James M. Kerr

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860-231-6635


Contact me for: Vision story development, Strategic planning, Customer experience transformation,
Objective setting/measurement strategies, Scenario/business/marketing plans, Merger/business integration projects and Re-organizations and operations streamlining

James M. Kerr, Partner, BlumShapiro Consulting, is the author of The Executive Checklist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). As a management consultant and organizational behaviorist, Jim specializes in strategic planning, corporate transformation and project & program development. He can be reached at jkerr@BlumShapiro.com

Books & Applications

Expert Articles by James M. Kerr

Management and Leadership

Business leaders: Improve employee morale, engagement and retention
Most people long for increased responsibility and continued opportunities to advance in their jobs. Indeed, many crave to be recognized as a standout performer among their peers. We must engage our pe...

Expert Articles Sponsored by James M. Kerr

Sales and Marketing

Increase the chance for success in your next email marketing campaign
In a perfect email marketing world every email you send would be opened, thoroughly and vigorously read, and receive a 100 percent response rate. Alas, in the real world, it takes a lot of work, thoug...
Build a valuable following for your business on social media
As you work on building a valuable following on social media keep in mind that it’s another tool that can help you drive sales. It’s not a fast and easy tool, it’s a tool about developing relati...
Add value and impact your business' bottom line with social media
I hope these dos and don’ts give you some guidance on your social media journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so keep at it and I know you’ll see some results in the near future....
Create an authentic business brand and ensure product identity
Choosing a brand is about defining your connection and relationship with a desired target audience. Clarity, authenticity, and consistency in your brand identity and messaging are keys to becoming a s...
Use online marketing tactics to boost your personal online presence
95% of web presences leave money on the table somewhere - either through missing out on leads and opportunities that they should be taking, or through expending resources for poor results. Don’t let...
Successful marketing strategies for senior care service providers
Long term services marketing is about building relationships and trust over a period of time so that when people need your type of service, you will be top of mind and choice. Health care services are...
Quick and easy marketing strategies for a small business
No small business can possibly keep up with the bevy of trends in marketing today. While the number of ways to reach clients and consumers grows each day, so does the overwhelming number of messages b...
The perfect business website starts with the right creative agency
Choosing a creative agency can be a time consuming process. Be patient and look for the team that clicks. Trusting an agency with the livelihood of your web presence forms a delicate relationship betw...
Build a unique and engaging personal brand using social media
Developing a strong personal brand has never been easier. Social media can be a great tool for quickly developing your brand and crafting your message if done correctly. Remember to be genuine and pro...
How to handle bad customer reviews on your social media sites
It's hard not to be upset by negative comments but you need to keep in mind that it's nearly impossible to please everyone. At some point you'll probably have an encounter on social media that makes y...
Effectively market your company online to build your web presence
Whether it’s through social media channels, printed marketing materials, local directories or review sites, all of your marketing efforts will funnel back to your business’s website. Therefore, ma...
Strategic market segmentation for a more logical marketing plan
Market segmentation is a tried-and-true tactic employed by the best organizations. It is hard to conceive of a successful marketing campaign without at least some form of segmentation serving as the b...
Use data analytics to help drive sales and marketing efforts
Data analytics doesn’t automatically lead to better marketing or more sales, but it is an essential ingredient to achieving those goals. Opportunities in data and investment in the strategy and anal...
Investing in professional web design will help promote your business
Good design begins with the end user in mind. When you structure your website with visitor's needs as your top priority, you'll avoid costly errors that turn viewers away. Your design needs to make an...
How small businesses can get the most from an online advertising firm
Large budgets and marketing secrets are no longer barriers for small business when it comes to digital marketing. By engaging the right agency or internal employees, you can get the attention to detai...
Use social media to promote your business and generate revenues
Overall, common sense is the essential element to achieve optimum results in your social media campaigns and strategies. Be smart about how you spend your time on social media and with what you post o...
How to create a successful direct response campaign for your product
If your product solves a common problem and works for a mass group of consumers, you’ve already passed the first two big tests for creating an “As Seen on TV” product campaign! But thoughtful pl...
Use Twitter to build trust and loyalty with customers and clients
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of how to use Twitter to build relationships and loyalty with your customers. Twitter is an incredible tool that can foster growth and trust with your cli...
Cost effective ways to promote your business online
Regardless of the size of your business, for pennies on the dollar, you can start getting interest and attention for your business and website. These are simple steps any business owner can take to br...
Motivate your sales teams to excel and exceed sales targets
As a leader, your job is to create an environment that empowers people and enhances performance. There is no room for negativity, cynicism or pouting. To be an effect leader, your job is be the type o...
How to make a concise and effective business marketing plan
In each of these challenges, brevity is a strong indicator of success.As you go deeper into any plan, you have to pull out the essential, defining idea, or the focal point of the plan. Your ability to...
Use PR effectively to make your company or product become the news
If you want to effectively grow your business, establish yourself as an expert and build your brand. Think of PR not as a marketing option, but as a necessity. Follow this advice and create an effecti...
Increase profits by adding mini-fundraisers to your special event
Organizing smaller, or mini-fundraisers, within a special event can accomplish many goals. These can help you to reach or exceed your financial target plus generate more interest and involvement from ...

