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What is more expensive in the long run – Amateur work or Professional work?

Our prices in my company aren’t cheap, we know (not the highest by any stretch either).  We’re the best at what we do, that commands a certain price.  We’re professionals in a constantly changing, difficult business (any of you who have done it know what I’m talking about).  But talking about price, without establishing why the price, is actually an amateur focus. Why? Because this:

The most expensive dollar you’ll ever spend is the dollar you’re not making.

Which begs the question, “Who’s more expensive? The Professional or or the Amateur?”

Let’s dig in….

Tesla. Amazing piece of American engineering. It’s expensive right? $80k and up.  TOO expensive. Way too much money for a car, simple transportation.  But…did you ever drive one?  Once you drive it, do you know what you wonder? Why Mercedes and BMW’s cost as much as the Tesla. It’s a self-driving car of the future, now. It’s way more advanced than anything else out there. It’s as fast as some super-cars are too. Once you drive it and experience it, it sort of becomes…a deal.

Ever get audited by the IRS or sued? Who do you want to hire? The amateur discount lawyer or accountant or the expensive one?  I learned a long time ago that a cheap accountant or attorney means, I get the short end of the stick on whatever they are working on on my behalf.

Anyone in business for a long time only wants to work with professionals. They’ve been down the amateur road, it ends up in expensive heartaches. They know that to some degree and it is presumed that the higher price means better quality and in most cases it does.  I won’t go into this much further as everyone sort of knows this already or at least will after a few good jarring experiences hit their pocket books because of it.


But let’s look at the most expensive aspect of amateurs that no one really looks at: The dollar never gotten.


Why is this so hard to see? Because it wasn’t there to begin with. It’s hard to see something that is not there.  What’s a perfect marriage? It’s hard to say until you’ve been married for a long time or divorced a couple of times, then you REALLY know.  You had to see it first to then know it.

Where you choose to use a cheap company as it “saves” you money, how much does it cost you in lost revenues? Hard to see that, right? Then, maybe you get upset that you’re not getting more business, so you go to another cheap company. And then another. And another. Heartbreak after heartbreak. Finally you say, “it just doesn’t work.”  This is so common in our industry it’s not funny. Ask any real professional in it.  They’ll tell you. Then, after all that, when the professional picks you up, there is so much work to do to clean it up, it takes some time, sometimes a long, frustrating time.  What about comparing the auto-repair bill and the length of repairs of the car of a woman who takes it in consistently for scheduled maintenance, to the bill amount and the length of time a car is in the shop from a woman who waits until all of her dashboard lights are on.  Point made?




Dan York

How “Company Hopping” Ruins your ROI

What is “Company Hopping?”

It is jumping from one service company to the next, every few months, for whatever “good reason.”

There are a lot of people who have this operating basis on various services. Call me old school, but I like a relationship with a proven-out service provider and once I find that relationship, I hold onto it for as long as I can. I’ve had the same cell phone provider for 11 years. I know people who change their phone numbers and service providers every year.  What’s the result? Everyone I’ve ever known has my phone number and always knows how to get a hold of me. This other person? I never know their number. I always ask who it is texting me and then find out it is them with a new number and new phone provider. The result? I’m creating stability, they are creating erratic and unpredictable communication.


How does this relate to your marketing?


Well, let’s first acknowledge that in the internet space, there are a lot of let’s just say “non-ideal” people providing service that just plain shouldn’t be. But that happens in every business too so, that’s that.


In our space, internet marketing, there are business owners that hop from one company to the next, every 3-6 months, sometimes only after a few weeks. And every time they go from one company to the next, they say the same thing, “Those guys sucked! Hopefully you guys are good!” I actually have my sales dept. trained to filter out and not sell to guys that have gone through 4-5 companies in the last 2 years or so. At some point, you have to ask yourself the question, “Did all 4-5 of those companies suck? Or did the client not persist with any given one of them so none of them could be successful?” Why would I want my industry-leading staff to work with someone like that?

