Posts Tagged ‘ Business Management ’

Wilwood is ACES and PIES Capable

Camarillo, Calif.-based Wilwood Disc Brakes has announced the availability of ACES (vehicle data) and PIES (price level) digital documentation in-house capability.

CES (Aftermarket Catalog Enhanced Standard) enables Wilwood to publish their product inventory with standardized vehicle attributes to be compatible with Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) standards. PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard) allows Wilwood to exchange product attribute information in the automotive aftermarket industry, according to Wilwood.

Both ACES and PIES are now available in the AAIA proprietary XML format for use in exchanging pricing and vehicle information electronically. Wilwood also offers a non-ACES product vehicle cross-reference list in an EXCEL spreadsheet file for organization that do not use the AAIA ACES proprietary format.

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Penta to Manage HRR Sales

Joseph PentaAs Hotrod & Restoration magazine settles into its new home at National Business Media Inc., Joseph Penta has the accepted the role as the newly acquired publication’s national sales manager.

Penta has served as an account executive for four years at NBM’s two other specialty automotive aftermarket magazines, working with Restyling for one year and at Performance Business for the last three, where he gained experience managing U.S. territories from coast to coast.

“I was fortunate to learn the performance side of the market and make some great relationships over the past four years,” Penta said. “Coming into Hotrod & Restoration, I am excited to bring those relationships and experience to help manufacturers reach out to this market segment, which is the heart and soul of the aftermarket. Our clients and readers should be even more excited as we look to continue the long standard of excellence while bringing fresh energy and additional investment and improvements to the magazine.”

Contact Joseph Penta at jpenta@nbm.com.

 

 

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Should You Allow Swearing at Your Shop?

Having your own business means creating a culture that’s equally comfortable for your employees and customers. The type of language you allow to be used at your business is an important part of the culture you create, according to Gwen Moran, who recently wrote about swearing in the workplace for Entrepreneur.com.

“People may have different opinions about whether it’s a good idea, but colorful language is a fact of life in many [businesses],” she wrote. “While a July 2012 survey by CareerBuilder found that bosses might be less likely to promote employees who swear, more than half of respondents said they do it anyway. And a UK study published earlier this year found that swearing in the workplace actually builds camaraderie.”

Moran suggests keeping these three things in mind when it comes to swearing in your shop:

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6 Ways to Avoid Hiring a Bully

Bullying isn’t restricted to the playground, bulling can also happen in the workplace. You can help ensure your employees are working in a safe environment by asking targeted questions during interviews, according to Phil LaDuke, who recently covered this topic for the Monster Thinking blog.

“Workplace bullying threatens worker safety by increasing stress and the related increased probability of dangerous mistakes, not to mention the threat of workplace violence,” he wrote.

LaDuke shared these six tips for weeding out potential bullies during the hiring process.

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How to Avoid Burn Out

As the owner of a small business, you’re responsible for a million different things, all important and all demanding your time and attention. Taking these duties on is stressful and can lead to burn out if you aren’t able to strike the proper work/life balance, according to Dr. Frances Pitsilis, a personal and corporate physician who was interviewed by the New Zealand Herald. In the interview, she shared the causes of burn out for small business owners and the various physical and emotional results, as well as offered several remedies.

“Small business owners work in the business themselves alongside a small number of staff,” the doctor, who’s both treated burned-out business owners and suffered burn out herself, told the Herald. This is often necessary because their income often ends up being little more than a wage. They work long hours, take work home and take few breaks. If they get sick, they soldier on. If a staff member gets sick, the owner works even more to cover this.”

Below are a few of the questions Dr. Pitsilis answered for the Herald on avoiding burn out.

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8 Tips for Cleaning up Your Business Credit Report

Thanks to several years’ worth of ads from various reporting and credit counseling agencies, we’re all well aware of the need to monitor our personal credit reports. Are you keeping as close an eye on your shop’s credit report? In a recent article for Bplans’ Up and Running Blog, Michael Lockwood explained why it’s essential that you do.

