Featured Post by Richard A. Kranitz

Richard A. Kranitz, Esq., comments on Manitowoc Company v. Lanning, a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Veteran business law attorney, Richard A. Kranitz, Esq., comments on Manitowoc Company v. Lanning , a recent decision from the Supreme...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Richard Kranitz, People - The Heart of Any Business




People - The Heart of Any Business

The best-selling book, Good to Great, described the results of a multi-year study of firms that made the leap from a history of average performance, to substantially outperforming their industry. In its search for the factors that led to their dramatic improvement, one conclusion stood out. The first step the person took who drove that transformation in most of the firms studied was not the development of a new or unique strategy, but was the selection of the best possible managers to fill key positions. This result confirmed what many of us who work in corporate development have seen over time – a mediocre manager will produce mediocre results from even the most brilliant plan, while a great manager can start with even a mediocre plan and use it as the starting point to shape a great company.

It proves the point that at the heart of any business are its people. Selecting the right people, placing them in the right spots, and facilitating their working together can build a strong business or turn an average one into a business that is great. Understanding their working styles is a key task in the process.

Fortunately, there are some tools that can aid in accomplishing that task. One such tool is called a DISC assessment. Through having a job candidate or current employee fill out a detailed questionnaire it can generate a report that identifies certain key behavioral traits. This information can be used to select key personnel, assemble them into effective teams, and assist them to work together more effectively.

DISC is an acronym which stands for four key behavioral styles. Each person possesses these four styles to a greater or lesser extent. When you and your key personnel understand the particular mix of these styles in your key employees, you can make better personnel selections, assemble more effective teams and enable your key personnel to better communicate and work together with one another.

“D” stands for Dominance, a word used to describe people who are results-oriented, often controlling individuals, who become easily impatient and prone to anger when others don’t keep pace. Persons who exhibit greater “D” in their behavior typically focus on setting goals and achieving results but may need to slow down at times to consider all viewpoints and the opinions of others.

“I” stands for “Influence,” a word used to describe people who are people-oriented extroverts, who are often expressive, talking with their hands and trusting of others. Persons who exhibit greater “I” may also be disorganized at times and require help to achieve greater focus toward results.

“S” stands for “Steadiness,” a word used to describe people who are introverted and often seemingly non-emotional or poker-faced. Persons who exhibit greater “S” may be somewhat possessive. While patient and cooperative, they become disoriented by sudden change, and seek greater security.

“C” stands for “Compliance, and sometimes “Conscientiousness,” words used to describe people who are introverted, task oriented individuals, thorough researchers who ask many questions and seek accuracy and order.  Persons who exhibit greater “C” generally require clear, logical rules to follow but true to their conscientious nature, they are precise and accurate in complying with those rules.

Everyone possesses each of these four characteristics in varying degrees. Having information about the particular mix of these four characteristics in your managers and other key personnel and work teams is a useful way to improve the operation of your business.


*** Richard Kranitz (Wisconsin) is an experienced attorney and business consultant in the areas of corporate, securities and tax planning for corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies, multi-unit enterprises, and a variety of different non-profit entities. In addition, he has counseled their owners and executives in compensation planning, estate plans, and asset protection. Attorney profile at: https://solomonlawguild.com/richard-a-kranitz-esq

Richard Kranitz, How Do You Grow Your Business?



How Do You Grow Your Business?

The theme of our newsletter this month focuses on reasons people use a business coach. One that I frequently hear relates to growing the business. There are many reasons a person takes on the responsibility of starting a business. The desire for independence may be one of them. Perhaps, they have seen a better way to operate a business than what they experienced when working as an employee for another firm. Most want to own their own business to build their net worth. 

Self-employment can be very satisfying, but in most cases, it is not enough to operate alone. No matter how satisfying they may find their work, at some point they have to grow. They need to grow for many reasons. One may be to reach a size at which they can sell their business for a price that allows them to retire in comfort. It may be they wish to grow enough to pass it to their heirs. They may need to grow simply because their competitors are chipping at their position in the marketplace and they need new sources of revenue to preserve their market position.

All self-employed business people have common problems in achieving growth - how to achieve that growth without making a major misstep that causes major loss – which method will work effectively - how they can achieve growth without increasing their own time commitment.

Answering their questions are not easy. Doing it alone is risky. Accomplishing it successfully can be much easier when having the advice and counsel of an independent person, who not only brings ideas and objectivity, but also brings the perspective of having worked with others on the same questions. A business coach can help in supplying this help. 

An experienced coach can bring not only ideas, objectivity, and perspective, all of which will aid in finding answers to the common problems of identifying an effective growth plan, but also the coach can help to motivate the owner, help overcome frustrations and bring accountability.

