Meet The Team: Glen Michalske of The North Carolina Region

Glen D. Michalske Profile Picture rev2

 


Glen, where did you grow up?

Cleveland, Ohio

Where did you study for college?

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

What was the first job you had out of college? What was the most important lesson you learned there that has stuck with you for your entire professional career?

My first job was at Warner and Swasey, Cleveland, OH while going to college.  I was a Sales and Service Coordinator and was responsible for keeping over 100 service technicians supplied with electronic parts for NC Machine Tools that Warner & Swasey sold worldwide.  The most important thing that I learned was the customer always comes first.  Warner & Swasey built expensive innovative premium machine tools and relied on repeat business and referrals for future sales.  I had an opportunity to witness this first hand and that lesson has been the cornerstone of my career.

What drew you to working with A Neumann and Associates?

I had an opportunity to broker a deal between two consulting customers that I was working with.  It was a great experience and the satisfaction of helping the two parties come together and was very rewarding.  When the Neumann opportunity arose, Mr. Neumann and I established a plan to expand Neumann & Associates to offer business brokerage services in North Carolina.

What counties and states do you represent?

My primary region is North Carolina.

What do you feel makes your region unique compared to others?

This is the first time that Neumann & Associates did not expand into an adjacent territory, so this is the new model on how Neumann & Associates will grow nationally in the future.  The potential in North Carolina is huge as North Carolina is growing with tech firms and manufacturing and now ranks as the ninth largest state in population.

What do you find is the biggest challenge in North Carolina compared to others?

The shear size of the territory.  The state is huge and the business centers are spread out.

What do you find is the biggest advantage working in North Carolina compared to others?

Having been a small business owner for the last 14 years, focusing on helping other manufacturing businesses survive and grow will give me the insight to help our future clients in North Carolina divest their businesses or at least prepare a proper secession plan.  There is not, to my knowledge, another business broker in North Carolina that has a comparable methodology and credibility of Neumann and Associates in the Carolinas.

What do you think is the most underrated opportunity in the NC region?

Most business owners do not have an exit strategy and feel that they will live forever and obviously want to run their business forever!  We all know that eventually, even the most die hard business owner is going to sell or pass the business on to his/her heirs and that requires planning, especially for tax ramifications.  Most business owners don’t know where to start in this process and many business brokers in North Carolina require huge upfront retainers that often discourage the owners.  Neumann’s broker strategies are affordable, transaction based, confidential and provide all the information to allow for informed decisions.  This always maximizes the client’s company value, helps establish realistic goals and eliminates all the drama and stress.

Best advice for someone considering selling a business in North Carolina?

Neumann and Associates is the best option for a business owner to prepare for the inevitable.  Backed up by 50+ National Offices, the latest internet technologies, research and providing economical evaluations to determine the business’s true worth and marketability.  Neumann’s  trusted advisors help formulate no-stress exit strategies that protect employees, maximize returns and ensure that selling a business in North Carolina moves quickly and efficiently.

Best advice for someone considering buying a business in North Carolina?

Neumann and Associates is the best option for a business buyer, as Neumann has vetted and properly valued its diverse portfolio of businesses, thus, no surprises, minimal transaction costs and the transaction is accomplished in a timely manner to ensure that buying a business a North Carolina is going to be a sound investment.

Safeguard Your Company Data – A Three Step Guide

When it comes to data security, every company will have different needs to keep information out of the hands of rogue players. However, the logical framework that governs the creation of a data security strategy remains similar across all business sectors.

If a business is looking to safeguard company data, this three step process will help make a network stronger than it was yesterday…

encrypted-445155_640

1) Identify a nightmare scenario, and plan for it

No matter the business, there is information within servers that can be used to compromise it, or the lives of employees or customers. One must consider what the aftermath of a data breach would look like if it unfortunately, happens.

From enraged customers to the private communications of an executive team being posted on the Internet, a clear vision of what the worst could possibly be is critical so that a plan to repair the damage done can be created.

2) Determine the chain of command when it comes to data security

Many businesses leave the task of security in the hands of IT, but without leadership from the management team above them, a cohesive plan to defend servers from external threats can be hard to achieve.

Working with those that manage a businesses’ networks on a daily basis, a chain of command and communication must be clearly laid out to ensure management is addressed and informed on important updates during a time of crisis.

Once these lines of communication are in place, figuring out whether current network defenses are adequate and what happens in the event of a hacker attack will become a more straightforward task.

3) Find out what risks exist, and address them ASAP

Once a data security team is in place, risks can be effectively identified so that they can be neutralized. While a current staff member may be capable of the work, it is a good idea to consider bringing in outside experts to evaluate systems and train other staff members.

