Deborah Sweeney

It’s easy to make the unfair assumption that if a business decides to file for a tax extension, the leaders have been spending the months leading up to the April 15 tax deadline procrastinating on their paperwork. But that’s not necessarily true.

Rather than rushing to file in a hurry, a business tax extension is a major asset in a company’s corner as it means getting extra time to prepare and file properly. But what does being granted a tax extension for your business mean and what do you need to know when you decide to file for one?

 

Get your deadlines in order

Typically, the IRS approves business tax extension requests so long as they are submitted by 11:59 p.m. on April 15. They will grant you six more months to work on your taxes. Use Form 7004 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns) on the IRS’ website and e-file or send the form along by mail.

For companies organized as corporations and partnerships, be sure you have the correct deadline in place for when your returns are due.

The extended deadline for calendar year 2013 S corporation returns is Sept. 15, 2014. Not extending this deadline to file may cause your S corporation to owe a 5 percent penalty of unpaid tax for every month the return is late with a cutoff point of 25 percent.

Partnerships, with extended deadlines, have 2013 returns that are also due on Sept. 15. Failure to file on time can result in owing penalties of up to $89 a partner each month the return is behind, for a maximum of 12 months.

 

Talk to your accountant

Email and meet up with your accountant to evaluate your tax liability and any other confidential information. Be sure to bring along any paperwork that concerns banking, investments, expenses and revenues.

Even if you feel confident that you can handle working on your own taxes, federal tax laws are constantly changing. An accountant may find some deductions and write-offs you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

 

Make extensions part of your tax strategy

NBCNews.com mentioned that for businesses that need more time to contribute to a Simplified Employee Pension Plan, filing for an extension can actually be extremely beneficial. An extension on Form 5305-SEP (Simplified Employee Pension — Individual Retirement Accounts Contribution Agreement) means that the extra time ensures the business doesn’t need to have the money in place until the due date of the tax returns.

 

Use your extended time wisely

Filing an extension puts you at much less risk of facing an audit than will rushing to get your forms finished by April 15. It’s important, however, to bear in mind that once you file for an extension, you need to stay organized and focused on getting your taxes filed. If you’re missing any documents, work on obtaining them as soon as possible so it makes the filing process smoother.

 

Name: Deborah Sweeney

Title: CEO

Company: MyCorporation.com

MyCorporation.com is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, provides startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. Deborah writes about issues that affect companies of all sizes and shares tips that she has found to be useful in her own business endeavors.

Reach her at (877) 692-6772, MyCorporation.com or on Twitter at @DeborahSweeney or @MyCorporation

Few brands have forgotten about the waves created by the 2009 debut of “United Breaks Guitars.” The video was made by musician Dave Carroll who was upset about United Airlines breaking his guitar on a flight from Chicago to Omaha, Neb.

When it went viral, it cost the airline countless customers. How many customers? The Huffington Post estimated through the 4 million users who viewed the video, that it was about $180 million worth, or 10 percent of their market cap.

In response to the video, United apologized, complimented the song and even asked to use it for future internal training. They assured Carroll that because of the incident they were changing their customer service policy. But even with their apology and promise to change, United’s image never fully recovered.

So what do you do in the age of social media when you get a customer complaint that goes viral faster than the average criticism, and reaches a good portion of your audience and beyond, painting your brand in a bad light?

Here are three tips on how to handle the situation gracefully and recover with your reputation intact:

 

Don’t delete anything!

If your complaint comes in the form of an online public comment, don’t delete it. It’s so easy to just delete a comment from Facebook or a tweet that you don’t want too many eyes to see. But by the time you delete it, someone’s already taken a screenshot of it and circulated it through retweets and on Tumblr.

This makes your brand look even worse, like you’re desperately trying to cover your tracks. Instead, keep the comment up and respond promptly — though not so quickly that you make errors in grammar and false information alike.