When you’re hiring a new person for your company, it takes 2-3 months for the person to get genned in and learn everything, and that’s not even them hitting their stride! Imagine firing and hiring everyone who took longer than three months to learn their job in full. You’d have no staff! You’d blame a bad HR dept. for this problem, not all of the employees who “didn’t make it.”

And so it goes with your marketing. In our business, there is a runway for take-off, including all of the planning, strategy and execution that goes into a program, the establishment, and not to mention any damage control that must be done from earlier, bad work, which is super-frequent these days. What I just wrote in that sentence above can sometimes take 3-6 months.

I am often asked by potential clients, “How can we be more successful at what we are doing online?” The answer is too simple: Find a company you trust and like to work with, get to know them, create a long term relationship with them and persist through all of the inevitable bumps in the road you two will encounter together. The most successful clients I have are of course, the ones that have been with us the longest.


Any marketing program is like a relay-race. There are multiple legs to the race that must be completed to get the next leg of the race. If a company-hopper only completes the first leg of any race with any one given company, you never win the race and end up with the opinion that “internet marketing doesn’t work.” Tell that one to the business owners that I know that make millions with their online marketing.


Ultimately, company hopping wastes your time, their time, and everyone’s efforts and money.  You want a  return on your investment right? Company hopping almost never returns your investment. So if you’re sick of spending your marketing budget with no ROI, consider what I am saying. Find a company who you like, one that is competent in what they do, work with them, stick it out. Go through ALL of the legs of the relay race with them.  If you do this, you’ll find out what I know, “Hey, these guys don’t actually suck.”




Dan York

Designing Your Water Damage Restoration Website the Right Way

No matter how much you market, if your website is not designed the right way, your website could be having a bad impact on your potential customers who go there from any of your marketing sources.

You have to remember this: 97% of all people searching for service companies will check them out online BEFORE calling them.


Ok, so let’s say you’ve got us working for you getting you found on the internet, some lead generation companies going, Value-pack coupons, plumbers sending you referrals, etc…but, every single one of those people will eventually check you out on your website.  And beyond that, let’s look at the people who weren’t referred, the ones that go to Google now instead of the phone book. They are seeing your website first and without the referring source to back you up right away and give you that immediate credibility. So what are they seeing? Is it right or wrong? Your phone call volume from those sources will tell you the story.


Let’s turn a critical eye to our websites and become our potential customer and see if we are turning away business by showing the wrong things:


1st, know this: If a customer wanted to call one of the big franchises, they would have…right? They know them already. So the fact that they didn’t call them, tells you something right there. So, do not design your website to look like one of the big franchises unless you want to be a big franchise.


2nd: You must view your website as someone who doesn’t know your business as well as you. You know too much about your business and unfortunately most website designers aren’t in the water damage business so don’t understand the emergency nature of it and that makes their advice potentially ineffective.  So, you must take off your hat as business owner.  Become your potential customer, not you. Look at it as if you have a water damage emergency in your home.  What are you gong to look for? What do you want to see? How fast do you want to see it?


3rd:  Now that you are seeing things like someone you’re trying to attract as a client, we can get to this: You must look like the potential people you are marketing to.  What does that mean? What if your company is in the heartland, or an extremely middle-class area and you put pictures of mansions on your website or the site looks like it is too “corporate” or looks as if you spent $20k on your website design?  Do you think your locals will be calling you?  No.  You must know who your buyer is and look like them. In this example, if you are in middle-class suburbs, what do you want your website to look like? I would want mine to look clean, but not too good, but an average website that does not look like I spent a lot of money on it. I would have pictures of me and my staff on it. It would be fast to view. Get the idea? Now if you are in Santa Monica servicing movie stars’ houses, well then again, you’d better design the website with that in mind. Look the part. Be your audience.


