Should You Ban Personal Cell Phones at Your Child Care Center?

Lorelei, Nicholas, and sidewalk chalk

The other day, my kids and I were playing outside when I made the mistake of taking a call on my cell phone. Everyone seemed under control, at least momentarily.

Well, you know how that goes. At least chalk washes out.

But at your center, when you have teachers in charge of watching multiple kids over a large area, things can get dangerous very quickly if a teacher is diverted – even momentarily – by a phone call or text.

If someone gets hurt, your center can be held legally responsible for negligence. You may even be considered out of ratio during the time that teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere. Privacy issues can arise relating to photos and videos. And last but certainly not least, kids learn and thrive best when adults are fully present and interactive.

For all of these reasons, many child care centers have made the decision to ban employees’ use of personal cell phones during work time. And this is a sound policy, from both a legal perspective and a quality-of-care perspective. But there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Here are some dos and don’ts:

DON’T confiscate teachers’ cell phones. By all means, you should have – and enforce – a policy that personal cell phones may not be used during the work day, except during breaks.

But don’t confiscate the phones or require teachers to leave them in their cars. These are grown-ups, not children, and they should be treated as such. If you can’t trust a teacher to follow this policy (or any other policy you have in place, for that matter), then this is not someone who should be employed at your center.

DO enforce your policy. Teachers who violate your cell phone usage policy should be disciplined consistently and appropriately, up to and including termination. And don’t pick and choose – you need to enforce it for everyone (i.e., even the teachers you really like) in order to make it stick.

DON’T forget about field trips. You need to have some kind of plan in place for when teachers and kids are out and about. Ideally, you’ll have a few dedicated school cell phones for this purpose. If not, you may wish to allow one or two teachers to bring their personal cell phones on the trip and make clear they are to be used only in the event of an emergency.

DO train your teachers on the policy. For many younger teachers, being constantly plugged in to a smartphone feels as natural as breathing. Training on why the policy exists (child safety and engagement, legal considerations, and so on) can increase buy-in and compliance.

It may feel silly or unnecessary to explain your rationale, but some teachers will assume you are simply keeping them on a short leash for no good reason unless you explicitly spell things out.

DON’T leave teachers hanging. If you expect teachers to abide by a no-cell-phone policy, they need to be reassured that their loved ones have a way of getting in touch with them during the school day in the event of an emergency. This is especially true of teachers who are also parents.

In most cases, directing people to call the center’s office is sufficient. If there are chunks of the day when that phone is not manned, however – such as lunchtime – or if callers often get a busy signal, you should make a backup number available for emergencies. This could be the director’s or assistant director’s cell phone (assuming those folks are not watching the kids).

(As an aside, from a marketing perspective, you should get that busy-signal problem fixed ASAP!)

DO include parents in the policy. Many parents, too, are so joined at the hip to their cell phones that they forget to put them away when they’re picking up and dropping off their kids. Gently remind phone-centric parents that your “no cell phone” policy extends to them, too – not so much for safety reasons but so they can give their littles the full attention they deserve at the beginning and end of each school day.

Need assistance with your cell phone policy, or any other staff policy at your center? Contact me with the details and we’ll see if I can help you out.

Remember the “Friendly” In “Friendly Competition”


In February 2013, I took the bar exam for the second time – some 14 years after originally taking it right after law school graduation.

There were a number of reasons (not least of which, apparently, that I am a glutton for punishment), and I was struck by what a different experience it was the second time around.

The test itself was very similar, other than the welcome addition of laptops for the essay portions, but my mindset was not. Back in 1999, I’d gone in wanting to crush the competition – never mind that it’s a pass/fail test! I was determined to triumph, whatever the heck that meant.

This time around, as an almost-40-year-old mom of two, I felt a great deal of compassion for my fellow test-takers (who looked impossibly young to me). I wanted us all to do well. I felt like hugging everyone in the room and wishing them luck. I was also somewhat giddy after two nights of good sleep away from my small, restless children. Bar exam as spa getaway; who would have thought?

Looking back at my 1999 self, I feel more than a little foolish. There was never any need for my insanely competitive view of the world. There was enough work, and enough success to be had, for us all. (Insert your lawyer joke of choice here.)