Management and Leadership

Protect your heirs and the family business with a succession plan
Family-owned businesses have existed since the beginning of our country. At that time, it was expected for the business to be passed down from father to son, generation to generation. Today, the assum...
Modern polling and analysis can help you grow your business
Polling your customers and prospects has become a near-imperative business tactic. It is a valuable way of gathering data on the market and your future sales targets. Your competitors are doing it, th...
A technology partner on your company's board can ensure success
A CIO serving as a corporate board member will be a valuable resource, sharing hard-earned wisdom, offering innovative ideas and steering the strategic conversations to technology solutions when appro...
Select a reliable and trustworthy workforce solutions provider
If done correctly, the benefits of partnering with a workforce solutions provider significantly outweigh the risks. By following this advice, businesses can increase the likelihood of a successful rel...
Create an exceptional workforce to help your business thrive
Now that you have your dream team in place, maintain the momentum by having clear lines of communication, asking for input on areas to improve, offering training, and recognizing those players who are...
How to create a team of leaders to help your business thrive
Leadership isn't a tool or skill that you learn once and then put away for future use. Leadership is a skill that needs regular development and practice in order to stay relevant in the corporate envi...
Being an effective leader starts with you and leading by example
Developing good leadership skills is a life-long process. If you lead by example, are true to yourself, forgiving of others, determined, and lead with purpose, you will have the means to not only achi...
For best results use technology to train your millennial workforce
To some employers, Millennials seem hopelessly pinned to their smartphones, obsessed with social media and too entitled to succeed in the workplace. To smart employers, Millennials are simply a differ...
Know how to conduct a video job interview when hiring employees
Following these recommendations will help you as the interviewer take control of an uncertain process, one that more employers are implementing into their hiring system. Remember video can be as effec...
How to expand your business internationally and take it global
Going global can be an excellent way to grow your business. However, you must take the time to understand the cultural differences of the country you are expanding into. Do your research and work with...
How to maintain peak performance when growing a small business
As a leader and business owner there are many skill sets to acquire, one of which is learning how to maintain peak performance. It is pivotal to do this in part by managing overload so you can functio...
Business leaders: Improve employee morale, engagement and retention
Most people long for increased responsibility and continued opportunities to advance in their jobs. Indeed, many crave to be recognized as a standout performer among their peers. We must engage our pe...
Treating employees with respect will lead to higher productivity
A happy employee means a happy work environment, which inevitably leads to a higher success rate. It can be tough being the boss and making sure that everyone is content, but ultimately it takes less ...
How managers can help reduce workplace stress for their employees
It can be challenging to manage not only your own stress as a leader, but that of your employees as well. Use these tips to keep on track and you will have the tools in your management kit bag to be t...
How to effectively manage a difficult but valuable employee
Valuable but problematic employees can be challenging. Treat them fairly as you would any other employee with consideration for those who have to work every day with them. Make every employee feel val...
Workforce management strategies to eliminate production bottlenecks
While there are numerous ways to avoid bottlenecks, it is very likely you will encounter one or two. Stay calm and know that with a clear mind and set plan, eliminating the bottleneck is not only poss...
Prepare your employees on how to respond to sudden cardiac arrest
Creating and executing a plan to install and maintain an effective Cardiac Emergency Response Program in the workplace gives small businesses the peace of mind to know that when an SCA emergency occur...
Employee coaching: Knowing when to step in and when to stay out
A well-crafted approach to employee coaching can help set the stage for increased retention, engagement and success for your workforce. Solid coaching is also the foundation for a successful performan...

