A video recently emerged of a marketing company that runs clients’ Facebook advertising campaigns for $1,000 a month. Now, on the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that. But in watching the video (which introduces viewers to the company), I was shocked when I saw:
▪ Managers playing musical instruments.
▪ Managers and staff playing shuffleboard and electronic games.
▪ A company VP sleeping.
▪ The company owner (and his employees) openly drinking beer in their workplace “beer garden” right before a meeting.
Admittedly, the video might have been shot during a lunch break. Still, if I were a client of this company, I’d be asking, “What’s my $1,000 monthly fee paying for?”; “Why do you encourage employees to drink alcohol at work?”; “On the average, how many hours of sleep and game playing do they put in (per week) at work?”; and “How do you define professionalism?”
Action item 1: Consider visiting your subcontractor’s work site. Ask questions about any areas that could distract managers and employees from focusing on clients. Know what you’re paying for.
Another better-known video was shot by a San Antonio, Texas mattress company. A manager and two employees goofed off by knocking over “twin towers” of mattresses as part of a “9/11 sale.” The video was posted on Facebook without the company owner’s knowledge and without approval from the corporate office in Houston. The store is closed indefinitely, and the company’s reputation is ruined.
Action item 2: Establish a firm, detailed, company-wide social media policy that all staff members must read and agree upon in writing. A sample social media policy can be found at here.
Regardless of your business type, it is smart to enlist an experienced mentor to provide objective advice, act as a sounding board and provide periodic reality checks. Having one can increase your odds of success. My company’s mentor has been invaluable. His advice is like money in the bank.
Action item 3: Find someone who has successfully run a small business. He or she should be experienced and willing to provide objective advice and guidance — for no real personal gain.
Eric Cawley is president of Complete Marketing Solutions, Meridian. firstname.lastname@example.org; 440-6754. This column appears in the Sept. 21-Oct. 18, 2016, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine as part of a special section on human resources and workforce development. Click here for the e-edition (subscription required).