TO THE BOSS: 12 Daunting Statements That Your Employees Are Afraid to Say to Your Face

Being the boss has its perks. Usually you have a good parking space, you can set hour own hours (which basically means that although you are ALWAYS working no one is tracking how long your lunch is, etc.), and you have a position of authority and purpose. Before you go feeling too smug and comfy, grab yourself a cup of coffee, kick back, and prepare yourself… You are the boss, and there are things you need to know. This isn’t about time management and sales goals for the upcoming year. NOPE — this one is about you. If you are sharp, you are cognizant of the invisible wall which separates you from the rest of the staff. There are jokes you won’t be in on, certain things that you won’t understand, and a lot of words which will be left unsaid. It is time for you to hear those words. This is not a comprehensive list, and not all will apply to you. If the shoe doesn’t fit, pat yourself on the back and move on. Check yourself as you read these, and try not to be oversensitive to the ones that do apply.
1) “Your breath smells…and you have body odor”. YIKES. We can’t say this one easily to a co-worker (maybe we can hint and hand them a breath mint), but it definitely won’t be shared with the boss. Did you have sushi and catfish for lunch? Did you catch a whiff of yourself as you’ve been stressed out, nervous and sweating up a storm? If you smell it guaranteed they do too. You’ve got a big desk… keep a tooth brush, mouthwash and other personal toiletries on hand for just such unpleasant stinky occasions.
2) “Your sarcasm offends. It isn’t funny and comes across as rude”. Everybody laughs when Rick is sarcastic so what gives? Well… Rick is just one of the gang and his delivery is different. And you’re the boss! When you do it the message delivered is one of judgment and disdain. Oh sure, it’s not fair, but unfortunately it goes with your title. (And life isn’t fair, so get over it.)
3) “You bully the weak.” Like a dog that smells fear, this is you. The ones who cower a little bit and act afraid, those are the ones you pick on the most. It’s a complete turnoff and when it happens it gives the rest of the team hours of gossip. Maybe you don’t respect these soft spoken souls quite as much because they don’t stand up for themselves? Whatever the reason, figure out what your problem with them is and stop the intimidation. It just isn’t cool.
4) “You don’t listen.” Well, you pretend to, but you really don’t. You ask for input at staff meetings, want people to contribute ideas. When they do you end up using your own anyhow, so why bother? Your “open door policy” is a joke. Your door may be open but your mind isn’t. Sometimes you don’t even make eye contact. You’ve been caught playing with your cell phone while you should have been listening wholeheartedly. How insulting! What would you do if one of your staff did that to you? Your whole demeanor is standoffish and closed.
5) “Nobody wants to hear about your home renovations, your upcoming trips, or the cars you are contemplating buying.” You don’t pay your staff that well. Some are barely squeaking by after paying their student loans and other obligations. It’s nice that you want to share personal things with your team, but think how it sounds to the guy who is broke already on payday having to listen about your frustration with the drywaller and lawn service at your summer cottage. Nobody begrudges you the finer things… you’ve worked your butt off and you deserve them, but remember your audience. Don’t find yourself wondering out loud whether you should fire the new cleaning girl at your home, when they are trying to figure out if their budget will allow replacing the broken vacuum in theirs.
6) “You need to dress better”. You have an Employee Handbook with a strict dress code and you look like you rolled out of bed fully dressed every morning. Raise the bar and set the example.
7) “Get a life!” Maybe you don’t have anything to do Friday night, but the rest of the staff is ready to bust out of there. You may have sold your soul when you became an entrepreneur but you can’t expect the same of your team. Hard work, professionalism and attaining goals can and should be expected, but requesting that others burn the midnight hour or work weekends just because you are is an unrealistic request.
8) “You play favorites”. There is probably a reason for this. Your favorites are probably hard workers and get the job done. No need to apologize for liking one person better than the next, we all do it, just make sure you have a level playing field and all have the same opportunities.
9) “This place is a pig sty”. Is it possible to give your staff a nicer work environment? They spend many hours there, more awake hours than at home, so show your appreciation. Some new carpet, fresh paint and art work can turn gloom to glam. Get rid of the paper mess and stop hoarding. It sucks the life out of your team having to see it every day.
10) “Just let us do our jobs”. Do you hover? Interject your opinion often throughout the day? As the boss you have the right to, of course, but let the staff see that you trust them enough to just let them work. Pay attention at how the atmosphere changes. It will amaze you.
11) “We get paid the same whether we are doing something stupid or something that needs to be done”. Are you the King of Busy Work? It won’t take your team long to realize that your desire for complete and continuous control has a trickle-down effect. Constant updates, creating lists and sub-lists… employees will humor you and get these pesky little things done, but at a cost: leaving the important work unfinished, feeling frustrated and annoyed, and developing increased disdain for you each time you think up a new meaningless task just because you can.
12) “We just don’t like you”. This one stings a bit, but rather than letting your feelings get hurt ask yourself what you can do differently… or if you are brave, ask for honest feedback. You are the boss, not a buddy, but understandably you still want the team to like you. What behaviors or personality traits are you portraying? Bluntly stated, are you typically a pompous ass because you can be? Think of what you are like within your friendships (assuming you have relationships outside of the office) and how you act. You are probably not overbearing, rude, aggressive, or dismissive of what friends have to say. While you don’t have to be buddies with your team mates, strive to treat them with the same level of kindness and respect you use within your personal relationships.