The same is true of your child care business. Even if you are in a crowded market, if you’ve positioned yourself well and established a strong USP, there will be demand for the child care service that only you can provide. This also means that you can – and should – view other centers in your area as allies rather than enemies. They have their own tribes, and you have yours.

If you’re new to the area or to the child care business generally, introduce yourself around to the other owners and directors in your area. Connect with them on LinkedIn and Facebook. Grab a cup of coffee with them, if time permits. Ultimately, you can become tremendous resources for one another:

  • Jointly sponsoring extracurricular programs, activities, and classes
  • Referring overflow enrollments/waitlisted families to each other
  • Sharing heads-ups about unreliable teachers and deadbeat parents who don’t pay
  • Answering questions about local child care rules and regulations
  • Mutually referring families who are simply a better fit for the other center, for whatever reason

And who knows? You may even decide to join forces one day and become a single, incredibly successful business. But none of this can happen if you go into things with the mindset of wanting to poke them in the arm with a freshly sharpened #2 pencil every time you see them on the street.

So get out there and collaborate. There’s plenty of good stuff to go around.

Click here to get your copy of our exclusive free report, 6 Easy Ways To Boost Enrollments and Attract the Very Best Staff.

What Do You Want Them To Do?

call to action Depending on your background and personal quirks, the acronym “CTA” might bring to mind various things:

  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Coffee To Abigail!
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Commodity Trading Advisor
  • Chinchillas Taking Advantage

Today, however, I’m going to talk about CTA in the marketing context: Call To Action.

It’s a simple yet often-overlooked concept: A call to action simply refers to what you want the person on the other end of your marketing to do.

In those late-night infomercials, for example, the CTA is traditionally something along the lines of “Call now!” Or, more recently, “Order now at!”

On my website, while you can poke around and check out various things, what I ultimately want you to do is click that green button at top right (or the link at the bottom of this blog post) and give me your email address so I can send you some special reports and other info you will hopefully find useful.

Are your CTAs clear, on your website and brochures and other child care marketing materials?

If not, it could be because you’re asking people to do too many things at once – or maybe you’re not asking them to do anything at all. It might be that you’ve never actually thought through what you want them to do.

In the child care context, your ideal CTA is probably one of the following:

  • Call to schedule a tour
  • Fill out our online form
  • Stop by to pick up a packet of information
  • Sign up for XYZ special event/special program

Child care, of course, is not generally something people will sign up for sight unseen – so “Enroll your child now in full-time care for the next three years – just click here!” is not a viable CTA.

But one of the above is – a first step to start people down the path to enrollment. Figure out what’s right for your program, and focus on just that one thing for now.

Remember, when it comes to CTAs, Clarity Trumps All.

Click here for your free copy of our exclusive report, 64 Terrific Child Care Marketing Ideas.

Remember The Magic

roseola LoreleiToday, I’m writing this installment in the company of my 4-year-old, who is home from school with a mild but decidedly spotty case of roseola.

What’s that, you say? Four seems too old for roseola?

That’s what I thought, too – but her 2-year-old brother had it a few days back, and Lorelei had apparently never had it, and, well, you can guess the rest. (I knew their recent full-contact-clinking “popsicle cheers!” was a bad idea…)

When Eric and I got married, we often jokingly told each other that our lives were going to be “rainbows and gumdrops” from here on out. I have no recollection of why or how we picked this term, but it’s something we frequently remind each other of – usually with an arched eyebrow, a wry smile, and a fresh handful of kid poop or vomit.

I tell you all this not to gross you out – as a group, you all are pretty gross-out-proof anyway – but because it’s the start of a new school year.

Even if you run a year-round program, this is the time when everything feels fresh and expectant. Whether you’ve got some new teachers on board, or maybe just some new boxes of crayons, slates are clean and energy is high.

As you well know, it doesn’t take long for that crisp fall feeling to fade. All it takes is one nasty stomach bug to rip through your center, or a long-brewing staff squabble to come to a head, or the unexpected departure of a fantastic teacher, to leave you feeling exhausted and defeated.

When that happens, I encourage you to step back and try to recapture how you’re feeling right now, and to remember why you chose this work in the first place:

  • The little faces that break into grins as soon as they see you in the morning.
  • The sticky hugs that make you smile even as you bust out the stain remover at home that evening.
  • The pride your students feel when they master letters – or going on the potty – for the very first time.
  • The moment when you finally break through to a student you previously feared was unreachable (though you never stopped trying).
  • The sheer chaotic joy of being around little people who see the world with fresh eyes every single day.
  • The knowledge, deep in your bones, that you’re making a difference in the lives of children.

