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A circuitous route delivered Hastings Read from England to Mobile, Alabama where he learned custom woodworking after a successful career in management consulting. Today he leads the team at Oakleigh Custom Woodworks as they build beautiful doors, windows, and shutters, employing a team a craftsmen who take great pride in their work. Deadlines matter but the work of a craftsman should not be rushed. Hastings details his story, how he’s applying his lessons as a consultant to his own small business, and how he leads a small team that builds exquisite products.
Find my book, What Works, at Amazon.com.
If you buy commercial insurance you’ve certainly noticed the rate increases. Brian Tanner is Managing Principal at EPIC Insurance’s Birmingham, Alabama office and is our monthly Business Alabama magazine deep dive interview. He explains why rates are up, how AI is making creative crooks more clever, and why the art of cold calling is not dead. Brian is high energy and this interview is a thrill. Enjoy.
Foodservice is typically full of high turnover. Unless you work for PP Hospitality Group. Panini Pete and his sister, Cheryl Blohme, have created a rapidly growing organizaiton due, in part, by their ability to find and keep good people in jobs typified by high turnover. Pete and Cheryl and their leadership team have figured something out. It begins with Pete, Cheryl, and the leadership team living and breathing and acting out the culture they preach. No one can deny they don’t mean it or that their culture is just words on paper. It’s evident to the customers and, most importantly, to the employees. Learn how they do it and what it could mean for your workplace.
There is a big difference between a skills shortage and a labor shortage. Employers used to worry about lack of applicable skills. Today employers just need people with some of the skills demanded. Elizabeth Crofoot is an economist with Lightcast. Based in DC, Elizabeth knows how to mine the data our Federal Government provides and “read the tea leaves.” She and I talk about the tops skills employers are searching for today, how these skills are becoming “disruptive skills” and how workplace leadership is needing to change to accomodate these new skill demands.
There are basics to marketing your business. Before business owners get into the weeds of fancy marketing tactics, they need to make sure the basics are covered. Gayle Rogers of The Atomic Agency works with owners of new businesses as well as business veterans to make sure the fundamentals are well taken care of before anything sophiticated can begin. Hear Gayle’s advice for what bases you need to make sure are covered.
Sports Tourism draws athletes and their families from hundreds of miles to destinations where they can compete. Joel Lamp is the Sports Manager for the Huntsville Convention and Visitors Bureau and is responsible for filling the statiums, stands, fields, rinks, pools, and courts around Huntsville with these athelets. The opportunities continue to grow. Turf a field (artificial turf) and it’s a football, soccer, and lacrosse field ready for competition year round. What the locals and community isn’t using during the week, Joel recruits people to travel and play.
Joel’s podcast is The Business of Sports Tourism Podcast that you can find on all major podcast outlets.
Started by a retired sherrif hired to protect construction on a nuclear power plant near Dothan, Alabama, DSI Security Services now has operations in thirty-three states and 5400 employees. Alan Clark is chairman of the board. His father was the retired sherrif and his two sons are now involved in the company. Alan cites solid customer relationships who wanted DSI’s services in their new locations around the country as one of the fuels for his growth. Another is his fear of failure. He had to take care of the company his father started and find enough work to employ his sons.
Get a copy of What Works: The Ten Best Ideas from the first Two Hundred Episodes on Amazon.com.
The proposals are worth millions of dollars each. The clients are major global companies trying to impress cllients, thank teams, generate sales. The proposal has to be right. It has to be good. It has to be as perfect as it can be. Jason Cohen is the Execitive Director of Global Sales at Accor Hotels. With 5500 properties across the globe, Accor can handle the work IF they get it. How do they get it? Jason, a hospitality veteran, walks us through how he and his team structure their proposals.
Buy What Works – The Ten Best Ideas from the First 200 Episodes at Amazon.com.
This month’s Business Alabama Magazine interview features Stephanie Bryan, the Chairwoman of the Poarch Band of the Creek Indians. In her tenure as chair she’s diversified the tribe’s holdings far beyond gaming into government services, hotels and resort hotels, even processing cattle and many more. She’s active across the state of Alabama as she checks on the tribe’s businesses and even holds a role in Washington, DC representing Native Americans (she entered our interview finishing up a call with the White House). Her vision for the tribe is clear and she dispells some myths around Native American held businesses.
Find What’s Working – The Top Ten Ideas from the First Two Hundred Episodes at Amazon.com.
Finding and keeping good employees today is very hard. The shortages driven by the Baby Boomer retirement have begun making their mark in the workplace. And even as populous as the Millennials are, there aren’t enough of them to replace the Boomers. Employers are pulling their hair out. Employees have their pick.
Dr. Josh Duplantis is the Dean of Workforce Development for Coastal Alabama Community College and saw this coming years ago. Today he works with employers to help them craft recruiting and retention plans. He and I discuss the essense of the demographic challenge and we get into details on “progressive employment” which some employers are using to meet their workforce challenges.
Get my book, What Works, highlighting the top ten ideas from the first two hundred episodes of Wha’ts Working at Amazon.com.