A professional data security team will also be able to spot gaps in security that current in-house IT staff may have been oblivious to. Hiring trainers to further build network security skills with current IT employees will also build their skill set and allow them do their jobs more effectively in the future.
Once the aforementioned has been implemented, the next step is to isolate weaknesses in a given system, and then draft a policy statement that outlines expectations for all employees in this department with regards to data security.

All of the above information is very important for someone who plans to buy a business or sell a business as well. For someone looking to buy a business, it will give peace of mind that the previous owner took their business seriously and the sensitive information of both clients and employees. If an owner plans to sell a business, having a strong security network and up-to-date systems will most likely increase a business valuation as the aforementioned becomes an asset and something new owners won’t have to spend time investigating and implementing.

How to Attract and Keep Great Talent

One fundamental truth of running a successful business is keeping profits high, and costs low. Softer aspects of workplace culture such as recruitment and talent retention have been overshadowed as a result, but that doesn’t mean they are any less important.

By getting the right people and hanging on to them, profits, and both client and employee satisfaction will be considerably more impressive than those that allow too many average employees to exist in their organizations, and A players to slip away to companies that value them more.

Let’s review several ways businesses can make themselves more attractive to the best talent on the market…

14202195290_4ac1d5a92b_z
Make your careers page attractive to A players

The average job seeker is only looking for a paycheck, but alpha employees that take companies to new heights are more interested in companies that present themselves as an agent of growth and change.

They also seek out workplaces that reward success and have a true team atmosphere, so be sure to communicate these qualities effectively.

Is the best candidate on the other side of the country? Reel them in with a relocation stipend…

Recruiting star talent can be an arduous task. When you do find the perfect fit for a position, don’t let financial and logistical difficulties stand in the way of sealing the deal.

If they live on the opposite end of the country or the globe, providing financial assistance that will help the deal with the significant costs involved in a move will help them get off the fence and into a role where they are badly needed.

Allow franchise players to have a long leash when it comes to creative control

Beta employees often need to be actively managed in order to get an acceptable amount of production out of them, but A players can often be trusted to get the job done on their own.

Additionally, they often come up with innovative processes on their own that will benefit the company when their boss resists the temptation to micromanage every aspect of their work day.

Let them tap their superior talent with only a few restrictions, and the business will be better off for it in the long run.

Give employees time flexibility so they can establish a favorable work/life balance for themselves

The best talent is very effective when it comes to how they use their time. When A players get more done in a few hours that takes a B player all day to accomplish, it makes sense to reward them with flex time that permits them to balance their careers with their family and social life.

While there may be some that worry about such an approach, the potential for abuse is low when this privilege is granted to high achievers, making it a net gain for the company, as time flexibility is a policy that will keep them happy.

Grant employees financial incentives and time allowances to develop their skills

Alpha employees aren’t just looking for top-of-the-line compensation, they also want the ability to develop their skills and stay on top of their field.

Employers that grant their employees time off and financial assistance to take courses and obtain designations and continuing education will enjoy greater loyalty and productivity from their team. It shows that an investment in their future is not only important for the business, but them as well.

Celebrate employee successes and the attainment of company goals

Workplaces are viewed by its best contributors to be a team that moves towards goals. When companies recognize and grant rewards, the victories won via the collective efforts of its employees creates a positive feedback loop that motivates them to achieve even greater objectives in the future.

Meet The Team – Gary W. Herviou – VP and North New Jersey Region

Gary Herviou


1. Gary, where did you grow up?

“The Jersey Shore” – Little Silver, NJ.

2. Where did you study for college?

Seton Hall University – South Orange, NJ.

3. What was the first job you had out of college? What was the most important lesson you learned there that has stuck with you for your entire professional career? Upon graduating Seton Hall in 1985, I joined my family’s graphics business in Red Bank, NJ. I had the pleasure of working for and with my father for over 25 years. We had a great team of dedicated and talented employees that enabled us to provide superlative services to our diversified clientèle. The most important lesson that I learned during that time was that customer service had to be the center of everything that was done. The entrepreneur never says “no” to a client request, rather they figure out a way to say “yes”. To this day, I always want to know exactly what the primary objective of my client is and then we can (hopefully) work towards meeting their needs.

4. What drew you to working with A Neumann and Associates? Upon transitioning out of the graphics business in 2010, I was extremely fortunate to join forces with Achim and his growing firm. As a small business owner for over 25 years, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me the ability to remain entrepreneurial and pursue a field that serviced other small businesses while tapping into my marketing communications background. I have learned so much from Achim and our experiences together since 2010 and feel very fortunate to truly love what I do every day.

5. What counties and states do you represent? My primary region covers all of New Jersey north of Ocean County. As Vice President of the firm, I also work very closely with our Managing Directors in other regions that cover NY, CT and PA.

