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The Complete Guide to Lead Capture (And Why It’s Important)

The Complete Guide to Lead Capture (And Why It's Important)

The Complete Guide to Lead Capture (And Why It’s Important)

Reaching target audiences is proving to be more difficult than ever. The marketplace doesn’t appreciate the usual mass advertising and email blast campaigns. So, companies are looking for ways to apply a more client-targeted approach.

Leading capture is a unique approach to recording enormous success for different industries. Lead capture is crucial to every business, especially without a significant target audience. It comprises several benefits that would take your business from the ground upward. With this in mind, let’s dive deeper into lead capture.

What is Lead Capture?

A lead is a buyer that shows interest in buying for your business. Lead capture is collecting adequate and valuable information about leads. It aims at converting leads to actual buyers.

Most businesses use the lead capture form, which clients must fill out and submit personal information to an organization. A business would then analyze the customer data, noting down potential leads that they can convert and maintain as loyal customers.

Thankfully, with technological advances, companies can now use a fast, easy-to-use, convenient lead capture app. The reliable lead tracking app integrates easily, making the lead capture process a shared task for quicker results. Take a picture of the lead source wherever you are and share it with the sales team.

Lead collection can be effortless and convenient if companies use suitable lead capture tools. A sales lead app proves more efficient because of real-time lead capture and reporting. Since everyone in the team can use it, the sales lead app maximizes the ears and eyes on the ground regarding customers.

Companies can capture several customer contact points like websites, social media, and emails. In trade events, a lead capture app is a potential solution for event organizers to capture, qualify, and follow up with leads. Consequently, organizers can access event data to find vital insights, making them host future events based on analytics.

Importance for Lead Capture and Tips to Implement It 

In short, zero leads will always result in zero sales. Therefore, lead capturing is vital for most businesses that want to make and improve revenue.

Even though an organization has other important goals, a more significant focus should be on lead tracking. With excellent execution, lead capture can foster potential buyers from faltering interest to true and loyal customers. 

Check out below why your business needs lead capture services to grow.

  • Helps in Targeting Customers 

Source: Pexels

Lead capturing can help you track down and collect information about your customers’ needs and preferences. This is possible despite the customers’ locations. Ultimately, you’ll be able to customize your product or service to suit their wants, needs, and preferences.

Nonetheless, the quality of the leads is more important than the quantity. To achieve quality, you must create a client profile that includes all the excellent qualities your desired leads should possess. 

This way, you’ll identify and focus more on the most ideal prospects to direct your sales strategy too. Hence, you’ll save time, energy, and money instead of chasing after unreliable and unfruitful leads.

  • Increases Conversion Rates 

Sadly, most of the generated leads you will not convert to the sale phase. But worry not. To increase the number of converted leads, you’ll need to be skilled and patient in nurturing the lead. This will help you enter into the sales cycle. But how do you nurture the leads?

The best way would be to establish grounds for a solid relationship with your leads. Call or email them and erase any doubts or answer all questions regarding your products or services.

This process shouldn’t be challenging because you’ll not do it all at once. You’ll frequently check on your leads or send customized email campaigns to ensure the communication doesn’t die. In the end, your potential leads will start gaining trust and increase the chances of conversions.

  • Establishes Brand Awareness

Brand awareness means how well customers know your brand in a specific market. With more people knowing about your brand, your reputation grows, leading to high-profit potential.

Lead capturing informs your target audience more about your business, generating a ‘word-of-mouth opportunity. When you focus on lead collection, you use relevant content to form relationships with prospects.

Using this strategy in the sales funnel will enable trust and credibility from your potential buyers. Subsequently, they’ll pay more attention to your business, granting it more awareness and converting potential clients to actual buyers.

  • Boosts Better Return on Investment (ROI)

A popular answer on the importance of lead capture is that it has a high return on investment. Every business aims to spend efforts on any activity that generates high ROI.

The lead-capturing strategy is straightforward and clear. This makes it easy for the sales team to adapt and produce clear goals.

Suppose a marketing team knows where and what to look for; they save time, money, and resources. In the end, they become productive and effective in all they do. Once everything is in place, a company can reap heavily from high ROI.

  • Enhances Cost-Effectiveness in Business

Advertising is inevitable for every successful business. Thus, a company must select a suitable and productive marketing strategy. Most importantly, finding a cheaper but effective option would be ideal. Lead capture is that option.

Usually, lead prices vary depending on quality, ranging from $5 to $500 per lead. But how do you determine the quality of a lead? The pricing of a lead in terms of quality depends on the difficulty of getting that lead. 