“Much like a personal credit report, unless it is managed, the business credit report is often inaccurate, incomplete, and presents your company in a poorer light than it should,” he wrote. “If you want to maximize your chances of getting your business approved for a business loan or equipment lease, ensure that your business credit report is accurate and complete, and do it very early in the process.”

Lockwood offered these eight tips for cleaning up your business credit report.

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4 Management Programs to Avoid

We’ve gotten used to getting perks and special recognitions since school. Though the goal is to reward achievement, programs like an “Employee of the Month” award may cause friction amongst your staffers, according to a recent Inc.article by Jeff Haden.

“You care about your employees,” Haden wrote. “You have their best interests at heart.
So you put programs or practices in place to reward them or make their work lives better. Your intentions are good. But your efforts may not have the effect you intend.”

Haden listed the following four management programs to steer away from and offered more-productive alternatives.

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How to Deal With Preemptively Unhappy Customers

You don’t have any control over the experiences a customer has before they enter your store. If they’re having a bad day or are distrustful of restorations shops because of a bad past experience, you have to work to overcome their unhappiness or misconceptions and make sure they leave satisfied. Michael Hess, who recently covered this topic for MoneyWatch, calls these “preemptively unhappy customers.”

“The preemptively unhappy customer is typically so used to getting bad service that he assumes that’s what he’ll get from you,” Hess wrote. “Or maybe he’s just a little hot under the collar and gearing up for a fight without even waiting to see if there’s one coming. Whatever the reason, the customer’s very first note or call is usually phrased in such a way that it doesn’t even give the company an initial crack at helping him. The subtext—or even the literal message—is, ‘I know you won’t help me,’ rather than, ‘Will you help me?’”

Hess offered these four suggestions for turning those preemptively unhappy customers into satisfied ones.

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5 Tips for Managing Young Employees

Your latest hires are likely members of the millennial generation, people born between 1980 and 2000. Managing these young workers requires the use of different tactics than you would use for the rest of your team, according to Michael A. Olguin, president of a public relations organization whose workforce is more than 60 percent millennial. Olguin shared the following five tips he’s developed through his own experience managing millennials with Inc..

1. Reinforce the positives. “Millennials need constant affirmation and positive reinforcement in order to feel like they are doing a good job,” Olguin suggested. “Thus, on a regular basis managers should tell their millennial staffers that they appreciated their input, liked their thinking or were effective in their execution.”

2. Recognize that each person is different and must be managed differently. “The rule of thumb is millennials want to believe that you understand them and are not going to try and ‘old school’ them with the ways something used to be done,” he wrote.

3. Be flexible. “Millenials by nature don’t really like rules,” Olguin wrote. “If you press too hard on them to comply with the company’s position on things like hours or attire, you could very easily find yourself losing a good employee.”

4. Allow as much ownership as possible. “The best way to handle a millennial’s feelings of entitlement is to provide them with a lot of responsibility,” he wrote. “This doesn’t necessarily mean handing them an entire project, but clearly defining areas that they can own so they can flex their knowledge, expertise and decision-making ability.”

5. Don’t be vague. “Though they want responsibility and authority, they are uncomfortable without having some sort of framework for the task at hand,” Olguin suggested. “The best scenario is good instructions and a lot of flexibility in how you get there.”

To read the complete Inc. article, click here.

For tips on working with a multi-generational team, click here.

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5 Ways to Make Employees Happy & Keep Them on Your Team

Often times when an employee quits, it isn’t about the money but about the environment in your shop. As the boss, you play an important role is creating a shop culture that makes employees want to stay, according to Joel Garfinkle, who recently covered the topic for SmartBlog on Leadership.

“There are many factors that contribute to an undesirable work environment, but they all have one thing in common: It’s the manager who creates the environment who is ultimately responsible for driving employees away,” he wrote. “To retain talent, managers must find ways to provide a workplace culture that promotes productivity while keeping employees challenged, stimulated and fulfilled.”

Garfinkle shared these five tips for creating a positive environment for your employees:

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