4th: Trust. People browsing the internet these days are smart. They can see through things, don’t underestimate them. They are also impatient. How is this communicated with your website? Well, let me ask you this: How do you feel about a website that you go to that looks like every other website with with a bunch of stock photos of models answering phones or a service technician picture that is obviously a model or a bunch of over-politically-correct customers standing there smiling at you? You think it is fake. And half of those websites are fake companies. And your customer won’t call that website. It doesn’t convey trust. When you design your website, it has to convey that you are REAL, you exist,  you’re not a bunch of models. And guess what, it has to convey that in like 5 seconds or less or else they will go to another company and call them.


This isn’t the phone book days where you could put AAA before your name in the phone book listings to be in front of everyone else and you’d get the calls. These days you have to be up where your customers are looking (that is my company’s  job) and you have to look like they want you to look. And fast.




Dan York


Failed Marketing and Consistency of Marketing

I see a lot of failures in Marketing out there in the water damage world, and not just with internet marketing.  It could be in generating plumbing referrals, working property managers, postcards, Valuepack Coupons, etc. I get to talk to those who have these failures.  Here’s what they say, “it didn’t work for me” or “I wasted my money” or “no one uses it” or many other things that are all, frankly, wrong. These things work for others, why not you?


So, your marketing program didn’t work? What happened? Well, it could be a lot of things. But I’ll tell you the #1 thing it most likely is: You were not consistent enough.


Did you know in the sales world, it is a well-known fact that 80% of all sales are made on the 5th-12th contact with the prospect?  Most sales people are losing 80% of their sales simply by not being consistent and persistent! A majority of sales people make 1-2 contacts, then give up, and become sub-par sales people. The same principal applies in marketing.

We’ve marketed to people for years before they ever call us. They call us and say, “You know, I’ve seen you guys in Cleanfax, I get your emails and for years I see you online, but just decided to call you…finally.” It goes to show you that it takes persistence and consistency to actually win at marketing your company. The killer for you is this: an “on-again-off-again approach.” I know all of the reasons why you do this, I’ve heard them all over the last 10 years. And none of them matter. You know why? Because all of them hurt your marketing consistency and thereby destroy your marketing results, in short, your ROI.


So you want more business? You want more phone calls? You want more people getting your website and calling you from your website? Want more plumber referrals and property managers referring you business? Keep consistent. If you know anyone running a Water Damage Company doing millions plus, ask them, you’ll see how much work goes into it…consistently. There is no on-again-off-again approaches by these guys, that is why they got so big.  I can prove it over and over. I know guys that say that radio doesn’t work for water damage these days. And being in the business I am, internet, I am inclined to agree…except that I personally know guys that kill it using radio. I know guys that have, consistently, been using radio in their local cities for years. And what is the result? Locally, they are known just as well as the big franchise operations who  – *surprise* – are household names because of the consistency of their marketing.


Heed my words on this! They are based on lots and lots of experience in marketing. It takes a long time to learn a lesson. Reading a good lesson and doing it can save you a lot of time!




Dan York

Why Does a Customer Choose a Franchise Over The Other Guy?

Why do people think of a franchise first or pick them when doing a Google search? Well, let’s look at it from the viewpoint of the consumer.  Growing up these businesses have always been around.  Maybe one day mom wanted to have her carpets cleaned and so she called Stanley Steemer.  Decades have passed and Stanley Steemer still seems to be kicking around. So now when that consumer thinks of carpet cleaning they think of who mom called, Stanley Steemer.  So now this business has become the Kleenex of their industry. 

Know what I mean?  All tissues are Kleenex, all copies are Xeroxed, etc.  Those are in actual fact Brand names, yet they’ve become the entire industry in the mind of the consumer.  So your job now is to get them to think of you instead of the well known franchise name.  I won’t lie to you, this is not an easy task, but it can absolutely be done and our clients are killing it.