It’s not easy work, to be sure, but it’s important. As Christa McAuliffe put it so well, “I touch the future. I teach.”

That’s what you do. Be proud of it, and hold onto it, even when the heady optimism of fall fades.

Rainbows and gumdrops, my friends. And thanks for all you do.

Click here for your free copy of our special report, 17 Secrets To Finding – and Keeping – Great Teachers.

Do You Hire (and Retain) Sylvies?

poodleI’ve been seeing Sylvie, my hair stylist, for about a year now – ever since my last one disappeared without a trace.

(I suspect she ran off to be with her boyfriend in Hawaii, though I have no firm confirmation of this.)

Over the course of the year that Sylvie’s been cutting my hair, she’s been at three different local salons:

  • The one where I was originally transferred over to her when Hair Stylist #1 disappeared;
  • An odd French/Moroccan-hybrid-themed place, with an in-house poodle, located behind an auto parts store in a desolate corner of town; and
  • The place over the Starbucks where she cuts my hair now.

The current spot is great because it’s in a nice loft space with tons of windows. In the wintertime, looking out over the town, you feel like you’re getting shampooed in the middle of a snow globe. But even if Sylvie decided to go back to Poodle Coifs, I’d go, too.

I wouldn’t bother playing this sort of “Where’s Waldo?” with any other hair stylist I’ve had in the past, but Sylvie’s one of a kind. It’s not even so much that she’s technically skilled at her work – which she is. It’s more that she’s passionate about what she does, and very easy to talk to, and makes me (and everyone else she comes into contact with) feel special and valued.

The reason I bring this all up is that too many child care centers view teachers as interchangeable commodities rather than a key – if not the key – part of the family retention and satisfaction puzzle.

Even if you’re a super-involved owner or director (which is fantastic), your teachers are the people your families interact with day in and day out. They are the ones who plan the curriculum, read the stories, kiss the boo-boos, give the hugs at the start and end of the day, and provide the reports on kids’ behavior, moods, and general well-being.

They are the ones who care for and love the kids at your center when their parents are away at work. Parents love them for this – and rightly so.

All of this means that parents’ bonds with the teachers at a center tend to be even stronger than parents’ bonds with the center itself. Don’t get me wrong – if a single beloved teacher leaves, families are probably not going to leave in droves to follow her to your competitor across town, as I’ve done with Sylvie.

But if you have a lot of turnover, and families start to perceive (rightly or wrongly) that you don’t value your teachers as individuals, well, then you’re going to have problems. Here are 4 steps to help prevent this:

1. Pay your teachers well. Even a little bit more than the other centers in your area are paying can help cement your reputation as a center that values its staff.

2. Invest in their training and development. Not only does this make for better teachers, it makes for teachers who know you believe in them and want them to succeed.

3. Celebrate your teachers. You should do this both publicly (a “Teacher of the Month” bulletin board, for example) and privately (compliment teachers on a job well done and thank them regularly for their efforts).

4. Be transparent about departures. It’s disconcerting for parents, not to mention kids, when familiar faces disappear without a trace or explanation. If you don’t tell them otherwise, they will start to assume something bad is happening at your center.

So when a teacher leaves, for whatever reason, be sure to notify parents and be as open as you can without violating teacher confidentiality:

  • “Miss Maureen has decided to stay home with her new baby, and we’re all excited for her!”
  • “Mr. Brady is going back to school to pursue his degree in Early Childhood Education.”
  • “Miss Janna is leaving to pursue other opportunities, and we all wish her the best.” (This one is a nice, graceful catch-all for even the messiest separations, regardless of whose decision it was to terminate the working relationship.)

It’s nice to have a LEED-certified green building or state-of-the-art playground equipment. But without excellent teachers, none of that other stuff really matters much. Nurture your Sylvies.

Click here to get your copy of our exclusive free report, 6 Easy Ways To Boost Enrollments and Attract the Very Best Staff.

The Art of The Apology


I always thought the person who came up with that famous line from Love Story – “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” – knew very little about love or apologies.