 

Admit it was your fault, and make it public

So now you have a public complaint that you haven’t deleted and a public, quick response all ready to go. Not only should you respond on whatever medium the complaint is on, but if it’s a large enough mistake on your part, publicly make an additional statement in the form of a press release, blog post, video or some other outlet that presents the ability to make a grander than usual gesture. 

Be sure to include what it is you’ve done. Acknowledge that the incident was your fault, how you can learn from the experience and what you can do to make it up to the customer. Being honest and genuine about the problem will always win over backtracking and denying that you’re at any fault to begin with.

 

Offer what you can

Whether you’re an international airline or a local mom and pop shop, don’t let an unhappy customer leave your place of business as an unhappy customer. By the time you’ve handled the situation personally, your customer should have a smile on his or her face and something positive to say about your business. If that means offering a free product or service, it’s a meaningful gesture to provide to keep the reputation of your brand on the up and up.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start — up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services.

 

Learn more about Deborah Sweeney:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/117209031809196393270/posts
Twitter: @DeborahSweeney
Twitter: @MyCorporation
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyCorp
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/mycorporation
Blog: http://blog.mycorporation.com/

Think back to the second or third grade when your teacher passed out that year’s sales catalog to the class. You’d open the catalog, flipping past the pages of candy bars and wrapping paper that needed to be sold for your school’s annual fundraiser, and head straight to the prizes page.

If you sold 15 candy bars, you’d get a package of glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars. Sell 50 and you’d get a pogo stick. It went on and on, eventually culminating in a grand prize that was usually something incredibly awesome — like an electronic keyboard. Every kid dreamed of the big prize! Since the only way to get it was to sell, sell, sell, it created a healthy sense of competition between you and your classmates to the point where everyone was excited to get started.

In many ways, that sales catalog mirrors an in-office rewards program. The department that goes above and beyond the expected quota of sales or assignments due is the one that receives an incentive. Some of these incentives are even offered before you begin — as a reminder of how your hard work will pay off.

Even though your shoes won’t light up as you walk through those office doors as they might have in the second grade, being rewarded for a job well done never goes out of style. If you don’t already have an employee-rewards program, or you’d like to re-evaluate what you’ve got going, here are three ways to get the ball rolling.

 

Include all the departments separately and as a whole

Some companies have a rewards program in place for their sales team, but why not bring in everyone? Every team can strive toward bigger and better things!

For each department, set up a series of pre-specified goals to hit and rewards that will be given upon reaching those goals. Establish a companywide goal in terms of overall monthly profits, or positive customer service reviews. For those, throw a pizza party for the whole staff to get everyone in on the fun!

 

Think small as well as big

Don’t forget to reward the little goals as well as the large. As a big goal can be rewarded with a bonus, or trip, a small goal can be rewarded with a Starbucks gift card or lottery tickets.

Small rewards can still be a lot of fun and they also help keep the work environment fun and lighthearted. 

 

Encourage your team to work together 

The one danger in an employee rewards program is that it can create a sense of “dog-eat-dog” competition between your employees, and you don’t want that. This isn’t a real life version of “The Hunger Games” — you still want everybody working as a team. So while the individual rewards are good, encourage a sense of communication and camaraderie between team members.

At weekly meetings have everyone go around, speak up and share tips so that everyone can be at the top of their game.

The point of a rewards program is not to pit your team against one another, but to create a stronger one.

Learn more about MyCorporation at:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/117209031809196393270/posts
Twitter: @DeborahSweeney
Twitter: @MyCorporation
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyCorp
LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/company/mycorporation
Blog: http://blog.mycorporation.com/

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. 

It’s still 2013 as I’m writing this, but by the time everyone else reads it, we’ll be closing in on 2014 and kicking off the New Year, working to make good on the resolutions and plans we promised our businesses.

What’s one area to take a closer look at? The company mission statement.

Typically defined as a formal summary of what your organization intends to do in both the short term and long run, mission statements also tend to be woefully outdated thanks to their very definition.

Formality and a lengthy summary can’t hold our attention span the way a down-to-earth and easily tweetable statement can. Now this isn’t to say you need to write everything in 140 characters or less. But if you don’t already have one in place for your business or you have a really stale statement that no longer gels with the direction your company has taken, it might be time to conduct some early spring-cleaning and overhaul your mission statement.