Now let’s look at the water damage industry. I won’t be listing off the franchises for your industry, but you know who they are…so let’s look at what they have:

-Nationwide Recognition

-Been around for decades

-All the same colors, logos, uniforms, etc—this is Brand Recognition

-Clean trucks in good condition

-Steady and consistent Marketing both on and off the internet

-Corporate Support

-Purchased Territories

-How to’s that come along with buying in to the franchise, etc

Alright, so you may not have a lot of the above, but that doesn’t matter one bit.  First things first, let’s look at the basics.

Look around your business.  Really look.  Are the walls dirty?  Desks in disrepair?  Are your trucks dirty or rusty?  Are your techs going to homes with filthy hands and holes in their work shirts? Are the logos or words on your trucks legible or faded and missing letters? Are you reading your online reviews? 

This is all PR, Public Relations.  It’s how you are perceived by the consumer…you know, the ones you want to call you!  Bottomline, if these basics are not up to snuff, in the mind of the consumer, you are already out of the running.  It’s literally that simple.

You have to put your best foot forward both in and out of the office as a basic foundation if you want to compete with the big dogs.  If you’ve got some work to do on that front, get to it!

Next, we don’t actively seek out franchises in our business. They generally have teams dedicated to all of their marketing. So most of our clients are family owned businesses.  These guys know all the growing pains and obstacles outside of the franchise side of life and we help them continue to grow.  Not that we don’t have franchise clients.  In fact, having the luxury of having clients that are both franchise and non-franchise owned is of great value to us.  We listen to all of our clients about how they got to where they are and where they are going.  Believe it or not, they all hit the same obstacles at some point.  It’s what they do when they hit an obstacle that determines who will come out on top.  That point alone is what evens out the playing field between franchise and non-franchise owners. 

The winners don’t have to have corporate support, but it sure doesn’t hurt.  The winners have their own team, clean respectable employees, buildings and supplies.  They are also smart with their marketing and know that if they are going to not just compete but dominate in their area, they can’t back off on marketing at any time.  Why?  Watch this video and our CEO will explain why we need to spend marketing dollars during slow times. Click Here.

So you want those calls coming to you?  Then don’t take basics like cleanliness for granted and don’t just throw marketing out like some random fishing line.  Study the marketing actions of the top guys in your industry and see what you can do for your business.  Notice I said study and not copy.  Learn from what they are doing and create  your own plan so that when someone in your area thinks of water damage service they think of you, not the other guys.

Good Luck!


The Grim Future of Pay-Per Click and PPC-based Lead Generation?

In order to survive in the business world you have to be able to predict the future to some degree, or at least look once in a while. This absolutely must be applied to our marketing efforts if we’re to survive long into the future.

Fact: Marketing methods and mediums will change.  We must face the facts and move when, where and how we need to. If you don’t, you’ll be one of “those guys” who complain “how it used to be” and how “people should still this-and-that”, but you won’t be making any money either.

Were you one of the guys in 2008 that was wondering why no one was calling you anymore? 2008 was a dramatic drop in phone-book-based phone calls due to the dramatic rise of smart phones and internet-based (Google) searches for local businesses. Remember that?  I do, it was great for us, considering what we do as a business, but this was really hard for a lot of our clients. They were so busy, not paying attention to the changing market conditions and doing “the usual” that it hit them in the face…financially.

So let’s do a bit of speculation about Pay-Per-Click, or PPC as it is more commonly known. You know,  the little ads on the top of your Google Searches and all over the right side of your Google Searches? Every year, Google does things in order to increase revenues, just like any publicly-held, for-profit company certainly would. PPC is their billion-dollar beast. So, logically, appeasing stock holders, and to grow, they must increase those revenues by increasing people’s use of their ads. And so they do. I’ve watched Google over the last few years do things that they say are for privacy, better search results, etc., but the actuality is that it results in more ads being clicked…period. It makes sense, they are for-profit, and in their defense, they do a good job with search results (use other ones if you don’t believe it).

However, they keep pushing businesses more and more towards PPC and away from the natural search results every year.  I wish I could tell you how many business owners have said to me, “Google is bleeding me dry” when referring to their PPC. You can only push people against their will for so long before it backfires on you. The USA is a prime example of that. Remember, business owners are who pay for Google’s PPC ads, they pay Google’s bills, not consumers.

