He has too much time on his hands

Dear Ken Keller:

I’m not an owner of a business, but I work for one. I’ve been employed by my boss at his company for many years. The recession hit us hard and lower cost competition has since taken away a lot of business. But we survived and are doing okay now.

My boss just doesn’t seem all that interested in his business anymore. He has some other interests that take up some of his time, and when he does come into the office, he doesn’t have all that much to do with the company (his choice).

So what he does is he spends his time finding jokes and political stuff on the web and then sends this stuff to everyone he knows. The problem is that some of these emails are very inappropriate. I am embarrassed that he sends these emails to clients, our vendors and even to our employees.

My question is what can I do about this? —Linda M.

Dear Linda,

It sounds as if your boss has retired from his job as owner, but has yet to file the paperwork with the Social Security Office.

One of the trends I’ve noticed among people who are not busy enough during the work day or have recently retired and have yet to find their footing in that new phase of their life is that they start sending out emails to everyone they know

My recommendation to you is to print out the worst emails, those you find the most offensive, go into his office, close the door and explain to him that his “hobby” could end up costing his company a lot of money in legal fees and plaintiff awards when lawsuits are won against him and or his company.

Your boss needs to be educated by you that what he is doing is offensive. He may not think so, but what he believes is not important. It’s how the recipient feels that matters. If you feel this way, so do others.

If you need support in your effort, because having a conversation of this nature is not easy to do, engage your firm’s attorney. Forward the emails to the attorney and ask them to step in and have a long overdue conversation.

Dear Ken Keller

At some point in the not too distant future I would like to sell my business. In a few words can you give me some guidance as to where I need to focus on my efforts to start down the path of getting as high a price as possible? —Chris E.

Dear Chris,

Great question; if you want to focus on just one thing, work on improving the profitability of your business. A second effort should be on growing and diversifying the revenue base. Third, work to reduce the debt that the business has.

Owners often have wild ideas about how much their businesses are actually worth and because they live in that fantasy land, most businesses are actually never sold. I recommend you seek out local professional help now so you can create a plan for the successful sale of your business in the future.