Aim for real and actionable, but also slightly lofty

As mentioned in Inc., mission statements should contain the following four elements: value, inspiration, plausibility and specificity. A simple, concise, grounded and fitting statement that addresses a call to action is the key here. It’s understandable that your statement shouldn’t be too much of a pie-in-the-sky plan for your business (steer clear of “we’ll single-handedly heal the world”-isms).

But a mission statement also needs to inspire just as much as it needs to encourage others to act out on it. Include at least one attainable element that shows how your company can go above and beyond where others may not.

It shouldn’t just be a description of your business

It’s easy to muddle together the synopsis of what your brand does with what it aspires to do. While you do need to mention what it is your business does, keep your overall business description separate from your mission statement — after all, the mission is based on the intentions of your company.

Think about your statement on an annual basis

Making changes to your statement at the start of the year is a great way to kick everything off to a solid start, but it’s also important to revisit your mission statement on an annual basis to make sure it’s still a fit for your company. Additionally, revisit the way you put it together from the grammar usage to how comprehensive it is.

Share your statement with your employees and customers!

At my company, we’re in the midst of revising our own mission statement and plan to make signs for each employee’s desk to showcase the new statement.

Whether you decide to redo your statement completely or even if you make just a few small changes, share them with your team members and customers — it’s a great and fresh reminder of all that your business stands for.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney

It was Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and an investor on the ABC reality TV series “Shark Tank,” who famously said, “An entrepreneur must pitch a potential investor for what the company is worth as well as sell the dream on how much of a profit can be made.”

But no amount of passion from an entrepreneur, or even an established business owner, can fully quell the nerves that come with pitching before a group of investors. Everything from the length of the PowerPoint presentation to what you wear is heavily scrutinized, and there is no guarantee that every business will receive funding on the first pitch.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to pitching, so before you go in for the final presentation, focus on prepping yourself in the following four areas.

Keep it short and sweet

This applies to every aspect of your presentation. From your elevator pitch — one minute, maximum — to the PowerPoint presentation you’ve prepared. While it’s important to get investors to notice the problems your business can solve or the needs it will meet, adding tons of detail clutters and hurries the pitch. Keep it simple, clean and straight to the point.

As well-known entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban told The Washington Post, “When it comes to business, there is a simple scorecard. Are you making money or are you not making money? Are you succeeding or are you not? So when you go to raise money, always, always catch yourself and eliminate the backstory.”

Don’t over-disclose upfront

Knowing the financial figures behind your business is important, but there’s no need to share all of your exact numbers at the outset. Instead, show a commitment to metrics and analytics.

Investor Mark Cohen says that while measuring metrics is not easy to do, it’s important to believe in the value of what the metrics will reveal and be willing to adapt to what is uncovered.

Be specific about your strategies

As mentioned before, entrepreneurs need to be in tune with the problem their business is solving or the needs it is meeting. Prep your strategies beforehand and know what you’re working on today and how you anticipate growth in the future. It’s also important to know your market and customer base and what they think of the product or service — specifically if they recognize that your company is solving a problem for them that they would be willing to pay for.

Ask questions!

The average window for a pitch meeting with investors is about 10 to 15 minutes. So once you’ve confidently and passionately knocked out the “three magical P’s,” which according to investment banker Gary Spirer including people, product and potential, it’s time to ask questions of your own.

What is the investor’s specific investment strategy? How does the investor typically structure investment in a company? Is the investor focused on a particular industry, business size and/or growth rate? How does the investor get involved in the business after an investment?

Remember that once the pitch is over the only bad question to ask is no question. So be sure to grill your potential investors!

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. For more information, please visit www.mycorporation.com or follow on Twitter at @MyCorporation

Fall is a great time for sports fans. The World Series takes place in baseball, and the regular seasons for the NFL, NBA and NHL begin.