The invisible wall will likely always exist because you are the boss, and that’s okay. The reason the Dilbert cartoons are so popular and funny is because we have all worked for the Pointy-haired boss and can relate. If you read the above statements and none of them seemed to apply to you, congratulations! Your employee turnover is probably low and you have figured out the key to successful management of your staff. Not quite sure? Maybe you could post this in the break room with a highlighter and ask staff to have at it. Encourage comments and add-ins at the bottom for items not on this list. If you’re not feeling that brave, at the very least reread this and see if there are changes you could make to improve staff retention and make the office environment a better place.


The My Clone team is your Solution to getting out of overwhelm and stop working below your pay grade. Interested in learning more about how you can increase productivity and your hourly wage please contact us and schedule 30 minutes to chat about your business pains and how we can help you eliminate them. Schedule your appointment right now by clicking here. 

From A to Z… 26 Ways to Shred the Competition

Just getting by isn’t enough in today’s business world.  If you plan on succeeding, you need to come prepared for battle.  You chose this, so grab your sword and shield.  Entrepreneurship isn’t for wusses…  Looking for ways to shred the competition?   Here are 26 tips and tricks from A to Z to give you the winning edge:

Amaze your customers.   Keep them wondering how they ever managed without you.
Bring something new to the table all the time.
Call clients just to check in.  They will like the personal attention.
Don’t avoid phone calls.
Examine how you are doing things.  Is it still practical?
Finish up projects.  Don’t leave assignments hanging.
Get organized.  It will benefit EVERYBODY, including you.
Help your customers strategize so they can be successful.
Impress with outstanding customer service.
Join networking clubs to gain new insights.
Keep trying to better yourself.
Learn and grow from your mistakes.
Make sure you always show your appreciation.
Never lose your drive…your clients will sense it.
Open your eyes to better ways of serving.
Prepare, Plan and avoid Procrastination
Quit making excuses if something goes wrong.
Remember why you became your own boss.  FOCUS!
Stay the course.  Hard work and perseverance will pay off.
Talk to your clients often and make sure you’re still on track.
Understand that not everybody will like you, and that’s okay.
Value your employees… they will help you succeed.
Work on keeping relationships strong.
X-ray vision and a crystal ball would help!  Ask clients for clarification.
Yearn to always keep that spark.
Zero in on your clients’ needs always.

There are many ways to exceed expectations, and the A to Z list above includes just a few examples.  Be the best at what you do, and above all focus on extreme customer service.  Remember when your mom used to say to treat people the way you would want to be treated?   Really that’s the bottom line.  Competence, diligence, hard work, integrity… the traits you possess that enabled you to be a successful entrepreneur, and why you can easily shred the competition today.


The My Clone team is your Solution to getting out of overwhelm and stop working below your pay grade. Interested in learning more about how you can increase productivity and your hourly wage please contact us and schedule 30 minutes to chat about your business pains and how we can help you eliminate them.  Schedule your appointment right now by clicking here. 

Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Too Big?

Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Too Big?

– Aka “The Enlightenment of Customer Reviews”

NOPE, this is not another BLAH BLAH blog about weight loss, self-image or body shaming.   Actually the title above simply suggests that if you really don’t want to know the truth, then don’t ask the question!  If you are a business owner, however, you can’t bury your head in the sand.  You better want to know if your customers are satisfied, if they would come to you again, and if there are things you could have done better.   The best and most consistent way of achieving this goal is through customer reviews.

