You Inspire Us Daily!
To all our clients and friends of the firm, Happy Holidays! To our clients, I am so grateful to you for choosing us and allowing us the opportunity to grow. It has been a great pleasure serving you. Your vision and innovation inspire us daily.
2019 has been a year of change for us. For the first time in our company’s history, we have an executive team helping to run the company. They’ve spent this past year learning their new roles and have provided strategic and operational leadership to Fine Point. It’s been a delight to watch them identify and prioritize issues, discuss and debate them, and solve them one by one.
Our biggest successes this year were centered around process development. As I like to say, developing a process is the boring, secret sauce of business. Decide on your “this is how we do it here” methods and then follow them. Magic ensues! When delivering for our clients, we have long been adept at this. But perfecting our own internal process? Well, let’s just say, I’ve been less than stellar at that!
This year, we have developed processes for our marketing reviews, pricing protocols, sales procedures, hiring processes, training processes, and reporting standards. The magic that ensued is that with these protocols in place, I am now closer to having a regular job and not the insane 70-hour workweeks of the past.
Simultaneously, our team members now get more of a chance to spread their wings, take control, and own more of these processes themselves, and they have done a beautiful job. Watching my team grow, working with them through the laughs and the challenges of this adventure, is the most rewarding part of my job.
What will 2020 hold? Our long-term vision is to be the go-to firm for small business advising, accounting, and HR. Our executive team is meeting later this month to work on how to get us closer to that vision in 2020 and I can’t wait!
CEO, Fine Point Consulting
The 40 Hour Workweek Thanks to Our Ancestors!
Can you imagine regularly working 100 hours a week? Robert Owen, an 18th century Welsh mill owner and labor rights activist despised this common practice of the Industrial Revolution. A phrase Owen coined in 1817, “Eight hours’ labor, eight hours’ recreation, eight hours’ rest” was his battle cry. It turns out Owen was an inciteful man. He, along with other activists, started a global movement to redefine the standard workweek to a more manageable 40 hours.
Across the pond, the realization of the 40-hour workweek was hard-fought in the U.S. In 1866, the National Labor Union asked Congress to pass a law mandating the eight-hour workday. While the idea was shot down with a “No” vote, it started a rallying cry for the need for change.
The Ford Motor Company advanced the idea in 1914, when it scaled back from a 48-hour to a 40-hour workweek after founder Henry Ford believed too many hours were bad for workers’ productivity. Removing one day resulted in eight-hour shifts for five days a week—what we now know as the 40-hour workweek. And, more importantly, the two-day weekend!
In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which required employers to pay overtime to all employees who worked more than 44 hours in a week. They amended the act two years later to reduce the workweek to 40 hours, and in 1940, the 40-hour workweek became U.S. law.