(Time to read this Blog is about 2 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    “Rumors are entertainment for the uniformed.  When you don’t inform your staff about what’s going on in the business, they make up stories to explain what they see.  Then, they pass on those stories as rumors.”
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. How do you treat your suppliers? Last Fall, Walmart arbitrarily announced that they would be imposing a fee of 1.25% of sales on all suppliers to fund its store redevelopment.  Quebec’s Farmers’ Union turned to The Competition Bureau of Canada to investigate.  But the Bureau has now called off the investigation because the farmers don’t dare take the risk of testifying and then being excluded as suppliers to Walmart.

    A Walmart spokesperson stated, “We have an open-door policy for all suppliers, large and small, to encourage them to raise any concerns they have.”   To which I reply, “Bull Poop!”

  3. The Cranky Corner. Some things make me ‘cranky’.  It could be my age, but I doubt it. The thing that currently ticks me off is the overused phrase, “It is what it is!”  It drives me nuts!

    Yes, some things can’t be changed and must be accepted, but this expression of hopelessness and resignation is often used when there actually are options and possibilities if we would just get off our behind and do something.  “It is what it is.” has become the slogan of quitters.  Don’t be one of them.


 Now, to this week’s important topic:

How many people are you trying to manage?

Following a presentation to furniture retailers on “The 8 essential steps to finding, leading & keeping a top-performing team.”, I received an email from one attendee saying, “Great ideas Donald…however, with tracking and dealing with every single employee (about 45) while running the business and making and implementing other business decisions, where do I find the time?” …signed, Margaret.

I was astounded.  How could anyone believe that they can effectively manage 45 people? So, I emailed her back with a few questions. From her reply I discovered that Margaret is physically and mentally exhausted, sales are down and employee turnover is way up…and the ones who are leaving are the top performers.

So, I replied to her, “Margaret, you’re absolutely correct.  Nobody can effectively manage, train, develop, challenge, inspire, mentor, support, measure performance for and reward 45 people. It’s killing you and the business. That’s why you must create a management structure in your business.  For example, you should have:

  • an office & accounting manager,
  • a marketing, advertising and social media manager,
  • a store sales manager,
  • a warehouse and delivery (logistics) manager…and,
  • a combined buyer and merchandising manager.

 These 5 people will report directly to you.  Your job is to challenge, develop, mentor, lead, inspire and manage them and they, in turn, will hire, develop and manage their specific team to deliver agreed performance commitments.”

Margaret emailed back, “Thanks Donald, you’re right.  It’s so obvious, so simple…I guess that’s why you get the big bucks. 😊

Are you trying to manage too many people? It’s generally thought that 6 to 8 is the absolute limit.  If your number is higher than that, what structure can you create to spread the load and grow your best people, so that they can help you grow your business…or your department…and your bottom line?

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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