I’ve been working with people in some capacity for 27 years, and I always have been and remain a firm believer in the concept of teamwork. Recently in fact I experienced the power of teamwork firsthand here with our own PawnMaster team. The way they came together was nothing short of spectacular and something I’ve never witnessed before, and it's really galvanized my belief and commitment to the teamwork concept. When you have a great team like we do, you think there’s nothing more they can do that will shock you but man I have to admit, I was wrong in this instance. Let me set the stage for you and share this real-life scenario, which will only reinforce why teamwork is vital to every business.
Why would you not want to protect your legitimate business interests, your intellectual property, your customer relationships, and your customer lists? Protecting your livelihood at all costs should be part of your business strategy. Think for the future, and solidify the protection of all that you’ve worked for. There is one specific protection I believe is a must in your business, and that is a non-compete agreement. I would be kept up at night if I didn’t use these contracts. They protect your customer base—the relationships and goodwill developed by an organizationin in terms of customer relations is ultimately what keeps you progressing.
Imagine that you're a leader in your industry with a great reputation and suddenly, “Poof!” that blue chip list of clients is taken to a competitor by a former manager or employee. Why would you not want to use a non-compete agreement to prevent a former staff member from capitalizing on that goodwill and competing with their original employer? You work for years to build your competitive advantage, and a lot of that could disappear with the termination/resignation of a disgruntled or money-hungry former employee. We believe in this process at Data Age Business Systems. We protect our proprietary software, our intellectual property, and understand that we have a customer list worthy of the blue chip moniker.
How do we have such great team members? You ask. I don’t lollygag around with the hiring process. When you have a tough job to fill, a skill set that is in high demand and with a shortage of qualified people, you have to move quickly to get them secured as a team member and in the Technology world it holds truer now than ever. Don’t let the old adage “you snooze you lose” come back to bite you. Too many times I’ve seen hiring managers hold to their process of finding a specific number of candidates to interview before moving forward. In the start of my career I always held to that. With age comes wisdom. I’m not saying don’t do background tests, drug tests, or reference checks. What I’m saying is if you interview one person and you know it’s the right person, hire them! Get the ball rolling NOW! Make an offer pending all your processes.
Many of you may know me or have chatted with me over the years. As the Director of Operations, I get the chance to connect with many of our clients. Closing in on 3,300 customers here at Data Age means I get the chance to hear so many success stories and how many different ways our brokers operate their businesses. There is no one way to operate a business, we know that here. That's why our approach is to offer the flexibiliity to mold everything we do around tailoring each of our products and services to help drive our customers’ success.
As part of my various daily responsibilities, I am the company’s recruiter and interviewer. It’s my job to use all the questions at my disposal to determine whether the candidate is right for the job or not. In fact, I have two favorite questions that I never waiver from. I use them in order to see how the interviewee will react and what may make them great team members. We all know that a person’s skills and abilities, no matter how impressive they may be, are just part of what makes a person tick. When you hire someone, you’re not just acquiring whatever that person can bring to the table, you’re hiring a real person with strengths and weaknesses that will inevitably affect how they perform.
“You only get one shot at making a first impression.” I’m sure we’ve all heard this statement over the course of our lives, from the time of our youth, to preparing to enter the workforce.
Since 1988, Data Age has provided world-class technical support and software updates with every product we sell. Our unique support proposition drives down total-cost-of-ownership and sets Data Age/PawnMaster apart from other industry players that charge high hourly rates. We have set ourselves apart from all other competition in our space.
NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I have to do another annual employee review?! I would rather be hit in the head by a 95mph fastball while not wearing a helmet. Of course I’m exaggerating, a little, but I knew twenty-five years ago when I began my career as a Manager that I completely despised the traditional annual review for an employee. The traditional reviews are boring, time consuming, uncomfortable, designed for hierarchical environments, lack recognition, and have rigid goals that are set once at the beginning of the year.
“Where is here?” you ask? Florida! More specifically the I-4 corridor. Even more specifically, the Tampa Bay, Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas to be exact. We are very fortunate to be located in the heart of one of the fastest growing technology regions in the country. What does this do for Data Age? It enables us to tap into a pipeline of nearly 10 million workers, 12 public universities, numerous private colleges and universities, and a robust network of technical institutions, which equates to hundreds of campuses across the state. This in turn allows us the opportunity to bring in some of the best talent available to help us continue our position as the #1 provider of software in our space.
Seven years ago I shared something with my then 12 year old daughter that my Dad said to me about my life when I was a kid growing up in Eastern Ohio. He told me not to live my life with any regrets. I remember that it was such a shock to me because he was typically a quiet guy that really taught me by his actions not his words. I shared this with my daughter as she was entering her teenage years and shortly thereafter into high school. I preached this to her in every aspect of her life such as her faith, family, education and athletics. I’m sure she was tired of hearing this, especially as a teenager, but I believe life is too short not to give what you have every day and enjoy the results of all your hard work.