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Don Kermath

“You’ve got to be crazy.”

That’s what I said to my business partner and now ex-wife 25 years ago when she suggested we open an indoor tanning salon. “Don’t you know the sun is bad for you?” I explained.

Additionally, neither of us knew anything about retail or indoor tanning.

After extensive research trying to prove my hypothesis — she’s crazy, I discovered the truth. I was crazy for my irrational fear of the sun. I learned you need sunshine like you need food, air, and water.

So, we opened the first of many locations.

Along the way, we learned marketing, finance, operations, human resources…


This secret is adapted from the webinar The Psychology of Free: Using Beauty Product Sampling to Convert Lookers into Buyers by David McFarland of SunEvolutions January 20, 2021 (McFarland, 2021)

I just spent a chapter convincing you not to sell a packette. It’s like kissing your sister (or brother). You finally got a kiss, but ewe!!

Now I’m going to suggest you give some samples away to sell more full bottles — to increase total salon net lotion sales.

Life is full of dualities, what can I say? Just like how indoor tanning is the smartest way to maximize the…


Illustration courtesy of the author.

Word of mouth is the main reason behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions

WOM, as it is sometimes called, is most influential with new customers. Its influence is expected to increase as more people rely on online reviews to pick products and services.

Caution: Low Flying Fish” reads a sign at Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market.

The fishmonger shouts out your order. Then all the rest of the staff loudly repeat your order. The first fishmonger tosses your fish into the back to be wrapped up. …


Truth be told I HATE giving formal evaluations. Don’t you?

I hated receiving them as well. I was a nervous wreck for each one I received. About 20 years ago I decided to ask my staff how effective they felt these formal annual evaluations were. They told me they hate them and that they are a nervous wreck for each.

We stopped doing annual formal evaluations — they are especially worthless for part-time staff.

What is far more effective is Ken Blanchard (Blanchard, 1982) and Spencer Johnson’s approach to setting goals (expectations), reprimanding behavior, and praising individuals (evaluations) as they…


Yes, I said it. A formal interview is almost unnecessary for hiring part-time employees. Okay, now I said it.

We end up hiring nearly 90% of the part-time staff who make it through the three-Minute Telephone Screening Interview demonstrated in a previous blog and show up for the formal interview.

Sadly, it’s true; many candidates don’t even bother to show up for a scheduled formal interview.

Do I need to say it? Don’t hire them if they don’t show up for a scheduled formal interview!

Why Is a Formal Interview Almost Unnecessary?

First, you’ve already asked and gotten the answer to the most pressing question most businesses…


Have you ever dated the wrong person?

You likely dated that person longer than either of you wished. What if you had set that person free after the first five dates?

You probably knew it wasn’t going to work out after the first date. Wouldn’t it have saved you money, heartache, and time? Exactly.

That’s why I propose adopting a five-workday probation period for all new employees. You will save money on training, it’s the most ethical thing to do, and you can get back to work immediately finding the right employee.

Pro Tip: Firing an employee is stressful for…


Have you heard that job advertisements should not describe the position but describe the person you are looking for?

In the same light, your adverts should also describe what you don’t want. I learned this from the marketing Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams. We include this one phrase in all our job advertisements:

No whiners. No lazy people. Nobody with too many “personal commitments.”

Sample Social Media Post

I know, you are concerned about offending someone. Who will you offend? Whiners? Lazy people? People with too many “personal obligations?”

Example Job Listing:

Entry Level Opportunity of a Lifetime: Are you dependable and resourceful? Are you out-going and dedicated? Can you sell and delegate? Would you…


It’s 100% Profit

You might be scrambling to figure out ways to make money while your business is closed or at reduced capacity, but have you considered ways to save money?

Why is saving money more important than figuring out ways to make more money? Think about it; every dollar you make may only result in 15 cents profit at the bottom of your financial statement. But every dollar you save goes directly to the bottom line.

It is ALL profit.

Ah, now you get it. Sort your profit and loss statement from last year with the largest expenses on top and the…


“You’ve got to be crazy.” That’s what I said to my business partner and now ex-wife 25 years ago when she suggested we open an indoor tanning salon. “Don’t you know the sun is bad for you?” I explained.

Additionally, neither of us knew anything about retail or indoor tanning.

After extensive research trying to prove my hypothesis — she’s crazy, I discovered the truth. I was crazy for my irrational fear of the sun. I learned you need sunshine like you need food, air, and water.

So, we opened the first of many locations.

Along the way, we learned…


“New part-time hires are onboard in 5 days or they are overboard.”

Big companies use sophisticated software, cute onboarding gifts, and boring orientation sessions to onboard their employees. Small business does not have the luxury to be so wasteful and that’s a good thing.

Productive onboarding is important, however. Part-time employees productively onboarded will stay longer, understand what is most important, and become profitable for the business faster. After all, you don’t hire employees for their benefit, you hire them for the benefit of the business. You need them to make money fast.

Productive Onboarding Can…

1. Engage employees when they are most…

Don Kermath

Don Kermath transforms your workforce into productive, cohesive, team-players who stay for the long haul and contribute to innovation and excellence on the job.

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