Articles — Business

Breaking Promises Can Hurt Your Business

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Workplace Communication

Breaking Promises Can Hurt Your Business

Your reputation is based on the things that you say and the things that you do. Granted, there might be other people who say negative things about you, but, in time, the truth always comes out. Sometimes people hurt their reputation because they promise to do certain things and then do not follow through. Perhaps they offer to lend a book, prepare a handout, send a referral, or make a telephone call on behalf of the client. When they do this, the client usually smiles and is happy that you have made the offer. They depend on you to do...

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Business Pros and Cons

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Solo Professionals

Business Pros and Cons

So many people have a dream of having their own business. They focus on benefits that they could enjoy including freedom to choose schedule, pride of ownership and hopefully large profits. Unfortunately, according to Innovation, Science and Economic Development in Canada as many as 97% of new start-ups with less than one hundred employees fail in the first year of operation. Only 85% survive for three years and 70% for five years. Approximately 7000 business bankruptcies occur in a year. Even those who have years of university training and professional licences can struggle if they don't have good business sense....

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The Family Operation

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

The Family Operation

I have a lot of clients who come to see me because of problems arise when family members work together in businesses or farming operations. This is an area that I can relate to as I have three children, all of whom have been involved in my private practice over the years. Here are some of the areas that might cause concern: 1. Defining leadership - Sometimes there is competition regarding who is going to be "the boss", especially when siblings are involved. A parent who has established the business might be hoping that s/he can semi-retire or retire. Even...

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Lessons I Learned As a Business Owner

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Solo Professionals

Lessons I Learned As a Business Owner

Many people believe that all it takes to be successful is to get a degree. Not true! If you are going to operate a private practice as a professional you need to learn some basic business principles. Following are some of the things to remember as a business owner:   The buck stops with you - Take responsibility for your business. If there are problems, learn to solve them. If you are doing well, celebrate. The bottom line is that you cannot blame others or give all the credit to others. Focus on billable hours - It is easy to get involved...

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It's A Different World

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

It's A Different World

It can be very annoying for people who have a good work ethic to find themselves in an environment where the rules seem to have changed. Each week I hear people complain about the differences between the way that they were trained to be good employees and the traits of those who have recently entered the workplace.   Sense of Entitlement - Author Bill Eddy claims that over the past few decades we have focused on teaching our children to feel good about themselves without teaching them skills or ways to give back to others. The result is a self-centeredness that...

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Successful Leadership

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Successful Leadership

My daughter has just won several leadership level awards with her company - one of which is for all of Canada! Many of her co-workers and customers have expressed their thanks for her work while others stand in awe hoping that they can learn from her. Kristal adopted and used the following success principles that will help you to improve your performance should you choose apply them:   Accept your role as problem-solver - It doesn't matter what career you are in, there are people who will turn to you for help. Do not become annoyed or frustrated with their questions...

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Don't Assume That People Will Read Your Email

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Workplace Communication

Don't Assume That People Will Read Your Email

My grandchildren think I am out-of-date. You see I still use email! They choose Facebook and other forms of social media to communicate and hardly ever check to see if they have messages "the old-fashioned way" through an email account. Now I realize that work and businesses are still using email but that does not at all guarantee that the messages you are sending out will be noticed, let alone read. Here are some of the reasons why this occurs: Most people are overwhelmedwith the amount of information that is thrown at them every day. Everywhere they turn they are...

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How to Prepare a Written Customer Complaint

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

How to Prepare a Written Customer Complaint

I am very good at praising organizations and people for things that they do well but I also believe that it is important to tell them when they come up short. There are several important things that you need to do, however, if you truly want to see change in a situation and not just vent your frustration: 1. Put your complaint in writing - I once heard a professional state that when a company receives a written letter of complaint they assume that there are at least five hundred others who are unhappy but didn't bother to write to them. Letters...

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What Does An Employer Want In A New Hire?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

What Does An Employer Want In A New Hire?