Planning is an important part of achieving success in any business, but implementing those plans is critical. By meeting with the owner regularly to review progress and make adjustments, the business coach helps provide both motivation and accountability in implementing the plan.

Achieving growth effectively, and without making major mistakes that may risk the business, is not easy, not only because there are many alternatives to choose and pitfalls into which the owner may fall, but also because the typical owner of a small business is also a worker in that firm. How can he find the time to keep it functioning successfully but also to grow it? A business coach can help identify ways to grow without the owner devoting more time in the process.

Finally, unlike a consultant, who supplies recommendations and perhaps a report, the goal of a business coach is to aid the owner-manager of the business to grow in his capabilities, to achieve new insights, and to learn how to overcome obstacles in achieving his goals. With the help of a business coach, an owner can achieve his growth goals while growing in his own capabilities.
 


*** Richard Kranitz (Wisconsin) is an experienced attorney and business consultant in the areas of corporate, securities and tax planning for corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies, multi-unit enterprises, and a variety of different non-profit entities. In addition, he has counseled their owners and executives in compensation planning, estate plans, and asset protection. Attorney profile at: https://solomonlawguild.com/richard-a-kranitz-esq

Richard Kranitz, How to Develop an Attitude of Abundance



How to Develop an Attitude of Abundance

We are all know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One expects the best of everyone and a positive outcome in every situation. The other is suspicious of others and doubts the future. By striving for a balance we hope to become prudent realists. By striving for large goals, but planning against potential risks, we achieve more, and are better prepared to overcome adversity.

But just as people often start from either an optimistic or pessimistic perspective, people can begin with an attitude toward scarcity or abundance. Which attitude a business owner takes along that dimension can significantly affect the likely success or failure of his business.

The attitude of scarcity is illustrated by the peasant in old Czarist Russia of whom it was said, he did not care if his crop failed so long as his neighbor’s did as well. He cared less for his success than that his neighbor did not prosper more. The attitude of abundance is illustrated by the business owner who rejoices when his commissioned sales people can grow rich. When they achieve wealth through their excellent performance, his business enjoys high sales and profits. Their success provides his success.

·       An abundance thinker believes that a growing market benefits all participants. A scarcity thinker fears that there is never enough for everyone, and the gain of others comes at loss for others.
·       An abundance thinker is happy to share knowledge, contacts and compassion with others. A scarcity thinker is stingy with their knowledge, contacts and compassion.
·       An abundance thinker welcomes competition believing it makes the market larger and drives him to achieve excellence through innovation. A scarcity thinker resents competition fearing that it makes his own market smaller, and his company weaker.
·       An abundance thinker strives to give more value than his customer expects in the expectation of growing his market and sales. A scarcity thinker can only cut costs even when it reduces quality.
·       An abundance thinker is optimistic, opportunity oriented, thinks big and embraces risks. A scarcity thinker is pessimistic about the future, fears innovation and thinks small, avoiding risks.

Over time, the attitude of abundance is opportunity driven, leading to success, joy and fulfillment. The attitude of scarcity leads to failure, fear and discontent. Isn’t it obvious that we should embrace the attitude of abundance? How can we achieve that attitude? Here are some practical suggestions.

1.       Recognize that challenges are a normal part of any business. By putting setbacks in perspective, you will learn to ride out the low points that are a normal part of any business or life.

2.       Focus on opportunities. By consciously seeking them, perhaps maintaining an opportunity list in a notebook or database, you will develop positive ways to advance your business.

3.       Celebrate your successes and those of your employees. People need to feel appreciated and strive to do their best when they feel that their efforts are recognized.

4.       Share the wealth. When others are paid fairly, they are likely to strive even harder.

5.       Seek win-win outcomes. Negotiations are an inevitable part of business and outcomes in which both participants gain something end successfully, with parties who may cooperate in future.

6.       Keep your systems, finances and records organized. Life is chaotic enough. Learn discipline.

7.       Recognize that many who suffered great setbacks have gone on to achieve great successes. Each challenge in life is an opportunity to learn, and sometimes to start fresh. Start where you are. Take stock of what you have to work with and begin to plan and strive again.

By developing an attitude of abundance you will greatly increase your chance for long term success. Take comfort from the comeback experiences of many others. Life has its challenges, but in the end, a person who learns the attitude of abundance, and develops the balance of a prudent realist, has the greatest chance of achieving a business and a life filled with opportunity, success, joy and fulfillment.


*** Richard Kranitz (Wisconsin) is an experienced attorney and business consultant in the areas of corporate, securities and tax planning for corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies, multi-unit enterprises, and a variety of different non-profit entities. In addition, he has counseled their owners and executives in compensation planning, estate plans, and asset protection. Attorney profile at: https://solomonlawguild.com/richard-a-kranitz-esq