Keep in mind, although reviews are imperative it’s important for you to understand that your client’s time is valuable and the last thing they are thinking about is the impact this will have on your business.  Most have no clue how (or where) to leave such testimonials so it’s best to develop a system that is efficient and easy… for both of you!

If you follow these simple tips, obtaining reviews from your clients will be relatively painless:honesty

  • Streamline the process to keep it fast and simple. They don’t owe you this courtesy, so don’t make it a chore for them.
  • Use links with few and specific instructions.
  • Make sure the process is cell phone/tablet compatible.
  • The entire thing should take no more than a few minutes. Try it yourself to see if it is quick and easy.  Re-do the process if it is not painless.
  • Decide which review sites will have the biggest impact on your business.
  • Ask for the review promptly after you have completed your service to the customer while their thoughts are fresh (and while they are happy!)
  • Let your customer know how important their input is to you and your business.
  • Inform your client that the whole process will take them only a couple minutes.
  • Make sure to upload these reviews to your website and any social media (i.e. Facebook). Do this constantly so that reviews are always new and fresh.
  • Be consistent. Make this review process part of your marketing approach and follow through the process.

On occasion, you may be surprised to learn that somebody wasn’t as happy with your service as you had thought.  It is extremely important for you as a business owner to learn from any negative (or even neutral) comments.  The point of obtaining and sharing this information is not just for the growth of your business, but for personal growth as well.  Strive to do better, to be better.

Do these jeans make my butt look too big?  Well if you already know they do and you wish you hadn’t posed the question in the first place, then it’s time to put the skinny jeans away… time to put on something that is a better fit and a true representation of how you want people to really see you.  Learn from your reviews, adapt, correct, and move forward.

Trapped In A Time Warp?   12 Signs that You Are Stuck & Will Lose Your Butt to the Competition

Trapped In A Time Warp? 12 Signs that You Are Stuck & Will Lose Your Butt to the Competition

Dollarphotoclub_66668760-676x451Once upon a time we all lived in small towns, or at least tight knit communities and neighborhoods.  If you needed your hair cut you’d go to Hank’s Barber Shop, you bought your sandwiches from Sidoti’s Deli, and the pharmacy on the corner didn’t belong to Walgreens.  Businesses didn’t have to market, network, advertise, tweet or blog about their services to get and keep their customers.  They offered their goods and services, and people came for them.  It’s how business was done.

That was then.  Welcome to the modern world!   If you think you can rely on your business surviving the old fashioned way, where people buy from you because they always have, stop and think again!  Even if you’re located in a sparsely populated burg, the town folk now have the internet, Iphones and all kinds of other techy gadgets… they can find it cheaper, better and quicker on Amazon if you don’t get your head in the game and convince them they want their money flowing in your direction.

Are you going to just trust fate?   You basically have two choices:  To be passive or to be proactive.   Obviously choosing to do nothing is about as passive as you can get… might as well throw in the towel now and save yourself the hassle and grief.  If you are immobile and stuck, you are in serious trouble.  The protective bubble you are wrapped in may feel comfy, but this cloak is indeed deceiving.  You are trapped in a time warp and will eventually lose your butt to the competition.  Make sure these obvious issues don’t apply to you:

  1. RESISTING TECHNOLOGY: This is how you’ve always done things and this is how it shall be done.  You just keep it status quo and let the other guys use the new technology and processes.  Stay in this time warp and watch your clients high tail it away from you quicker than you can say 8-track tape or plastic pink yard flamingo.
  2. AVOIDING SOCIAL MEDIA: Can you say “FREE ADVERTISING”?  If you don’t have time to post things yourself, find someone to do it for you.  Take advantage of all the resources that are available.  Keep your name out there.  Let people look for YOU to see what you have to say… Don’t let them find your competitors because you don’t want to take the time…
  3. TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF: Why would you try to do it all?  Delegate!  If you can’t afford a staff, or if you don’t want one, at least get a Virtual Assistant to do the things you don’t like to do (or that suck up all your time!)
  4. USING A ROLODEX: Seriously?  How about a CRM or at the very least pop those numbers into your phone!  Who even has a Rolodex anymore?!
  5. GETTING THE SAME RESULTS AND STILL DOING IT THE SAME WAY: Hello… McFly!  If what you have done has been ineffectual, or at the very least yielding minimal results, why are you doing it the same way again and again and again?  Find what works!  Move on from what you have been doing.
  6. FORGETTING YOUR PURPOSE: Remember why you wanted to be an entrepreneur.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate those goals and recall what got you onto the path of being a small business owner in the first place.
  7. NOT NETWORKING: You say you’re not a people person?  Well who do you think buys your goods and services?  Exactly!  Step outside your comfort zone and put yourself out there.   Use the opportunity to rub elbows with some people who may be able to help you grow your business.  Listen to other people… what are their stories?
  8. LIVING BY THE CLOCK: Business ownership is not for the meek.  It’s also not for the basic nine-to-fiver.  If you’re looking for a 9-5 gig, perhaps being an entrepreneur isn’t your thing.  You don’t have to breathe business 24/7, but you have to be open to the occasional early phone call or late appointment if yowriting_thumbu want your business to thrive.
  9. STAYING DISORGANIZED: Simple things like losing phone numbers, forgetting appointments and not being able to find important documentation will destroy you.  Can’t do it alone?  Get a VA to help you get your act together.  Don’t let your ADD stand in the way of your personal and professional success.
  10. RANDOMLY SWITCHING IT UP: Switching it up from time to time may sound like a good thing, but you need to let your ideas come to fruition too.  Constantly changing things around will not let you get an accurate feel for what works and what doesn’t.  Make sure you are constantly evaluating progress.
  11. KEEPING YOUR POSSE: Are some of your partners, staff or even the vendors holding you back?  You may love them but make certain you share the same goals and passion.  If not figure out an amicable way to go your own way.  Keeping your posse when they no longer share your dream is a big mistake.
  12. ALWAYS PLAYING IT SAFE: You need to take a risk from time to time.  Look around you.  What is your competition doing?  Why are you playing it so safe that you are blending into the background?

Being an entrepreneur takes courage.  It takes knowing when to walk, when to sprint, and when it’s time to run away from the habits that have you stuck… It’s knowing how to get out of your own way, how to move on, and how to get out of the time warp before you lose your butt to the competition.

The My Clone team is your Solution to getting out of overwhelm and stop working below your pay grade. Interested in learning more about how you can increase productivity and your hourly wage please contact us and schedule 30 minutes to chat about your business pains and how we can help you eliminate them.  Schedule your appointment right now by clicking here. 
Most Unhappy Customers Don’t Complain; They Just Never Come Back

Most Unhappy Customers Don’t Complain; They Just Never Come Back

The important thing to remember about giving mediocre customer service to your clients is that most people don’t complain… they simply spend their money somewhere else.  We can all think back to a time when we went to a restaurant and the food was cold or overcooked, the waiter gave horrible service, and the whole overall experience was expensive and lousy.   Occasionally (and only if we are feeling a bit bitchy maybe) we’ll complain to the manager, but typically we pay our bills in silence…and the next time we meet our friends for dinner we choose one of the other 55 restaurants within that two-mile radius.  When the competition is many, it’s easier to move on to a new provider than to get in a tizzy about the current one.  Life is stressful enough… who needs the conflict?  OUCH.  This doesn’t just hurt a business; it can kill it.

What if you aren’t running a restaurant?  With some businesses it’s not quite as transparent.  A good manager or maître de will pick up on the customers sputtering under their breath, moving the food around with their forks in little piles on the plate, uneaten.  If you are a Realtor, a computer programmer, a service-oriented business however… well, how do you even know?   Maybe it’s time to do a little self-evaluation.

  • Do you ask if your customers are happy? Even longstanding clients will appreciate the effort in a quick follow up phone call asking if they are satisfied.  If you are too busy to call then email… or have your assistant make the call.  How you communicate isn’t important, but they will notice that you valued their business enough to make sure you didn’t leave any loose ends.
  • Do you get referrals?  If most of your clients contacted you because word on the street is that you are the best, congratulations.  The best form of advertisement as we all know is your clients singing your praises.  Not getting referrals?  Maybe it’s time to start making contact with your clients to find out if there is a reason why.
  • Are you aware of your clients’ needs? Make sure you haven’t gotten too complacent.  It’s easy to be so comfortable with your clients that you do everything the same way all the time.  Don’t get lazy… make sure this is what they want and that you are still meeting their needs.  Pay attention!

Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of your business.  If you are perceptive and caring, it should also be one of the easiest.  Do unto others… the timeless bible quote that fits within both our personal and business worlds.  Always remember that most clients will not complain… and that there are 55 other restaurants within that 2-mile stretch.