Some leads are a far stretch for marketers but very worthwhile to capture. The general rule is; a lead nearer and easier to a source is cheap and of lower quality. Though it may seem difficult to achieve higher-quality leads, it’s indeed possible. Determination is key! Remember, high-quality leads contribute to higher conversion rates. And, it enhances cost-effectiveness.

Thankfully, you can capture leads according to your budget without overstretching. This makes it a very cost-effective marketing strategy.  

Wrapping Up

Despite being a major headache for marketers, your business can benefit significantly through lead capture. Understand that, building a successful brand takes time. Your focus should be on nurturing your social media presence, creating quality content, and establishing solid email marketing campaigns.

Ultimately, you must move out of your comfort zone and expend energy on things that matter- lead track being a topmost priority. While you may not gain over 100% in growing your leads quickly, consistency and determination will get you through.



Focus: Why It’s Essential for Entrepreneurs & How to Achieve It

From passionate to ambitious, to motivated, relentless, creative, and visionary, there are so many traits that can help an entrepreneur rise to the top, but staying focused is the one ability that absolutely every business owner must have if they want their company to go big. Learning this has been pivotal in my business journey with Kardia. Without a strong and unwavering focus, entrepreneurs won’t be able to take their company to the next level, let alone reach their maximum potential.
Why The Right Focus Is Critical for Business Owners
You can’t have focus unless you know where you’re going and what it looks like when you get there. That’s why a detailed vision is so important for your personal life and for your company too. Your vision and your focus go hand in hand. They direct each other. As an entrepreneur, that vision starts with the reason you started your company in the first place, where you want to take your company now, and an understanding of the kind of impact you want to make with it in the world. Then, everything you do needs to align with that. If not, you will get sidetracked.
It’s important to remember that focus doesn’t necessarily mean completing tasks — sometimes, people get caught up in doing the same thing over and over again and they call that being focused because they’re checking things off a list. From personal experience, that can actually backfire on you. In one of my first companies, I spent a lot of time running from task to task and putting out fires. I felt busy and I was focused on whatever was in front of me at the moment, but what I didn’t do was check in to see how my focus was lining up with my vision and the impact I really wanted to create. As it turns out, it wasn’t. I was focused in the wrong direction and that took me completely off course, which was part of the reason why the business ultimately failed.
That’s why checking in with your vision, and making sure you’re always on track with it, has to be part of your daily focus. That way you know what you’re doing matters and exactly why and how it’s moving you toward your goal.
How Entrepreneurs Can Sharpen Their Focus
Just like time management and organization can be improved with effort, so can an entrepreneur’s focus. It’s all about self-awareness — business owners need to ask themselves what they really want out of life, what they want out of their business, and what they want out of the decisions that they make each day. When they have clarity on these three factors, they’ll actually know what they need to be focused on at any given moment.
If what you’re doing isn’t lining up with one of those three things, then why are you doing it? Checking in regularly and asking yourself that question often, is a great way to make sure you don’t get sidetracked by things that don’t truly matter to you and your bigger vision.
Poor Focus Versus Good Focus
As mentioned above, not all focus is productive or beneficial to entrepreneurs. Micromanaging is a great example. The hyper-focus might be getting a task done exactly the way you want, but in the long run it’s going to put your company at a huge disadvantage because everything about your business starts and ends with you. That’s not scalable.
A much better focus, and use of your time, is empowering and inspiring people with your bigger vision. That gives them a direction and clarity on where they need to go. Then all you really have to do as their leader is help by supporting them to do their job the best they can. Let them grow and learn, rather than focusing on whether a task got done in one specific way.
The best leaders have a great vision and communicate that vision to their team on a regular basis. They help each team member understand how they fit into the bigger picture and what they should be focusing on to help that bigger vision come to life. Which is why the focus for your team meetings should include a review of what’s happened, where the company is currently headed, where things are working and where they aren’t.
The more you get your team involved the more engaged and focused they will be. And by getting them involved more often to find solutions, your company will benefit hugely from their different perspectives because new points of view lead to new and better ways of doing things. You just can’t get that through narrowly focused micromanaging.
To Wrap It All Up
The ability to stay focused is the one trait that really helps entrepreneurs empower themselves to ultimately bring their vision to life. Understanding what good focus is and what bad focus is in business, makes a huge difference to your ability to move your company forward. And when entrepreneurs can sharpen their focus through better self-awareness, bringing clarity to what they really want out of their life and business, it helps them make better decisions, which leads to better results. That means there’s a much greater probability of advancing to the next level and having your company reach its full potential.
Christan Hiscock is on a personal mission to change the conversation in the business world, moving away from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. He can often be heard saying, “You mean more than you know,” because he believes that as people learn to understand their worth, their fears fade and amazing feats become reality. He considers this the foundation for all his achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies. Through Kardia, which means heart in Greek, Christan is determined to bring more heart into the business world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion and altruism. Heart that fuels, roots and guides each company to do the right things for its team members, clients and for the greater communities they serve.

