It’s Not Just What You Say—It’s When and How You Say It

Business Etiquette and Internal Communications

By: Randi Cairns

Unless you’re a business of one and wearer of all the hats (we’ve been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt), you’ve got a team of folks you rely on to do the things your business does. The best way to get those things done, and more importantly, to have a team that loves doing them, is to prioritize your company’s internal communications.

We’ve got experts ready to rock that function for your business (and we’re happy to tell you all about that), but you can choose right now to improve your internal communications skills or at least start thinking about what that might look like. (Spoiler alert: When it’s done right, it looks like increased teamwork, productivity, and employee engagement.)

Here are a few tips on business etiquette when it comes to internal communications:

  1. Value your team’s time.

By being mindful about what and how often you communicate with your team, you demonstrate that you care about how they use their time, and you minimize unnecessary distractions. Nobody wants to work to the relentless alerts of incoming emails, texts, and Slack messages. If there’s a time-sensitive message that needs to be communicated, of course that needs to go out right away. But for the things that aren’t on fire or bleeding, be deliberate about the communications you put out there. Can you send out one email that highlights key information instead of a dozen as they occur to you? Do that instead. 

Bonus points: It’s totally okay to use multiple tools to communicate. No one tool is perfect for everything, but you can agree as a team about which platforms are to be used to communicate depending upon urgency and importance (or whatever other criteria you choose). (more…)

2021-03-29T21:07:19+00:00March 29th, 2021|

Client Profile: Operation: Job Ready Veterans

Powerhouse Services Provided: Nonprofit Retainer Support

“Working with the Powerhouse team has been an invaluable solution for our organization. Throughout their time with us they have provided outstanding customer service, directly impacting our organization’s ability to fulfill our mission. They are a team full of military spouses and veterans who completely understand the needs of our clients. They have shown compassion for our clients and our team, and they have consistently been extremely flexible in this challenging time and period of growth. Working with Powerhouse has been a genuine partnership where they have joined our team and filled critical supporting roles with team-oriented passion and flexibility whenever necessary. This has allowed our small full-time staff to focus on the needs of our clients, increasing our efforts and efficiency. As a growing nonprofit, OJRV, along with our entire remote team, has found Powerhouse to be the perfect solution.”

– Gene Anderson, Executive Director, Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV)

2021-03-29T21:07:26+00:00March 29th, 2021|

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Internal communications are more important than you might think. For a good overview on what internal communications are and how they can help you, try browsing through this Smarp blog article. It’s lengthy, but worth some time.

To get current on internal communications trends and where they’re headed in 2021, check out this article by Lead Content Strategist Charong Chow from SocialChorus.

As always, Powerhouse has plenty of resources available to help you with both traditional and outside-the-box tips on how to improve internal communications. From team-building exercises to tips on effective communication to just how to incorporate fun in the office, our resources are free and full of great information.

Overwhelmed or unsure of where to start? Powerhouse can help. Contact us today to see how our internal communications services can boost your business.

2021-03-29T21:07:41+00:00March 29th, 2021|

Ensuring No Child Goes Hungry

By: Meghan Traynor

Ten years ago, Bob Barnes, founder of The Children’s Hunger Project saw an unimaginable need in his Florida community. There were many Brevard County children who relied on their school lunches during the week, but when they went home for the weekend, they didn’t have food to eat. After seeing this food gap and hearing from teachers that students were coming into school hungry on Mondays, Bob Barnes decided to start The Children’s Hunger Project (TCHP).

In 2000, TCHP started feeding 27 kids at one school. Over the years the need has increased. TCHP reports, “In Brevard County, the number of children in the free and reduced-price meal program exceeds 50%. Some elementary schools have 80% or more of their kids on the free and reduced-price meal program with many of them at risk of childhood hunger and malnutrition.” To help achieve their mission, TCHP started spreading the word and creating awareness in their community while also building relationships with the schools and learning the specific need each school had. Through their efforts and community support, The Children’s Hunger Project is now supplying over 2,000 children with weekend food packages at 45 schools.

We recently caught up with TCHP Executive Director Cheryl Cominsky to see how things are going and if the COVID-19 pandemic had any impact on their organization. Thankfully, because TCHP supplies food, they were considered essential and never had to close their doors, though they did have to make some big changes to their business model. Before the pandemic, TCHP would hold weekly food packaging events every Thursday night with 30-50 volunteers packing anywhere from 1,000-2,000 food packages. But when COVID hit, they quickly had to switch gears and break up their food packing events into smaller groups scattered throughout the week, ensuring they were following the most up-to-date guidelines, including performing extra cleaning, wearing masks as well as gloves, and sanitizing between each packing event.    (more…)

2021-03-29T21:07:48+00:00March 29th, 2021|

CEO SPOTLIGHT

From Army Officer to Entrepreneur

By: Meghan Traynor

Kirby Atwell always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he also felt called to serve in the military just as his father, grandparents, and great-grandparents had done. While Kirby knew he didn’t want to make the military a career, he knew for certain he wanted to serve. After attending West Point for four years and serving six years as an officer in the U.S. Army, Kirby got out of the military and immediately started his real estate business.

Ready to start something of his own, Kirby launched Green Vet Homes, a “real estate business that buys, rehabs, and rents properties with a mission of supporting veterans.” Green Vet Homes supports veterans by either renting their rehab properties to homeless veterans or by donating 10% of profits to a veteran-related cause. After successfully running Green Vet Homes for four years, Kirby decided to launch his second business, Living Off Rentals, to teach others how they can generate enough income to comfortably live off their rental properties. Since launching his second business in January, Kirby has seen great success in such a short amount of time that we just had to know his secrets!