Starting a Business

Successfully starting your business takes preparation and persistence
Starting a business may be the best decision you will ever make; being smart about the preparatory work that goes into both will payoff in time and money. Find a trusted source or website to guide you...
Successfully start a home business with this expert advice
A home business that you conceive and nurture to success is just like a child. While there will be challenges along the way, it will reward you greatly when it reaches its potential. Apply these strat...
Create a successful and impactful brand for your new business venture
Through all your hard work in developing your new business, establishing a well- defined brand that communicates and connects with your consumer is a necessary component. Consider working with design ...
How to turn around a business that is not succeeding
Being in business is tough. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but if you have chosen that path it can be super rewarding. In order to have a fulfilling experience as a business owner or business ...
Advice for small business owners on successfully starting a business
Owning and running a business is a dream that has become a reality for many Americans. While many business owners think that being their own boss is going to be better than working for someone else, b...
How to decide on key man insurance and protect your business
Key man insurance can be an important factor in any business, but as with any insurance policy, do your research first. This type of policy can be extremely valuable in a small or family owned busines...
How to start turning a failing small business into a successful one
Being aware of the need you fill and moving your business forward is a matter of self-awareness, research, and strategy. Only when you know what your consumers really want and need can you create a su...
Business growth depends on positive and memorable customer experiences
As with pretty much any relationship, putting the customer first comes down to proper communication and making them feel important. Take your time to engage and be present, and involve your customers ...
Grow your business while keeping operation costs under control
There are inherent costs to running a business. That doesn’t mean that these costs should have a negative impact on the bottom line of the business. By proactively looking for ways to reduce costs a...
How to make sure your small business is a huge success
There are an infinite number of tips for making a small business succeed, depending on the type of industry, size of the company, revenue, etc., but the advice outlined above are applicable to all bus...
Businesses need to create a global mindset to be successful overseas
In today’s world, maintaining a global mindset is essential for being successful. Do your research, speak intelligently, and invest in global mindset training across your entire company....
Balance work and life while running a successful small business
Consuming your entire life with work is unhealthy, but not striving to work toward anything is also unhealthy. To some, having an adequate balance between your work life and personal life might seem f...
Set clear goals for your small business to be successful
...
Leasing commercial office space for a business requires planning
Your lease for commercial office space will likely the largest economic commitment of your business after salaries and benefits. It is a place that you will depend on to create a positive environment ...
How to be prepared when starting a business and you are over 50
So now you have a few, time-tested insights to ponder. At age 50 or older, this can be an exciting enterprise that will test your skills and your endurance. If everything said here seems fine to you a...
Location, location, location: Ensure the success of your business
There you have it. Follow these simple rules and you are on your way to building your personal empire. Best of all, you have the resources in building this goliath all at your fingertips. Be observant...
You can successfully leave retirement and launch a start-up
Some people have been looking forward to retirement for 25 years. If that’s you, beginning a startup is the last thing you want to do and it could turn into your greatest nightmare.Other people have...
Advice for going into and starting a business with your family
If you’ve addressed all the aforementioned do’s and don’ts then you’ve done what can to set your family business up to win and for long-term success. Now go make it happen and enjoy creating m...
You must be creative and functional when branding a new business
Staying fresh, understanding specifics and embracing creativity is valuable to improving your company’s brand. Whether you are just now creating your brand or in the middle of a refresh of your bran...