A Time Of Invention And Reinvention: How Entrepreneurs Can Tap Into Creativity

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt or make major changes. The challenges presented required leaders to think creatively in order to solve problems and generate new ideas that can keep their companies competitive.

Now with record numbers of people starting businesses and entrepreneurial veterans trying to stay afloat, creative problem-solving is a key separator between success and failure – and in many cases requires an inventor-like mindset, says Jarl Jensen (, the founder and president of Inventagon and the holder of several medical technology patents.

“Creativity is the most important attribute of an entrepreneur,” says Jensen, also the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. “It’s about innovative ways to tackle a problem and find a solution for it.

“You don’t necessarily have to be born with creativity. Many people have the potential to be creative; it just needs to be nurtured and strengthened. Right now we’re in an exciting place of both invention and reinvention. While you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you do need to tap into creativity to stand apart, gain traction, and grow your business in an ultra-competitive environment.”

Jensen offers these tips on how entrepreneurs can become more creative and solve problems as a result:

Be prolific – and patient – with ideas. When the proverbial light bulb goes on, it doesn’t always mean the entrepreneur has had an epiphany that will lead to riches. “If you want a good idea to start a business and build it, the most important ingredient is the love of many ideas,” Jensen says. “Because very few ideas are actually good, so you will need the patience to sort through many of them.”

Learning how to habitually plant the seeds to create ideas is the key, he says.

“Take the time to daydream on a regular basis,” Jensen says. “Visualize all the places an idea can take you. See all the people it could help. We’ve been conditioned to think we’re wasting time when we sit idle and daydream, but it is exactly the opposite. Having quiet time to clear your mind and think freely opens the mind to great possibilities.”

Collaborate; don’t make it all about your own brainstorm. Jensen says the typical novice entrepreneur will want to file patents and rent out office space as the rush of a new idea takes over their imagination. But he cautions, “Don’t be foolish about your idea; it needs time to prove itself worthy of an investment.”

Engaging others around you in discussion about the idea is imperative, Jensen says, because it results in different viewpoints, new angles, and perhaps a more refined idea that can work.

“Collaboration that drives a company forward includes the sharing of and disagreement over ideas,” he says. “It’s the vigorous discussion, the opposing voice that helps refine and improve ideas. An effective partnership stimulates creativity and builds trust among team members that each is encouraged to contribute creatively.”

Stay focused. “It’s easy to waste time with too many ideas that are not going to work for you and your business,” Jensen says. “Know your company’s North Star – its mission statement – and what it needs to succeed. Does your idea align with your North Star? Adapt the solution to the problem. Shift negative thoughts into a positive mindset to provide concentration and clarity.”

“Your success as an entrepreneur is largely contingent on your ability to solve problems effectively,” Jensen says, “and the best tool you have is your creativity, and knowing how to cultivate it and harness it.”


Jarl Jensen ( is the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. He’s the founder and president of Inventagon, a company creating simpler research and development solutions for organizations across the globe. Jensen holds patents for medical technologies that have reached sales of over $1 billion. He founded EuroMed, a company he sold in 2016, and has written five books about the economy and its relationship with society.


How to Start 2022 with the Right Mindset to Grow Your Business

The historical surge in new U.S. businesses in 2021 could well be surpassed in 2022, with one report predicting a third consecutive record year for entrepreneurship – all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a new year begins, many business owners are focusing on sales objectives and finding the right talent. But with many new entrepreneurs entering the arena, there’s more for them to consider than numbers and resumes. It’s also important for them to grasp what the “entrepreneurial mindset” is all about,” says Mari Tautimes, a prosperous business owner and author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur.

“The pandemic has brought a unique set of challenges on top of what new entrepreneurs already will go through,” Tautimes says. “The entrepreneurial mindset involves specific ways of thinking and how to approach challenges and mistakes. It’s about having to improve your skill set and reaching higher levels of resiliency.

“Starting and running a business is an all-encompassing daily grind and it can take many years to achieve the success you hoped for. Those who make a consistent effort to embody the special mindset required will equip themselves to endure, meet everyday challenges and grow.”

