Category Archives: “Just Nancy”

Tips on Hiring Family Members for Your Business

Cutout paper chain family with the protection of cupped hands, concept for security and care
Just my thoughts for today on how best to hire family members to work in your business.

I run a family business and wanted to share with you some tips on hiring and employing family members.

First, not all family members are well suited to work in your business. I know this from experience. Before you hire a sister, brother, son or daughter, consider first if this is best for your family relationship. In some cases it may hurt the relationship and it may be better to just stay as family than to move to a family and employee relationship.

I personally found that I was able to have a better employer/employee relationship with my children than I was able to have with my sisters.

If you do decide to hire a family member make sure you do the following:

  1. Make sure you are not just hiring just for charity.
  2. Set clear standards of your expectations.
  3. Create a backup coverage plan.
  4. If they do not work out, let them go early.
  5. Pay generously.
  6. Make sure their hiring makes sense for your business.

Now some details on the list above.

On creating a backup plan, when you hire a family member, you will typically be more generous when problems come up then you would be with a typical employee. For example, I employee my college kids, I have a backup plan in place for exam week so I do not need them or expect them to work that week. If they miss work for me, I keep a backup library of writing things to use if they are busy at school and miss one of my deadlines. It takes the pressure off of them and me and the just take a hit in pay and I move on with my week. There’s no stress or anger on my part when they miss a deadline. For them, it is a choice – get paid or not.

On letting go early, if you feel that the employee/employer relationship is not working or is causing stress in your family, you have two choices. You can suck it up and consider the employment as charity and don’t let missed deadlines and inattention cause you stress. Or let the person go with the understanding that it simply did not work out, and you prefer and value a strong family relationship, rather than an employer/employee relationship. From my experience, the longer you let a situation get under your skin, if expectations are not met and you allow that family member to not meet expectations, the more difficult and problematic the separation will be when you are finally forced to let them go.

On paying generously, I have found that this is important as the family employee will talk with other family members. If it appears to them that you are making loads of money off their work and they are not paid generously, they will grouch behind your back and other family members may judge your actions without knowing or understanding. Pay more and better and you come out looking like a hero. Family harmony and your reputation in the family is worth the extra money you may pay to employ a family member.

I have found in some cases that employing a son or daughter can be a lifeline for them – to generate income they need and the opportunity to build marketable skills. For me, I am able to get quality help that I need as long as I keep a very strict separation between being a parent and employer.

I have had much more trouble employing my sisters. I think that some of this is due to relationship dynamics. Children will naturally be more able to submit to your plans than your own siblings who may interpret the new working relationship as a threat to their own power in family dynamics.

Just my thoughts for today. Feel free to share your own experience below by clicking comments.

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Get Independence Today from the Drudgery of Social Media

Composite photo of the statue of Liberty with a flag and fireworks in the background. Given a grunge overlay for a nice aged effect.  Nice patriotic image for Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Presidents Day.
Get independence from the drudgery of social media updates today!

Happy Independence Day!

Not only will you want to celebrate Independence Day and our country’ s revolution, but you may want to celebrate independence from the drudgery of doing social media updates with this app – Hootsuite.

I love Hootsuite and recommend it to you to simplify updating your social media sites. (I am not being paid for this recommendation, I am a paid user of the free and pro versions and simply an advocate.)

Here’s how you get independence from the drudgery of social media updates yourself.

The Free Version is Great
You can have a number of social media accounts in a free Hootsuite account. Here are some tips to connecting your networks to get going.

First, sign up for the free app use at https://hootsuite.com/plans/free

Second, log in first to all your social media accounts, then go back to Hootsuite and connect each one in by clicking to add social media accounts to your profile.

Third, click the + on the streams page to add the scheduled, your updates, and home page for each social media account. This allows you to easily monitor and update all social media accounts in one control panel.

Fourth, when you write an update, select the social media sites you want your update to appear and on what day and time. With one click you can post to all your sites or post and schedule for future dates and times your updated.

Fifth, create some draft updates and save them to cover you when you are busy and don’t have time to create an update. When you save an item as draft, you can only select one social network. To access drafts, update the writing panel, and click the button save to open the draft updates and then select the draft to use. You can then update the social networks to send your draft update to in the scheduling field.