The end of the year is also one of the most important times for small businesses. A lot of entrepreneurs look back on 2013 and wonder what could be improved and what should be changed. Luckily, there are plenty of business lessons to learn from professional sports.

There is no “I” in team

Chances are good that you’ve run the entire show from day one, so as you add employees, it can feel a bit uncomfortable to put some of your former responsibilities into their hands. That’s why people micromanage — they assume that they, and only they, know how to do a task correctly.

You need to get into the habit of trusting your employees and backing away. Give them room to surprise you and rise to the occasion, and start building a team in earnest.

Avoid “Hail Mary’s”

It is awesome to see a crazy play work out beautifully. But, more often than not, we just get stuck watching the wide receiver fumble the ball and lose the game. It can be tempting to try your own Hail Mary pass at the end of the year to boost your numbers and round out 2013 on a high note, but marketing gimmicks are a real gamble.

Instead, drum up business with time-tested, reasonable marketing practices. The end of the year is not the time for a business to experiment with its customer base.

Don’t be a Monday morning quarterback

We all know Monday morning quarterbacks. They are the ones who know the plays that should’ve been made and mistakes that should’ve been avoided. Advice based on hindsight can get pretty annoying, especially in a small business.

You want your team to like working for you because if morale drops, so do sales. Constructive, end-of-the-year criticism is appreciated. If all you do is point out your employee’s mistakes without giving them room or advice to grow, however, they are going to be put off.

Keep your eye on the ball

This idiom always interested me. The point of any game is to score points and win, and a ball is a means to that end. But the idiom isn’t “Keep your eye on the goal,” or “Keep your eye on home plate.” The focus is the ball.

Like in sports, the goal in business is to win by staying in business and supporting your livelihood. But how your business operates, and how it takes advantage of your personal, entrepreneurial style is how your company achieves that end.

Take this time to reflect and remember why you got into business in the first place — a crummy boss, a side passion or a desire to better your community. Whatever the reason, focus on that and use it to guide your growth strategy. If you find your niche, your company will do just fine.

Admittedly, the sports-to-business analogy can be a bit corny, but you have to admit that using some of these fundamental practices can help you improve your business. Focus on them, and 2013 will be a real winner — if you’ll allow me one more sports-related pun before I go.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. 

Twitter: @DeborahSweeney

Twitter: @MyCorporation

Google+: https://plus.google.com/117209031809196393270/posts

 

Your ability to attract investments can make or break your business. Extra capital allows companies to expand their operations and find new customers. Most business owners do eventually reach the point where they need some sort of outside investment — whether it’s from family, a bank or an actual investor — to help them make major purchases and grow.

One of the most common ways for a business to get extra money is by incorporating and then selling stocks. Unlike a loan, issuing stock allows you to raise money without taking on additional debt.

But there are a few things you need to know before you look at raising capital for your business:

You will have to give up some control of your business.

Incorporating a business turns it into its own, separate legal entity. Your ownership of that entity is dependent on how much corporate stock you own. As you sell off that stock, you dilute the ownership of the company. Furthermore, when you incorporate, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the stockholders and the corporation.

The interests and desires of the stockholders likely coincide with your own — both parties want to see the business succeed and make money. Just remember that when you do begin to sell stock, you are empowering the holders of that stock to influence major business decisions. Before you begin selling stock, make sure you’re ready to take the opinions of your investors into serious consideration when you are running the company.

You will need actual data to back up your pitches to investors.

If you are at the stage where you are ready to start looking for investors to help you expand, chances are that your business has done pretty well. It’s not enough to point and say, ‘Look, we survived and made money!’ You need hard numbers and data — how much revenue is your business generating? What is your current revenue-to-debt ratio? How will this investment impact your future earnings?

Buying stock in a company is already a gamble because if the company doesn’t do well, the investment could be lost. So be ready to show potential investors that your company is in a position where it can create a good return on their investment.

You will have to pitch yourself, in addition to your company.