Tautimes offers these tips for new business owners to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and move their business forward in 2022:

Move from conscious incompetence to unconscious competence. The kind of growth most entrepreneurs seek requires getting out of their comfort zone and acquiring a new skill or skills, Tautimes says. She defines “conscious incompetence” as being aware of the skill but not being proficient at it, and says “unconscious competence” means when performing the skill becomes automatic. “You have to accept there is much that you don’t know, and have the patience and perseverance to spend time on professional growth and learning those things you don’t know,” she says. ”While learning new things and realizing how much we don’t know is extremely uncomfortable, what is even more uncomfortable is the thought that I might face my deathbed someday never knowing what I could have actually done.”

Revisit your vision daily. Tautimes says maintaining a strong and consistent entrepreneurial mindset involves a commitment to a vision, which allows the business owner to follow through on the necessary steps to complete the vision. “One problem entrepreneurs frequently face is that the demands of the day get in the way,” she says. “Frustration and doubt can creep in, and problems can clutter up the day and take you off course, so it’s important to set aside time every day to focus on your vision and goals in order to stay on track.”

Take responsibility and uphold integrity. “A responsible person is someone who does not make excuses, does not blame others or circumstances, and who pushes through feelings to take deliberate action,” Tautimes says. “The feelings part of the equation is really important. Responsible people who proactively make their lives happen do not make decisions throughout their day based on their feelings. They base their decisions on what they said they were going to do, whether they like it or not. In other words, they uphold a consistent level of integrity with and for themselves as well as with those they serve.”

Approach problems from all sides. There is much trial and error involved in the entrepreneurial life, which means entrepreneurs have to approach problems from different angles in order to move forward. “Oftentimes the first solution is not the best one,” Tautimes says. “You have to think differently than most people and open your mind to all the possibilities. Remember that mistakes are a great opportunity for growth, including product or service improvements or new products and services altogether.”

Delegate and elevate. A common mistake entrepreneurs make early on is wearing too many hats. “I always felt like I was lacking because I couldn’t figure out how to do it all,” Tautimes says. “I never realized that the real question wasn’t ever whether I could do it all to begin with; it was whether I should. With everything that we do, there is an opportunity cost. For example, if I spend a ton of time building the marketing campaign, then I’m not developing the next business relationship. What you need to realize is the more you choose to do things that help you increase your value, the better your life and business will become. Stop doing things you can delegate so you can focus on things that help your company get farther faster.”

“There will be setbacks and bumps in the road,” Tautimes says, “but that’s part of the entrepreneur’s journey and growth. The right mindset builds you and your business for the long haul, and the rewards eventually come to those who continue to grow.”


Mari Tautimes ( is the author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur. She rose from administrative assistant to CEO of her family’s businesses and sold them for $16 million. An entrepreneur for over 20 years, Tautimes is a speaker, trainer, EOS Implementer® and mentor, sharing her story of perseverance and success to help others create fulfilling lives.


How Business Leaders Can Leverage Tenacity

It was a year of hard knocks, for individuals and certainly for businesses, which struggled to survive as the COVID-19 pandemic spawned a weak economy that wreaked havoc on sales goals, performance goals, and profits.

But 2020 is now history and individuals and businesses both need to foster a new attitude if they hope to succeed, says Dr. Allen Lycka (, co-author of the international bestseller The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life.

“If there is one attribute that determines success, it’s tenacity,” says Lycka, who for three decades was a cosmetic dermatologist, but today is a transformational keynote speaker, thought leader, and life-changing coach.

“While intelligence, hard work, and skill are important, it is tenacity and perseverance that ultimately make the difference in achieving success. Businesses that show those traits are the ones that will do well.”

In the process, though, those businesses and the people who lead them may need to shove aside any lingering pessimism brought about by the pandemic, and dig deep inside themselves for the optimism that dwells there, Lycka says.

Lycka is convinced tenacity resides in everyone and it’s just a matter of bringing it out. He suggests a few ways to do so:

Fix your belief system. Lycka says the No. 1 reason people give up – whether in business or other endeavors – is that they harbor false beliefs. They are certain that they can’t succeed because something – genetics, bad luck, some other factor beyond their control – is keeping them down. Businesses aren’t going to flourish with that type of fatalistic thinking, he says. He points out that in the bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell wrote that becoming expert at something takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. In other words, tenacity. Of course, “deliberate practice” is a specifically defined term that involves goal setting, quick feedback, and constant efforts at improving. “Integral to this is to have a written plan and goals,” Lycka says. “Goals are dreams with a deadline.”

Be wary of naysayers. In business planning, as in life planning, it’s important to brush off the negative criticism from others. For example, someone determined to launch a new business might hear from naysayers that this is the wrong time or that the basic idea for the business is a bad one. “If you truly believe that your plan is a good one and that it’s what you want to do, then you should listen to yourself rather than others,” Lycka says.