Human Resources

How to choose voluntary insurance benefits for your employees
Rising health care costs are taking a bigger and bigger bite out of the family wallet. Amid today's daunting health care costs and benefit reductions, voluntary benefits insurance is ideal for employe...
Implement an effective job training program so your employees thrive
Focusing on a job’s desired outcome can create opportunities for innovation and skills training. Improving job skills requires continuous training, and is best received when on-demand training oppor...
Retain a recruiting firm to help you hire the right C-level executive
Finding the right C-level leader takes time, open communication, realistic expectations, and vulnerability. Be open in what you are looking for, and communicate transparently what you’d prefer to av...
Expert advice for businesses to get more done with fewer employees
The pressure to reduce costs isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The methods that you use to address it can have a direct impact on your employees, customers and your business. Thoughtful and delib...
Avoid critical HR mistakes as a small business owner
Another misconception held by many small business owners is that the laws do not apply to them because they only have a few employees. However, the reality is many laws apply to a business if they hav...
Advice on creating a workplace appearance and dress code policy
Ensuring that you have a dress code and appearance policy that appropriately reflects your business goals and respects employee beliefs, while remaining legally compliant can be difficult. Keep these ...
Partner with a recruiting firm to find and hire the best employees
You’re not simply looking for a recruiting firm, but a partner who can forge a long-lasting relationship. The best of the best know the industry and market, demonstrate a history of sourcing targete...
How to increase employee participation in your 401(k) plan
Employees understand saving for retirement is important, but like dieting, it’s easy to go back to old habits. Keeping goals top of mind should help employees focus on what it takes to achieve them....
Advice on workplace drug policies in states where marijuana is legal
With few exceptions, employers are not required to accommodate an employee’s use of medicinal marijuana, and neither Colorado nor Washington require an employer to accommodate an employee’s recrea...
How to hire the best employees for your small business
According to research done by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), a hiring mistake can cost a company up to five times an employee’s annual salary, depending on the position and the a...
How to decrease HR costs and increase benefits utilization
Benefits utilization can be frustrating and time-consuming for HR professionals. Having a personal touch and being genuine about the value of these benefits sends a message to employees that is strong...
Understand the ACA "large employer" mandate for employee health care
There has been a great deal of confusion for individual consumers and employers alike since the introduction of the ACA. If you know for certain or even have a hunch that your business is subject to t...
How to reduce employee turnover and increase morale and productivity
Regardless of your tactic when reducing employee turnover, there will always be a small percentage. While involuntary turnover can not be controlled, you will find employees leave because they are dis...
Advice for improving your employee’s communication skills
Good communication is critical in creating a cohesive work environment. Not all employees are born communicators, but with the right guidance they can improve their communication skills and have a pos...
When to use criminal records in background checks when hiring
A criminal background check can be a helpful, and sometimes essential, tool in gauging an individual’s suitability for an employment position. However, employers must exercise caution in utilizing t...
Secrets to finding the perfect speaker for your conference or event
Finding a great speaker for your event is important! There are many things to consider in this process. But, when you keep in mind the goals of your event, the nature of your group, and get as much fe...
How to use social media to attract and hire the best job candidates
Today it is easier than ever to target talent using social media. In fact, with 73 percent of surveyed firms reporting successful hiring using social media in their recruiting mix, it is safe to say t...
Help your employees save and prepare financially for retirement
Employers may not think about ill-prepared retirees hurting their bottom line, but it will become evident as the baby boomers continue to step into their 60s. By then, it may be too late for employers...
Ensure your worker's compensation policies are up to date
By following these tips, you can help ensure your workers’ compensation policy still fits the current needs of your business and keeps you compliant....

