Build: Improving Value

Enhancing the value of your business takes on new importance when you are looking at cashing out. How do you secure employees and customers? How do systems and processes affect your sale price? What specific areas of improvement will make your business more attractive?

The Sixth Entrepreneurial Sin -- Envy

This week we start on the two remaining deadly sins of an entrepreneur. Envy and Pride are the strategic sins. The first two (Lust and Gluttony) are operational; they interfere with how you function as an owner and leader. The …
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The Fifth Entrepreneurial Sin -- Greed

Few small business owners identify with the bloated income of Wall Street Tycoons. To accuse an entrepreneur of Greed brings up memories of the Gordon Gekko 1980’s, when “Greed is Good” seemed to be the motto of 30-something Boomers focused …
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The Fourth Entrepreneurial Sin -- Wrath

We continue the Seven Deadly Entrepreneurial Sins series that we started here. We’ve covered the two Operational Sins (Lust and Gluttony) that make you less effective as an owner. Sloth is the first of the Tactical sins; those that make …
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The Third Entrepreneurial Sin -- Sloth

This week we begin discussing the tactical sins. They are those habits of a business owner that impact day-to-day operations; Sloth, Wrath and Greed. To read this series from the beginning, start here. Few business owners would acknowledge that they suffer from …
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The Second Entrepreneurial Sin - Gluttony

This is the third in our series about The Seven Deadly Entrepreneurial Sins. You can start from the beginning here. Gluttony is the second of the Operational Sins; those that reduce your personal effectiveness as an owner and the leader of your …
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The First Entrepreneurial Sin - Lust

Last week we described the Seven Deadly Sins of an Entrepreneur. This week, we’ll delve into the first Operational Sin; Lust. The Operational Sins reduce your personal effectiveness as a business owner. They prevent you from being as operationally effective, …
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The 7 Deadly Sins of an Entrepreneur

The Seven Deadly Sins are alive and well in small businesses today. Far from being a hoary religious holdover from the Dark Ages, they are practiced assiduously by entrepreneurs everywhere. There is something to be said for any concept that …
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Not Just Workers...Qualified Workers

A few weeks ago I attended one of Trinity University’s Policy Maker breakfasts. Although living in a large city has its drawbacks, it is great for access to events such as these. It takes substantial ticket sales to justify top-rank speakers, …
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Is Your Business in the "Neutral Zone?"

As Baby Boomers business owners approach retirement (the youngest of them turned 50 this year) they face a unique challenge. The market for small businesses is increasingly a buyer’s smorgasbord A shrinking middle-aged population, corporate competition for talent and less interest …
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Owners Live in Two Different Worlds

Business owners live in two different worlds. If you are a Baby Boomer, the title of this column might bring memories of any one of the many covers of the song by the same name. (Everyone from Nat King Cole to …
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Ageing Boomer Entrepreneurs: Fearful or Smart?

Do we become more cautious with age? Startups are usually associated with younger entrepreneurs. By the time they reach their 50s or 60s business owners tend to tackle fewer big new ideas. Those that do tend to be successful enough that they …
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Money is Only Money

Last week I discussed the general parameters of the private equity market for small and midsized businesses. A rational look at the number of “funds” active in the market, measured against the number of legitimate candidates for investment or acquisition, …
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Investing in Your Own Business: Will It Pay Off?

A few months ago a business owner asked me to evaluate an acquisition offer for his small business. It was from a larger company headquartered in a different region of the country. They had a branch operation in his city, and wanted to expand …
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What is Your Company Worth? II

Last week we discussed how business owners frequently use hearsay or incomplete information to estimate the value of their companies. They give the number to their financial planner, or include it on a personal financial statement for their banker, neither of …
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The Road Less Traveled

Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Perhaps Robert Frost’s famous poem isn’t a perfect expression of what I am …
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