As John Lennon once put it much more accurately, love means having to say you’re sorry every fifteen minutes.

I’m sorry I hurt you.

I’m sorry I was late picking you up.

I’m sorry I put your freshly poured cup of hot coffee into the fridge and promptly forgot I’d done so. (I actually did this to Eric last Sunday, in a particularly sleepy morning moment.)

For the mere mortals among us, and last I checked that was pretty much everybody, screwing up is a part of life – which means that apologies are a part of life, too.

This is no less true in business. No matter how careful and conscientious you are, you’re going to mess up from time to time; it’s inevitable. Whether it’s losing track of a kid on the playground or losing a parent’s tuition check, mistakes happen.

How you handle what happens next can mean the difference between your mistake being a “hey, we’ve all been there” blip and a relationship-ending rift with a family or employee at your center. And good apologies are particularly critical in a highly trust-dependent business like child care.

Despite how good we all are at making mistakes, and how often we make them, most of us are remarkably bad at apologizing for them. Here are 5 tips for improving your average.

1. Own your mistakes. As Dale Carnegie put it in his classic book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” I couldn’t put it any better.

2. Don’t make excuses. Any apology that includes a “but” anywhere in it is no apology worth offering. And, of course, one with “but you…” or “but you should have…” is even worse.

3. Refuse to pass the buck. As a leader at your school, you are ultimately responsible for what happens there. So it’s neither fair nor helpful to publicly throw a teacher or other staff member under the bus when something goes wrong.

Parents will appreciate your ownership of the problem, and teachers will appreciate that you’ve got their back. (If the same staff member keeps screwing up over and over, of course, apologies are no longer the answer – termination is.)

4. Don’t minimze the problem. There are few things more frustrating than dealing with someone who tries to emphasize how insignificant his or her mistake was; only the wronged party can be the judge of that.

5. Offer solutions. This is, perhaps, the most important part of any apology. Even if you can’t put things fully back together again, it’s reassuring to hear the steps that have been taken to be sure the same mistake won’t happen again.

Additionally, if you’re prepared to follow through on what the person says, the following words can be almost magical when it comes to smoothing things over: “How can we make it right?”

Click here for your copy of our exclusive free report, 17 Secrets to Finding – and Keeping – Great Teachers.

Think Like a Realtor

sold signBack in 2007, I was newly divorced and living with my parents when I decided, almost on a whim, to attend a real estate open house here in Portsmouth.

I fell hard, becoming immediately and hopelessly smitten with the place. It was all I could do not to order the other people at the open house off what I was already considering my front porch.

Against my better judgment, I put an offer in (having looked at a grand total of just the one house; who does that?), and a few months later it was mine. I was pretty clueless about the whole process, but the seller’s agent, Brad, was a godsend.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t even Brad’s client, he helped me out with getting the inspection scheduled; walked me through all the paperwork; recommended a local plumber, handyman, and electrician; and sent me a $200 Home Depot gift card after the closing. He even offered, along with his wife, to introduce me to some folks around town so I could start to meet some friends.

The most rash decision I ever made turned out to be a good one – I’m still happily living in the house to this day, accompanied now by my husband and two small children. We’ve added onto the house since I bought it, and as much as we love it we know we’re probably going to have to move to a bigger place sometime in the next few years.

When it comes time to sell, who do you think we’re going to call?

From the get-go, Brad went above and beyond to make both the sale and the move as easy as possible for me. Plus, he’s stayed in touch periodically ever since then with useful, informative articles and emails.

We got something from Brad in the mail yesterday, in fact – a market snapshot of what homes in our neighborhood have been selling for. It was a little spooky, as Eric and I had been talking just the other day about calling Brad when we get ready to sell (maybe that’s his secret: bugging the homes he sells. Illegal, sure, but highly effective).

Brad’s efforts have already paid off in the form of a few referrals I’ve sent him, as well as the lock he’s got on our own house sale in the not-too-distant future.

In the child care business, you won’t have too many families who use your services and then need you again 7+ years later. But satisfied families do have friends, relatives, co-workers, and other connections in the area they will eagerly send your way, even many years after their kids have aged out of your program – assuming they think to do so, which is why staying in touch is so important.

Additionally, like a home purchase, child care is a major investment – so every repeat customer (i.e., multiple kids from the same family) and referral is worth a lot.