Look for role models. One way to summon your inner tenacity is to choose role models who exhibit the traits you admire. “If you have role models who are tenacious, you can pattern yourself after them,” Lycka says. For individuals, that can mean looking to successful people who overcame odds or persevered despite encountering failure along the way. For businesses, it can mean studying how their best competitors thrived despite difficulties, or how the entrepreneurs they admire shrugged off setbacks to accomplish success.

“Thankfully, we all have what it takes to be tenacious,” Lycka says. “You can always build up your resolve by using some of these tips, but don’t forget that it’s been there all along. Everything you need, you already have. Just have to recognize it and work at it.”


Dr. Allen Lycka (, previously acknowledged as one of the leading cosmetic dermatologists globally for three decades – he is now a transformational keynote speaker, thought leader, life-changing coach, workshop provider and mentor. At the top of his career in 2003, he was crushed by a misdiagnosis of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and was told he had six months to live. He defied the odds by finding another doctor who saved his life. A near death survivor, he discovered his “golden pearls” through the experience. He has now dedicated his life to helping others and provides answers in his international bestselling book, The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life… Discover The 13 Golden Pearls Within, co-authored with Woman of Distinction Winner Harriet Tinka, who had a similar life experience, surviving death after being kidnapped, stabbed, and left for dead. The “Golden Pearls” are the commonality they discovered. 


10 Tips For Navigating Business Growth

When running a business, you are constantly striving to promote growth. Once things start to take off, there’s often a whole new set of challenges that must be addressed. Here are a few tips I’ve found useful when navigating a period of business growth and expansion.

1. Don’t Lose Sight of Your “Why.” Seeing your business grow and thrive is exciting, but it’s important to stay focused on your mission. A rapidly growing business can sometimes take off in a direction that doesn’t align with your core mission. Periods of growth are an opportune time to reflect and realign with your “why.”

2. Learn to Delegate. As an entrepreneur, you often begin by handling almost every aspect of your business. As your business expands, you must delegate to manage your workload. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by your organization’s growth recently, look over your responsibilities. Are there aspects of your workload that could be handled efficiently by someone else?

3. Hire with Culture in Mind. Retention of quality talent is essential to the long-term success of a business. When searching for new hires, consider how candidates will do in your company’s unique culture. Of course, credentials are important, but the candidate that looks the best on paper is not always the best fit.

4. Listen to Your Customers. Your customers are the life force of your company. Never lose touch with what your customers want out of your brand. Especially in periods of rapid growth, be sure to focus on customer experience. You can show customers you care through meaningful communications and requests for feedback.

5. Encourage Employee Feedback. Speaking of feedback, it’s vital to listen to your employees as well. During periods of growth, lots of things shift and employees are invaluable sources of information. Their insight into what needs revision or improvement can help your business grow with grace and agility.

6. Analyze Your Inefficiencies. In addition to listening to employee feedback regarding ways to improve your business, seek out inefficiencies in the processes you currently have in place. Is there a manual task that could be automated? Are employees spending too much time on tasks that don’t benefit overall productivity?

7. Reduce Regulation Risk. A growing business has to be on the lookout for new government and industry regulations! Growth can take many different forms﹘ expanding your markets, utilizing new sales channels, teaming up with a distributor, rolling out new products, etc. Big changes like these might mean dealing with new or different regulations. Be sure to do your homework to ensure that you’re in compliance.

8. Integrate Your Processes. When a business is just starting out, the decision is often made to go with the most economical software solutions. This can mean patching many different systems together, which can be especially problematic during high-growth periods. Disparate systems will struggle to keep up with the demand, causing internal issues as well as a diminished customer experience. Switching to a comprehensive business management system allows all departments to communicate effectively and efficiently. It also allows you to access all the data you need at any time, rather than having to gather it from multiple programs.

9. Make Scalability a Priority. When thinking about how to navigate growth in your business, always consider the scalability of your decisions. Demand fluctuates over time, and (if things keep going this way) you will need to account for more growth in the future. Make sure the solutions you implement now can support growth in the future as well.

10. Bring in an Expert. All of this may sound daunting to tackle on your own, but the good news is you don’t have to! Partner with someone that can help grow your business and find software solutions that make business processes more fluent and efficient.


Joel Patterson ( is the founder of The Vested Group, a business technology consulting firm in the Dallas, Texas, area, and ForbesBooks author of The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation. He has worked in the consulting field for over 20 years. Patterson began his consulting career at Arthur Andersen and Capgemini before helping found Lucidity Consulting Group in 2001. For 15 years he specialized in implementing Tier One ERP, software systems designed to service the needs of large, complex corporations. In 2011, Patterson founded The Vested Group, which focuses on bringing comprehensive cloud-based business management solutions to start-ups and well-established businesses alike. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University.