If you want to have more than one user on the Hootsuite account, you will need to move to Pro. Hootsuite is vigorous in policing this policy. If you have logins from different locations, even when you travel, Hootsuite will send verification login codes to assure that two users are not using the personal account.

Today on the Fourth of July, isn’t it time you got some independence? Get the Hootsuite free version and start saving time, schedule social media in advance and smartly use prepared drafts to make social media connection fast and easy.

Need more help with social media? Check out our social media writing and management services today.

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Just Nancy – Why Reviews Matter

Hit the mark with your customers every time for great reviews.
Hit the mark with your customers every time for great reviews.

As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.

Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.

Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.

  1. Reviews really do matter.
  2. People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
  3. Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
  4. I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
  5. If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
  6. Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
  7. People actually read what I post about a business.
  8. I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
  9. I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
  10. Reviews are more important than a nice website.

The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!

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“Just Nancy” – Strategies for Success

This month has been a month of changes for my team who also happens to be my family. In fact, my entire family works in my business now. My husband is our IT guy and proofreader and all four of our children work for the business in many different categories.

My assistant and my oldest son just graduated from college on Saturday with a semester grade point average of 3.8 and cumulative GPA of 3.017. That is excellent work for an older (mid 20 year old) student who was not successful in college the first year and then took a four year break. With a crushing schedule his senior year and intensive capstone project now completed, we are proud that he has achieved his goal and now ready for a career on his own.

As my administrative assistant and AdWords assistant, Chris will be phasing out his service with my firm and launching into his own new career. I am very excited for him!

My other three kids, triplets, have completed their first years at college with GPAs ranging from 3.8 to 3.1 for the year. They will be cycling in to take on more job responsibilities this summer gearing up to learn more and do more for my  business.

My words of wisdom for young people and their adult mentors is that motivating, boosting, and pushing kids is key to their success. Help them to understand that a GPA determines their employability and that it is a real discriminator is important.  They would like to believe otherwise.

Dig a deep hole, with a low GPA because they have not been serious about school, and it may take them three years to dig out. Get under a 3.0 and their resume may not even make it to the hiring manager’s desk when they start looking for a job after graduation.

My younger kids are already seeing that to get an internship, you’d better have a 3.2 to 3.8 GPA to even be considered.

The bottom-line is to not be a helicopter parent or mentor, but to demand accountability and encourage good and early study habits at college. Lay down the law if you are paying for college that bad grades really mean they won’t go back but need to take a break and work as a cashier or waiter for a few years to gain maturity. These may be some of the hardest decisions you as a parent may make, but will benefit your kids and better prepare them for future employment.

Congratulations to all college graduates and we are wishing you much success in your future endeavors.

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Why I Love the Amazon Experience

Nancy McCord
“Just Nancy” – My Point of View for Today.

I love Amazon, but I think my husband loves it more than I do as he shops more. We have been Amazon Prime Members for years and I have used a Kindle Fire since they were first launched.

We are an Amazon family and our kids each have Amazon Prime Student accounts and I just bought 4 Amazon Fire tablets for family members due to the fabulous Amazon experience and ease of use with integrated books, music, apps, and shopping. I guess you could say that our family is an Amazon advocate.

What is it that makes the Amazon Experience so great?

  1. Ease of use.
  2. Integration of desktop account management and integration with Kindle Fire.
  3. Exceptional customer service that shine when there are problems; infrequent as they are – hey it’s life.
  4. One stop shopping experience, due to my shopping habits, Amazon is typically the place I will start a purchase.
  5. Free shipping with same day or two day shipping from the Amazon Prime Membership.

What can you learn from Amazon to improve the experience on your own website and earn advocates.

  1. Free shipping will make you stand out from competitors.
  2. Exceptional customer service that is easily reachable when a consumer has an issue. The ability to phone and talk to a real person is very important.
  3. Ease of shopping experience across all devices is super important.
  4. Have a wide selection of products that meet consumer needs at competitive prices.
  5. Excellent results with every purchase – are you consistent in delivering?

Now it’s time to think about what you deliver when it comes to your own services in  your own industry. Do you provide an experience and results that makes your own customers become your advocates?

Find out what our own customers say about their experience with us.

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