term institutional knowledge from team members who have truly “mastered their craft” over the years, helping to propel your business to new heights and reaching its fullest potential.  And, your team will appreciate everything you have done for them, to help them better meet their “non-work” needs at home, and incorporate some of their good ideas into the company’s plans (which makes them feel valued and respected).  Pretty much a win-win for all involved.

Closing Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better appreciation for what makes “people” tick.  And, that most people never want to be treated as an “employee”.  The more you can customize the team member’s experience with your company, the better it will be for all involved.  You will have happy team members singing your company’s praises, and you will be thrilled with the improvement in your company’s culture, productivity and profits in the process.  

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.

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