Are Growing Pains Afflicting Your Business? How To Successfully Scale Your Company.

Ambitious entrepreneurs often are determined to grow their businesses by expanding into new areas, adding new products, and increasing the size of their workforce.

But growth comes with potential hazards, which is why one of the leading causes of business failure is overexpansion – growing too much too fast.

“There are so many complexities involved with growing a company” says Shawn Burcham (, author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, and founder and CEO of PFSbrands, the parent company of Champs ChickenCooper’s Express and BluTaco.

“If you’ve been a parent and raised kids, you can relate it to the various ages of kids. Much like your kids need different things at different ages, your business has different needs at different stages of growth.”

To stay on track with those needs, Burcham says business leaders need to:

Constantly evaluate employees. When a company is growing and improving, employees need to do the same, Burcham says. He’s an advocate of lifelong learning and expects employees to commit to continual personal improvement through reading, seminars or other educational efforts. In addition, while Burcham likes to promote from within, he will look elsewhere when necessary. “Scaling requires your team to evolve, but it also requires new blood,” he says. “As a company is growing, sometimes you have to go out and recruit the talent to help you get to that next level.”

Protect the brand. As the business grows, it’s crucial to adhere to standards and have quality controls in place. Otherwise, the business won’t build brand loyalty. “If you go into McDonald’s and you get a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder, you want that Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to taste the same in every location,” Burcham says. “That’s ultimately what every national brand is working toward.” In his own business, he has seen competitors of PFSbrands locate in supermarkets and convenience stores with loose standards.  “In some cases, we lose business to these competitors who are lenient and have lower standards,” Burcham says.

Embrace the future. Scaling is all about embracing the future, and that includes understanding millennials who will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, Burcham says. “Younger generations want to know why they’re doing something, and that makes a lot of sense when you think about how they grew up with their electronic devices,” he says. “They have been able to get answers anytime they want them.” Burcham’s company uses an open-book management approach that fits well with the transparency younger workers desire, he says. “Personal growth, education, and continuous learning are also things they are looking for. If companies today want to scale, then they need to embrace millennials and work to create an environment where they are engaged.”

Take their time back.“To be an effective leader as your business grows, you need to consistently work on time management,” Burcham says. He has five steps for doing this. 1. Decide what’s important and focus on two or three top priorities each day. 2. Stop doing some tasks. Instead, delegate or automate them. 3. Start on the most important thing first. 4. Learn to say no. 5. Block out time for self-improvement and life needs.

“Scaling is a process, not a destination,” Burcham says. “If you really want your business to grow, you need to be constantly moving, constantly evaluating and constantly improving.”


Shawn Burcham (, author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, is the founder & CEO of PFSbrands, which he and his wife, Julie, started out of their home in 1998. The company has over 1,500 branded foodservice locations across 40 states and is best known for their Champs Chicken franchise brand which was started in 1999. Prior to starting PFSbrands, Burcham spent five years with a Fortune 100 company, Mid-America Dairymen (now Dairy Farmers of America). He also worked for three years as a Regional Sales Manager for a midwest Chester’s Fried chicken distributor.


Want to Ride the Coming Gig Economy Boom? Map Your Processes First.

Who sets workflow parameters in your business? Is it a control-heavy CEO? Department heads? The HR people who bring in the muscle? If it’s any of those three, your organization is overlooking the experts on what it takes to achieve goals and innovate: employees.

Trends in hiring options show big potential for companies to boost performance and nail objectives by augmenting permanent staff with project-oriented contractors. Project-based hiring promises greater efficiency and a chance to attract expert talent on a case-by-case basis, giving your workforce more power and flexibility. But to call this a move toward outsourcing is to simplify the job that business leaders and HR professionals face first.

Embracing new ways of hiring will depend on taking a fresh look at how work gets done inside your organization. In other words, to slot the right workers to the right projects, those projects need concise definition, so the right people can be found. The tool for that task is culture. Build transparency and acknowledgment into your company culture to fully identify and hone your job processes.

Transparency Helps Outline Job Breakdowns

The key to contracting specific projects to specific talent is, well, being specific. If you’re looking for a full-time employee to cover a number of tasks, the old, broad job description model still works. But if you’re looking for a series of experts to carry projects over the finish line, you’ll want to pinpoint what you want those people to do, for how long, and to what end. You can use your permanent and rotating staff to help draw those outlines.

Since you may have many microhires, the best way to manage knowledge of the processes they’ll follow is to let everybody on your staff know those boundaries. A project may wend its way through several departments and dozens of desks. When your whole team knows what everyone does and why, anyone will be able to point a person or a process in the correct direction.