Everyone is “passionate” and “committed” about what they do when they run a business — investors have heard those buzzwords plenty of times already. Investors want to know who you are, what your credentials are, and why they should trust you with their money. Sell them on your experience, and the experience of anyone else helping to run the company.

If they are confident in you, they will be confident in your business and be much more willing to invest. Issuing stock and finding investors can be a jarring experience. Once you start selling that stock, you lose some control of your business, and suddenly the needs and demands of your investors must be taken into account when you make major business decisions.

You also have to be ready to prove the worth of both your company, and of yourself as one of the company’s directors. If you are ready to let go, and are prepared to pitch the heck out of your business, your employees and your own career history, you will find investors willing to roll the dice and put some of their own money into your business.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney
and @mycorporation.

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon on a sweaty Wednesday. You answer what feels like millions of emails, check a few items off your to-do list and take a lap around the office to stretch. You look sure that enough time has passed to make it 5 o’clock. But it’s only 2:35. Only five minutes have gone by.

It’s easy to get stuck in a summer rut. Unless there’s a BBQ and lemonade stand in each of your employee’s cubicles, being in the office is probably not an employee’s ideal location on a summer afternoon. It’s harder to stay focused and on track with projects and assignments when it seems like virtually everyone is on vacation or taking on new shift hours.

Don’t let the temperature and the temptation of playing hooky to go to the beach get to your employees before you can. Here are a few tips to keep your team focused while still having fun in the office all summer long.

Go on the occasional field trip

During the summer, I like to take my team on a “field trip” every now and then. We’ll walk to the nearest frozen yogurt establishment for a cool treat or to our local Starbucks to get just the right amount of caffeine to finish out the day.

It’s a nice break in the day that everyone appreciates. Sometimes it’s all you need to get motivated to finish out the afternoon strong.

I make it a point to get the team talking on our outing — do a little team building together with some quick exercises. Last summer, I asked my employees to go around and each say a word they associate with starting a small business and their favorite summer memory. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Be understanding when it comes to time off

I am a firm believer in fully being a boss when I’m at the office and fully being a mom when I’m at home. As long as I work the absolute hardest I can during the day and get everything on my to-do list checked off, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to head out early to catch my son’s soccer game.

I apply that same principle to my employees. As long as they have everything done and done well, early dismissal and later arrivals in the morning every now and then is fine.  During the summertime, it’s important to be flexible with everyone’s schedules and work around them.

That’s not to say your employees should get out of the office for every little thing that comes up. But when something important unexpectedly happens, try to accommodate around that moment as best as you can.

Keep the watercooler filled

Obviously, you’ll be doing this for hydration purposes, but what I’m getting at here is to make sure your office has a laidback, summer-friendly atmosphere. Keep plenty of water available for everyone, a steady stream of A/C (with plenty of fans on hand) and a nice refreshing fruit bowl for a healthy summer snack.

It’s the small gestures that let your employees know that you have their best interest at heart, especially when it’s 104 degrees outside.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

One of the biggest differences between running a business on the side and quitting your job to run it full time is that you lose the security of a steady paycheck. That loss of income and the uncertainty as to whether it will ever come back is enough to make anyone pause and reconsider quitting their day job.

But what if your part-time venture is beginning to pick up steam, and you earnestly believe that it needs your full, undivided attention? While it can be scary, there are steps you can take to make such a leap less daunting.

Get organized

When you begin your business in earnest, take time to reduce your clutter. Working out of a messy office will eat much more time than it takes to get everything organized.

Speaking of time, making the transition to full-time business owner means also becoming much more self-motivated and coordinated. There is no one to remind you to clock in or to hound you about being late.

It’s great to go about the day without being micromanaged, but be careful. It’s just as easy to slip into a state of complacency. Organize your space, set a schedule and stay disciplined.

Protect yourself

There is always going to be some element of risk involved in whatever you decide to do next. But there are also actions that a new full-time business owner can take to reduce some of that risk.

As a part-time owner, chances are high that your business is a sole proprietorship — sort of the default business structure. Unfortunately, that means that you are responsible for your business’s debts, and if things go south, debt collectors may start trying to take your personal assets to pay for those business debts.