Business Operations

How to get the most from your local printer and print shop
Communication, realistic expectations, and planning are the keys to a successful experience in working with a professional print shop. With a bit of research and insight, you will understand what to e...
Business owners should buy business property insurance
It’s very important to ensure that you have a high enough limit to properly cover you for all of your business’ property. Make sure that you include all of your property and the cost to replace th...
Great customer service helps your medical practice thrive
Providing quality clinical care to your patients is your first priority. Other “care” areas are equally important though, as your patient will develop an impression of your overall practice philos...
Right credit card merchant provider will improve your bottom line
By partnering with the right merchant services provider, you’re not only going to ensure your own company’s bottom line, you’re going to get a partner who believes in your business and is willin...
Minimize disruptions in your business by planning for a disaster
Disasters may be unlikely, but they do happen and companies can pay a high human and financial cost if they don’t have an action plan to tackle the unthinkable. Back up office space must be a key co...
How to send email that meets HIPAA compliance standards
While you may have to increase your budget and time to ensure your systems meet HIPAA compliance standards, it is time and money well spent. The result of a breach can be monumental in terms of cost a...
Ensure your business gets off on the right foot for the New Year
It’s much easier to prevent fires, than put them out, so prepare ahead of time by incorporating HR into your 2014 planning. Sit down and outline what worked for 2013 and carry that into the new year...
Use special events to raise money for your non-profit organization
Creating special events, and doing them well, can accomplish many goals. The obvious reason is to raise money that can be used towards operating costs, an endowment campaign or for capital improvement...
How and why businesses should speed up the supplier payment process
When it comes to supplier relations, enterprises should always be looking for ways to make processes easier and more efficient. If those relationships are strong, enterprises will waste less time on t...

Business Law

Protect yourself and your business from a wrongful termination suit
Learning that a former employee is claiming wrongful termination can be stressful and the lawsuit can be very costly, not only financially, but emotionally as well. Although there are no guarantees th...
How employers can get H-1B work visas for foreign employees
When filing H-1B visas, it is important to start preparing early and to familiarize yourself with all required documents. Ensure that the position qualifies as a “specialty occupation” and whether...
Maintain I-9 compliance and hire legal workers for your business
Employers who knowingly employ individuals who are not work-authorized risk subjecting its company to fines and other possible liability. Many employers suspect some employees may be undocumented, but...
Protect your business: Train personnel on completing form I-9
Once the final statistics for 2013 are tallied, 2013 is expected to be another record-breaking year for immigration enforcement. Now is the time to conduct an I-9 audit and ensure all your personnel r...
Trademark attorney can help protect your company logo, name and slogan
It is often extremely wise and beneficial to seek federal registration of your most commercially valuable trademarks. Although registration can never be guaranteed, following the steps outlined above ...
Advice for businesses on what to do when sued for sexual harassment
It’s clear that when an employer is being sued for sexual harassment, it is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. By ensuring that certain measures are in place and taking quick and tho...
Obtain an L1A visa when opening new offices in the United States
This article provides general introductions as to what to expect when a newly formed U.S. based entity files an L1A petition for a manager or execute employed by a foreign entity with whom the U.S. en...
Advice on protecting your business' brand using trademarks
Considering the complexity of trademark law and the potential for infringement, it is important that you consult a trademark lawyer who can help you make the smartest choices for your business’ bran...
How employers should handle complaints about overtime pay
It is important to know which employees are eligible for overtime pay and to review your company’s policies. Properly training managers and tracking hours will help to mitigate risks involving overt...
How to correctly suspend or fire an employee with an H1B visa
Ensure you are compliant with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) when issues arise with the employment status of H1B workers. The best way to do thi...