Transparency brings this information to every manager and employee. In your regular team-building interactions, create a role-and-goal component. On its face, this is simple. What does each person in the company do? Why do they do it? What do they hope to achieve? At meetings or in internal communications, quiz the whole staff, from the CEO to direct reports, on these items. This is the beginning of mapping workflow and processes, and it should be a perpetual effort, as new people come in and new goals need to be met.

Acknowledgement Reveals What Works

With multiple contractors cycling through your workforce, you’ll want proven processes to guide them. Who decides what works? In a supportive culture, everyone should have a say. Analysis of growth and market share will back up how well the company machinery is working.

In your initial process mapping, you’ll survey each employee and departmental reps on how they do what they do, and how efficient and effective they think those methods are. Then, you can confirm or reject process steps via their outcomes. To keep all of this front and center with employees, use an acknowledgment system that is open to everyone.

For instance, if Kate finds a way to skip a step and hit a goal more efficiently, a colleague might notice and call attention to her improvement. Then, the department manager may take note and decide to implement that process across the board. This is why an open recognition system is important. When peers and those up and down the ladder see which current practices or new innovations aid in job performance, they can adopt them as well or encourage others to do so.

Contractors Help Pay It Forward

Have HR or department heads document your evolving processes, so that there is a map of best practices at any given time. Your hiring and onboarding procedures for contractors will reflect these tasks and techniques. You’ll also include these temporary hires in your roles-and-goals education, to whatever degree is relevant. This may seem like overkill, but it will create stability in what is necessarily a fluid situation.

Now you’re ready to use those expert contractors to their full potential. The new skills and talent they bring to the table will further innovate your job processes. And their knowledge of your internal structure will make them ideal candidates for future projects.

But keeping contractors informed and in the feedback loop does more than just positively affect your workflow. It helps reinforce forward-looking company culture. An organization’s culture is a living thing that transcends who is on the payroll at the moment. A strong culture that highlights how work is best performed will serve whomever you hire, well into the future.


Chris Dyer is a recognized company culture expert among leadership speakers and consultants. He has channeled what he has learned in his business research and as Founder and CEO of PeopleG2, a leading background check company, into his best-selling book, The Power of Company Culture (Kogan Page, 2018).

3 Tips For Creating A Clear Vision To Ensure Business Success

Running a business is similar to taking a family vacation. To be successful, both require meticulous planning, clearly defined roles for everyone involved, and a predetermined destination.

“Not having a clear vision and specific goals is a proven way to ensure you’ll never achieve them,” says John Collopy, author of the book The Reward of Knowing ( “That’s why articulating your vision is a critical first step toward success—to give yourself something to aspire to besides some general idea of ‘making it.”

Collopy knows a thing or two about having a vision and then setting goals to make the vision a reality.  He is the owner and broker of RE/MAX Results and its subsequent 38 offices across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Setting goals in his personal life helped him overcome his addiction to alcohol. Now he is dedicated to helping others find the right steps to achieve their dreams, but he says there can be many roadblocks.

“Having an unclear vision can also make it difficult to stay motivated and passionate about your work,” says Collopy. “Identifying a clear vision and set of goals can keep us going through tough times, and give us energy when we want to give up. That’s because, even when you’re in a rough patch, you know you’re working toward something.”

In contrast, a vague, half-formed vision may leave you feeling lost and powerless, he says.

“Eventually, you may even give up entirely,” Collopy says. “You may decide that, based on your record of failure, success just isn’t in the cards for you. And that’s the saddest result of failing to articulate your vision.”

Collopy has the following tips for those who are ready to set goals to achieve their vision:

-Be specific and realistic. Be specific about your goals, and the steps you need to take to reach them. “If you don’t, be ready to deal with challenges now and in the future,” Collopy says. Also make your goals attainable but not too easy. You want to have pride when it is accomplished. If you set the bar too high, you may get discouraged.  And if you set it too low, you will not feel a great sense of accomplishment. 

-Make goals measurable. Any good goal that is worthy of your time should be measurable so even if you don’t make it, you can measure your progress. It will be easier to measure your goals if they are clear goals that are attainable, relevant and time-based.

-Write it down and tell someone. Write down your vision, make copies and leave those copies where you will routinely see them – on your refrigerator, in your car, on your dresser, in the bathroom. “This will remind you about your vision throughout the day and keep you on task,” Collopy says. In addition, the more people you tell about your vision and your goals, the better. They will encourage you because the next time they see you, he says, they will probably ask you about your progress.  

“Once you have attained your goal, take some time to celebrate your victory with your team,” Collopy says. “Even if the goal wasn’t a team goal, invite others that work with you or for you to share in your accomplishment.”


