Happy New Year, everyone!
As most of you know, The 21 Hats Podcast has been tracking the journeys of six business owners. Most weeks, I speak with three of the six owners about how their businesses are faring. If you’ve been listening, you know they have been remarkably transparent throughout the crisis—even as some have had to lay off employees, confront cash shortages, and acknowledge the possibility that their businesses might not make it. (You can find episode summaries, transcripts, and links at 21hats.com.)
In 2021, as we put the crisis behind us, the frank conversations about what’s working and what isn’t will continue. But we do have a few changes planned. For one, we will be adding another owner to the lineup. For another, we are committed to engaging more with you, our listeners. Our plan last year was to do a handful of podcast recordings before live audiences. In February, we had a terrific session in Seattle, and well, you know what happened after that. If possible, we will try again later this year. In the meantime, we want to answer reader questions in every episode.
In our first episode of 2021, which we will tape in the coming week and publish on Tuesday the 12th, we will discuss a question submitted by Hap Cameron, owner of Happy Cones Co. in Denver: “I started as an ice cream truck six years ago. I opened a shop a year ago, and I’m opening another shop in three months. My question is, How do I manage managers effectively? Bear in mind, I'm not a big tech company. I'm an ice cream shop. I'm still trying to figure out whether to pay managers hourly or salary. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”
What question or issue would you like the owners to address? It can be about their business or about yours. Please tell us in the comment section below.
I always ask owners how many employees they have and what are there annual revenues. Revs/employee is a very simple calculation and tells you something about how the business operates.
Just a few of the questions I'm pondering at this moment:
Do you establish a plan and goals for the year? Written? Tracked?
Tips for working with a spouse or other family? Particularly a spouse!
At what point did your business offer health insurance to employees? Relatedly, how does insurance through the Affordable Care Act compare to private insurance?
What are the considerations for enabling employees to earn/buy equity in the company?
How to handle a bogus lawsuit or unemployment claim?
What expenses that are partially personal (car, phone, travel) do you put on the business?
Have you ever hired an SEO person who delivered timely and consistent results?
Q: Who drives the culture in your company...you (the business owner and/or chief executive or others members of your team? Can a business ever get to the point where the leaders are not the ones sitting on top of the corporate pyramid but rather the rank-and-file members of the team?
What is the calculation for # of employees considering that some are part-time and Obamacare defines full-time as 30 hours but most would consider 40 hours full-time?
How many employees do the companies compared have?