Free business help offered by peers

Developing great employees: Mark Kalish explains how advisory group can help with thorny problems


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By Geri Corey

— Whether you’re a seasoned successful businessperson or a young entrepreneur just starting up a new business, guidance on handling workplace issues is always helpful.

To meet this need, the Goshen Chamber of Commerce recently held a breakfast meeting of interest to small business owners: a roundtable discussion to acquaint them with the Peer Advisory Group.

Peer Advisory Group organizer Mark Kalish led the early morning discussion on handling business concerns — much as the discussion takes place at the monthly Peer Advisory Group meetings — with specific business issues brought to the table.

The following topics were talked about at the April 16 Chamber meeting and are samples of what could be brought up for discussion at the Peer Advisory Group monthly meetings. Examples are:

Making sure employees are aware of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

Insuring that employees fit your vision of your business.

Teaching phone skills and reviewing them periodically.

Mentoring on letter writing and emails (remind staff that emails are forever).

With certain businesses that might evoke anger, don’t take clients/customers comments personally, and ignore name calling.

Be aware of who’s coming through the door — have emergency numbers available, if needed.

Have periodical internal staff meetings — group employees together to discuss issues and learn from the discussion.

Prepare a code of conduct for independent contractors who work for you.

Is there fear in the workplace of asking questions?

Are we allowed to fail in the workplace, if we learn from it?

“At Peer Advisory Group meetings we talk of specifics in a safe environment,” said Kalish, noting that the group has been meeting for close to two years. “We’ve helped each other.”

Calling the Peer Advisory Group ”a very valuable resource,” Kalish urged the business community, “Hopefully you’ll want to join us and you’ll see how it all works.”

There’s no cost or obligation to attend the business get-togethers, and to learn more about Peer Advisory Group, contact Mark Kalish at mark.d.kalish@ampf.com or call 845-291-7000 or call the Goshen Chamber of Commerce office at 294-7741, ask for Executive Director Lynn Cione.

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