John Collopy, author of the book The Reward of Knowing, is the owner and broker of RE/MAX Results and its subsequent 38 offices across Minnesota and Wisconsin.  With annual sales of more than $5.3 billion, RE/MAX Results is now one of the largest RE/MAX franchises in the world.  Collopy lives in Minnesota with his wife and children.


Business Betrayals: Protecting Yourself From Workplace Treachery

Betrayal in business can come in many forms.
A supervisor who gives specific directions for a project, then lays the blame squarely on you when things go awry. An employee who fails to inform you of a high-end client’s unhappiness, leaving you blindsided and feeling the CEO’s wrath when the client cancels a contract.
In such scenarios, the person betrayed can feel angry, devastated and perhaps unsure whether to ever trust anyone again, say Elaine Eisenman, PhD, and Susan Stautberg, co-authors of Betrayed: A Survivor’s Guide to Lying, Cheating, & Double-Dealing. These two successful business women say they themselves have experienced betrayal professionally and personally.
“In all relationships we trust others, believing that while they will look out for their own best interest, they will also respect ours,” Stautberg says. “Unfortunately, that’s not always so.”
In business, there’s no guarantee that even a good friend or family member deserves your confidence.
“Regardless of how well you know someone, treat any business arrangement with due diligence,” Eisenman says. “Motives can be hidden, even with the best of friends.”
So, how can business leaders and their employees avoid betrayals that can harm them and their organizations? And how should they handle the fallout if they are betrayed? Eisenman and Stautberg offer a few suggestions:
Learn to trust wisely. Blind trust can make you an easy target because you ignore the potential for human nature’s darker side, Stautberg says. But it’s also ill-advised to assume no one can be trusted ever. What you’re after, she says, is “wise trust,” which allows you to weigh each situation, assessing whether there is low or high probability of betrayal.
Listen to what your gut tells you. So-called “gut feelings” act as an early warning system. “Ignore those feelings at your own peril,” Eisenman says. She shares the story of a woman named Ingrid, a chief finance officer in the public sector who was involved in the recruiting of a comptroller who came highly recommended. Ingrid preferred to handle reference checks herself, but that was HR’s job so she backed off, even though something told her this job candidate’s credentials were too good to be true. She shouldn’t have ignored her instinct because after he was hired the comptroller was charged with white-collar crimes committed in another state. For Ingrid, this became a triple betrayal – by colleagues who tried to make her the scapegoat, by HR, who didn’t perform a thorough background check, and, of course, she was betrayed by the man she hired.
Don’t seek revenge immediately – if at all. Planning revenge continues to provide the betrayer with power over you rather than allowing you to take that power into your own hands. It’s more productive to distance yourself from the betrayal and shore up your emotions with rational thoughts. That will help you begin to derive lessons from the traumatic event.
If you are betrayed, there is no need to beat up on yourself. “It is critical to recognize that what you are feeling is completely normal,” Eisenman says. “If you blow the event out of proportion, exaggerating its impact on all aspects of your life, you’ll only postpone your recovery.”
“The key to moving forward is self-compassion,” Stautberg says. “Get yourself to a safe space, both physically and emotionally, and get some sleep. Being rested will help you think clearly and you’re going to need your wits to survive.”
Reactions to stress differ. So, don’t worry if your immediate reaction includes anger. Try to balance it  and take the energy to hold onto your power. Surround yourself with friends. Have the courage to move forward and leave the past behind. Learn to pivot. Eisenman and Stautberg discovered that the formula for success is creating a new positive, self-confidence about work and informed risk taking.  Learn how to BOUNCE – Be Bold, Optimistic, Undaunted, Nimble, Courageous, and Empowered.
Elaine Eisenman, PhD, co-author with Susan Stautberg of Betrayed: A Survivor’s Guide to Lying, Cheating, & Double Dealing, currently serves as an independent Board Director for DBI, Inc. (NYSE), as well as for AtmosXR and Miravan, both privately held companies. She is the Managing Director of Saeje Advisors, LLC, an advisory firm for high growth ventures. Former Dean of Executive and Enterprise Education at Babson College, she works closely with CEOs and their executive teams to create cultures that accelerate growth. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of turning risk into opportunity.
Susan Stautberg is Governance Advisor to the portfolio companies of Atlantic Street Capital, a private equity firm. She is also President and CEO of PartnerCom Corporation and Chair Emeritus of the WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation (WCD). Susan addresses groups around the world, including leading business schools and CEO conferences. She has written or been featured in numerous articles including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times and her on-air experience includes Oprah, The Today Show, CBS Evening News, CNN and many others.