Being nice is not enough. There are a number of things that an employer needs to know during an interview and when the new hire starts working. Following is a guideline that will help you to prepare: 1. Knowledge - Every job has a minimum standard that is expected but the requirements are different, depending on the job. Sometimes a university or college degree is required and documentation to verify that a program has been completed will be necessary. There might be a minimum high school grade level that is needed. In some occupations, only general knowledge is acceptable and specialized training...

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Business: How to Handle Difficult Staff

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Business: How to Handle Difficult Staff

As a psychologist I am always trying to figure out whether a person can or can't do certain things and whether they will or won't do them. You see, many of my clients "can" do certain things but "won't" do them. There is really nothing wrong with them except the fact that they won't do what needs to be done. On the other hand, there are people who suffer from major disorders and illnesses and, as a result one would expect that they can't perform but they will do what is expected so there is hope for them. So, as...

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Business: Ten Tips For Handling a Difficult Situation With a Staff Member

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Business: Ten Tips For Handling a Difficult Situation With a Staff Member

So, everything is going fine - until it isn't anymore! One of your staff members is yelling and screaming about something that doesn't even make sense. Another one is quiet but refusing to work or talk. And you are the one who is responsible for the whole operation. What can you do? 1. Invite the upset staff member to meet with you in private. If you think this might be a threat to your safety, leave a door partially open so others can come to your aid if needed. 2. Stay calm - Your mood will be a direct influence...

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My Co-Worker Is Driving Me Crazy!

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

My Co-Worker Is Driving Me Crazy!

Not everyone in the workplace is a happy and healthy individual. Some, in fact, are extremely difficult and it can take a toll on you to be around them. There are several things, however, that you can do to protect yourself and lower your stress: 1. Do not continue to listen to the same complaints and concerns over and over again. Tell the other employee that you know clearly how they feel about the situation but do not want to hear about it again. 2. Remind the other person that you do not have the power or ability to change...

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How to Outline Your Business Presentation

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

How to Outline Your Business Presentation

The King in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" had good advice that all of us should follow. He stated "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." This formula will work for any project that you are planning but particularly so for a business presentation. The key is to know what to begin with, what to include until you come to the end and when to stop. Following is an outline that will work well for any presentation. 1. Introduce yourself - Do not assume that anyone in the room will know...

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Business: Being Away From Your Office But Still Offering Good Service

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Business: Being Away From Your Office But Still Offering Good Service

Owning and operating a business can be a daunting task. Even though you might feel a strong responsibility to be there "all the time" in order to ensure that the client needs are met, you need breaks. There are several things that take you away from the business: 1. Professional development opportunities 2. Illness or accident 3. Personal commitments to yourself and your family 4. Vacation times But, just because you are not going to be there, doesn't mean that your customers will suffer. There are several things that you can set in place so that when you are away,...

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7 Things To Do When Your Client Is Upset

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

7 Things To Do When Your Client Is Upset

We all hope that all clients will be happy and satisfied with our business products and services. But not everyone will be and sometimes you might be faced with an extremely angry person who is very upset. When this happens, there are seven things that you can do to handle the situation: 1. Stay calm - Even if you find that your emotions are rising, it is very important that you do not allow yourself to become upset. This would just escalate the situation and might result in you doing or saying something that you will regret. Instead, take a breath and...

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Business Basics: Five Areas To Improve

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Business Basics: Five Areas To Improve

I have been watching the relatively new television show "Restaurant Impossible". The host, Chef Robert Irvine goes into struggling businesses and within a couple of days works on five specific areas in order to attract new clientele and improve the financial situation of the owners. His plan is one that could be used for any business. Following are the five areas of operation that he focusses on: 1. Environment - Chef Irvine has the support of a designer who is charged with the task of updating the restaurant so that it is open, bright and attractive. She is limited in both time and...

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Business Basics: Three Things You Must Have To Realize Profit

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Business Basics: Three Things You Must Have To Realize Profit

There is a great deal of information available for every single aspect of starting and operating a business. Sometimes what we really need though is just a reminder to keep things really simple and focus on the basics. You are in business to earn a profit and, in order to do that there are three things that you must have: 1. Paying Clients - You don't have a business unless money changes hands and it is therefore very important that you not only find people who will buy from you but also maintain good relationships with them so that they will become...

