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A little after they opened at 9 am on the Friday before the July 4 weekend I went to get a haircut. I wasn’t the only one and was told it would be about 20 minutes. So, I walked across the street, got a cup of coffee, checked emails, etc.

I came back 17 minutes later and instead of two stylists there was only one. After a few minutes another customer told me the other stylist didn’t feel good and was across the street getting food. (My thoughts flashed to my friend Steve Brilling’s stories about owning hair cutting franchise businesses and his biggest issue being the punctuality, mood, and condition of the stylists.)

The stylist came back, went behind the counter, and ate her food. By now there were five or six people waiting. Two other stylists were scheduled to start at 10 am, one arrived about 9:45, and the other at 9:50. The first saw the situation, quickly got ready, and said he’d start early (and I was next). The second proceeded to setup, clean his equipment, and watch the clock. At 10 am sharp he took the next customer.

So which employee would you want, the one who jumps in to help or one who watches the clock? What about the one who showed up not prepared to work and had to take 30 minutes off to get food and eat it (and 9 am is not an early start to the day, is it?).

The above is not uncommon, just substitute any industry. Every business is looking for employees, great, good, and even not-so-good. Employers tolerate mediocre people because it’s better than the other options. Companies are moving away from drug testing to get people.

This is why I added, “Show you can attract and retain great employees” to my items of what owners should do to make their businesses more attractive to buyers.

“Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.” Herb Kelleher

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