Saturday, October 10, 2020

Dick Erickson, Founder of Sun Tire, talks about profit-sharing at Wise Counsel 2020 Boot Camp.

Dick Erickson (left) and Skip Alcorn.
Dick Erickson, Founder of Sun Tire, has some interesting insights about profit-sharing. He shared some of them at the 2020 Wise Counsel Boot Camp in Jacksonville, Fl.

Why share profits with all employees?

Some companies share profits with leaders and managers. Other companies provide profit-sharing after an employee has been at the job for a designated period of time or has been promoted to management. Very few have policies to share profits with all employees. A defined profit-sharing plan can set a company apart from its competitors.

How does a company benefit from sharing profits?

The speakers at the 2020 Wise Counsel Boot Camp.
Employees are more engaged and have a better focus on customer service and making customers happy. Happy customers come back, and they also provide referrals and recommendations.

Employees put more effort into their personal appearance and the way they come across to customers. They are also more conscientious about the appearance of the storefront or workplace.

Employees want fellow employees to be productive. If someone is lazy, other employees won’t be happy about that.

Employees take better care of equipment because they know that helps profitability.

Shrinkage is reduced because employees know that if they steal, it comes out of the profit-sharing.

Employee turnover is reduced because employees are getting something they may not be able to find elsewhere.

Employees at every level think more like managers. For that reason, there is a reduced need for oversight and/or middle management. Employees really want to do a good job for the good of the company and because it will improve their bottom lines.

You can get more information about Dick Erickson's approach to profit-sharing from his book, which is available in paperback or on Kindle through Amazon.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Off the Beaten Path in Jacksonville

One of the trails at U.N.F.
e of the trails at U.N.F.

One of the keys to success in any business endeavor is making good decisions. Making good decisions requires clear thinking. One of the things that helps me to keep my thinking clear is taking long walks in the woods. Long walks are one of the best things I do for myself. I believe that long peaceful walks are good for anyone who is able to take them.  

When people visit Jacksonville for the 2020 Republican National Convention or other events, some may want to stray off the paved and beaten paths. There are several excellent places for a nice hike that are just a short ride from downtown Jacksonville.

Note: If you go out walking in Jacksonville in August, it will probably be hot, even in the morning and early evening. The heat can cause people to sweat profusely, and it doesn’t take long at all to become dehydrated. Believe me, you don’t want to be a mile from your parking spot when you start to feel overheated. Bring a bottle of water.

Also, there are lots of insects in Florida and many of them bite. That’s especially true at the Timucuan Preserve. For that reason, it’s a good idea to either apply some insect repellant before starting a walk.

Jacksonville Arboretum

The Arboretum is operated by a non-profit 501c3 charitable organization. It’s a nice example of what a group can do when they pool their efforts. It’s only a ten-minute drive from downtown. There’s a paved walkway around a lake and several miles of unpaved trails through the woods. There’s also an award-winning Loblolly Bay Tree.

Nature Trails at University of North Florida

The trails go around a lake, through woods, and through a swamp. There’s a lot to see, including gopher tortoises grazing on the vegetation at times. There are also exercise stations for sit-ups, pullups, and walking on a balance beam a few feet off the ground.

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

The Timucuan Preserve is part of the National Park Service. There are two entrances to miles of excellent hiking trails.

Theodore Roosevelt Area, 13165 Mt. Pleasant Road. 

The Theodore Roosevelt Area is one part of the preserve that has several miles of unpaved trails through the woods. One trail leads to an observation tower looking out over a salt marsh. And unlike most other parks in Jacksonville, the Timucuan preserve has one trail that’s a bit steep and moderately challenging. There’s not a lot of parking space, but there is a bathroom near the parking lot.

Fort Caroline Visitor Center, 12713 Fort Caroline Road. 

Another entrance to the same trails is across the street from the Fort Caroline National Memorial. There are more parking spaces than there are at the Theodore Roosevelt Area, but there’s no bathroom. There are facilities at the Fort Caroline National Memorial, but you may need to plan ahead if that isn’t going to be open when you visit.

To reiterate a very important point, bring some water for your hike and some insect repellant.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Right Place, Right Time, 2020

The key to getting a good shot of a rainbow is being in the right place at the right time. Generally, the sun is somewhere behind you and the rainy weather is in front of you. The conditions for rainbows change from moment to moment because the sun is always moving and the weather is usually moving and changing as well. When you are stationary, rainbows may fade in and out while you’re watching but they usually don’t last very long.

My wife and I recently travelled to Titusville to watch a rocket launch. It went off on schedule without a hitch before sunrise on the morning that we were there. That doesn’t always happen. In fact, that launch had already been rescheduled twice. To view a launch from Titusville, you look to the east over the Indian River. It was nice that the launch wasn’t delayed because if it had been, the sun would have come up and we just wouldn’t have seen much. We were in the right place at the right time.

Afterwards, we drove out to Canaveral National Seashore. It was beautiful! However, on my way out of there I got stopped for speeding! The speed limits on that road are tricky if you’re not paying close attention. Anyways, the last time I got stopped for speeding was toward the end of December 1999, twenty years prior, probably to the week and possibly to the day. I quit speeding after that last ticket because I had used up my lifetime supply of driving safety school to keep the points off my record. In Florida you can only go to driving school five times! In any case, I was very polite to the police officer and he let me off the hook. Apparently, there are no active warrants for my arrest.

I was feeling very merry on the ride back to Jacksonville! There was some light rain. When we got onto the East Beltway from I-95, there was a full double rainbow right in front of us over South Jacksonville. As I mentioned above, due to the movement of the sun and the rain, rainbows generally don’t last for long. On this occasion, we were moving in the same direction as the weather and that rainbow was right in front of us for a good ten minutes. I keep an eye out for rainbows, and I’ve seen lots of them and photographed many. They’re always great to look at, but this was an extraordinary experience.

Being in the right place at the right time is the key not only to viewing rainbows, but to seizing opportunities throughout our lives. The good news is that we frequently have the power to put ourselves in the right places at the right times. Here’s to being in the right place at the right time throughout 2020.

Happy New Year!