Information Technology

Business owners - be prepared for disasters
As business owners we hope we never encounter a natural disaster. The truth is, in any given year, there are fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. It is safe to assume that your area i...
Prepare your business for disaster using online technology
There is no way to completely avoid the inconvenience and trouble a natural or manmade disaster will have on your business. With a few simple changes, however, there are ways in which you can minimize...
Protect your business and intellectual property from hackers
In today’s fast paced business world no one just works from the office anymore. Our employees and clients are always on the go and working outside of the office, using mobile devices for telecommuti...
Protect your business with an electronic data management system
Choosing an electronic data management system is not easy. However if you follow the advice above it will make your job much much easier. If you follow these steps your organization will get to a poin...
Use cloud computing to access more computing power and save money
Cloud computing is clearly more than just a passing fad. With a growing range of business services and applications moving to the cloud, making the transition to cloud computing is becoming more of a ...
How to approach data deletion in your records management policy
The time to address your company’s data problem is now. Prepare, plan and act. The problem won’t go away - it will only get worse. By then it could be too late....
Improve communication between your IT and Legal departments
If left to their own devices, Legal and IT would speak different languages - if they spoke to each other at all. eDiscovery requires them to work together so learning to communicate more effectively i...
Protect yourself by preventing malware on your computer or tablet
Malware is a very serious threat to anyone who uses the internet. Internet users today need to be aware of the dangers of malware infections in order to defend themselves adequately. By following the ...
Hire a knowledgeable content developer for your business website
Website development became a profession in the early 1990s, but everything has changed ten times over as Internet speed and availability have become global. Content is definitely King - but it is not ...

Industries

Choose a medical billing and collections agency right for your practice and patients
When you are shopping for a third party medical service, be sure that you have covered critical questions and gleaned satisfactory answers before you make your final decision. The profitability and re...
Ensure your medical practice complies with HIPPA data privacy
While there is a lot to wrap your head around with achieving HIPAA compliance, ignoring this or taking a laid back approach can result in your reputation becoming irreparably tarnished. Even worse, yo...
A happy medical team can supercharge your average patient experience
Your patients rely on you to create and deliver quality care. By bringing that same attitude to your medical staff, you will engage a team that will assist you to build the practice you always wanted ...
Identify situations that can minimize medical malpractice liability
The heartache that is felt from medical malpractice suits is extensive and often long lasting. Turn to your legal counsel for specific advice and actions you can follow to minimize your vulnerability ...
Successfully replace your EHR technology with careful preparation
With prudent foresight and proper planning in implementing or replacing your EMR technology, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that others have encountered such as poorly designed electronic processe...
Hire engaging entertainers for senior care resident’s enjoyment
If you approach hiring an entertainer from an experience of care mindset, you will be more mindful of hiring top notch entertainers and will be able to make the case to administration to justify the e...
Prepare for the Affordable Care Act for healthcare marketing success
It’s clear that the healthcare system is about to change more in the next few years than it has in the previous few decades! For healthcare marketers, this environment is going to require new levels...
Achieve private company success in the oil and gas industry
Private oil and gas companies can emulate the best practices of their publicly traded counterparts by remembering that 80% of the benefit can be achieved through enactment of 20% of the controls that ...
Selecting the best mud logging services provider
There are many mud logging consultants to choose from and the process of selecting the best one for your particular situation can seem daunting. By focusing on what you are trying to accomplish at the...
Buy an established medical practice with this expert advice
For many doctors, a smart way to get established is to buy a medical practice that has a good reputation, solid cash flow, and a roster of satisfied patients. Buying the right practice for the right p...
How to manage and maintain the perfect baseball field
The most important thing for you to do is test your soil before applying any fertilizer and/or nutrients so that you know what your grass really needs to thrive. Grading your infield also helps to mov...
How to ensure your soccer field is always in the best condition
For participation and the level of competition to increase here in the U.S., sports turf managers need to provide a safe and playable soccer surface. Follow the advice above for help ensuring your soc...
How to overcome 90 day ACA grace period payment delays
Taking these steps upfront may seem like a heavy burden to bear, especially when the majority of practice resources are stretched thin. However, medical offices that have undertaken these measures wil...
How to protect and maintain athletic fields in the heat of summer
These ideas will assist you in managing the heat and lack of rain while still producing a safe and playable turf. Whether you manage a sports field or want to improve the condition of your lawn, the a...
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