It’s time to evaluate the fiscal health of your small business and to shore up practices in case of a financial storm. Some areas for your attention might include:

• Spend one day a week with "one level down" and "front-line" employees. Find the time to broaden your perspective and ensure that you live and work in the real world. Valuable insights are available from front-line employees and the direct reports of your peers.

• Fix the top service issue. Stop ignoring or excusing problems; instead, seek out root causes and create a realistic improvement plan. Delivering on the basics maintains your organization’s credibility.

• Identify one strategic change that will show a positive return to your organization. Establish priorities and criteria for evaluating future opportunities. Take a risk and then seek to engage participation at the broadest and highest level you can.

• Manage by the numbers. Monitor what you are doing in terms of productivity, service, retention trends, and added value. Include both operational as well as financial metrics.

• Be the good guy. Create a service organization that demonstrates respect and appreciation for all your internal and external customers in word and deed.

• Do not allow yourself to be ruled by circumstances. Accept setbacks and then move forward.

• Recognize the contributions of others and say thank you.

Mallary Tytel President and Founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.

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