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Are You a Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Enough Time With Your Family?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You a Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Enough Time With Your Family?

Most doctors choose their field of work because they care about others and want to be able to help them. The financial and personal costs of obtaining medical education and purchasing the equipment to begin a practice, however, are significant. As a result, the doctor often feels trapped by student and business loans. If this situation applies to you, I can imagine that you feel a strong need to work as many hours as possible but, at the same time miss being able to spend time with the family members who you love. Take heart. You can make changes to...

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Are Your a Doctor Who Is Frustrated Because You Do Not Understand Your Bookkeeping System?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are Your a Doctor Who Is Frustrated Because You Do Not Understand Your Bookkeeping System?

Many doctors work extremely hard but leave all the administration and bookkeeping activities to staff. This can leave them vulnerable and totally out of the loop when it comes to understanding how the business is doing and how things could be improved. Your bookkeeping system is the hub of all the financial activities of your business. Most offices use computer software that will receive input about transactions as they occur and then produce different statements and reports. It is likely best to have one person who is responsible for all of the entry and operations. My system is customized so that...

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Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Getting Enough Sleep?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Getting Enough Sleep?

Imagine what it would be like if you started your vehicle and then ran it continuously for most of the hours of each day. It wouldn't take long until you noticed that parts were wearing out and things were not running as well as you might expect. Well, it's the same thing with your body. If you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing yourself, you will soon find that you are not able to work as well as you expected and will feel like you are wearing down. You might feel lethargic, have problems concentrating or become more emotional...

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Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Enough Profit?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Enough Profit?

Everyone wants to be able to realize a good profit from the work that you do. Unfortunately, many people work extremely hard but do not do well when it comes to the bottom line. There are only two main things that determine how much profit you will realize in your business: 1. Income - This is the amount that you earn from all sources. There are several problems that you might have in this category:   Not working enough hours Having too many Accounts Receivables Setting up fees that are too low Doing too many pro bono hours Focussing on...

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Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Your Own Practice?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated About Not Having Your Own Practice?

Everyone has dreams and your dream for having your own practice has probably been in place for some time. Perhaps you were a child when you actually began thinking about the idea of having a medical clinic and being able to help your patients reach optimal health. There are several things that need to be done before you can open the doors to the public as follows: 1. Education - As you know, it takes many years of study in order to be licenced and prepared to offer competent services. Even after you have the appropriate credentials, you will want...

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Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Your Business?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Your Business?

Having your own business can be a lot of work and there are times when everyone becomes frustrated with certain aspects of it. If you are feeling this way, however, there are some things that you can do. 1. Take some time to assess the situation - Do not do anything impulsive but instead set aside a period of time when you can focus on the business without interruption. 2. Write a list of all the things that are frustrating you - It is best to do this in point form. Try to write in clear but short sentences. 3. Number the items in order...

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Are You a Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Your Staff?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You a Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Your Staff?

Sometimes staff members do things that are irritating or incompetent. As a solo professional, you might feel that you are dependent upon that person because they do a specific job for you so you put up with the inappropriate behaviours. It is not acceptable though for staff members to do any of the following: 1. Acting in a disrespectful manner - You, your patients and the other staff members all deserve to be treated in a professional manner. This means that they are spoken to politely and their needs are dealt with in the best way possible. Bullying or abuse in any...

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Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Having to Pay Your Staff When You Are on Holidays?

Dr. Linda Hancock Business

Are You A Doctor Who Is Frustrated With Having to Pay Your Staff When You Are on Holidays?

One of the most difficult things about having full-time staff is the fact that they will earn salary and benefits whether you are at the office or not. Taking holidays can therefore be a frustrating time for you and, instead of being able to relax, you might be thinking about the fact that your expenses are piling up while the business income has stopped. There are several things that you can do to prevent this situation:   Hire staff by the hour or on contract rather than as salaried employees - Many people want to work on a part-time or casual...

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