Right now Google is the 500LB Gorilla in the Internet search space, Yahoo and Bing aren’t even close contenders.

But…what if they weren’t?

PPC is a primary way to generate business for many these days, not to mention that an entire part of the Lead-Generation industry is using PPC to generate those leads and phone calls they sell you. What if it all went away?

Well, recently Apple came out and during a speaking event casually mentioned that they were getting into the Search game using Spotlight, the search application on the iPhone. There are even rumors circulating of them buying a major search engine like Duck-Duck-Go.

Now, Google historically has had nothing to be nervous about…until now. Yahoo and Bing have tried, over and over, to compete and failed. But Apple…it’s not often they fail at anything they do. Even products that I thought were not going to be a hit (iPad) were through-the-roof successes. I think they know how to win.

Now, here is the biggest kicker with Apple creating their own Search Engine to compete with Google: there will be NO ADS. No Pay-Per-Click. If it takes off and Google becomes a thing of the past, the whole PPC industry and all lead generators using it, they all disappear.

Remember, you can only force people to do something for so long before it recoils back at you. Remember MySpace? Invasive ads, and it got more and more invasive…after a while everyone left for Facebook. And now Facebook is getting more and more invasive with privacy and advertising too.

There is no such thing as “too big to fail”.

So, Google will have a serious, proven contender for Searches soon enough. Will you have the foresight to plan and execute, quickly enough, a new marketing plan? Or will you be like the clients I remember from 2008 and wait until the last minute when their revenues were dying at the same rate of the people who actually used phone books still?

Dan York

Founder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

Should I Have Multiple Websites for my Water Damage Company?

Should I Have Multiple Websites for my Water Damage Company?


This is a question we get weekly. In short, no, this is a terrible idea. I can tell you horror story after horror story about doing this.  You’ll want to read this entire article for sure.


But you say, “But I see Joe Schmo’s Water Damage Company has 10 websites??!!  And he is getting business.” Oh really? Is he really? I know the inside story. Remember, we get to talk to all of the Water Damage companies from around the U.S., every one of them, we know the real story.  Later in this article, I’ll tell you exactly how it rolls out for Good Ole Joe.


But first listen, Joe is scamming the system, those techniques will always catch up with you.  This is the same in any business. Take a shortcut and it will ALWAYS catch up with you.  Think about the guys who do that in the reconstruction business in Water Damage, they are the ones who get the callbacks to fix the jobs…again! The result: wasted time, money, resources and you’ll have a huge, huge set back when it all catches up with you, which it most certainly will.


I run into these guys all the time – they think they are so smart and they are going to create 10 different websites for 1 Water Damage Company in one city.  They “swear” by it.  It might work…for a while.  Then, one day, Google (inevitably) catches up with what they are doing, crashes their websites and all of their calls stop coming in.  They’ve been blacklisted by Google.  Then they call us to see if we can fix it.  They call us and say, “just pick a website and get my rankings up, I have like 10”.  And therein lies the problem.  With This type of marketing, you have to have a plan, a strategy, gain trust,  persist, do things correctly, otherwise, it will all come crashing down, just as it does in this example.  All of your money is now wasted, your effort and time wasted.  Sometimes when this happens to your website it is easier and cheaper to just start a new, fresh website. My team and I often imagine what would happen if we crashed our clients websites the way that they do doing this type of strategy. They would kill us! Spending all of that money year after year only to end up with a program that has disappeared! Crazy!


Anyways, Google is not stupid. They have some of the smartest computer engineers in the world working for them. Do you really think you’re going to beat Google at their own Game?  Go back and look at the Google Panda and Penguin Releases and how many websites virtually disappeared overnight. Those guys were scamming the system. It caught up with them. Almost all of our clients made it through those major changes without injury to their marketing programs.