10 Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy…and Keep Them!

10 Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy…and Keep Them!

Customer-Retantion-StrategiesIn 2010 the television series Undercover Boss had a segment where the President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Joe DePinto, traveled to Shirley, New York.  He wanted to see why this store was the biggest seller of coffee in the 7-Eleven system with over 2,500 cups of coffee guzzled down every day.  He discovered that the manager of this high volume store was a sharp lady named Dolores who knew all of the customers by name.   WOW.  Can you imagine?   Some would say this is customer service at its most extreme, but it goes much deeper than that.  Certainly there must be other places to get a cup of joe in the morning, but something about Dolores and her personal attention kept the customers going back…they needed to see her when they stopped.  It wasn’t just about the coffee.  They wanted someone to ask how the job interview went…how it was going at home with the sick kids… In fact, eventually it wasn’t about the coffee at all.  It was about validation.

Some would argue that the example above is a little over the top… that it has a ring of “sucking up” to one’s clientele.  That isn’t true at all.  There’s an old saying, “Keep your customers happy or somebody else will.”  This is true today more than ever.  Competition is everywhere, and there are computer programs which allow people to do many of their own tasks if they have the time (and skills) to learn the software.  It comes down to how you want to spend your minutes and money, but who doesn’t like to feel appreciated and yes… a little bit special?  The goal is to keep your customers happy, and keep them coming back.  If you aren’t concerned about retention, marketing is a waste of time and resources.   These ten simple tips will remind your clients why they chose you, and will keep them coming back for more.

  • What are your client’s goals?  You need to know what your client really wants from you.  If you need clarification, ask.  Communication is key.  Keep asking until you really get it.  They will appreciate that you are trying to tailor what you do to meet their needs.
  • MEET DEADLINES. If you promise something by a certain date be sure to deliver.  This tells your client that they are important.  If you bit off more than you can chew with a project be sure to communicate that the scope of this was much larger than you had anticipated.  See if they can get by with what you have done thus far and come up with a fair and doable completion date for the remainder.
  • WOW THEM. Think of the presidential elections (Ughhhhhh!)  Do you ever notice the significant difference between how a candidate acts while campaigning compared to when elected?  Keep campaigning!   Remember the 3 E’s:  Excitement, Enthusiasm, Exuberance!  That’s how you won your client over.  Don’t lose that spark once you’ve gotten the job.
  • BE CONSISTENT. People find comfort in knowing what to expect.
  • PROVIDE TOP NOTCH QUALITY. This is right up there with “WOW THEM”.  Just because someone is a longstanding client does not mean you can shirk on doing a bang up job for them.
  • DON’T LEAVE THEM OUT OF SPECIAL PROMOTIONS. Best example here is cable TV and telephone services.  They offer wonderful specials for new customers, and sometimes even better promotions trying to entice old customers back.   So who gets left in the dust?  YUP, you guessed it!  The loyal customers who have stuck around forever… and the only way to get the special deal is to leave.  Something is definitely wrong with this picture!   If you have a slick plan when marketing to new clientele make sure you have your existing ones covered.  You don’t want your client to jump ship and move on to somebody else because they are feeling neglected and unappreciated.
  • SHOW APPRECIATION FOR REFERRALS. Word of mouth is always the best advertising, and if your clients love you they will sing your praises.  Remember to say thank you personally, and everybody loves a gift card to their favorite coffee place.
  • GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS. You don’t have to be best buddies or grab cocktails together, but show an interest in who they are.  What are their passions and what motivates them?
  • LOVE WHAT YOU DO. We all have stress in our lives, but if you really love what customer-retention-strategiesyou do it will show.  Like 7-Eleven Dolores, this attitude will spill over into your daily work routine.  Your client will hear the smile in your voice when you answer their call.
  • ALWAYS TRY TO DO MORE. Do your best, but always strive to do just a little bit extra.  Ask yourself what you could have done to make it better.  Ask your client… are you satisfied?  Did we leave anything out?  Think of yourself as the fantastic waiter who doesn’t hover, but keeps popping back to your table to ask, “Can I get you anything else?  Please let me know if you need anything.”

As a business owner or entrepreneur, retention is critical.  A client who feels appreciated and is well cared for by you will not consider moving on.   Do your best.  If your clientele is happy, the competition won’t get his foot in the door while campaigning.  You’ve already won the election!