This means you can, and should, invest a fair amount of both time and money in the following:

  • Providing superior service – even when it doesn’t seem strictly necessary to do so. (Case in point: Look how Brad won me over – and has already earned money from me via referrals – even though I have not yet actually been a client of his.)
  • Handsomely rewarding staff and parents who send you referrals – you want to encourage this behavior, ideally over and over!
  • Keeping in touch with alumni families and other families in your area on a regular basis. Note that this includes families on your wait list, and even families who have opted for child care elsewhere. If your approach is that of a helpful friend and expert on all things kid-related, they will always be glad to hear from you. And you’ll stay top of mind.

New business can come to you from all kinds of places. It’s your job to make it easy for it to find you.

Click here for your free copy of our exclusive report, 64 Terrific Child Care Marketing Ideas.

To Google or Not To Google?


I firmly believe that if we were required to publicly disclose our Google searches, the company would shut down within a week.

Admit it, you know what I’m talking about: From self-diagnosis of embarrassing medical rashes…to dancing animated cats…to petty peeks at the current world of former loves, there’s a lot we look for online that we wouldn’t want the world to know about.

And that’s completely normal. (Right? If I’m the only one who does this sort of thing, excuse my bright red face while I go duck into the corner of shame.)

There are plenty of legitimate uses for Google, too, of course. With a veritable world of information about any potential job applicant right there at your fingertips, it would be silly not to take advantage of it as soon as that resume comes in, yes?

Actually, no. As common – and tempting – as it is to cyber-stalk job candidates, it’s a temptation you should resist.

The danger, you see, is finding out something you’re really better off not knowing in the event you decide not to hire someone – like her religious affiliation, or the fact that he has a disability. Legally protected reasons, in other words – factors you are not allowed to consider when you decide to hire someone (or not).

Now, that protected information may have no bearing whatsoever on your decision – but it’s hard to prove that if the passed-over applicant claims otherwise.

Lawyers are fond of saying that “you can’t un-ring a bell” – meaning that once you know this potentially sensitive information, there’s no way to un-know it. And the legal risks far outweigh the benefits of, say, knowing that an applicant has 246 friends on Facebook and an inordinate fondness for photographing her meals.

If you are bound and determined to conduct online research on your job applicants, here are some precautions I recommend:

1. Don’t look online until you’ve narrowed the field to a few finalists. If someone is a non-starter right out of the box, there’s no point in investing the time (and risk) on an online search anyway.

2. Decide in advance what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re afraid of hiring a teacher who badmouths former employers online – or one who has the poor judgment to plaster scantily clad photos of herself all over the Web. Whatever it is, clearly articulate it. Don’t start looking with the mindset that you’ll just “see what’s out there.”

3. Have someone else do the searching. Ideally, someone other than the person in charge of hiring should be the one researching the information you’ve identified in Step #2. Then, he or she can report whether or not anything relevant has turned up; anything else that gets unearthed should be disregarded.

4. Tell the finalists that you’ll be looking online. Explain, too, exactly what you’ll be looking for.

You might assume that the applicants will instantly go and delete anything potentially incriminating, but this rarely happens. Generally speaking, people clueless enough to leave a damaging cyber-trail are clueless enough to leave it right where it is, even in the face of imminent exposure (think about how many drunk drivers those sobriety checkpoints net even when they’re publicized in advance).

A little information can be a dangerous thing from a legal standpoint. So put down your virtual spy glass and leave the detective work to Sherlock Holmes.

Click here for your copy of our exclusive free report, 6 Easy Ways To Boost Enrollments and Attract the Very Best Staff.

Are Your Employees This Loyal?

Arthur T. DemoulasThe grocery industry, like the child care industry, has a notoriously high rate of employee turnover. And unlike the child care industry, the rigors of the work aren’t tempered at all by warm baby cuddles and sloppy toddler kisses.

In large part, working at a grocery store consists of physically taxing, mentally draining days full of annoyingly clueless shoppers (like me) who can’t find the horseradish even when it’s six inches in front of them. And nobody’s there for the fantastic pay.

Which is what makes the current saga of our local Market Basket chain of grocery stores so extraordinary.