Stop trying to find cheap, dumb shortcuts to winning.  Is there any shortcut to having a good marriage?  How about cheap shortcuts to creating a successful business? And it goes the same with your marketing.   Use a scammy shortcut and it will catch up with you and you will lose income, time and effort and have to start over. I promise.



Dan York

A Company Stinks from the Top Down…right?

Anyone in the Entrepreneurial world has heard the phrase “A Company Stinks from the Top Down”.  And so it does.

Of course we’ve all run into companies where it was headed up by a guy who wasn’t all that great and he created an environment that was similar to his own personality. Maybe we’ve even worked in that type of environment where it stunk all the way from the bottom to the top. You’ve probably had trouble with a vendor company and then worked your way up the pecking order from the bad employee to the manager, only to find that he was worse than the employee who was giving you difficulties in the first place. It works this way in Government, companies, and even families. We’ve all seen it.

Now what about us? We’re the good guys, the guys trying to do it right and live the American Dream right? This statement works for us, too. Now, let’s not be too extreme or harsh on ourselves here as we are the ones really putting our companies together and employing Americans who then pay taxes to pay for our services provided by the government, etc. But again, this “stinks from the top …” phrase applies to us to some degree to.

Have you or anyone you know gone through a divorce and tried to run their business at the same time? I’ll bet you dimes to doughnuts that they had financial difficulties in their business during that divorce time period. Ever known anyone that was having personal problems of any sort, whether mental or physical or drug or alcohol addiction and then also, coincidentally, starting having problems with “hiring the right staff” or all of the sudden their accounts receivables slowed down or maybe even their best employee up and quit or some new major financial crisis reared its ugly head? This is the way it is and only the most experienced of the entrepreneurial know this. This is why the best ones that I know try and “live the good life.”

Think about it for a second.  I’m willing to bet that when you were doing the best personally, you were also making the most money, doing the best in your business and everything just seemed to go the right way.  Things didn’t stink from the top down, they were great from the top down. This is the “company stinking from the top down” except we’re the good guys.  Even good guys have trouble sometimes.

What does this tell you? It tells you that you should take care of yourself and “live the good life.” Don’t do drugs or drink in excess, especially during your work hours. Don’t do things you know to be unethical in your business, not only will they come back and haunt you (I could tell you stories of water damage companies getting haunted) but you personally and mentally will carry the burden of knowing that you’ve done something unethical. It’s not good for you personally and I’m willing to bet financial woes might even follow that unethical action.

When you’re in really good shape – physically and mentally, you’ll have an easier time of running your company, you’ll attract the right staff, be more profitable, sales and marketing will weirdly get more leads in than normal. Test it out for yourself. Probably many of you have experienced this already.

This also tips you off to why certain areas of your company perform poorly under certain employees. They are responsible for that area, yet under them everything seems to go wrong. It is them. Certain areas go right under certain employees, it is them too. You can hire and fire from this observation alone and you probably do already.

Live the good life, keep it clean, be more ethical in your business, expect the same and educate the same into your employees and you’ll see the difference financially.  Look around at those that are really successful and expanding, I’m sure you’ll find this to be true. Examine your own history, running business in good times and in bad. Look at how you were doing in those times.

America stands on the back of entrepreneurs like us. If we’re not doing well, this country won’t either. And we cannot count on the fact that the government will do it for us, let’s do it for ourselves.


Dan York

Founder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.


Your Gross Income “sticky” no matter what? Is it employee related?

Have you ever just had those weeks or months where no matter what you did or how much you marketed, you just couldn’t get the jobs in? You tried everything that worked before,  you sent out the same stuff, networked with the same guys, but still – no calls and jobs and your Gross Income suffered.

Did you ever wonder if it was one of your employees? It very well may be.

Some of you can disagree with this, but people that work for you can have a sort of black magic effect and influence over your statistics.  Some of us who have been in business know that business is all about people and there are people who make things go right and people who make things go wrong. Stick a person who makes things go wrong in any area near your finance, marketing, sales, etc. and they stop things dead no matter what you do. Almost like spiderweb or bubble gum.

