Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm Techo-Ready, Technorati!

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Arizona Entrepreneurs Rock!

Just returned from the second Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference (http://www.azentrepreneurship.com/) . . . what a great experience!!! If you ever felt alone as a sole proprietor of a small company here in the Valley, this event is proof that (a) you're not and (b) we have a ton of talent right here in our own backyard . . . and the people who know where to find it! So as to not overwhelm and make this a ridiculously long (and therefore unreadable) post, I'll just highlight a few things I learned now and continue to add to the list over the next few days!

First, Michael Gerber, author of The E-myth Revisited and Chairman of Club E (yes, with local chapters in Phoenix and Denver currently--hello!) was amazing. He highlighted the importance of expanding the (greater) good vs. just making money, with transformation as a key goal. In other words, he seemed to advocate taking social responsibility to the next level, and, in an incredible confluence of cultures, espoused bodhichitta in a yarmulke, when he said, "You cannot create in your sleep." In other words, he says we must remain aware of ourselves (my paraphrase of his direct citation of Gurdjieff, which is such an obscure reference I'm surprised I remember how to spell it!). That is to say, be aware so that you can create meaningful results. That's what I got out of it anyway. I'll report more on Arizona Enterpreneurship Conference speakers and attendees, such as Pat Sullivan of Act!, SalesLogix and now Jigsaw Health; Rochelle Balch of RB Balch; Teri Spencer of Ephibian; Erika Feinberg of Active Forever; Mark Rukavina of iMemories; and Ingrid Vanderveldt of Club E. Also Amanda Vega was featured via a podcast during the event, reporting from adtech in New York.

You can see the presentations for yourself now, thanks to Essential Event Technologies here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Focus on . . . Hiring

[Excerpted from Tracy Diziere & Associates LLC Quarterly Newsletter; to subscribe, visit www.tracydiziere.com]

So, you need to bring on (more) employees for your small business--Congratulations! If you are like most entrepreuneurs, your instinct is to dive in--write that job description, advertise, and wait for the flood of resumes. While this common practice means one less thing to do on the list, when it comes to building a professional staff, it is wiser for the small business owner to invest in a process and materials that will draw the caliber of individuals she expects--both now and in the future. To be on the successful hiring path, attract a viable pool of candidates, and ultimately have the right person on board, you'll want a results-driven advisor who can take the burden off you. However, should you insist on going it alone, these steps will help frame your approach:
  • Examine the role(s) you will need based on your true business goals and align your hiring decision accordingly. Although it sounds simple, you'll want to look closely at your perceived need and how it relates to your ultimate goal. Because a company's true needs are varied and sometimes hard to see from within, a trusted external advisor can help you to identify them.
  • Determine a competitive salary based on market expectations and your budget. Market research is your best approach, but you will also want to consider the scope of the position. Web sites like salary.com and payscale.com can help you determine appropriate pay ranges for specific skill sets.
  • Write a professional, targeted job description. Ensure your job posting speaks the language--and meets the expectations--of its intended audience. If you aren't sure, conduct market research or seek out this specialized knowledge.
  • Develop an assessment checklist for phone screening. This is an important tool to systematically determine who you will interview. After all, your time is precious and you'll want to reserve it for the best of the best!
  • Approach your hiring project from all angles. If you've followed the advice above and put your needs out there, you're opening the doors to all applicants. You'll also want to proactively reach out to pre-selected candidates who meet your requirements by networking, using tools like LinkedIn, XING, and ZoomInfo, or outsourcing this function. "Hiring the right people at the right time can make or break a company, especially a small business. Recruiting is an ongoing activity - you should always be recruiting even if you do not have an open position," advises Tami Heyden, Partner at Louis Heyden Group.
  • Create a timetable for the tasks above to ensure you stay focused and on track.

If this hiring process takes up too much of your time or you get stuck, remember we can help you through, ultimately providing you with:

  • A customized, competitive description for posting that is backed by industry research with respect to responsibility and salary expectations
  • Reusable elements of the job posting and a standardized format for future hiring initiatives as you grow
  • Company-specific qualification tools to use going forward


The final result will be a professional on staff who is invested in your business and meets--or exceeds!--your requirements. For information on a complete package or a la carte services, contact Tracy Diziere & Associates. For a recruiting program or assistance, contact Tami Heyden at Louis Heyden Group, 602-326-1890 or tami@louisheyden.com. Good luck!