6. What do you feel makes your region unique compared to others? The primary feature that makes this region unique is the concentration of population. As most know, there are more people situated between Philadelphia and New York City than anywhere else in the country. This concentration includes an enormous amount of service related businesses as well as larger Fortune 500 firms that require support. With massive population comes great diversity – as a result, we are fortunate to represent a wide spectrum of companies and industries and anyone looking to buy a business in New Jersey or sell a business in New Jersey.

7. What do you find is the biggest challenge in your region compared to others? Traffic…. No, probably the biggest challenge (for all our regions) is to “truly get the attention” of the business owner. The information that we provide relative to a proper business valuation in New Jersey and the correct way to sell a business in New Jersey is extremely valuable to every owner. Getting the dedicated time and having them actually concentrate on it is always the hardest task.

8. What do you find is the biggest advantage working in your region compared to others? My personal advantage is that I feel I am completely “in tune” with the NJ small business owner – the demands, the pace, the flow, the emotions and the character. I have been in their shoes. I know what it means to make a payroll and what it means to work with demanding clients and loyal employees. I think this connection allows me to “speak their language” and honestly communicate in a way that directly cuts through everything – goals are defined and problems are solved.

9. What do you think is the most underrated opportunity in the NJ region? Most small business owners simply do not have the time to understand how they can or will exit from their company. Because of all the demands placed upon them, either they underestimate their own worth or fail to properly prepare for an exit that is certainly within their reach. A successful and viable company is a very attractive investment, but only the informed owner will be able to capitalize on that important opportunity. This goes back to our major challenge – getting their attention and providing the information they need. If we succeed in that regard, they will ultimately execute a proper exit and we will be rewarded for our service.

10. What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in your region? A few years back, there was a gentleman who had a successful family business and the underlying real estate. Unfortunately, he became ill and wanted to quickly exit both and provide significant liquidity for his family. Utilizing our process and network to its fullest, we were able to close a transaction within 5 months and meet his needs. Having the ability to do that for someone is quite rewarding and gratifying.

11. Best advice for someone considering selling a business in New Jersey? Come to A Neumann & Associates and prepare ahead of time. Adopt a mindset of tracking your true value and marketability well in advance of your planned exit (at least 3 to 5 years). By working with trusted professionals, you can indeed affect a positive exit strategy, protect your employees and maximize the financial return in the process. Become informed about proper business valuation and the transfer process and you will be empowered to “solve this particular problem” when the time comes.

12. Best advice for someone considering buying a business in New Jersey? Same answer….come to A Neumann & Associates – we have the best and most diverse portfolio of viable businesses for sale in New Jersey and the entire region. All of our offerings are well vetted and provide tremendous growth opportunity for the investor.

Improving communication in a business

Often, there is miscommunication in businesses between employees and managers/business owners that leads to undesired outcomes. There are many factors that can lead to crossed wires, but here are some valuable tips to help get things crystal clear for all parties that will help to ensure efficiency, decrease stress and make sure things get done the way they’re supposed to be.

businessmen-786064_640

1) Actively listen to what employees are saying

When it comes to communication, being understood is a two way street. If respect is shown to employees by managers/owners, that respect will be reciprocated by employees.

Devote undivided attention to what employees are saying instead of multi-tasking or “half listening”. Using what they say, follow up with some clarifying questions. This will make things clearer, and it will go a long way towards earning the trust of team members by showing true engagement in whatever is being discussed.

2) Remain authentic in all business dealings

Another way to build trust through communication is to remain authentic, consistent, and clear with regards to whatever is said.

Avoid double speak and ambiguous terms – the confusion that results can lead to honest mistakes being made by employees.

Be mindful of body language, as certain actions (like crossing arms, a sign of impatience) can betray otherwise noble motives (actively listening to a colleague’s proposal to improve Q1 2016 sales for example).

3) Be generous with ideas, but don’t try to solve all a department’s problems

As the head of a company, or as a manager for a department within it, it is natural to want to step in and fix things at times. However, the employees that have been carefully hired in various capacities are more likely to have the in-depth knowledge required to drive game-changing innovation than a manager/owner who can often be distant from day-to-day activities/logistics.

Provide ideas to team members if they get stuck, but allow them to do the work necessary to solve the issue at hand. Help them when needed, but let them use their brain and take a little extra time if needed to accomplish the task. Doing so will build a sense of accomplishment and foster a rapport within a team or department. In the end, this will free up time to focus attention on more important matters.

4) Ask effective questions until the information desired is delivered

Avoid loaded queries that only create drama, and instead employ a rigor of logic to drill down to the core of the problem at hand.

Open-ended questions are best for obtaining feedback on matters like the status of a marketing campaign, while closed-ended questions (which only require a yes or no answer) are best for extracting discrete bits of information.