I’ve touched on a lot of this on a prior article I wrote before, (click here to read it).   But I want to give you more  things to look for that tell you whether you have someone holding back the expansion of your company, and they may not be employees, but could be people around you such as friends of family…

Here are some more Indicators that you have an employee or other person around who needs to be removed (the 1st article linked above has the others):

  • You’re tired all the time, but you didn’t used to be. 
  • You don’t feel like helping your employees anymore, except that you’re successful to the degree that you are because of your natural ability to help your employees.
  • Things look bleak now when you used to look at the bright future of it
  • You move slower now, but you used to move fast.

The fact of the matter is that there is ether someone working for you that slowed you down and started to get you to think and act this way, or someone close to you personally.

The world’s most rich and powerful know it is all about people and having powerhouse positive people around you.  You must become good at filtering out the negative (they can be hard to spot) people from your company and life.


Dan York

CEO andFounder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

How do you know (for sure) if you have a bad employee in your Water Damage Business?

It happens to the best of us…the bad hire.

In some businesses they can get away with leaving the bad seed around, but not the Water Damage Business. This is an Emergency Service, it is hot and heavy and is a now, now, now business. There is no time for that one bad employee.  You as the owner are pouring your heart and soul (and money) into generating new business and taking care of your customers to create a future for yourself in a really fast and competitive business.  There is not time for this here.

There are really only two types of people you hire: The guy who can make things happen and the guy who can’t. There is not really any in-between if you haven’t noticed already.  Either they can or they cannot. No amount of smooth-talking gets a guy who can’t, to can!  As the most experienced business owners know, talk is cheap, action  speaks for itself!  The numbers and stats tell you everything you need to know.


So here is the trick: How do you know when you’ve got a bad hire? It’s not always easy to see.  How do you see them so you can replace or remove them?  Fortunately there is a lot of ways to tell, which I’ll bullet point some below:

  • Running your company ceases to be fun and is now “stressful”.  Look at exactly who you hired when the company stopped being fun and became stressful.
  • Your company income drops “magically” and no matter what you do marketing wise, sales-wise, etc. nothing works, not even your good ole’ trusty money makers. Look for you who hired when this started occurring.
  • Your company turns into a gossip group. Find who you hired when this started. Not everyone is a gossip. Usually just one or two of your staff. They poison a whole company into non-productivity.
  • Look for the person who swears up and down “they are your friend” and are really “helping you”, but you’ve never really been quite sure of them. Are they really helping you? Or are they stabbing you in the back talking trash about you to your staff?  Trust your instincts with those kinds of people.  They are hard to read sometimes.  Look at their stats, are they really doing anything? Those people you should be suspect of.
  • Your staff’s morale suddenly drops and people start quitting.  Look for who you hired when this started happening.  It is usually the chief gossiper.
  • The guy who has to have you buy him a ton of stuff to get anything done rarely will get anything done, even if he gets the “ton of stuff” he needs in order to his job. The best staff can make things happen with whatever they’ve got.
  • Chronic excuse makers.  They have an excuse for everything, but rarely have any solutions for any of it.
  • Keep a close eye on whoever it is that gives you all of your bad news, bets are that you’ll find it is only one person that gives you all of your bad news.  You don’t need people like that around you.
  • Chronic negative people. They slowly but surely make everyone negative.  No matter who tries to cheer them up, they never do. They end up slowly killing a company.


This can be tricky, but again – trust yourself, trust your instincts. You’re the business owner, you sort of know already right? Don’t second guess yourself.


It is really much more simple than people think to see who who was a good hire and who wasn’t. This one question usually does it:

Did things get better or worse in the company after you hired them?  This extends to well outside of their job. Remember every employee influences the entire company to some degree.  I look at the entire company influence from any new hire.  They either contribute to it or poison it.


There are too many good people out there for hire to waste your precious time and money on people who will slowly kill your business and maybe you!




Dan York

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