When you jump to full-time, consider forming an LLC or S corporation. There are different advantages and disadvantages to these structures, but they will help protect your personal property by separating you and your business’s debts.

Make saving a priority

Take full advantage of that steady paycheck for as long as you have it and save. Anyone looking to branch out and start a business has to use every cost-cutting measure out there so they have breathing room when trying to get their new business to turn a profit. Advisers typically recommend having enough saved up to pay for four to six months of living expenses. Luckily, if a business is being run part-time, it may be pulling in money already.

There is no magic number for saving — it just needs to be enough so that you don’t have to dig for change to pay your electric bill. Meet with an accountant, crunch the numbers and make sure you’re comfortable with the recommendations they give on budgeting and working with your financial situation.

Part-time owners know their company can draw customers, sell a product or service and bring in money since it has already been doing just that. This insight makes it very tempting to throw caution to the wind and jump into full-time ownership without making the necessary preparations.

But don’t take a huge leap without ensuring your fall is cushioned. Take your time, get everything in order, protect your assets and meet with an accountant to solidify a plan. Next, take a deep breath and put in your two weeks’ notice — you’re now a full-time business owner.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation. Find her online at mycorporation.com and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Sir Richard Branson — the methods they use to run their businesses are so unusual, so against what we typically expect from a CEO, that exposés on their leadership style make for pretty good stories.

But recently, I’ve found it odd that the behaviors of CEOs warrant entire articles. After all, I talk with business owners and managers every day who exhibit what would be considered unconventional traits. More than ever, CEOs are beginning to break the stuffed-suit stereotype for a chance to create a business culture that one day might also be emulated.

Of all the business fads and leadership traits I’ve seen go in and out of style, I am particularly fond of the following three:

Leaders who know when to be led.

It might sound counterintuitive, but people who run businesses have a reputation for being a little thickheaded and stubborn. I’m sure you’ve had a boss in your career that no matter how many times they asked people for advice, they never actually took it. People like having their opinions confirmed. So if the sought-out advice conflicts with that opinion, it tends to get ignored.

And that’s a shame because a real leader should know that there is a time to lead and a time to be led. The managers and employees of a particular department were hired because they brought a certain level of expertise about the department to the business.

When a CEO asks for feedback, they need to actually take what is said into consideration.

Managers and CEOs who give their employees a bit

of breathing room.

Our social media manager likes to let her employees have a bit of downtime while on the clock. For her, it’s important that they have some time to rejuvenate their minds as blogging requires constantly producing new and interesting content.

That downtime can be spent scrolling through Reddit, checking out their Tumblr dashboard, cleaning out their Gmail accounts, whatever they want to do, as long as the time is spent on something that isn’t work.

Typically, having that bit of time helps them break out of routine and ruts that can result in bad writing. The same can be said for those in less creative positions.

For example, someone in sales could get a little too used to saying the same thing over and over again. Suddenly their pitch starts to sound scripted, even if they never had a script to go off of in the first place. Potential clients can pick up on how stiff their speech is, but a quick break away from work to recharge their batteries can help loosen them up.

Leaders who help employees have a life.

There are always things you can do to make your business more profitable — really leaning on your employees to increase their sales, for example, might bring in a little bit more money. But it ends up sacrificing their peace of mind if you push too heavily. Employees will begin to dread coming into work. And when they are at work, they will be a frayed ball of nerves.

In order to achieve long-term success, business owners need to remember that they have to hold onto reliable employees. If businesses have a high turnover rate and are constantly training and retraining people, they’ll never have a chance to grow. Once again, things will stagnate, and that can spell the death of a company when sales inevitably slump.

There are still entrepreneurs who hold onto the old ways, believing that an iron fist and a crazed obsession with perceived profitability will lead them to success. This may be true in the short term. But the resulting turnover and general attitude of their employees will eventually be their downfall.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation, an online filing services company that specializes in incorporations and LLCs. Find her online at mycorporation.com and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

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