Give Performance Reviews More Than Once a Year and Other Must-Read Business Tips
A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
The end-of-year performance review: Is there anything employees anticipate and dread more? While it holds the potential to bestow a sought-after raise or promotion, it can also reveal an employee's flaws and bad habits.
Partly because the year-end review is such a fraught encounter, managers would be better served checking in on performance at least four times a year, or even once a week, says Mike Steinerd, director of sales recruiting for Indeed.com. Even if a formal review comes only once a year, it's important for managers to meet with employees frequently to minimize the potential for shocks at the end of the year. That way, you have a chance to correct problems as they arise rather than waiting to scold someone during his or her review. More: 5 Steps to Better Performance Reviews
Engage friends in your business.
If you want your business to succeed, it's necessary to build up a good head of steam in the early days. One of the best ways to get some buzz is to let your friends in on what you're doing -- not for the purpose of feedback, but to get them excited. "You are building trust with potential ambassadors," says Travis Peoples, the founder of Pollenate, a social network currently in beta-test phase. "Momentum grows exponentially." More: 5 Ways to Build Momentum for Your Business Idea
Be educational, not self-promotional, in your content marketing.
The ultimate aim of marketing is to sell your product or service, but the direct approach doesn't always work. Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, a Cleveland-based education and training organization, says that when his company promotes itself, it receives only about 25 percent of the social interactions enjoyed by their educational posts. "The more you talk about yourself, the less people will share and spread your story," Pulizzi says. "It's that simple." More: 6 Content Marketing Principles Every Business Needs to Follow
Remember the rule of one.
You can work on your business for weeks or months or even years and make only incremental progress. But you can find yourself on a rocket ship overnight if you get the right person interested in your business. "All you need is that one investor, that one major customer or that one distributor to keep you ahead of competitors," says Martin Zwilling, a veteran startup mentor, executive and angel investor. That's known as the rule of one. But only you can get that person on board. "Self-promotion in the right way can make all the difference," Zwilling says. More: 10 Ways to Promote Yourself to Entrepreneurial Success
Change your chair to prevent aches and pains.
Knowledge work tends to require long hours sitting in front of a screen, and that sedentary lifestyle can cause a lot of discomfort. One solution might be to swap out your standard chair for a kneeling chair, says Dr. Michael Cooney, a chiropractor at Rutherford Allied Medical Group and Calmare Pain Therapy in New Jersey. A kneeling chair has a seat fixed at a 30-degree angle, padded knee rests and no back rest. "Because of the angle, [the kneeling chair] forces you to sit up straight and maintains a neutral position of the spine," Cooney says. More: 4 Ways to Eliminate Back and Neck Pain at Work
Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.