Most importantly, Kirby’s advice for other small business owners, or those who are thinking of starting a small business, is to “keep things as simple as possible.” How, you ask? Avoid scaling. Kirby learned firsthand from a previous business he had that scaling is not the key to success. His previous business scaled too quickly, and he wished he had paid more attention to turning a profit instead of just getting bigger. In his current businesses Kirby intentionally keeps things smaller, all his staff is contracted, and things are running a lot more smoothly! But wait. How can you grow your business and keep things small? (more…)

2020-12-31T16:50:03+00:00December 31st, 2020|

Did You Know?

2021 is finally here (was 2020 just the longest year ever, or what?), and here at Powerhouse Planning we are all set to make the most of it. To get the year started off on the right foot, we’re focusing on business development. You know, that vague phrase tossed around the office so ubiquitously. What is business development, exactly? According to Forbes, “Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships,” a definition the author further clarifies as “. . . figuring out how the interactions of those forces combine together to create opportunities for growth.” We can definitely get on board with that.

Did you know that one of the pillars of Powerhouse is our business development service? Whether you need help with writing an award nomination package that will get your business the recognition it deserves, or you are on a nonprofit team that wants professional grant-writing work, or you need some help with your strategic planning, our business development services can help you make your small business grow. In addition, all business development services come with coaching, mentoring, and cheerleading because here at Powerhouse, we’re your biggest fans.

2020-12-31T16:50:20+00:00December 31st, 2020|

Tips for Business Development for Small Businesses

By: Randi Cairns

Interested in new ways to approach business development as a small business? Some of the best advice has stood the test of time (for example, content is and always will remain king). Here are a few other thoughts and ideas to consider if you’re interested in shaking things up for your business.

Go live! We’re all living glued to our computers these days for everything from our kids’ classes to our work meetings. You’re probably an internet pro by now if you weren’t already. And with too many Zoom calls to count, you’re probably also a lot more comfortable looking at your own face on video, right?

Use that to your advantage and create and share videos that showcase your business, your products, and/or your team. People may shop at businesses or use services, but they connect with people. So put the people behind your business front and center. Have fun with this. It doesn’t need to be perfectly curated or filtered, and you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously (unless you run a funeral home, and then perhaps more decorum is in order).

When you’re excited and passionate about what you do, it shows, and it makes others excited about what you’re doing too. (And you can grab one of those kids to do the videotaping!)

Recycle creatively. You don’t need to start from scratch with every piece of content, marketing collateral, or social media post you use. Especially if you’ve got great stuff already that people have responded well to. And even the stuff that got less than a stellar response can be useful as a starting point for new materials (if you’ve paid attention to what might have been executed differently).

Recycling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also great for a small business budget. Look at what you’ve already created and think about how you might repurpose or reuse it again. Some content will be evergreen and that’s perfect already. Other things you can transform into something new altogether—like changing a blog post into video content or a report into an infographic. In these times, you have an almost endless list of creative opportunities to showcase your work and, more importantly, the story of your business. So be creative! (more…)

2020-12-31T16:51:33+00:00December 31st, 2020|

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

How to Merge Business Development with Business Etiquette

By: Meredith Flory

As you grow and develop your small business, it’s important to not lose the special touches in customer service that encourage customers to support local and aspiring companies. There are ways to build into your business while being conscious of how your company interacts with the public. As you grow your company, be mindful of the ways you establish company etiquette, with an eye to the values and ethics that are important to you. Here are ways to think about interacting with customers, social media, and business partners while maintaining the values you established when your business was just a dream.

1. Interacting with Customers

Make customer service a part of your business plan. Thanks to online shopping and increasing interconnectedness, small business doesn’t have to be local, and customers can purchase goods and services from around the world. This means you need to stand out in the quality of goods and ease of customer service. Make sure to include in company planning what customer service looks like for your business. Growth plans shouldn’t only include product and sales but should also outline how you treat people and what kind of business culture you are developing.

Make sure employees are trained and committed to customer service. Do not assume when you make a hire that your employees will interact with customers the same way you would, even if you hired them in part due to their people skills. Establish company guidelines for behaviors such as time limits on returning contacts, away messages, language, and expectations for handling problems. Making this a part of job training, rather than fixing a problem when it appears, will help you, the employee, and the client. Win, win, win. (more…)

2020-12-31T16:51:40+00:00December 31st, 2020|

POWERHOUSE SERVICE & SUCCESS

Client Profile: HelloHealth

Powerhouse Services Provided: External Communications

“The best part of working with Powerhouse Planning was responsiveness and trust. Trust is the most important aspect of any business relationship. I would definitely choose to work with Powerhouse again!”

–  Meagan Davies, HelloHealth

2020-12-31T16:53:23+00:00December 31st, 2020|

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Looking at creating or refining your business development plan can be daunting. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when determining which ways to grow or improve your company. For a good overview on what business development is and what goes in to creating a successful business development plan, check out The Ultimate Guide to Business Development.

If you want another perspective that offers some tips on how to get started, check out Investopedia’s blog.

For those who are trying to envision what a business development plan looks like in a post-COVID-19 world (and aren’t we all?), check out this article by Kevin Sneader and Bob Sternfels.

Wherever you are in your business development cycle, Powerhouse can help.

2020-12-31T16:51:59+00:00December 31st, 2020|
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