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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Dan Nilsen's Top 10 Tips for Business

Dan's Top 10 Business Tips

It's not often you can corner one of Kansas City's most successful CEOs and get his best bits of business advice. This, however, is one of those times.

Below Dan Nilsen, CEO of Bishop McCann, a brand experiences agency here in KC and and the Greater KC Chamber's Small Business of the Year, shares his top 10 nuggets of business advice and gives us a little insight into the culture that drives Bishop McCann's success. 

Bishop McCann's Top 10

1. Delight The Customer

Our clients are the only reason we are in business, and they are our top priority…no
matter what else is going on. A strong sense of urgency is critical; Our clients expect it, our co-workers expect it and it’s just part of our culture. Always go one step beyond when it comes to handling requests, especially from our clients. Our clients stay with us because they know we have their best interests at heart. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do beyond what someone is asking for.

2. Be Self Critical

What’s important about this is that we first look in the mirror to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make our relationships work. We’re responsible for 100% of 50% of every relationship
whether it’s personal or business. Are you holding up your end of the bargain?

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

You can’t possibly over-communicate, but it needs to be done in the right way. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on using the appropriate channels of communication. When there is an issue or concern with someone or the way something is being done, sit down and discuss it
openly with the individual – not your neighbor or another associate. If you “agree to disagree” that’s fine, but keep the communication open.

4. Make People Feel Good About Themselves

Spend the extra time to get to know everyone on our team and everyone we come in contact with outside the company. Write down everything you can about them – where they live, names of their family, hobbies, favorite foods, hot buttons, likes/dislikes, etc. A smile goes a long way, of course, but it means a lot if you can remember small things people tell you. Recognize what others do
and offer to help; people love to hear “how can I help?” and to know that you genuinely mean it.

5. Treat Others The Way THEY Want To Be Treated

It’s our Golden Rule. It doesn’t matter who it is, we treat everyone the same way, with dignity and respect. We come in contact with so many people – from clients, associates, contractors, travel directors, hotel front desk attendants, housekeepers and bellmen to thecompany president of our top client, we treat them all the same. Actively listen to people without distraction– give people your full attention.

6. Be Humble

The best way for others to respect and be proud of you is for them to find out things about you
themselves. Think about your conversations with others and make sure they are as much about them vs. yourself. Ask questions. Something as simple as “How are YOU doing?” or “How was YOUR day?” goes a long way.

7. Remember…You’re Empowered!

Our rules are guidelines and we can’t possibly have a rule for every situation. You will be faced with handling many different situations and are empowered to use common sense and good judgment to do what is right at the time. As long as your decisions are not illegal, unethical or
immoral, and as long as they don’t violate our client policies, you should use your best judgment to meet our client’s expectations.

8. Pay Attention To Detail

Proofread every email or correspondence coming from you, especially when it’s
going to a client. Before you hit “send,” make sure you realize that your email might be read by 1,000 different people. Ask someone to read it if you have questions about grammar or content. Always look at who it’s going to before you hit “send,” and be sure you didn’t hit “reply” when you intended to “forward.” Before you “forward,” either ensure all of the content should be forwarded, delete some of it or start a fresh email. Take pride in our company, the work we deliver and take ownership of what we do. Mistakes happen but it’s how we handle them that matters – always be open, up-front and honest about what happened. Own it!

9. Be A Good Citizen

Our culture encourages giving back in whatever way you choose to do so. Whether it’s community involvement or random acts of kindness, consider giving back and teaching others to do so also.

10. Live The Culture, Every Day

It’s not enough to say our culture is filled with Honesty, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Courtesy, Humility, Unselfishness, Sincerity and that we Serve Others Unconditionally (external and internal), we have to live it every day. We strive to provide an enjoyable work environment where our associates thrive and feel good about ourselves and the work we do, and, in turn, we will do the same for our clients.

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