The gentleman above is Arthur T. Demoulas, the recently ousted CEO of the chain. He was fired by the company’s board, which is controlled by his cousin (making this year’s family holiday gathering a bit awkward at best, one can only assume), and replaced by a pair of geographically distant co-CEOs.

(Co-CEOs, incidentally, are almost always a terrible idea and generally result from nobody wanting to be the person with whom the buck truly stops. But I digress.)

Demoulas is tremendously beloved by his workers – so much so, in fact, that many of them have decided to stop coming to work unless and until he is reinstated as CEO. The workers’ written demand states in no uncertain terms that they want him back with “full authority, non-negotiable…We will not work for anyone but ATD.”

Workers at all levels – none of them unionized – have walked off the job, putting their paychecks at risk, and thousands have attended local rallies. They have been joined both in person and online by tens of thousands of loyal Market Basket customers, all of whom are united with the workers in wanting to “save our store” and bring the popular CEO back.

As of this writing, the local stores are nearly empty; deliveries of fresh groceries have been halted due to the walkouts. We’re all waiting with bated breath to see what happens next.

It’s truly been something to see. While it’s impossible for me, as an outsider to the company, to know exactly what’s going on behind closed doors (the scuttlebutt is that the new leadership is all about maximizing profits for themselves), here’s what seems to be indisputed:

  • Demoulas genuinely cares about his workers and values their contributions, providing them with generous bonuses and profit-sharing packages.
  • His store visits have been known to take hours, as he’s interested in talking with everyone he can and finding out both how they’re doing and what they think about things.
  • He has exhibited extraordinary generosity and compassion when workers (or their family members) encounter personal misfortunes or serious illness.
  • He is committed to providing excellent service at a fair price – as a regular Market Basket shopper, I have seen this in action.
  • In a high-turnover industry, Market Basket is full of workers who have been there 10, 20, or even 30 years or more (everyone’s length of tenure is proudly posted right on their nametags).
  • He has created not just a chain of food stores, but a cherished corporate culture with a life and identity of its own.

Demoulas has been quoted as saying, “We’re in the people business first and the food business second…If we get the first part right, we’re 80 percent there.”

This is one smart man – and someone early childhood educators can learn a lot from.

It can be tempting, watching yet another new teacher flake out or quit without notice, to get discouraged and accept the status quo of the revolving-door culture of ECE staff.

But if you take the time to hire carefully, nurture and train your teachers, steep them in all that makes your child care center special, appreciate and reward them to the best of your ability, and make them a trusted, integral part of the process every day, you may be surprised at how long they start to stick around – and how valuable they become to you.

The bottom line is that great leadership leads to great loyalty and exceptional performance, regardless of what business you’re in.

To grab your copy of our exclusive free report, 17 Secrets to Finding – and Keeping – Great Teachers, click here.

Where Does It Hurt?

band aids

A few weeks back, Lorelei took a nasty tumble on a boat dock. She turned her ankle a little, and had a few scrapes and bruises. She’s a tough kid, though, and by the next day the only lingering problem was a little pain in her “thumb toe.”

The first thing we asked her when she went down, naturally, was “Where does it hurt?”

We all do it with kids, and even the really little guys are good at identifying the precise location of the boo-boo. (This has no relation, of course, to where they want the Band-Aids applied, which is usually everywhere, and as many as possible.)

It’s pretty obvious, really – we can’t effectively treat the pain if we don’t know its exact nature and location. But when it comes to pain in our businesses, many of us are perfectly happy to stay in the dark. Which is a mistake.

Let’s say enrollments are down from last year. A surprising number of child care owners and administrators are content to chalk it up to, say, a new center that opened elsewhere in town, or road construction that’s now detouring traffic away from the center, or even just “the economy” generally.

Now, any or all of these could in fact be factors – or not. There’s only one way to find out the real story, and that’s to do some research.

Are you getting the same number of inquiries as you were this time last year? Are you giving as many tours? Is your percentage of tours-leading-to-enrollments down? Are current families leaving in greater numbers than before? If so, from which classroom(s)? Do you follow up with families who enroll elsewhere to find out why? Are you regularly surveying current parents to get their feedback?

It’s no fun to delve deeply into the cause of a problem at your business – but if you don’t know where you’re going off track, it’s almost impossible to get back on track. And the good news is that once you’ve identified the problem, you’re well on your way to fixing it.

So where does it hurt?