6 Business Resolutions for 2014

At the beginning the year, resolutions are on every entrepreneurs’ minds—those annual commitments (and recommitments) that help businesses grow and succeed.

We recently asked six EO Nashville members what their business resolutions were to start 2014 off on the right foot. Read on to learn more.

Show Appreciation

Charlie Brock

Charlie Brock

Too often quality work and support goes unrecognized. Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee, made a resolution to thank the people that helped his personal and professional growth. This included mentors, employees, board members and even his wife who has allowed him to chase his passion despite the long hours. His goal was to let people know that their time and commitment is appreciated.

Embrace Flexibility

Julie May

Julie May

As Julie May, co-founder and CEO of bytes of knowledge, says, “the times are a changin’.” She has made it her resolution to become more comfortable with the idea of flexible hours and virtual working.

“This new culture of flexibility can be very difficult, making it hard to adapt to the new expectations—even though I enjoy them myself,” Julie said. “With an ERP in place and metrics for each employee, the numbers will speak for themselves. I can entrust management to the numbers and determine the resulting outcomes.”

Invest in Experienced Department Leaders

Shervin Eftekhari

Shervin Eftekhari

When transitioning from a startup to a revenue producing, growing company, you need to invest in experienced department leaders.

As Shervin Eftekhari, president of Zander Insurance, says, “As a founder of a startup, you’re responsible everyday for making decisions large and small. Sometimes this means making decisions about topics that are not your area of expertise. By using common sense and creative thinking, startups can muddle through most sticky situations.”

But, as the size of your company grows, at some point, investing in experienced department leaders ensures that no one spends valuable time on things that are not in their area of expertise, and your focus as a business owner remains on the growth of the business itself.

For Shervin, this means getting an HR manager with proper experience and training. “We made a resolution to do that one year and it changed the culture of our company. There is a science, theory and know-how in human resources that you can’t fake for too long. Getting the right HR expert helps with the difficult task of managing people,” Shervin said. “It also helps with company morale and with handling tough employee issues, freeing us up to focus more on growing the business and enhancing the customer experience.”

Align Your Team

Elliott Holt

Elliott Holt

Aligning your team can mean different things to different people, and for Elliott Holt, CEO of Medi-Copy Services, Inc., it means encouraging employee engagement without wasting resources to give necessary feedback to his management team.

Elliott plans to use the “Start.Stop.Continue.” exercise to find this alignment.

“I have made the resolution to begin the ‘Start.Stop.Continue.’ exercise on a monthly basis and to include all of my staff, not just the managers, on it so that we can get buy-in from all employees,” Elliott said. “In 2013, my managers completed this exercise and I learned what I needed to start, stop and continue. I learned that I needed to start trusting my decisions as an entrepreneur and not listen to all of the noise in the background. I learned that I needed to stop micromanaging every department within my organization and let my managers lead. I also learned that I should I continue to focus my time on the ingenuity and stratagem of the company so that current and potential clients will benefit from our services years to come.”

Take Immediate Action

John Huber

John Huber

It’s easy to delay tasks without pressing deadlines, but as we all know that’s not always a good thing in both our professional and personal lives.

John Huber, COO of Moo Creative Media, has found it easy in the past of push off non-time specific tasks indefinitely. So he made it his goal in 2014 to take immediate action.

“If I see something that needs attention or a process that needs adjusting I will take steps right away to get the situation resolved,” John said. “By challenging myself to take immediate action, I will find time to handle these tasks so I can focus my attention elsewhere without my to-do-list growing out of control.”

Give Back to the Entrepreneurial Community

Bill Faeth

Bill Faeth

This year, Bill Faeth, CEO of Inbound Marketing Agents, made it his resolution to give to the entrepreneurial community by incubating young entrepreneurs and providing ongoing mentorship throughout the year.

“I’ve extended free workspace in our company’s office, provided ongoing mentorship, and access to our staff to support the entrepreneur’s development. So far, the benefits have been fantastic—we hold office-wide strategy sessions, and ‘think tanks’ that provide an environment that most young startups don’t have access to,” Bill said. “Most of all, I love knowing that I’m able to make a real difference for aspiring first-time entrepreneurs while giving back and also learning from them.”

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Fall Membership Drive: Welcome EO Nashville’s 23 new members

We’re happy to announce today the addition of 23 new members to our group of Middle Tennessee business owners.

The new members bring a combined $177,340,000 in annual sales and 760 full-time employees to the group’s ranks. Though 61% of the new member companies call Davidson County home, the new members represent seven different counties in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Nashville EO chapter has a total of 147 members, which represents at 30% year-over-year growth for the chapter. To join, an entrepreneur must be a founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.

Entrepreneurs are constantly faced with new challenges and obstacles to success. By engaging with their peers in organizations like EO, entrepreneurs can learn new skills and ideas to help grow their businesses in healthy and strong ways.

The 23 new EO Nashville members are:

  • Sam Aguiar, founder of Aguiar Law Office, PLLC, a personal injury law firm.
  • Tim Akers, founder and president of Akers Advisory Group, LLC, a janitorial and building maintenance company.
  • Tyler Alkins, owner of American Earth Solutions, a manufacturing company that makes erosion control products for highway construction projects.
  • Charlie Brock, partner and owner of Four Bridges Capital Advisors, an investment services company that provides an array of services to middle-market companies.
  • John Cook, Jr., president of Dole Refrigerating Company, a manufacturer of transport refrigeration and commercial freezing equipment.
  • Chris Crimmins, owner of Crimmins Construction, a professional remodeling and restoration firm.
  • Shervin Eftekhari, president of Zander Insurance, a full-service insurance agency.
  • Bill Faeth, co-founder of Inbound Marketing Agents, a digital marketing and demand generation agency.
  • Brad Hill, owner of Local Search Masters, an SEO and social media firm.
  • John Huber, co-founder and president, Moo Creative Media, Inc., a video marketing and creative firm.
  • Will Huynh, co-founder of Shoe Metro, a discounted online shoe retailer.
  • Rom Kellis IV, owner of NaturChem Inc., a vegetation management company for governmental, municipal, industrial and private markets.
  • David King, president and CEO of King Jewelers, a leading independent couture jeweler specializing in wholesale diamonds, fine jewelry and Swiss watches.
  • Brittany Lorenzi, CFO and principal of Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone, a commercial real estate services firm.
  • Jeff McCorpin, partner and founder of LBMC Technologies, an IT consulting firm.
  • Wade McMinn, owner and partner of Capital Wealth Advisors, LLC, a private wealth management firm.
  • Bob Murphy, president and founder of RPM Transportation Consultants, LLC, a traffic engineering and transportation planning consultant.
  • Bethany Newman, co-owner and president of st8mnt, a brand design studio that offers print, Web and interactive design services.
  • Jason Patrick, owner of Express Employment Professionals, a staffing agency that provides full-time and temporary job placement, human resources services and consulting.
  • Erin Richardson, president and owner of All-American Pest Control, Inc., a pest control company serving homeowners and businesses.
  • Mark Richter, president of MAX Mobility, a manufacturer of products that maximize the mobility of those with disabilities .
  • John Rosen, owner of Wildkin, a manufacturer of bags and accessories for kids.
  • Barry Smith, president and co-founder of Eakin Partners, LLC, a commercial real estate firm.

Brad Hill, John Huber and Bethany Newman all join EO Nashville as alumnae of EO Nashville’s Catalyst program. Catalyst provides classes, peer-to-peer forum groups and mentorship and is designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.